When someone first told me that we had to get married again, I did what I always did when I didn’t like the answer I received: I kicked it upstairs.
As a transgender, my husband and I were at the last step of a year’s journey to match his legal identity with his internal identity. It began with a petition to the New York Supreme Court seeking a change in name and gender.
Upon receiving the certified copy, the true round-robin of law amendment began. I (I’m not my husband, the paperwork only beats him, I really like it) give various federal, state, and local governments a piece of paper that makes up the legitimate life of this era. I had to petition who my husband would match. Really so.
There are instructions to the process that have been made much easier by the LGBTQ + Center at Ithaca College. They basically publish a guide to all of the legal paperwork for families like us.
Social security was the first. I applied. I waited. Much earlier than my call to them showed, my husband’s “government name” was changed as he called it. He had a new social security card — the same number, his proper name, and his correct gender.
It had nothing to do with the name of the government or the name I didn’t want to see anymore, but I thought I could understand his anguish.
Then go to DVM and get an ID card. Promises, a show of papers, new photos and a $ 10 bill, and he’s glad he went. It took 20 minutes.
After that, we asked his country of birth, Connecticut, for a new birth certificate. It was much more complicated than the federal process. I needed a document notarized on an archive form using a document from a psychologist. However, in the end, he received a certified copy of his new birth certificate with his official name and proper gender.
Every time a new piece of paper arrived, my husband radiated happiness. Finally, we arrived at the final item, the marriage license.
We first got a license by doing business with a registrar’s office in Kingston, NY. I confidently called the office Flash, confident that this last step in matching everything to the real reality of my husband’s identity is easy.
Instead, the woman we were dating previously told me that we had to get married again — a new license, a new ritual — and then we would have the right name. ..
Then, as I said, I kicked it upstairs.
After all, the Ministry of Health is where registrars send documents for care and storage.So I checked the website for the purpose of explaining Public instructions for marriage correction and correctionAnd one must do for these kinds of things, so read the instructions carefully.
First, who can make such a request? Either your spouse or “a person who has a court order in New York State.” I’m glad I went.
Second, for what reason? This document has a table listing possible reasons. Ours were the first: “Correct birth name … Gender …” I wanted to modify the name and gender, not “Gender”-they are not the same-but Okay, I would give this much pass to the state I thought.
We filled out the Marriage Correction Application (DOH-1827), submitted a certified copy of the required birth certificate, congratulated Ithaca College again, and toasted my achievements at dinner that evening. My husband couldn’t fully express his joy.
I saw the end. All paperwork is matched, matched and coordinated. Finally, the heartache I saw every time her husband met the name of the government would finally be put to that eternal rest.
I received a corrected certificate by the end of the year and hoped that the year of transfer would end in 2021. I was contacted by DOH, but it wasn’t what I expected. Some of their letters are written as follows: rear Marriage, we cannot put this name on the marriage license. “
Wait and get better.
“If you want to get a marriage license that shows your new name, you and your spouse need to get a subsequent marriage.”
Well, what exactly happens to the original marriage? Who am I, in fact, my wife?
And it gets even better.
“Your original marriage date is still the date you provide to any institution, but you need to provide both marriage licenses to prove that original marriage date. When Corrected information. Otherwise, you will need to provide a formal name change order along with your marriage license to indicate that the name was changed after the fact. “
So which marriage certificate did you need? Is it the correct date? Or do you have the right spouse? It reminded me of the days before the Defense of Marriage Act. People will ask my current ex and me if we are married. My reply was always “Where are we?” It depended on what state we were in.
Next, pièce derésistance, if he wants to amend his license instead of having a new marriage, “gets a New York Supreme Court order against NYSDOH. The court has requested our agency to make the change.”
It’s called a special action and of course I’ll do it. I called a court clerk and explained what to do and why, and the woman who answered the phone said, “Wow, that’s not the case.”
No, it’s not.
This last paperwork has brought me a visceral understanding that having a name that doesn’t reflect your true self is really depressing.
Can you imagine what it would be like to face a name that isn’t yours every day? How could it be lacking in you and invalidate your own experience? I couldn’t imagine it before, but everything so far can now be imagined.
The year of name change has been extended to 2022. And, perhaps, by our special actions, New York State will change what is under this strict bureaucracy. What my husband and I had to experience is very different from what two cisgender partners in our position would have encountered. This is different and not equal.
The HuffPost received the following response from a NYDOH spokesperson regarding this story: Working to tackle this process for New Yorkers through the bill “We will amend domestic laws to allow New Yorkers to change their names and genders to make it easier for them to accurately express their gender identity,” he said.
Dr. Susan Corso is the Almighty Minister. She has been practicing spiritual counseling for 40 years and is the author of many books, both fiction and non-fiction.Her spiritual work is online here..Her fiction here..
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This article was originally HuffPost It has been updated.