Today marks one month since Toby began HRT.
Today marks another blood draw to monitor testosterone levels, among other items.
And today marked the day we walked into the Passport Office to renew Toby's expired passport - AS A MALE.
This is one of the steps you may not think about when considering the changes involved in a person's transition. Sure, you expect physical differences as hormones are brought into play. Clothing changes, hairstyles, etc, are a given. But details - the legal minutia required to navigate this world - literally and figuratively - all must be modified as well.
Thankfully, the rules do exist to apply for a gender change. The usual pieces of renewing one's passport are the same - application, expired passport, new "glamour" shots taken at Walgreens, two separate checks. But what is also required in order to change one's gender is a formal letter from your physician or therapist (we have both) detailing their medical license, their treatment of you, and confirmation of your new gender.
It also takes a very deep breath before walking in.
We are not stupid. We know the world is awash in Kim Davises just waiting to impose their will and viewpoints on those of whom they do not approve. And we were walking into a small post office in Grand Junction, Colorado.
Now, Colorado may have legal marijuana and a lot of open minds, but it also has A LOT of conservative minds as well. (They just tend to be dispersed more throughout the state and wildly outnumbered in the major blue voting cities like Denver.) So we had spent this week steeling ourselves for any potential conflict that may arise. Seriously, I lay in bed at night thinking of every possible thing that may be said and how I would respond.
Was I spoiling for a fight? No. But will I fight in order to protect Toby and insure his rights are upheld? How best to answer that question...
Just think of me as Cersai. Hurt my child? I will scorch your earth.
So, we walked in, Toby even prepared to hit record on his phone if things went south, got contentious, or worst case, should we run into someone who simply would not provide the service to a transgender person.
We waited in the empty little office opposite the postal service lines, and when she came in, our hearts both hoped. She was younger than any other employee in that post office by a good 25 years. She had pokey hair. I know, that sounds stupid, but it also added hope that we were in slightly more progressive hands.
So we laid out the documents, the expired passport, and then I said, "And the one little twist - we did follow the instructions online and have doctors' letters - we need to make a gender change." She smiled, said, "Absolutely no problem," and reached for our paperwork.
And in that mere second it took for her response to reach my ears, my eyes had tears in them. I reached out and held her hand and said, "Thank you. Thank you SO much. You have no idea how scary these conversations can be." She squeezed my hand and smiled back at me, and I could literally feel the stress drop away from both Toby and myself.
In 4-6 weeks Toby will have his new passport. But today we have lighter hearts because God, the universe, fate - whatever it is you believe in - put another incredible and right person in our path just when we needed them. Kerri, in the Grand Junction post office? We love you.
Actually, we'll call this one, a SMILESTONE. (Oh, and get the ship ready, Captain Mickey - Toby will be reporting for vacation duty soon!)
(I have added a link in the left column to all the passport information you may need in order to effect a gender change.)