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Month: October 2015

Gender Markers in Kentucky – A How-To

Gender Markers in Kentucky – A How-To

So, yesterday, I was able to get a new Kentucky driver’s license, with the correct gender marker! Very exciting stuff. As this has been a subject of debate and mystery for some time on various forums, mailing lists and other venues, I thought I would write a how-to. I was not the first to try this and succeed, so credit due to some other enterprising trans person for doing all the initial legwork.

For me, this is what worked.


Ok, some of this might not pertain to you. Maybe you’re keeping your old name. If not, skip ahead. Additionally, if you’ve been in transition for a while and your doctor will write the letter for you now, you can combine a lot of this. That wasn’t feasible for me, so I’ve broken it down in two parts.

In Jefferson and Fayette counties, you do not need to appear in front of a judge to do this. You don’t need a lawyer. It’s not too bad in terms of cost. Here’s what I know works.

First, head down to the probate department, it’s on the 3rd floor of the Hall of Justice on 6th and Jefferson.  They will put you at a computer and have you fill in the blanks on a couple of forms. The cost is $43 to them, which can be paid via credit/debit/check (not sure on cash), you’ll also want to factor in another 5-10 dollars for certified and attested copies. You’ll also need a $8 fee to the Jefferson County Clerk’s Office, this must be check or money order. You’ll swear to the deputy that you’re not a fugitive from the law and some other stuff.

It took almost exactly a month for me to get my order back from the court. They’ll mail you the forms back. Once you have the forms, you will take one of the certified copies to the Social Security Office and update your name with them. You’ll need to wait 24 hours for their system to update. Trust me, I tried.

The next business day, go to the circuit court clerk and get a new driver’s license with your new name.  Achievement unlocked!

So for me, this is where the story stopped for about 6 months. I changed my name just around the same time I had started hormones. I had talked about getting a passport and honestly it just wasn’t a priority. I did ask my endocrinologist to fill out the letter that I copied and pasted from the state department website back in July. Once I had it, it sat in the center console of my truck for months until I traded the truck in… and was forced to clean it out. About a week after I sold the truck, I decided to suck it up and get it done.


Name change is somewhat straightforward. The gender marker change is kind of convoluted. However, unless you have had surgery and can update your birth certificate, this is the best thing I can tell you at this time.

First, Go to the state department website, copy and paste the letter from there to your doctor. Have your doctor fill in the blanks, print and sign on their letterhead. Here’s what it looks like:

(Attending Physician’s Official Letterhead)

I, (physician’s full name), (physician’s medical license or certificate number), (issuing State of medical license/certificate), am the attending physician of (name of patient), with whom I have a doctor/patient relationship.

(Name of patient) has had appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition to the new gender (specify new gender male or female).

Signature of Physician

Typed Name of Physician


Take that, along with your name change court order and all the other normal stuff you need to get passport down to the post office (call ahead, make sure they can see you. I had to call 3 different branches before I could find one that would see me same day) and apply for a passport. Make sure you select your correct gender designation on the application. It’s easier if you fill out the application on the computer and print it out and take it with you. I was told 4-6 weeks. In reality, it was exactly 4 weeks.

Once you have the new passport, I went back to the social security office and requested to update my gender marker. I provided my passport and the clerk was polite and quickly had it updated. I applied the same logic to this as the name change. I waited 24 hours before I went back to the circuit court clerk office.  The morning of, I had called Frankfort and checked to make sure they weren’t going to shoot me down. They wanted to know if I had the documentation from my surgeon. I advised that I did not have that, but I had already updated my passport and my social security account.  They advised that if I had a passport, to take it to the branch and that’s all I needed.

When I got there, I had issues with the clerk but I since had spoken to Frankfort prior to going in, I knew I was right. I was polite but firm and insistent. She called her boss, her boss confirmed I was correct. Based on what I’ve overheard, both the Bowman Field and now the Outer Loop offices have done these. All that’s left at this point is to pay them their $12 and smile your best smile ever for the camera.

Questions? Let me know!

Coming out at work

Coming out at work

This conversation has come up a couple times here recently. I had intended to write it down anyway, just for the sake of posterity. I will admit, this feels very pieced together. I started this at 5am, to be a short little posts and it’s turned into a nearly 1800 word essay. I apologize in advance for my murder of the english language and my overuse of commas.

So, I had been out to family and friends for a while. I wasn’t out to everyone just yet, but I was trying to time everything just right so as to avoid as much overlap as possible. I wanted everyone to mostly hear it from the source.  I had been debating on when and how to approach the subject to management at work. I knew the company had a formal policy in place. I also know that in the corporate world, you don’t get fired for being gay or trans or black or pregnant. That’s discrimination. You get fired for breaking some obscure rule.

