Insert Name Here

I have been unsettled for the past several weeks… I can’t seem to find a better term for what I have been feeling. 

There has been so much to deal with, so many emotions and thoughts. Not just regarding myself but A and her family, the oldest boy and his issues, and the million and one little things which are a part of being an adult and parent in todays world.

I have tried to push things to the background because I simply don’t know how to deal with them at the moment, but just as with anything else, ignoring the problem only seems to make things worse.

 

The difficult part has been letting my mind sift through everything without trying to push for answers. I know, all too often, doing so only leads to what I am searching for to slip through my fingers. Because of this my moods have been up and down, not quite happy nor depressed, yet on the edge of both leaving me feeling as though my nerves have been run over with sand paper. There have been times when I moved through the day confident and my head held high and others when I just wanted to give up and crawl under a rock and yet when asked, I couldn’t really explain what I was feeling or why… more than a little frustrating to be sure.

This past Saturday was spent with A’s family and it was a strangely uncomfortable experience. Not because of anything which was said or done, but because it was the first time I was openly in their presence… (even though I knew none of them were ready to use my name or female pronouns,) still, they all knew about me. I didn’t feel angry or defensive, just sad for some reason… as if something has been lost though I don’t know what it is.

Also, last week I had my work physical, which proved to be interesting because I had to present myself suing my birth name which is clearly male. Still, the doctor, more than once, referred to me with feminine pronouns. It is more and more the same whenever I am out, no matter how much or little I may be “presenting.”

You see, though this makes me happy in many ways, here too there is a sadness I could not fully explain.

At first I thought maybe it was a matter of getting what I wished for not being what I really needed, then I thought it was an issue of not being worthy of happiness… yet neither of these really explained what I was feeling…

The tonight I was speaking to a friend and it dawned on me…

I’m doing something I have never allowed myself to do before…

Just being myself.

I’m not trying to meet anyone’s expectations.

It’s a new experience for me, uncharted waters… unexplored territory.

Like a bird who has been caged all of her life suddenly being set free to fly, it is as terrifying as it is exhilarating and I shouldn’t be surprised it is going to take some getting use to.

 

One last thing, going back to being around people who have known me for so long… both family and coworkers. I can better understand why some people decide to move away. To gain a fresh start with those who do not know the past. It is a difficult thing to face people day in and day out who, not through meanness or intolerance, cannot bring themselves to think of you in any other way than what they have always done. To be bombarded with the old name and pronouns and titles. To be told you look the same, sound the same… that you haven’t really changed, at least not in their eyes… It’s difficult… heartbreaking… Yet you cannot be upset with them… not really. As much as you want them to see you, to acknowledge you, accept you… the past ties powerful bonds which are difficult, if not impossible to break and to them you will always be {insert name here}.

An FIL Update and Some Additional Thoughts

First, an update on my FIL. He is now resting at home, I’m not sure what care he is currently receiving, but I do know his doctor is waiting on the lab results before advising any treatment plans, if any. At this point he has about a month or so… It’s just a waiting game now.

As I get more information, I will post updates.

 

On another front…

Have you ever had one of those moments when you realize you are already so far on your path, the only option is to see it through to the end? Well, I had such a moment this morning. I had to go for a scheduled physical for work. I did so as male because all of my information was last updated before I came out. This means everything had my birth name all over it and the health information was in the male section of the questionnaire. 

First of all, I received more than a few, this isn’t correct looks from the female staff, though no one said anything directly. Then the male doctor who was overseeing the physical part of the test, lifting, turning, climbing, ext. referred to me as ‘Mam’, ‘Lady’, and ‘woman’ even after reading all of my information.

I found this rather amusing and a sign I am on this path for good or ill. There really is no turning back.

Yesterdays post was something I needed to write. I had to get all of the doubts and fears out where I could see them and confront them. I had to be able to admit to myself I am not an island, not a rock which can stand alone against the storms life sends my way. I cannot hold all these things within myself… I am many things, an unfeeling machine is not one of them.

After saying all the things I did, sharing thoughts and emotions which have been churning in my heart, I felt a sense of relief. Not for no longer thinking or feeling what I did, but having been able to share the weight with those who can understand or at least are empathetic.

To then have the experience I did today, without any thought or prompting from me, it really brought things into focus in a way I didn’t realize I needed.

I have a long way to go and many challenges yet to face. There will be times when I stumble and fall, when my strength and determination fail me, yet I also know I can get back up and continue on… even when things seem impossible and I have all of you to thank for that.

A First Time For Everything

Another post? Yes… 🙂

 

As it happens, A wanted me to post about our latest adventure… coloring her hair. How did it turn out? Well, I’m not going to beauticians school anytime soon to begin a new career!

Having said as much, it actually turned out pretty well, especially for my first time. I certainly learned a lot and know some things not to do, but more to the point, I have some confidence I could do it again and not botch it.

As a note, her hair is naturally dark brown and she wanted to change it to black…

Here are two photos:

 

Hair Color 1

 

Hair Color 2

Gender Reassignment

From the Illinois Department of Public Health:

Gender Reassignment

An individual born in Illinois, with an existing Illinois birth record, may submit an application to the Department requesting to have the gender changed on his or her own birth record after undergoing an operation(s) having the effect of reflecting, enhancing, changing, reassigning or otherwise affecting gender. Genital reconstructive surgery is not required to obtain a change in the sex designation on an existing Illinois birth certificate. (emphasis mine.)

Every individual must complete the “Affidavit for a New Birth Certificate After Completion of Gender Reassignment”. The applicant must be of legal age or the parent/co-parent or guardian if not of legal age. This form must be completed in its entirety and notarized.

For individuals who have had an operation(s) in the United States, the “Affidavit by Physician After Completion of Gender Reassignment” must be completed by the physician who performed the operation(s). This form must be completed in its entirety and notarized.

For individuals who have had an operation(s) outside of the United States, the “Affidavit by Physician Verifying Completion of Gender Reassignment Operation” must be completed by an examining physician duly licensed to practice medicine in Illinois or any other state in the United States. This form can also be used if the physician who performed the operation is no longer practicing, is unavailable or his/her license has been revoked or expired. This form must be completed in its entirety and notarized.

For individuals seeking to also have their name changed, a certified copy of the Court Order of Legal Name Change must also be submitted to this office.

The $15 fee to create a new birth record due to gender reassignment includes one certified copy of the new birth record. Additional copies of the same record requested at the same time are $2 each. Please make check or money order payable to the “Illinois Department of Public Health” and send everything to:

Illinois Department of Public Health Division of Vital Records 925 East Ridgely Ave. Springfield, IL 62702-2737  

Please include a copy of your non-expired, government issued photo identification card. If not provided, unreadable or expired, the request will be returned to the individual.


(I need to check, but it seems if I get breast implants, it should be enough to meet the requirements.)

 

A name change is another matter and I will post more information when I’ve researched it more. It does seem the process is the same for everyone, even if you choose a name opposite of your current gender markers.

 

Another issue is going to be insurance. We go through A’s workplace for our health insurance and I wasn’t even thinking what might happen if I change my birth certificate. She will need to see what if anything might change. Of course our marriage would remain valid even if IL hadn’t approved same sex marriage because we were opposite genders at the time of our marriage. Still, it’s good to know it is no longer an issue.