Friday, April 07, 2006

this is a shakedown, son

so the other day, some friends and I were pulled over for (very mild!) speeding by a New York state trooper. To make a long story short, my friend who was driving the car had, unbeknownst to her, a suspended license, and so the trooper asked the rest of us in the car for ID, so that he could see if any of us could drive instead. As it turns out, I was the only one in the car with a valid license on me, and so I drove us the rest of the way to our destination, but as we were driving off, laughing with the nervousness that comes after the end of an interaction with authority, I realized that I'm very glad that occured this week and not, say, six months, or a year from now.

Because, see, my license still says F on it. I'm not sure what my plans are for changing the gender marker on my ID. I can't do it until after my surgery, anyway, because NY state requires a letter from a surgeon stating that you've had "irreversible sex reassignment surgery" before changing one's ID marker. Also, I've heard that it can be useful to keep F on one's ID for health insurance purposes in terms of getting things like gynecological care, so I want to look into that before I do anything.

In any case, right now, I can still pass fairly easily for a girl. A butch, masculine girl, sure, but my ID isn't wildly inconguent with my appearence, only with my identity and presentation. I don't know if the troopers (who looked very snappy, by the way, in heather grey wool uniforms with purple knit ties) even looked that closely at my ID, but my name and my gender match up on there, and the picture is a good one, that looks just like me as I look right now, smooth rosy cheeks and all.

But I'm getting my first shot of testosterone on Monday (cue wild excitement! and further blog posts, forthcoming.) and I'm not going to look like the picture on that license, or the letter F, all that much longer.

Of course, I'm still going to look like me, but it's not going to be so easy for me to pass as female once my voice has started dropping and my facial hair starts coming in, and my face is more masculine.

I don't know how those state troopers (three of them, plus a drug-sniffing German shepard, eventually showed up) feel about trans folks, but as I was driving away, I was rather glad that I hadn't had to find out. Maybe I'm not giving them enough credit- maybe a simple "I'm a transsexual" would've been fine.

Still, I'm reminded that just as most things in my life will be getting simpler as I transition, so will some things be getting more complicated.


D. said...

Hey, Eli, try not to get arrested, buddy. I think prison would pretty much suck as a transman.

Anonymous said...

hey, it's actually really easy to change your gender on your driver's license in NY. you don't need surgery, just a "proof of sex change," which isn't as intense as it sounds:

Proof of a sex change is a written statement from a physician, a psychologist, or a psychiatrist that is printed on letterhead. The statement must certify that one gender is your main gender (male or female).

it's the birth certificate that requires specific surgeries.