I built up the courage to just do it. It was the proverbial “FUCK IT.” I wish I had saved the original email that I sent out announcing my intention to transition at work. However, I didn’t. Sad. It was so short and direct. It was the kind of email you send out when you’re drunk and it’s 3AM.  It was something like:

“XXXXXX, This email is to inform you of my intent to transition from male to female. Here is the (company redacted) policy. (link) Please let me know what the next step is.”

I thought I had emailed the right person. I didn’t realize there was a difference between HR and the people who make sure we’re at work and such. So I had emailed a bombshell to my group time recorder. Who, understandably, was probably caught off guard by this email. She had forwarded my email on to one of the members of management.   My boss’s boss. (We’ll refer to her as Barbara.**) It died there for a while. I emailed again to the same person, who still didn’t reply. A few days later, I saw her in the center.

She stopped and said “I got your email and I forwarded it to the correct person.”

No mention of who/what/where. I assumed it went somewhere to the bowels of the company. At some point, I had gotten tired of waiting and did a little more research on my own. I found that we have what’s called a ERM, or employee resource manager, which is what everyone else in the world calls a HR rep. This person is, for reasons unknown, in another state. My first one was in Louisiana. My current ERM is in Boston. Who knows? So I had emailed this person, who wasn’t the best at communicating back to me what was actually going on.

Finally, I was pulled off the phone and asked to come to Barbara’s office. She apologized for the delay, my email lost in the hundreds of others received each day. She asked some basic questions and I tried to explain as best I knew. At the time, I feel like I was very knowledgeable but I’ve learned so much since then.  The basis of what I laid down was, I was switching teams. I would be changing my appearance, I was starting hormones, laser hair removal, name change, pronouns and finally surgery. I had originally intended to not start the social transition until after Hunter was born. This was something my wife had requested, and I had conceded to her. In the end, it didn’t work out that way. I explained that, of course, bathrooms were a concern.

She assured me that she would speak with HR to get their guidance on how to handle things and we’d talk soon. I assumed that I didn’t need to be specific, but in the end, my assumption was wrong. During this limbo period, the decision to wait until June was pretty much thrown out the window. Forced out, in femme, by my asshole of a doctor, I was a woman on the loose. As I had posted on reddit, it was kind of like trying to put biscuits back in the tube. Good luck with that. I went back to Barbara and I explained that the timeline was shifting and it was basically happening now, rather than months from now.

Again, days passed and I heard nothing. I emailed the ERM again. I spoke again with Barbara, who assumed that I would change into a woman and THEN use the ladies room. That is, she thought I didn’t want to use the correct restroom until after I had surgery. I explained, no that it was not the case.

Once again, HR and her talked, and eventually they came to the agreement that if I was presenting as a woman, I could use the women’s restroom. I was confused by this meeting, because I was already wearing a pair of yoga pants and a woman’s t-shirt. I got the email from HR, which read almost begrudgingly that since our building contains no single occupancy facilities, that I am permitted to use the women’s restroom.

Barbara confirmed the email but with a somewhat alarming side note. She said that instead of telling everyone, that she would deal with issues on a case by case basis, if they arose. I thought this was stupid and honestly, it went against the policy set forth by the company. It also didn’t address the name and pronoun situation. At the same time, I was trying to update my name with the company but they were refusing to do so until I had it legally changed. This is despite knowing other trans people within the company going by their new name without issue. I was waiting for my court order to come back to me, so I didn’t put a lot of energy into the issue as I knew it was self-correcting.  Also, enough time had passed that I was officially out to the rest of the world, so certain co-workers that I was friends with on facebook had read my letter and the gossip train at work was taking care of the notification process.

So, I went forth and into the women’s room. My very first visit to the ladies room, I decided to try and avoid people as best I could. I went to the fourth floor, which is largely vacant except for a handful of engineers that were all male, as far as I knew. They kept to themselves and rarely acknowledged that anyone else in the building actually existed.

So I walked up the steps from 2 to 4, took a deep breath and pushed the door open to find? A very startled older woman. The lights were low, so I just stepped aside, she went out, I went in. This game went on for exactly one week. Then I kind of got tired of trying to avoid people. My job requires us to adhere to a schedule without deviation. If we don’t adhere we can be written up. It’s a lot like high school, except high school is more flexible. So on the 7th day, I was on break, I didn’t have time to go to a different floor, I ducked into the women’s room on the first floor. When I came out, from across a dimly lit break room that’s the length of a football field, I’m spotted. Mind you, I’m wearing a dress, but still.

