This morning I decided I couldn’t put off any longer two very time consuming chores that I’ve been dragging my heels about. I needed to get blood drawn for my endocrinologist appointment next week and I needed to get my driver’s license renewed. Both take a lot of time and are a pain in the butt. I chose to go to the hospital first since I have to fast for the blood work and I was hungry. At registration the nice lady that helped me was going along with no hitches until she got to a perplexing question on her computer screen. She looked at me apologetically confused and said it’s telling me to ask you when your last menstrual cycle was because we have you in here as female. I could tell from the way she said this that she had pegged me as male. I just said, well I had a hysterectomy about a year ago and she didn’t miss a beat and said, oh ok, so about a year ago, right? Well, no not really but I didn’t want to get into all that with an office worker. I just said, yes, that’s correct. Upstairs, after a bit of a wait the blood was drawn with no issues. I was thankful that the building had unisex bathrooms so I could pee before going to the MVA for the long wait where they do not have unisex restrooms. Oh, the things we worry about.
Sitting at the MVA (Motor Vehicle Administration) I felt myself getting nervous about whether they were going to say anything to me about my gender marker. When my number was finally called, after about an hour of waiting, I was just relieved to be getting it done. The lady that helped me was the same one that helped me change my name just last year. I had a hard time understanding a couple of things she said to me and she did ask me something that might have been about my gender marker but I can’t be sure. I answered no because I knew it was about a change and I knew I wasn’t making any at this time. But I’m still not sure what she asked me. It doesn’t matter. The picture sucks worse than the last one which I hated but at least I’m legal to drive for another 8 years and the two troublesome chores are done and out of my head now.
No one gendered me at all after the incident with the receptionist at the hospital, which I find interesting. No ma’am, miss, or sir in relation to me. When my new license was ready she just called out my last name. Previous people had been called either by their full names or Mr/Ms/Mrs/Miss. I found this interesting.
On another, yet related, topic, I’m hoping to have chest surgery in March or April of this year. I haven’t set the date yet. I have picked my surgeon though. I’m going with Dr. Hope Sherie in Charlotte, NC. She’s near enough I can drive. I have family down there I can stay with. And she performs the T-anchor surgery I’ve been wanting. Her prices are in line with most double incision surgeries..around $8k. Not having to travel far or pay for hotels/food helps a lot too. She and her staff have been absolutely great to talk to on the phone and I feel very comfortable and confident in my decision. I mention this here for two reasons. One, as an update, since I’ve talked about it in the past and two, to lead into my feelings around changing my gender markers.
I’m still on the fence about changing my gender markers at this point, but the deeper I get into transition with hormones and physical changes the more I think it’s going to become really uncomfortable in the future if I don’t change them. My biggest fear of putting the M on my license is that if I ever get arrested I’ll be put in with men. Think about what it would be like for a person without a penis to have to share a cell with a cis-male. This thought terrifies me. BUT, how likely is that to happen? I have never been arrested yet and don’t plan on doing anything to get arrested in the future so it’s pretty unlikely. It’s a legitimate concern but not one I should be focusing on as much as I do. That’s my anxiety going wild. I think the advantages of having the M on the license and all my records out-weighs the negatives. I won’t be asked about menstrual cycles or mammograms anymore which confuses people and aggravates me. I will feel legit to use the men’s room. It will just make a lot of things easier. I’m leaning hard towards doing it once my chest surgery is completed. I don’t absolutely need a surgeon’s letter to get the gender changed in my state but it is the easiest way to go about it.
My gender identity is still up in the air though. Since we only have two options M or F and I am leaning so far towards the M now it does make sense to get it changed. However, that doesn’t mean that I self identify as male. Trans-male is more like it. I still feel resistance to being grouped in with cis-males. Accepting the M for male does that and I don’t like it. But I also understand the government’s need to simplify gender. I understand society’s need to simplify gender. It’s just that it isn’t simple for a growing number of the world’s population. It would be nice if they gave us an option for TM or TF for trans male or trans female and an N for neither or neutral. I don’t know how many people would take them up on the option of the TM or TF designation since it outs you to everyone that looks at your license but I would do it for sure. I don’t know what the answer is for any of this and for now the options are limited. We have to play the hand we were dealt so I’m fairly certain that later this year I will be changing my gender marker along with my pronouns.
Exciting and scary all at the same time!!