Flipping the Gender Marker

Flipping the Gender Marker

I am having some difficulties with my name change that is causing that process to be delayed. But in the state of Ohio, I am able to apply to have the gender marker changed on my drivers license. All this process requires is a letter from my doctor indicating the gender change and to submit the request to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV).

Note, in the state of Ohio I cannot change the gender on my birth certificate. At first this didn’t bother me, but it has grown to become an irritation over time. This is something that need to be changed immediately. This is disrespectful to the transgender community.

I sent in my applicate for the gender change. Since we were in the middle of the COVID-19 lockdown at the time, I was very anxious. Would they accept it? How long it would take? Will they send it to the correct address? I had moved, so the address on my license was wrong.

I trotted out to my mailbox everyday, not something I usually do. Finally, after three weeks of patient anxiety, I found a letter in the mail from the BMV, My heart leaped into my throat. I pulled it out and opened it on the spot. I had been approved.

I can’t explain the emotion I felt. Hormones and therapy have opened up a torrent of new emotions (and more nuanced emotions) for me. But this wave of happiness flooded over me and I started to cry on the spot.

The next day I took off work in order to go to the BMV office. I had a date for lunch as well, and plans that night, so it made sense. I had dressed up for the date, so when I went to the BMV I stood out. This is never a good idea for a trans girl looking to blend. I think I did fairly well, no one really seemed to notice, and a couple people talked to me. It’s hard to tell with passing, do they not know or are they being polite?

I ended up being at the BMV office for 90 minutes! I was determined not to leave, so I stuck it out. Finally my number was called. I went over to the clerk, and said I needed an address change and a gender change. The man at the clerk next to me turned towards me with his eyes bulging. But after a few clerical issues since the clerk was unfamiliar with the process, they took my picture and gave me my temporary license.

Words do not adequately explain how this feels. I had to show everyone I know the new temp license. I was even happy when I was in a minor car accident the next week because I was able to use my new license. Now I just wish I could have had my name change completed to go along with it. Patience Abbey, patience…

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

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