One of them yelled at me, “Did you just come out of the women’s room?”

I stopped, turned, looked at them and said, “Yeah?”

I could tell they were trying to decide what to do or say. They were not from my work center, but I assumed from the 5th floor, which is another self-contained call center with different management. I realized then that Barbara’s not telling anyone idea probably extended to the fifth floor.

I came back to my desk and I calmly typed out an email to the center director of the fifth floor that essentially said “Hi, I’m so and so, you don’t know me. I assume that no one has told you, but I’m transgender. The reason that I am telling you all this, is that I had a run-in with two of your employees who yelled at me when I came out of the women’s restroom. I am not trying to get them in trouble, but I do have HR’s permission, I’m working with XXXX, here’s a copy of the policy, etc etc etc.”

She emailed me back, thanked me for letting her know, because no one had told her. She called HR, HR called Barbara. At this point, they pulled me back out to a meeting with her and a couple other managers from my floor. Along with them, they had our union steward. They wanted to go over verbiage with me, as they were essentially holding huddles with small groups to cover everyone on the situation, and company policy. The union rep reaffirmed the union’s position that there was a non-discrimination policy and the union would not protect them if they attempted to grieve the issue. Management and the union in agreeance. Doesn’t happen often. In any event, feedback that I got was that there were a few people who thought my genital status precluded me from the ladies room, but they were told that they were free to find another bathroom elsewhere if they had such an issue with it.

From that point on, things got pretty easy. I only had one notable issue. I was standing in the lounge part of the bathroom, facing a mirror at a counter texting on my phone. The door opens, and I look up to the mirror to see a lady coming in. She sees me, stops and pivots on her heel and leaves.

Who knows, maybe she was uncomfortable with me. Maybe she was about to have blow out diarrhea and didn’t want me to hear. Who knows. At this point, I’ve been using the women’s room at work for 7 months. No one pays me any attention. I wouldn’t say that I’m accepted as one of the girls, but they tolerate me.

A couple weeks later, I finally got my legal name change. I was able to update my name with the company, get a new badge with 100% less facial hair. I have spent the last 6 months tracking down all the systems with my old name and getting them updated. But that’s a topic for another post.

** Not her real name.

The Pronoun Game

The Pronoun Game

Today marks seven months I’ve been on hormones.  Seven months full time. Six months since I got my license updated with my new name on it. A lot has happened then. I have slowly updated my name in so many places. Yet, I still come up on accounts that I’ve neglected. Things I forgot about. Then there were work systems, each seemingly unconnected to the other. Tracking down system administrators in far away places to get your name updated. A daunting and boring process.

Likewise, In real life, I’m still attempting to get everyone on board with the fact that I’m not he, nor sir, nor guy, man, dude, etc. I’m not that other name.. not matter how long you’ve known me, it’s not ok to refer to me by it. That includes when I can’t hear you, or if you know it won’t get back to me. That includes your cell phone.. if I’m in your phone and it’s not as Addison, then you’re not trying. No matter what you’re saying, that’s not trying.

For the first few months, I let everything slide. I made simple suggestions. I was trying to not be a pain in the ass. As of this writing, I’m still not trying to be a pain, but I’m also not letting anything slip at this point. If you call me HE, expect me to correct you. I’m not going to make a big deal of it, unless you decide to make it a big deal.

I’m not specifically calling anyone out, but if you think I’m talking about you… well, then I probably am. Just know, you’re not the only one but that doesn’t make it ok. I play a game anytime I’m around family and friends. I keep a mental count of how many times I’m misgendered and how many times I’m referred to by my dead name. Then I text those results, usually to my other trans friend. She’s always like “OMG” or “WTF” or “:(“.

Of course, in reality… I have it better than she. She’s been out twice as long, and by every measure that you can come up with, she’s better at this girl thing than I. However, to this day, her parents refuse to call her by her new (legal, might I add) name.. Nor do they respect her pronouns. This isn’t just a case of “oops, we slipped, we’ve known you for 30-something years as X”… No this is just out and out refusal to accept her gender identity as valid. Just a casual slip of the tongue can ruin the rest of my afternoon.. but the thought of just having someone just flat out refuse, that’s madness.  I feel so bad for her.

