Weathering the Changes

What a piece of worke is a man! how Noble in
Reason! how infinite in faculty! in form and moving
how express and admirable! in Action, how like an Angel!
in apprehension, how like a God? the beauty of the
world, the paragon of animals; and yet to me, what is
this quintessence of dust! Man delights not me; no,
nor Woman neither; though by your smiling you seeme
to say soThe Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark (Act II, Scene ii)

Precedent Bone Spurs Pussy Grabber in charge now, having just completed his first year in office (may the gods grant it is his only year, please!), and the second Women’s March has recently taken place.

Among the hilarious and thought-provoking signs spotted in the various marches: a child with the sign reading “I’m not allowed to act like the President”, many inclusive and support signs on issues that are intersection with all people, not only women (yet I don’t recall seeing even a single “Not All Men” type among them, though undoubtedly there was at least one, perhaps on the sidelines, in protest), but the one that has hit me the hardest is actually not inclusive, which was the intent of it in the first place. Many call it transphobic.

Pinknews has an article about it with the sign, here. There’s been a lot of reaction to the sign, and the intent of it, much of which is summed up in Penknews’ article.

Aside from the signs, there’s another aspect of the Women’s March that upsets some people: “Not My Pussy Hat: Why I Didn’t Participate in the Women’s March This Year” A lot of gender non-conforming/non-binary folks feel much the same way.

Many of these same issues were raised last year, at which time I wrote the following:

I didn’t attend any marches or planning meetings. I was somewhat confused by some of the comments on social media as to why some transfolx didn’t participate, as nothing I was seeing indicated any deliberate exclusions.

Several of the posts I saw by those expressing exclusionary feelings were from non-binary people. I can sort of understand why they might feel that, especially if the only people they were seeing wearing the hats were women (and for the most part, I don’t distinguish between cis and trans women or men, unless it’s actually relevant to something, and I don’t see this issue that way.)

However, as a non-bearer of a uterus whose birth certificate states I am female, I’m not going to say they should have joined in or stayed away, because their perceptions and feelings of safety and inclusiveness are theirs, not mine, no matter how well or poorly I may be able to relate to them.

Me, personally? Had I been physically capable to attend any of the rallies or marches, I would have. The physical emblems are not nearly as important as the underlying issues (which in my world includes racial equality as well as all of the other issues others have mentioned.)

However, as someone else mentioned to me, “exclusion doesn’t have to be deliberate in order to be real.”

But there’s something about that anti-trans sign with which I agree: “Woman is not a ‘feeling,’ a costume, or a performance of a stereotype!”.

No, it isn’t. Nor is it a “state of mind”, or a “life choice”, any more than having a nervous system is a life choice or state of mind. It’s not something that we put on and later take off, and if transgender people are stereotypes, it’s largely because the Gatekeepers have demanded it of them.

Yesterday, I was interviewed for about two hours as part of a survey and study on transgender veterans and their mental health care. Among the many things the interviewer and I discussed, was the topic of how we identify. Given my preferences, I identify as female. Not trans-female, not MTF. If it’s relevant to why it’s being asked, I can add “transgender (although, as I explained, I still prefer the older and now-more obsolete term “transsexual”.)

I’ve always been female. I pretended, badly, to be male for many years, and failed miserably. I was miserable, the people around me were miserable, and I hated the pretense – for nearly 60 years. I was depressed for most of those years – suicidally so. I have no idea how many attempts I made, from the first hanging attempt (before school-age) to the knife through my wrist and beyond.

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Activism, elderhood, and public shaming

Source: Activism, elderhood, and public shaming

I’m still trying to put my own thoughts into words over this issue, and they are not coming easily. In the meantime, here’s someone else’s point of view on the matter.

generic_passport

From the State.gov website. Check there for any revisions or changes.

Gender Reassignment Applicants.

Gender Reassignment Applicants

If you are in the process of or have completed gender reassignment, please note:

  • The ID you present with your application must accurately reflect your current appearance.
  • The passport photo you submit with your application must accurately reflect your current appearance.
  • In order to have the passport issued in your new gender, you must submit a physician certificate with your application that validates whether your gender transition is in process or complete.
  • Requirements for all elements of the passport application aside from gender still apply, including evidence of legal name change (if applicable).

If a physician certifies that your transition is complete, you are eligible for a full validity ten-year passport.  The signed original statement from the attending medical physician must be on office letterhead and include:

  • Physician’s full name
  • Medical license or certificate number
  • Issuing state or other jurisdiction of medical license/certificate
  • Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registration number assigned to the physician
  • Address and telephone number of the physician
  • Language stating that he or she is your attending physician and that he or she has a doctor/patient relationship with you
  • Language stating you have had appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition to the new gender (male or female)
  • Language stating “I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States that the forgoing is true and correct”

If a physician certifies that your transition is in process, you are eligible for a limited validity two-year passport.  The signed original statement from the attending medical physician must be on office letterhead and include:

  • Physician’s full name
  • Medical license or certificate number
  • Issuing state or other jurisdiction of medical license/certificate

A limited passport book can be extended to the full ten-year validity book with no additional fee by submitting Form DS-5504 within two-years of the passport issue date.

 

Example Certification from Attending Physician:

(Attending Physician’s Official Letterhead)

I, (physician’s full name), (physician’s medical license or certificate number), (issuing State of medical license/certificate), (DEA Registration number), am the attending physician of (name of patient), with whom I have a doctor/patient relationship.

(Name of patient) has had appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition to the new gender (specify new gender male or female).

Or

(Name of patient) is in the process of gender transition to the new gender (specify new gender male or female).

I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States that the forgoing is true and correct.

Signature of Physician

 

Typed Name of Physician

Date

Gender Reassignment US Passport Applicants

You put your right foot in…

For the past few months, I’ve been making changes and making arrangements to resume the journey I put on hold 40-something years ago. This past week was my consult with the endocrinologist and a mental health therapist. Everything is currently on pace to take the next big step in January.

After such a long break in the process, it’s been — interesting — to see it becoming reality. With my name change, it felt as though a massive weight had been lifted from off me, as I shed years of resentment towards my birth name. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next.