Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Then what?

So you've managed to start HRT! Congratulations! But where do you go from here?

Being part of society, we are under jurisdictions, rules and laws. Correcting your legal paperwork is a MUST do for us girls to protect ourselves, specially when it comes to employment. Even though a lot of companies say they are "EQUAL OPPORTUNITY", I don't believe its always right as they can give many excuses!

Here is what I personally did to change my legal Papers...

STEP 1: Court Order for a Name Change

  • I live in the state of VA and in here, all we have to do is fill in an application for a name change. It was quite easy and fast actually. I filled in a petition for a name change, got it notarized through my bank (free), and attached a letter from my doctor/therapist stating that I am a transgendered woman and that the name change is not for fraudulent purposes. I sent all them to the courts and a month later, the judged approved it! I didn't even need to appear in court.
  • Note that a court order for a gender change is different and must be filed separately. This usually involves a letter from your surgeon saying that you have went through the SRS.
  • DURATION: ~1 month 
  • COST: ~$65
  • For more info:

STEP 2: Passport

  • Passport was pretty easy to do but also is the most expensive. What i did is filled in a passport application (you must include a new updated photo), and i attached my court order for a name change, letter from my therapist stating that the correct gender marker should be placed, and along with it is a $165 fee. One month later, passport issued with correct Gender Marker!
  • DURATION: ~ 1 month
  • COST: ~$165
  • For more info:

STEP 3: Social Security

  • I went to a local social security office near my residence and I brought with me my court order for a name change, my doctor and therapist letters and my passport. I went in and told the clerk that I was there to change my name and that I have the court order for it. In addition I also mentioned that I wanted to get my gender marker changed. She gave me some paperwork to fill out, and couple minutes later i was met by one of their staff. She looked through the court order and doctor/therapist letters. She had no problem changing the name, but she was a bit confused with the gender change. She asked the manager about it, and they both came to me and said that the letters werent enough to change the gender marker. They asked for a letter from a surgeon specifically stating that I have gone through SRS (which i havent). With defeated spirit, I left the office and consulted an attorney in dc that supports LGBT issues. I was told to try a different office as some may go by the book, some dont. So i tried a different office and surprisingly, they changed my name and my gender with no opposition.
  • DURATION: 1 day

STEP 4: Driver's License

  • By far the most annoying and cumbersome to change. I went through DMV 4-6 times to get my gender marker changed. Just like going in SS, I went in with all the same paperwork. I was denied the gender change 5 times before finally succeeding. They gave me the same excuse as the SS office did. They require a letter from a surgeon saying that I went through SRS. Finally, after being in their office 5 times, they contacted their district manager and i was told to fill in a medical form saying i have gender identity disorder. I believe that these people did not know how to process such change and they were just making things up as they go. And with that they changed both my name and gender in my driver's license. A week later, I was contacted by their office requesting my appearance. I came in and was met by 2 federal investigators. Apparently my change of name, gender and photograph triggered them to investigate my case lol which is pretty understandable. Aside from that, they didnt really give me any trouble, they just had to hear the story of why my documents have changed.
  • If I could have done it differently, I would of came to an office to change the name and photograph in my drivers license... and after receiving my new DL, I would go back to the office and complain that the gender marker is wrong. That would have worked more smoothly!
  • DURATION: 4 months for me
  • COST: $10 DL renewal fee
  • For more info:

STEP 5? Birth Certificate

  • I am not born in the USA so my Birth Certificate is issued by another country. Unfortunately, my country does not change the gender no matter if you went through SRS. I think? ATM, I see no purpose of changing my Birth Certificate at this time as I am not even close to Marriage. I will change it though, one day. 
  • For more information: