Finally changing my name legallyPosted: November 21, 2016 Filed under: coming out, name change | Tags: androgyny, emotions, gender, gender identity, genderqueer, legal name change, lgbtq, name change, non-binary, queer, trans, transgender 9 Comments
I started going by “Kameron,” socially, in May of last year. I had a turning-point conversation with my spouse a couple of months before that, but I wanted to let it sink in, because once, years ago, I picked out a name I thought I wanted to go by. But then I just didn’t do anything more with it. So I wanted to see if that was going to happen again, or if I would actually move ahead. My spouse started calling me the name around the house, and then, a pivotal moment was trying the name out within a group of strangers that I was only seeing on a temporary basis: Being transgender while in a partial hospitalization program. That helped immensely; to hear the name repeatedly and see if it would sink in. Once that felt right, I emailed a bunch of people with this new information (and with a new phone number). That was a big move, but I haven’t regretted it. It’s been a super easy transition – no one, surprisingly, has messed up in front of me, once. Plus, acquaintances and friends of friends heard word from others, so I barely had to tell or remind anyone! So cool! (Well, ok, except for family members, which is different).
Last Monday, I finally went downtown to get the process rolling on getting it legally changed. I think the hold-up was: I wasn’t ready to come out at work, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to change my last name, too, while I was at it.
I’m now feeling good about coming out at work within the near future. Also, I decided to change my first, middle, and last name. That’s going to take some getting used to, since I haven’t changed that anywhere yet, even socially. Guess I gotta come up with a new signature too.
The process was not too bad: I printed some documents out from an online site, and fortunately my spouse’s dad is a notary, so we were able to go over to her parents’ house to get that all in order and signed, the day before. I had Monday off work, and it turned out to be a gorgeous day, so I decided to bike. (So glad I did because I ended up having to go back and forth, and to a few places. Parking is tough downtown, and I was able to zip around and lock up at VIP spots anywhere I was going, haha – VIP spots meaning street signs and trees.)
I first went to the information desk at the County Clerks’ office. The lady was brusque, giving me 2 other documents that had to be filled out, asking me if I had my index #, and telling me I needed 3 copies of all these papers. Luckily, my spouse’s dad, who works downtown, had told me I could contact him if I needed anything else. I called him, biked over the few blocks to his office – it was cool to see where he works! – and he helped me fill out the rest, plus he made copies of everything and paper-clipped everything neatly and efficiently, with clips on both the top and the sides!) I thanked him and rode back and got in line, where I stood for probably a half hour. When it was my turn though, I got through quickly. I paid the $210 fee, got my index number, and got a receipt.
They told me I then had to go to the Hall of Justice, to the Judicial Clerk’s office. This involved more bike riding, plus a walk through a metal detector and asking around in order to find the right room. Things went smoothly there too, although I noticed that on the receipt I got from the County Clerk’s office, they spelled “Kameron,” “Kamerson.” Aarrgh! I asked if this was going to be a problem, and I was assured that it was fine – the judge wasn’t going to be looking at that at all.
I then biked to a coffee shop and worked on some writing for the rest of the afternoon. About to head home, I ran into a friend, and we chatted for a while. Then a stranger approached us with a digital recorder, and he asked if he could ask us a question for a radio show. I said, “probably!” So he launched into, “OK, so the Cubs won the world series, and that hasn’t happened in 108 years. And then Trump was actually elected president. So, with all this going on, what’s next?” I said, “Flying lizards,” just because it was the first thing that popped into my head, but if I had thought for even just a second, in retrospect, I would have said, “SUPERMOON!” because I’d heard that on that day, (November 14th), it was the biggest it’s been in 69 years, and it’s not going to be that big again for another 34!
Oh well. Next time I’ll make more sense.
Congrats on making your decision and getting the process started to change your name. It’s a very exciting and thrilling thing to finally see your name the way you want it on your ID and other cards, let alone hearing people say it all of the time. I have no regrets about changing my name whatsoever. In fact, I wish I had done it a long time ago. Good luck at work, but from what I’ve read in the past, they seem to be very supportive there so it should go well too.
That is awesome 🙂 I’ve just decided to change my name legally too. And in the same process I’m legally changing my gender as well since it has become a LOT easier here in Norway now. Until this year you had to actually sterilize to be allowed to change the gender *shivers*, but now it is the same process as just changing your name.
I’m not looking forward to the paperwork, and I already know of some people who will have issues with me changing my name, but I figured – it’s about me – not them. And it feels right for me.
I really understand your hesitation to come out at work. It has held me back too for a long time. Now I am in the process of getting a new job, and I figured it is the perfect opportunity to change names so that when I find a new job I already have the new name, and no-one will even know my old one.
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yayyyy, big congratulations to you 🙂 … and flying lizards huh ? perfect answer lol beats the supermoon one hands down.
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It is great that you went over to the courts and started the ball rolling. You’ve been using Kameron long enough to know whether it feels right or not. I am very happy that I changed my name, even though it was a big expense, a lot of work, and required me to talk to people (social anxiety). I changed my first and middle name, but kept my last name because a lot of people call me by it and it connects me to my Dad.
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hahaha, I love C’s dad. I like the detail about how he clipped your papers together. 🙂 Kamerson is great, sounds kinda like a robot name.
haha! maybe that should be my automaton alter ego. and yeah, that guy! always paying attn. to detail!
A name really identifies someone and you should feel confident with it. I have known individuals who didn’t feel right about their name and sought the way in a name change. Having a name that you feel good about, whatever your circumstances are, truly can make a big difference in someones life. I’m glad that there are services out that that allow you to go about a name change and will have to remember this if ever I know of someone who may need this!
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Yes, please do! There are also free legal services and such, on a local level, to help in many cities, states, and countries.