But I also didn't think at the time I started the process it would take me nearly 20 years and living in two states to complete it.
I started with getting my Social Security card changed in 1998 since it is pretty much next to your drivers license a de facto national ID card. While the Social Security Administration won't change the SSN number for numerous reasons, they will change the gender marker and name on it.
Since Clinton was president when I did so, it was a no drama situation. During GW Bush's presidency, a problem arose with the SSA starting in 2002 to send 'No Match' letters that had the effect of outing trans people to their employers.
It was a seismic change to my life and my finances, and I now had to adjust to making half of the $40K a year I was making. While I was upset about it at the time, the September 2001 move to Louisville produced an unexpected blessing that happened two weeks after I moved there.
In Kentucky the name change process in Jefferson County where I now lived was a simple, one page administrative form in which I filled out the info, swore it was accurate and true, and when I was done signed it and paid my then $10 fee. It was then mailed to me a few days later stamped and signed by the court.
I knew I was going to need to change my birth certificate and file the name change I'd received in Kentucky back in Texas, but that also got put on the back burner as I spent time getting adjusted to my life in Da Ville and dealing with far less discretionary income in my bank account.
But two events in June 2013 would galvanize me to get serious about completing my documentation and infuse it with a sense of urgency. The unjust ruling in the Shelby vs Holder SCOTUS case gutting Section 4 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act meant that the unjust Texas voter suppression law could be enforced, and if I wanted to vote in the upcoming November Houston city elections, I now needed a Texas drivers license.
had been made more difficult by our Texas GOP majority and it took me nine months to get my Texas drivers license. I also spent a very nervous trip every time it was my turn to get behind the wheel on our 1700 mile drive to that reunion that took us across Texas through Dallas, Oklahoma, Kansas and eastern Colorado to get to Denver and back
But it was a driver's license I didn't receive until two months after the election in January 2014, which meant I was voter suppressed out of it..
Fast forward to the 2016 election, the next event that ratcheted up my concern for finishing the process I'd started in 1998. Because I'm a frequent flier, I was also getting tired of showing my mismatched ID at TSA security and other locations and getting jacked up at times because of it.
But it still costs money to make that name and gender marker process happen, and here's where another unexpected blessing happened that got me closer to completing that process.
They raised enough money at that fundraiser to fund two name changes, and I was shocked and surprised to find out moments after we counted down the start of 2017 that I would be one of the people receiving that name change assistance along with Dee Dee Watters.
Two weeks ago Nikki, Dee Dee and I rolled to Austin. We made happen in the span of five hours getting Dee Dee's name and gender marker change process started, getting me fingerprinted at a nearby Passport Express location from the courthouse, the court order for the gender marker change, getting the request for my new corrected birth certificate submitted, and taking the photo for my new Texas drivers license with the only 'F' I've ever wanted at an Austin DPS office.
And before heading back to Houston, we celebrated the accomplishment while waiting for ATX rush hour traffic to die down with dinner.
a dinner and drag bingo fundraiser on March 14 at Hamburger Mary's, so check it out, reserve a table and help TNA raise some money to make happen for other trans people with their identity documents what happened for me and Dee Dee.
Yesterday I received my new birth certificate and Texas driver's license in the mail. I cried joyful tears when I pulled them out of their respective envelopes and saw my full name with the 'F' and 'female' in the gender marker box on both documents.
Now it's just getting my passport so I can finally do some international travel and some other records, and the journey will be complete. But the major mountain in terms of my identity documents has been climbed. .
It was a long journey to get to this point full of twists, turns, frustration and drama, but seeing and knowing that my documents finally line up with the person I know I am and the world sees me as is priceless.