On Friday, December 15, I went to update my driver’s license. I had my legal name change. I had a physician’s letter, stating I was in transition. Unfortunately, North Carolina only accepts letters stating surgery has taken place, but I had a trump card: a corrected and valid birth certificate. Because of a lot of transphobic policy-making and legislation, the law of the land in North Carolina has become “one’s gender is what is on their birth certificate.” According to HB2, we were to use the bathroom and locker facilities associated with our birth certificate. Now, I got to use it to my advantage. I had also updated my name and gender with social security, which means the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services would soon be listing me as female if not already. With the new SS card in hand, I had all the necessary documents and walked in for a new license.
There was only one teller at the driver’s licensing office that day. He immediately made it clear he was not going to change the gender on my license. As soon as I sat down and informed him why I was there, the reply was “I can change your name without a problem, but…” He said this before even looking over the details of the documents. He combed over the legal name change as if he were a lawyer. I was then informed I would need a court order that stated surgery had taken place. He phoned his boss and mentioned the name change and letter. He omitted social security and the birth certificate. He then repeated what he had told me before. We had a lengthy conversation, but it was if I was speaking to a brick wall. He was probably used to being debated by student driver’s and learned to tone people out.
I am not sure if this an actual policy or because we are in the middle of nowhere. I am not sure if it is just Pennsylvania birth certificates or just Pennsylvania birth certificates of trans folk. I have no idea why I am female with the part of the state that deals with human bodies but listed as male with the part of the state that deals with cars. There seems to be a rather large discrepancy. I have no idea where this will end up. It could end this week when I call customer service. It could end in several years with litigation and national press coverage. By the gods, I hope not. I’m not looking for a fight. I’m tired. The discrimination, the fighting, being treated like a second-class citizen wears on you. I’m tired from jumping through hurdles and everything being a struggle. The last thing I want is a fight. But NCDOT, what the actual eff??
Love and blessing,