When was the last time you pulled out your driver’s license and looked at it? For most people, probably not since it arrived in the mail and after grimacing at the picture you shoved it in your wallet.
For those of us who are Transgender it’s a whole different experience. Knowing I was female yet presenting a drivers license that said “Male” on it was a real annoyance. Many CISgendered people aren’t even really aware there IS a gender marker on your license, but there is and to us, it’s in
48 point type. “M” or “F”
So it is always a huge day in the life of someone who is transgender to get that court order changing our name and gender marker. The first thing we do is RUN to the driver license office (DMV in many states, DPS in Texas) and get that license changed.
I’ve had mine for over a month now and I pull it out all the time and just stare at it – afraid that I imagined having it changed, but I didn’t imagine it…it’s real. It says Leslie Michelle McMurray and “F” under “sex.” How cool is that? I even love the picture. I better, I spent enough time fixing my hair and make-up, generally primping and why not? I’ve been looking forward to having this picture taken my whole life!
So every now and then, I pull out my driver’s license and just stare. It’s real. It’s really me. It’s an odd validation – I know who I am but it’s cool that now, the state of Texas agrees with me.
Now, when I rent a car, fly on a plane or check into a hotel, I can hand them an I.D. that perfectly matches the person standing in front of them instead of handing over the one with the giant “M” and getting the “eye roll” or worse.
Sometimes something most people take for granted can be so precious to someone else. Sometimes something that for most people stays buried in a purse or wallet is a reminder of a hard won confirmation of who they are – and that’s worth another look. And another.