Monday, November 7, 2016

Officially, Legally Me

Yes, you read that correctly. Unless you didn't actually read it correctly, in which case I should better explain this. See, I am now legally and quite officially me. The sovereign government of the United States of America, the very same government that landed on the Moon and split the atom, recognizes me as an official girl with an official girl name. Government issued paperwork lists my gender as "F."


As joyful as I may look in the above photo, I must say that his process wasn't entirely joyful. I mean, seriously, there's a reason the DMV is the go-to place when 1980s comedians needed jokes about long lines and awful service. But no mere bureaucracy can stop me. If I were to make my own character sheet for the 1987 edition of Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game, I would totally give myself a 4D+2 in the bureaucracy skill. Yes, that is how I still think about how to quantify all skills levels in every situation.

Yes, my resume is awesome. 

Well, being the highly organized nerd that I am, I of course had my entire day mapped out. First thing, I planned to be at the DMV on Greenwich Street in Lower Manhattan at 9am sharp. I wanted to be there at the exact moment they opened so I would be first in line. Then, with my temporary drivers' licence in hand, I would have the photo ID I needed to go in and change my name on my bank account then stop by the Social Security Administration to get my new name on my card. In between all that I also had to run home at noon to walk my dog and I also had a 1:00pm doctor's appointment that I was hoping would be pretty quick.

Quite frankly, since I started working on full time, all the days I take off work are jam packed like this. But they've worked. They've worked because I'm a highly organized person and I'm good at scheduling. I like to develop a solid plan, stick with it and come out at the end of the day with a giant pile of accomplishments.

Well, I hit a snag. And of course I hit it at 9:03am.


Well, there went my plans. Gone was any thought of hitting multiple banks or the Social Security Administration. So I trudged home, ate an early lunch, walked my dog, went to my doctor's appointment and then finally dragged my thoroughly annoyed self to the very DMV office that I was hoping to avoid - the 31st and 9th Avenue office. It's the worst one. Well, apparently it's not quite as bad as the one in Brooklyn. Plus it was nearby my doctor's office. Close enough anyway.

I'd worked pretty hard on coming up with the perfect DMV photo. I may or may not have even read some websites on how to take the best ID photo. After all, those photos will be with you for years. My guy ID photo is from like 2004 and I still have it. It was actually a good picture too. I really didn't want to trade a great photo for a crappy one, even if it is finally of me as a girl.

So, I did my hair in such a way that it would be mostly out of my face. Those of you who read my blog regularly (and that had better be all of you!) will know that I like to keep my hair hanging down in my face. I feel like I pass better that way. So hair out of the face, while it would make a better quality picture, might make me look more boyish. Luckily, I was able to put together a pretty good hair style that hid my face a little but not too much. Then I did a some pretty good makeup with a hopefully subdued look to it. Though I did opt for the darker lip color as I still can't quite figure out how to do a nude lip look correctly.

Then I topped that off with a low cut dark green top. I figured that if my clothing were to show up in the photo, I wanted it to be obvious that I was wearing a woman's top and not a T-shirt or something that could potentially be masculine. Plus I added some tasteful earrings and then a sparkly headband to both keep my hair in place and to add sparkle to my outfit. I'm a girl now - I can sparkle!

Pictured; Sparkling. 
Also I brought my glasses just in case I needed to do an eye test. I also brought my old ID, the DMV replacement license form, my Social Security card, my passport, the letter from my doctor certifying that I was a chick, and an original copy of my certified name change order. I was set!

So I headed up there, walked to the wrong location, then walked two or three avenues over to the right location, hoped that my hair didn't get too messed up by the wind, went into the DMV, told the first clerk that I was there to change my name and gender marker and they issued me a numbered ticket. Yay!

Then, I went and found a seat and by the time I sat down I realized that I had already lost of my ticket. Way to go, girl.

So I got another ticket. It only took about twenty minutes to get called for my photo. Excited, I hopped up to the desk and took off my coat and cardigan. The clerk looked over my paperwork and a few seconds later was like "Alright, step back for your photo." I stood against the wall, trying my best to make sure I had a normal face on and that my head was being held in a way that didn't make me look like I had a double chin. I tried to smile and look nice. But then the clerk was like "Oh, brush your hair out of your face." Which I did quickly, but with no idea as to how it looked! I just had to kind of run with it. All the prep work I had done to make my hair look great was undone with one quick gesture.

Hopefully it'll come out okay. I have no idea. Honestly, why don't they show you the photo then? Why can't they give you like a couple do-overs? Would that really take that much longer? Why aren't we able to submit our own photos like for passports? Ah well.

He said to wait for your number to be called again and then you can go up and pay. Then, he added rather oddly "The P in your number might show up as an R." What? Okay. So, I sat back down, watching the numbers on the little TVs, listening to each being called and waiting for P740. Or R740. After about forty minutes of listening to someone snore and hoping my phone battery wouldn't die, they ended up calling B740. B740. Was that me? They called it a couple more times as though B740 wasn't stepping up. So, I figured it wouldn't hurt to ask. Wouldn't you know it. I was apparently B740. So sometimes it changes Ps to Rs and Bs.

Well, I paid my money, made absolutely sure they changed both my gender marker and my name (no one wants to go back again), and collected my temporary license. It had my new name and my gender listed as F!!! Yay!!!

Now, sadly it still had my eyes listed as grey. Even though I put green on my form, they kept the grey that's on my old ID. At some point some bureaucrat must have put GR to mean green and some other bureaucrat must have read it and thought grey. My eyes aren't grey! They were never grey. They're green! Ah well, I'll have to live with it because I'm not waiting another two hours to get the DMV to list my eye color correctly.

In seven to ten days I'll get my new ID and hopefully my picture came out okay. I'm taking three days off later this month so that I don't have to be there when everyone at the company finds out that I'm transgender. One of those days I'll spend going to banks and other government agencies getting all the rest of my paperwork taken care of. One down, many to go.

It was a little after 4pm when I got out of the DMV, so I figured it would be fun to walk over near my girlfriend's work so we could have a drink at happy hour to celebrate. Of course, she doesn't get out until 5pm, so I did have an opportunity for a few celebratory selfies.

Good times.

Good times indeed. 

And now for an update....

I got my license in the mail finally. And my picture is....okay. It's not bad. I've seen worse. Yay!


  1. Congratulations girl.
    It has been a long hard road but now you can be overjoyed with your achievements. Thanks for letting us share your journey.

    1. Thank you, Geraldine. I'll keep sharing my journey even as it threatens to become routine and mundane.

  2. Congratulations!!!!

    Now for you to get your passport - just keep your glasses off when you have that photo taken.

    1. Once I get my license in the mail phase 2 begins. I need the DL to get my Social Security card, library card, passport, new bank accounts. Passport is in the works. And you get to pick your own photo!

  3. So envious of you right now. As a 40+ married person with 3 kids and an understanding spouse it's a step I could never take but that doesn't mean a girl can't dream , right.Hopefully work will go smoothly for you and you find enjoyment in being your true self . Just Keep us entertained with your blog now you're all.most at the finish line of one journey and the start of another
    Love always Mel xx

    1. Thanks, Mel. One thing I've learned is that each of us has a separate journey to take and they're all valid.

  4. Congrats You rock
    Looking beautiful

  5. Congrats, Faith! You are progressing wonderfully! And I agree that you look beautiful _green-eyed_ girl!