Institutional microaggressions

Yesterday the hubby and I were both excited. For the last couple of years we have been changing our name and gender markers in all our official documentation. We have successfully changed even our birth certificates (including the hubby’s from Arizona). The last two steps are my passport (my federal information is already changed, just need to update that) and our marriage license.

We were married in 1992, and we both knew that in the state files our original names were used along with our genders. So we called around to the various county auditors we lived in and they finally directed us to the state. After setting up an appointment for yesterday six months ago (that is how long the wait was) we headed down to Olympia after my medical appointments to change our marriage license.

We arrived and waited until half an hour past our appointment. The employee was a nice guy when we did meet him, evidently he was on lunch and didn’t notice we had arrived… even though we had an appointment. He took our information, headed over the the archives to make the change while we paid for new copies.

He came back with a partial success, and a truly horrific change. Our names were changed with no problems, we are listed with our current names and that is all good. That being said he told us he had some bad news, for whatever reason (insert blah blah blah) he couldn’t change our genders.

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To be honest this doesn’t make sense to me, they can change my actual birth certificate to list me as female, but can’t update my marriage license. What happens if a county auditor records the name of the spouses in the wrong box, are they telling me a cisgender woman will be listed as the male, and it can’t be changed. That cannot be right. Although it sounds like that isn’t a problem anymore because since gay marriage became legal in 2012 or so they don’t list genders, just spouse 1 and spouse 2 on licenses after that.

The worst part about this, the new marriage license/certificate they gave us lists me as the groom and my husband as the bride. In spite of the fact our original never listed the bride/groom at all on the original certificate in our old names. So now, not only couldn’t they change it, our marriage license outs us clearly, instead of only being somewhere deep in the computer system.

Don’t get me wrong, I am obviously trans so while it does misgender me, it won’t be surprise to anyone. However, it outs my hubby who passes 100% as a cisgender guy when no one knows, and lists him as my bride.

I didn’t expect dysphoria to hit so hard when that happened and I realized what our new licenses listed. I am angry, crushed and just livid that now my wedding license/certificate is even worse than before. Name is correct but now it states clearly the wrong gender. All of this. after 2+ hours of commute, waiting, etc and paying $70.

Next week I am going to call and find out if the guy just was an idiot, or if that is actually the case. If it is the case we are already looking at lawyering up to change it. That is complete and utter nonsense that they can’t change it. You know for a fact that if a cisgender male/female names got mixed up they would find a way to do it.

I do hope to find when I call next week that the guy was just an idiot and they can fix it, but not expecting that at all.

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