|Jul. 10th, 2014 12:46 pm Legally male, legally Pax.|
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tl;dr: This morning my petition was granted to legally change my gender* to male and my name to Pax.
(Crossposted, group-locked, to ftm.)
When I filed my petition with the court two months ago, I was assigned a specific time, date, and courtroom for my hearing. I naively thought that my hearing would begin at or near the scheduled time of 9 a.m. So when I arrived (plenty early to give time to go through security), I was a bit flustered and annoyed to see that I was case number 13 of 15 scheduled for that block of time. I could and would stay all day if necessary, but boyziggy was running a major corporate event that afternoon, and couldn't stay more than a couple of hours.
Fortunately, once we were all sworn in and the judge finally entered the courtroom at about 9:30, he announced that he would be taking all the name and gender change cases first. About half a dozen people went before me, and the only one that took more than a few minutes was for someone who was changing the name of both herself and her minor children, and also required a translator. The others were pretty straightforward. The judge was very kindly and well-spoken and asked no probing questions; he only required that all the legal requirements be met: Documents filled out correctly, proof of publication, and, for gender changes, a signed declaration from a medical doctor.
I had all my paperwork in order, so when I was finally called to testify, my case took maybe two or three minutes. He spelled my current and desired names, asked me to affirm that the spelling was correct and that I wasn't changing my name for any fraudulent purposes. He noted the doctor's declaration for the court record, but asked no questions about it.
And - that was it. He granted my motion and signed my decree. I legally became a male named Pax Ahimsa Gethen. Woohoo!
I kissed Ziggy goodbye, and got two certified copies of my decree (another $50, ouch). I have a thousand more forms to fill out to get all my IDs updated: Social Security, passport, DMV, etc. I also have a query into the Transgender Law Center about timing strategy on all this as I have some travel plans coming up.
For the record, my preferred pronouns remain unchanged: Singular they/them/their. I will also still accept he/his/him, but those are not preferred. I dislike Mister/Sir, but they're fine since there's sadly no widely-accepted gender-neutral salutation. She/her/hers and Ms/Miss/Ma'am remain unacceptable, and I'm going to be more insistent on that with strangers as my IDs are updated. Being referred to by my birth name is also unacceptable, though I still have it listed online in various places for continuity and transparency reasons. (I never even considered trying to go stealth, though I fully respect others who wish to do so.)
It might take years for me to be read as male most of the time, but as far as I'm concerned, I always was. It just took me 43 years to realize it.
* Really sex.