So, there’s something a little weird about me. I kind of have two identities. “Kind of” because this other identity – well, he isn’t me, obviously.
But, you say, “he”? That’s another weird thing. This fake identity was a guy.
For most of my life (28 years; I’m 29), I was oppressed by this suffocating creation – a box built by a society that doesn’t understand what a “guy” really is. Because I’m not, and have never been, a guy. I was born into a male-sexed body, that’s all.
Now I’ve finally escaped. (“Finally” because it took 28 years!) And now, when I look back on this identity, I only see hell. I’ve started referring to this alter ego as Hell Guy – and, obviously, I want all remnants of his identity gone.
Of course, this is impossible. I know this. But, surprisingly, it IS possible to get most of the way there.
With government IDs and such, I’m lucky. I was born in California, where they let you pick your gender (mislabeled as “sex”) on your driver’s license, and even change the name AND sex on your birth certificate. So, even though I was AMAB (assigned male at birth), my official birth certificate says “female”. (And yes, that’s technically wrong. I don’t care.)
With my U.S. passport, I got a doctor in Oakland to write a letter that I’d undergone “sufficient medical treatment” to be female, even before I had. My bank account and hospital updated my records as soon as I got the legal name change.
Other than that, I cut most my ties with Hell Guy’s life. I got a new email and stopped checking his. I got a new phone number. I made new accounts with my new email on every platform I use (Google, Amazon, Workaway, Couchsurfing, AirBnb, Transferwise, Upwork, and the like), with no links to Hell Guy. I even opened a new bank account where Hell Guy’s existence has never been known.
So, when I flew to Delhi last January to have my sex-change surgery, I did so under a passport with my name, and an Indian medical visa with my name, and I was feeling pretty good.
And then it happened. I’d elected to have my most important operation at the clinic where I’d started getting medical help to transition. Which meant that they knew about Hell Guy. (I’d been forced to travel under his name for ages, including my first trip to India.)
Of course, THEY were understanding. (It’s a “transgender” hospital; they get these things!) The problem was when I needed a psychiatrist’s letter to get the surgery, and they took me to the same place they’d brought me to get the initial diagnosis of gender dysphoria.
The psychiatrist was the same old man. Of course, he didn’t recognize me. But I made the mistake, somewhere in our conversation, of giving him Hell Guy’s name, and he pulled up an old file. With a picture. “Is this you?”
I wanted to scream, “No, it’s not!” But the damage was done. In that guy’s mind, I’d become Hell Guy. Hell Guy will be linked with ME in his database somewhere…
And, when I got the letter, I read it. The whole time, it called me “he”. It used my right name – and had to, it’s my legal name now – but it called me “he”. Hopefully the last time I’ll ever be called that. But there you are.
Welcome to the life of someone who has to fight tooth and nail to be who she is. Because I’m not a “he”. I’ve never been a “he”. “He” was an identity that was created by society, our wonderful gender-is-your-body-parts society. (That “wonderful” is sarcasm, if you can’t tell!) “He” tortured me for 28 years. But I am NOT him.
Maybe this will improve in my lifetime. Already, the medical treatments are leaps and bounds ahead of where they were, even ten years ago. But what people like me need is more. We need public understanding. We need people to realize that, just because you’re born with a certain genital, it doesn’t make you a woman or man.
It makes you “male” or “female”, that’s all. And biological sex CAN be changed!