Usually, we’re made to feel like we’re putting people out. Like we’re just a huge inconvenience and using a different name and pronouns is taking up valuable brain cells they were going to use for something else. It becomes personal to them. Like I’m attacking them. I was at lunch a week or so ago with my whole family. A family member was speaking to someone else at the table of me, and I winced when she said “… and he …”

I quietly but frankly said “she.” Nothing else. This person looked at me with the type of stare that I give my dogs when they shit on the floor. I mean a piercing glare of (assumed) righteous indignation.  Not five minutes later, I got dead named by someone else.

Just remember, I’m not out here crying for attention. Misgendering me in public, aside from making me feel disrespected, invalidated, dismissed, alienated and dysphoric.. you know as if that wasn’t enough, is a safety concern for me. If I’m out in public, I’m all dressed up and you keep referring to me as “he.” What’s to stop someone in earshot from saying something, doing something or worse. What if they decide to follow me into the women’s restroom? That’s not going to end well and it won’t be you that gets hurt.

When I was a child, I was constantly reminded by some of these same people to think before I speak. So I would say to them, maybe that’s good advice for you too?

I know that it isn’t right…

I know that it isn’t right…

“When I was born, they looked at me and said
what a good boy, what a smart boy, what a strong boy.
And when you were born, they looked at you and said,
what a good girl, what a smart girl, what a pretty girl.”

Has it been nearly a month? Holy Moly. I have wanted to write so many things, but I just couldn’t seem to get it from brain to screen.  Before I get too far into it, I want to make a big shout-out to those of you that can’t follow the most basic of instructions. In my last post, I specifically asked for you to bring your criticism to me and not to Megan? So, did you do that? Nah… not so much. You guys are the best. By best I mean the worst. (Redacted). 👌

This last month has been a roller coaster. My transition is progressing as well as one might expect. My body continues to change. Everything is getting a little softer, a little curvier… My mind on the other hand is all over the place. I can’t seem to get a grip on what my mind is up to.

Since I returned from Ohio, I’ve been from the highest highs to the lowest lows. However, I’ve been primarily lower than I have been in many months. I’m happy with me, but I’m distressed over everything else in my life. Work, love, money, etc. Everything that’s not gender related in my life has gone through the floor and into the basement.   I have come to absolutely hate my job. Mostly because I am not as respected there as I thought I was. The constant misgendering and the fact that, even at the time of this writing, there’s at least one picture of me pre-transition on a wall. This is despite me speaking with HR and they assuring me that my concerns had been addressed.  On the plus side, this past week, I was able to make it 4 of 5 days without a single customer misgendering me. This is huge, considering I very rarely get misgendered in public because the visual cues are so strong at this point… but on the phone, you only have your voice. Addison is still somewhat of an androgynous name, and when people hear my native vocal range, they default to male pronouns.  Up until that point, I could average about 1-2 sir’s per day.. But none in 4 days is huge. Now if only I could convince myself to use that voice all the time. I hate the way it sounds, so as soon as I’m off the phone, away goes the fem voice. It’s a bad habit.

As for the rest of it? Well, I’m still struggling with my feelings for my friend in Ohio. Her and I spoke about it at length, yesterday. I already knew, but she confirmed that she just doesn’t have the same type of feelings for me. She also tried the common ploy of saying “You wouldn’t want me because xxxx” where xxxx are reasons. Does this ever work? Do people with crushes actually consider these issues?  Then they say “You know, you’re right, I’m going to go find someone else.” Does that happen? I doubt it. When you’re in love with someone, nothing they tell you will sway your opinion. Not this early in the affair. She could tell me she murdered 10 people and I would not be swayed.  I wrote elsewhere:

So she finally came around to the elephant in the room. She’s in love with someone she can’t have. I’m in love with her. There’s no happy ending for either of us in the end.

It sucks. I haven’t been this fucked up over anything in a long time. I had built this up in my head as the end all be all of human existence. Knowing full well that it was DoA. Just standing there holding that torch, hoping she’d find her way back to me.

I wish I could say that I’ve extinguished that flame, let the vigil go, but I’d be lying. It’s going to take a long time to put that one down. I will try. I will cry. Love is a weird thing.

I tried to be as honest as possible. I want her to understand where I am with this. I also have to consider if I can or should continue to try and keep a friendship going when my feelings are so strong. Just from a sense of self-preservation. Can I control my feelings and still having a meaningful friendship?  I think I can and I’m willing to find out. I would rather have her friendship than nothing at all.  And yes,  I am aware that I am having a one-sided emotional affair. I realize that I’m still married, if only by technicality. I fully admit and plead guilty to those charges.

I guess I will write about the other stuff later, because I’m physically and emotionally drained. I am starting to kind of doze off at the wheel.