Memorial Day & True Names

The Memorial Day weekend was spent with family, we grilled burgers and hot dogs, we had a really nice day just spent talking and enjoying a few sunny days. I couldn’t think of a better way to remember those that fell than to enjoy what they likely would have given anything to experience again, time with family.

My ten days for posting my letter of intent for name change was up on Memorial Day, but of course all government buildings are closed. So, I went to the Brevard Courthouse on Tuesday in order to turn in all my paperwork. I was again, treated extremely well there, the people in the courthouse from the police to the clerks are extremely nice and polite. I told the clerk assistant that I had a posting that needed to come down and the remainder of my paperwork to turn in. She took the envelope of paperwork and told me that they will go through the paperwork and then set a hearing date. I was a little worried about that, I didn’t know what to expect from this and there is no information that I can find that details out the process.

I waited in the clerk waiting room, talking to a woman who was there for unspecified reasons, but she was very nice, and we had a good talk about Memphis where I lived for many years and she had visited many times. It took about 20 minutes, the nice lady had been called out for her meeting and I sat there alone, worried that some paperwork wasn’t done correctly or that some issue would arise. The clerk’s assistant came in and told me that the hearing was now, and I could come in to the clerk’s office. The clerk told me that because my background checks, FBI and NCBI, were both going to expire soon she has decided to do the hearing that day. I had no idea that background checks expire, or what the time limits are.


Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

The hearing consisted of her swearing me in, in her office. She asked several questions, to which I gave truthful answers, nothing tricky just affirming what was in the paperwork and my reasons for the name change. She signed and dated, stamped and embossed the paperwork and I was done! She made several copies for me that cost I think $3 a piece per copy. I asked her for 5 copies, because you need them not only for Birth certificate, social security and the DMV, but many other places may need it and I didn’t want to be short. She told me that if I needed more copies they would be happy to do it for me. I shook her hand and thanked her, and I went to pay my $120 fee + copy fee. It was overall possibly the best experience I have ever had inside a courthouse, not that I have many at all.

I went directly to social security to get my name and gender changed, but I hit a snag there. My doctor’s office wrote a letter, but it didn’t include the specific things that are needed for the Social Security office to make the required changes. The gentleman who was helping me was very apologetic and even ran out to my car to give me papers that detailed what they are looking for in order to make the changes. After this, the man said to wait until I get the card in the mail before trying to go to the DMV, even if 48 hours it is in the system, this ensures that the DMV person can’t say “it’s not in the system”, which they have been known to do I suppose. Today, I went back to my doctor’s office and gave them the requirements, now I will wait several days to get another letter, so I can return to the social security office and try again. I wasn’t upset, only a bit disappointed, but they were really nice and it’s good to know it’s about the paperwork not about how they feel about a transgender woman.

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