The Last Loose Threads

I finally got my birth certificate amended. I’d been putting off dealing with it and finally sent in the papers a couple weeks ago. It arrived in the mail, shiny and official. I was born in Massachusetts, and I’d read online that I could expect a birth certificate with my birth name and assigned sex crossed out, and the correct name and sex written in. But when it came it was complete and perfect, just my name and the word male, no nonsense. Opening that envelope had a real thud of finality to it–the very last piece of paper to get changed.

I’m jumping directly into another legal transition of sorts and changing my name again. Alma and I have put a lot of thought into what to do with our last names now that we are married. I’ve decided to take hers. I’m pretty excited about it. I really wanted us to share a name; she is very attached to hers, and I’m not that attached to mine; and we’re not that into hyphenation for a few reasons. Any why shouldn’t a guy take his wife’s name?

So soon I will have changed every single name from what I was born with–first, middle, and last. I’ve managed to keep the same initials, SLB. Taking her name also allows me to make a gesture of cultural solidarity, as she has a very ethnically marked name. She’s converting to Judaism; taking her name is kinda as close as I can get to “converting” to be Chicano.

I’m finally getting ready to seriously pursue a hysterectomy. It’s been a long emotional process–I hope to give it a proper treatment in a post soon. At this point, I feel at ease with my body and my circumstances, and I want the surgery. I’m hoping to get it this summer.

Between these things I’m feeling like my transition is really ending, maybe over. My paperwork is all changed; I’m getting ready for my last surgery; the big changes in my life now aren’t about my transition; shame’s appearances get rarer and rarer. It’s a good feeling, a spacious absence, very quiet.

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11 comments

  1. Lesboi

    Congrats once again to you!! My hysterectomy is this coming Tuesday. I’ll write about it once it’s done and I’ve healed up some. It’s not a very exciting surgery…no outward changes, but I’m hoping for some peace of mind with getting it done and to never have to think/worry about those bits again. I think it’s cool that you’re taking your wife’s last name. I’ve considered that myself and may do it one day.

    • UnknownJamie

      Not exciting?? Maybe there’s no outward changes but obviously it’s a big deal for you and a reason to be enthusiastic even if it’s scary? Not trying to be challenging, just wanna understand as the way you say it kinda stands out for me.

      • Lesboi

        Well, it is exciting to me but I don’t think it’s as much so to other people since they can’t see a change. For me, it’s huge, but I’m only speaking for myself. I think, my opinion anyway, that chest surgery and bottom surgeries are much more interesting surgeries because of the outward impact they have on one’s body, appearance, relationship with said body, etc. Just my opinion.

  2. ayellowcrayon

    Just when I though you couldn’t be any more of a dude :) I was both delighted for him and a little sad when another of my favourite persons transition blog came to an end. He said he felt he was no longer on transition, and was at a stage to just live his life. He wound his blog down, but it’s still on the web, so I still check in occasionally to re-read over some of my favourite posts of his. It’s a really lovely thing to read about when a person reaches that place of peace. Especially for someone who is at the start of the turbulence that is transition. I love to read your posts, and hope you carry on for some tone to come, but still, it’s good to hear you’re in a really good place :)

  3. UnknownJamie

    So many inspiring facets to this post, peeling away unnecessary normatives, finding what is right for you and your wife. The progress you make in taking your life for the glorious experience it is buoys me unquestionably. It seems you’ve had a truly blessed beginning to the year! Long may it continue :D

  4. Jamie Ray

    Birth certificate is very cool – it should always be in your control to decide when where and how or disclose or not. You were born whole and who you are, the paperwork now reflects that. Congrats on that.

    I only know one guy (cis) who took his wife’s name when they married. He hated his dad (his dad was an abusive jerk) and hated his last name because of it. He had never considered changing his last name until he was about to get married, and did it on the spur of the moment when they were filling out the papers at City Hall (his wife was going to keep her last name anyway). I want to keep my last name as a link to my Dad. Fortunately we all get what we want.

  5. Tea With Ess

    I’ve never really thought about what happens when my transitions over, when I’m done and finished. For some reason it feels more scary than the transition itself. What will I do when my life doesn’t revolve around my gender anymore? Food for thought!

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