Last week, my partner and I went to city hall to fill out our marriage license. We didn’t yet (and still don’t) have a definite plan for how we’re going to do this thing, other than we want to do it legally and simply by the end of this year. And then we want to have a celebration with a big bunch of people and include a performance piece in lieu of a “ceremony,” this coming summer.
So the actual getting of the document was a little stressful – we were crunched for time and unsure about how these things go. We gave ourselves time to get down there right when they opened at 9, and then I was going to drive her to work directly from there, by 10. We were the second ones in line and everything went smoothly with filling out the form itself. In the section where you mark either “M” or “F,” it said, “Sex (optional)” which was super fucking amazingly awesome and unexpected and we both purposefully left it blank. My partner joked that it meant sex is optional in a marriage, and they want to make sure you know that going into it.
We brought up the form, and then a clerk basically typed up a new form, from what we had handwritten in. She then asked us to check for errors. We found two and she made the corrections before printing it out, having us sign it, and putting it in an envelope with some other information. It was heart-racing exciting; we walked quickly out of there and talked about how we had time to spare to have some coffee at her place of employment before she started her shift. I kinda did a victory leap down the steps and she laughed.
As we were walking back to the car, we talked about the fact that there had been errors. Then she said, “I hope she didn’t fill in our sex markers.” My stomach kind of dropped, because, honestly, I forgot to check that. She pulled the document out of the envelope, and sure enough, there were two F’s typed into that section. It felt devastating. By this time, we were already in the car. Our meter had run out, and we had no more change anywhere on our persons or anywhere in the car. I started driving away, going back and forth in my mind about the logistics of getting this corrected vs. the importance. In the end, importance won out. My partner felt more flexible, but I needed mine to be blank. So we parked elsewhere illegally, ran back inside, waited (because there was now a line), explained in an out-of-breath manner, crossed our fingers we wouldn’t be charged an additional fee (we overheard it was $10 for later corrections), got the changes made, and didn’t have to pay!
I did a double victory leap off the stairs, and upon seeing a man in a safety vest walking along the cars, sprinted toward ours so I could put the flashers on: just standing, not parking illegally, sir! Turned out he wasn’t a meter maid anyway, and I got my partner to work with zero minutes to spare.
Hey, my partner and I have been planning on getting married! We finally reserved a venue, this here house, in one of the county parks. It’s starting to feel like a real deal now, that we’re going to be doing this thing… We’ve been “engaged”* for a while now, and at least from my end, I’d been sort of putting off planning / making things more concrete. There’s probably a lot of reasons why that is, and I’ve been de-tangling all of that little by little. I don’t think I’ll be going into all those thoughts here and now (hint: a lot of the thoughts surround the idea that for so long, we couldn’t legally get married anyway, and more recently we can yet so many others can’t, and that’s confusing to say the least), but one thought really stands out as it relates to my current low-dose testosterone adventure: When I started testosterone last March, I really had no idea where I was going to end up! I mean, I thought I would end up very close to where I’ve been at already, but I couldn’t know ’til I tried it. And I still can’t know for sure, but I feel a little more secure than I did six months ago.
In other words, I feel like the possibility to legally transition is floating around nearby me, always. But the first few months of being on testosterone (trying something radically new) was a pretty sure bet for a time period where I might start feeling differently than before.
In some more other words, if I were going to want to legally change my name and gender markers, the early months of being on T was a time period of higher likelihood for feelings like that to emerge, potentially. (Not to mention maybe realizing I wanted to increase my dosage and transition in all ways – physically / legally / socially / etc.) But I didn’t really, feel that way. Which isn’t to say I won’t at any other point in time, of course! It just seemed like a strange time to start planning a wedding, if I was more unsure than normal what name and gender might go on our marriage certificate and other legal documents we pursue together.
Some of that uncertainty started to dissipate over time. I’m feeling really happy with where I’m at. Which is maybe one or two steps away from where I’ve been at before, in terms of my gender identity. I’m not planning on taking a hundred steps closer to being seen as “male.” I mean, my partner sees me as male, as well as all the other shades of gender I want to be seen as, and that’s really what feels most important. I’ve been starting to feel more ready to take some steps with her toward a different relationship identity.
I don’t think I ever directly articulated this to my partner! Guess it’s time for some more conversations! (One of the cool side effects of having a blog, or, you know, writing in general.)
*word is in quotations because it doesn’t feel like this “stage of our relationship” has much to do with what might traditionally be assumed, by being “engaged.” Nor will our “wedding” or subsequent “marriage” resemble much of what the mainstream might assume, by the use of those words… for example, there’s no engagement ring, no plans to combine or share finances, I could go on, but I don’t really want to! Why can’t there just be more word choices?!!