It feels like forever since I posted in here. It’s only been 23 days, but a lot has happened since then. The biggest thing is that Candace and I have decided to get legally married in July on our 20th Anniversary of being together. Most of the people we’ve told at this point have simply said, “It’s about time.” I agree. But it took every bit of those 20 years for us to get to this point and also for it to be legal across the country for “same sex” marriage. The ironic part is that I have legally changed my gender now to male on my documents. That’s the second piece of news. So now that I’m legally male and Candace is legally female it doesn’t make an ounce of difference what the government allows us to do. This is a bittersweet realization. I think if Same Sex Marriage had been taken away we would not be getting married, but as long as we could marry either way we’re going ahead with it. Candace had dreamed of a “Lesbian Wedding”. I don’t even really know what that means. I know she never thought I would wear a wedding gown so there were two brides. In fact, I can’t even imagine calling myself a bride and never could. This is part of why we haven’t done this sooner. I wish I could give her the wedding she’s dreamed of, but I can’t, even if I knew what it was.
It’s been really fun dreaming about what our special day will look like and where it will be held. I’m having a blast helping her make plans and envisioning how it will all unfold. So far we’ve found a nice venue for both the wedding and the reception. My anxiety shoots way off the charts when I think about standing up in front of 100+ people for the ceremony so I initially tried to talk her into having a private ceremony with just a few close family members. Eventually it just made no sense to do that so now we’re planning the whole thing out in the open for all to see. I’ll deal with my nerves somehow. I knew the private ceremony thing wouldn’t hold up anyway.
The really cool thing about doing this is that neither of us really have any pre-conceived notions of what the wedding will look like and we’re not locked into having a religious ceremony so we get to be as creative as we want and make our own rules. I’ve been researching wedding traditions of various different religions and cultures and I’m hoping we can throw a couple neat things into our ceremony that our guests have never seen before. As you can probably tell, I’m really excited and looking forward to it.
The emotions around changing my gender and planning a wedding are hard to describe. Actually planning a real wedding is surreal. I never dared to dream that this day would come for me. Getting to stand up at my own wedding as a man and having a wife…mind blowing…dream come true…still feels like a fantasy…being referred to as a groom…being a husband…calling Candace my fiance’…
hard impossible to describe the emotions I’m feeling. And I knew that I needed to legally change my gender for my own peace of mind but I had a really hard time getting myself motivated to start the process. I wasn’t scared but I was resistant. Female no longer made sense for me but male still just doesn’t feel right either. If there was a third option I might be inclined to choose it. I’m still reluctant to being lumped in with the general population of cis-gender males. I really can’t relate to many of them and most of them scare the crap out of me. But I’m not female anymore either, so that’s just not an option. Truthfully, I wish there was something in between the two. But there isn’t, so male fits the best at this point and puts me in the category that best describes me. I’m seen as male 99% of the time now (the 1% that don’t see me as male are family and friends who knew me before transitioning) so to walk around with an F on my driver’s license makes no sense at all to me.
The actual process of changing my gender was pretty easy. I chose to only change my driver’s license and passport at this time and leave my birth certificate alone. The passport entailed applying for a new passport and including the letter I received from my surgeon when I had top surgery. My surgeon’s letter got rejected because she didn’t put the right wording in the body of the letter but she quickly corrected that and now I’m waiting for my new book to arrive. Changing my driver’s license in my state also required sending my surgeon’s letter as well as a letter from me requesting to change my gender on my license. In this case, my surgeon’s original letter was sufficient. There is a specific person at the main Motor Vehicle Administration office that handles the gender changes so my letters were faxed to them directly. They then take the letters in front of a board that meets to approve the change and then they sent me a letter telling me I was approved that I could take to any full service MVA office to get a new updated license. I did that last week. I had to tell two people why I was there and they were both professional and helpful. I was nervous about it for some reason but they seemed happy to help me. One of them even told me I was her first to change my gender but she was excited to help me out. She even took a second picture of me because the first one wasn’t so good. Funny thing happened when I went to apply for my new passport. The gentleman that I dealt with thought it was just a mistake that they put an F on my current passport and told me he would call the State Department for me to get it straightened out. I had to tell him that it was not a mistake on their part and explained that I was born female. He had a brief confused look come across his face but immediately switched gears and got me processed properly. His friendly demeanor never changed and it was a positive experience. The only negative I can say about it is that I had to explain all of this to him in the lobby of a post office with a lot of other people around to potentially hear our conversation. We were not in a private office and it was uncomfortable to deal with it in public like that. Thankfully, I don’t think anyone was paying any attention to us.
So now I’m just waiting for everything to come in the mail and the last thing I need to do is have my health and auto insurance changed. Getting my health insurance changed over to male was a huge reason I wanted to do this. I’m completely fed up with having to answer questions about my menstrual cycle every time I go to get blood drawn or see a doctor. People get confused and embarrassed and it’s humiliating to have them start referring to me as female even though two minutes ago they were calling me sir. I realize that having the male marker will bring new and different questions and challenges but at least they will be in alignment with my outer persona and not cause confusion or embarrassment. I’ve been putting off finding a new doctor until my insurance is changed. My old doctor retired so I need to get a new one and I wanted to start off with them as male. I’ll need to be honest about my physical body and they will need to be ok dealing with that. I’m not looking forward to it, but it needs to be done. I’m guessing that all of my insurance will go up in price thanks to that Male marker. That’s a definite down side, but one I’m willing to deal with.
It’s been an exciting month, to say the least. Also, I turned 55 (double nickel, as my brother puts it) this month. This is the year I pull a lot of loose ends together and start a new chapter in my life. I’m excited about the future and hopeful despite the current political climate in my country and the world. Candace and I have already made it through some very dark days together and I know we can weather any storm yet to come as long as we have each other to lean on.