Today I got an amended birth certificate and a new state I.D.!
It all began when my friend, Jude, let me borrow hiz car to run errands. In exchange, I let hir borrow my laptop so ze could work from a coffee shop instead of going-in-to-the-office-work for the day. Done, deal, next.
I then asked my roommate, Steph, and my brother, to meet me at the downtown vegan hot dog stand. This part of my tale is very essential because it fueled us for the errands ahead. As I scarfed down my italian sausage with chips and beverage, I asked Steph if she would also like to accompany me to the Utah Office of Vital Records and Statistics to acquire me an amended birth certificate.
I don't know why poor Steph agreed to come. It could have been the good mood she was in eating a vegan hot dog, or just that it was sunny out - for whatever reason, she accepted my unsavory errand-accompanying-to-NOT-FUN-places offer.
And onwards we went, to the land of Vital Records. The wait wasn't long. I filled out some paperwork for a new birth certificate. Turned in my Certified Order of Gender and to Amend Birth Certificate. Showed the employee my I.D. She was friendly and acted like this was something she deals with on a daily basis. She gave me a buzzer to hold and I waited with Steph watching Toy Story 2 (can't fail with that one, Office of Vital Records).
In only about five minutes the buzzer vibrated violently (so violently a woman on the couch nearby jolted), and I walked up to the window. The employee had me review the new information. Name, check. Gender change, check. Parents info looked good, check. I signed it. Handed it back. Then, after only about ten minutes, my new birth certificate was ready! Along with an additional page that she told me would be necessary to get a new state I.D.: an official Amendment of Birth Record to Reflect Court Order Change of Name.
The total came to $25. $18 for the new birth certificate and an additional $7 for name change service fees.
Armed with my slew of papers, my hapless roomie and I then descended upon the DMV. Wait also wasn't bad. Filled out paperwork for a new I.D. Stood in line. Once we got to the counter, I said, "I'm not entirely sure what the process is for this, but I am seeking a new state I.D. reflecting my name and gender change from female to male. I have the following documents...". This was clearly something the employee hadn't seen or dealt with before. He stammered a bit, and then directed me to Booth 1 where he said, "You should bring this to our, uh, supervisor. Have him look this over. Just go stand over there. I'll buzz him."
So we wandered over to Booth 1 (having Steph there made the process much more comfortable) where a flustered looking employee asked me, "Do you have an appointment here or something?"
"No. I was sent over here by the front table guy. I'm seeking a new state I.D. to reflect my name and gender change, and I'm supposed to show the documentation I have to the supervisor."
He didn't respond and wandered off. Eventually the supervisor came out and asked, "So you're the one having a name and gender change?", "Yes.", and he began thumbing through my paperwork. Then exclaimed, "FEMALE TO MALE?" in front of a room of strangers. Uh, yes.
He nodded, said all looked good, and told me to return to the front desk and proceed through the standard process. If anyone had questions, I should tell them to contact him and he would descend to clear the air.
Awesome! Good! It could have been in my head, but I felt like quite the spectacle in that moment. The employees who were in ear-shot of the supervisor were all staring at me. People who were sitting and waiting were all staring. I turned to Steph and we chit-chatted as we exited. That made it easier to ignore the stares.
Earlier my mom had called to tell me that her feline companion, Mr. Yellow, was experiencing some breathing problems and that she had made him a vet appointment. I agreed to take a break to accompany her to the vet to help keep him calm. Which poor Steph helped with, also.
So off we went to help my mom and Mr.Yellow. When we all got to the vet we were greeted by a pup who had two eyeballs literally popped out of his sockets that were blistering red. It looked really painful, so I asked the guardian what had happened. He'd been hit by a car, she said. So, so sad. But, it looked like he was getting better, but would potentially lose his vision. Car scary land for pup.
Mr.Yellow faired much better than pop-eyed pup. Ensuring that he would be good to get home without calming aid, Steph and I darted back to the DMV. I waited in the line. Got a new picture taken. Got a number. Sat. Waited about fifteen minutes. Wandered up to the clerk.
"Hello, sir. What can I do for you?"
I told him that I needed a new I.D. reflecting my name and gender change.
This request was literally blowing his mind, which Steph later commented was apparent from just witnessing his body language from afar. As he processed my paperwork, he whispered, "Is it okay if I ask a few questions?" Which then turned into the flood gates busting wide open for a whisper-question-frenzy that lasted about 45 minutes.
In-between questions he would forget to send this or that, or didn't input this or has to put this through the scanner. "Oh, no, whoa, I almost forgot this. I need to scan this. And stamp that! Oh, and sign this, please!", which would then lead into another question.
His questions weren't malicious. He was inquisitive, and I knew that I'm likely the only trans person he's interacted with - knowingly. He leaned in and whispered questions like, "So uh, what happens? When you transition?", "Oh, ya know... secondary sex characteristic stuff. Hair growth. Body fat redistribution...."
Catching on that I wasn't offended by his curiosity (I understand when people are more private about their experience and don't want to be a spectacle. I don't, either - but I also don't mind questions, because feel obligated to demystify trans experiences. Hopefully leading to less prejudice and discrimination. Or so I hope.), he whisper-asked other questions like, "Can you get pregnant?", which brought up media sensation Thomas Beatie. He asked, "So have you always been attracted to girls?", to which I replied, "Oh, well, I have been, yes. But sexual orientation and gender are very different things...".
He asked about surgery, about if I had a girlfriend, about so on and so forth, and then about how my parents felt about it. When I told him that they're supportive, he commented, "That is such a relief. I bet a lot of people who are trans do not have supportive families, and that must be really hard for them. Probably say that they don't have a daughter anymore, like they lost their kid. That's really something that your parents support your happiness, and know that they didn't lose their daughter. He's just their son now!"
That was pretty cute.
And somewhere in the blurred mix of questions he asked, "Are you a metrosexual?" - I'll take that as a compliment.
In the fray, the supervisor who reviewed my paperwork prior came to visit and asked, "Where did ya go? I was back there waiting for your paperwork to come my way, and you disappeared on us!" When I told him that I had run off to help my mom take her cat to the vet, he replied, "Hey, I guess that makes you a mama's boy now!", then had a good jolly laugh and wandered off.
The whole process was tedious, but friendly. My poor roomie rotting in the waiting room that entire time, on the other hand... to thank her for her companionship, I got her a treat.
The new I.D. cost $18 total. I have a temporary one currently until they mail my official one.
Tomorrow I'm going to try to get more nitty gritty accomplished tomorrow. New social security card, update bank account info... it's all the easy stuff from here on out, I hope, legal-wise!
Look what I stumbled across! Mr. Transman Grid and Rocco (Katastrophe) in Allison Michael Orenstein’s Mr. Transman gallery .
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