02 March 2010

For The One Born In Georgia

I can't believe more than a month of the semester has already passed. In three weeks, the Spring will "officially" begin; at the end of the week, the week-long "Spring Break" from college will start. I feel as if the students and other faculty members are already looking toward it. I know it's early this year: It's scheduled around Easter, and every three years or so, the holiday comes at the end of March or the beginning of April.

Today two of my colleagues said they felt like they working in a bunker. I did not prompt or otherwise lead them into saying that; they just did. And, I don't think they've been reading this blog.

I think that because we've had so much precipitation and so little sunshine, this winter has seemed endless.

Yesterday I called the Department of Vital Records to inquire about getting a new birth certificate. I got a runaround; I'm not sure it was because people didn't know what they were doing, didn't care or because I said that I wanted to the box next to "F" marked. The people I talked to were as polite as could be: After all, they were Southerners. Ok, now you now one of my dim, dark secrets: I was born in Georgia. However, I was there only for the first few months of my life: My father was stationed there with the military and, after he completed his tour of duty, he, Mom and I moved to Brooklyn, where they had lived before my father enlisted.

Since then, I've passed through Georgia en route to or from Florida. Sometimes I think more people pass through than stay there, especially in the part of the state where I was born. We stopped in Albany, the seat of Dougherty County, when I was in high school and we and my brothers were coming home from our first trip to Florida. Almost everything Dad photographed during his time there was gone: the base on which he was stationed, our house and most of the others. It looked like one of those towns young people got out of the first chance they got.

Anyway...I'm wondering now whether I'm the first trannie they've ever dealt with. If I am, it wouldn't surprise me; maybe it'll make me the talk of the town, at least for fifteen minutes. Not that I necessarily want that or, more precisely, care whether it happens: After all, I may never go back there. I've never had any particular desire to go there again; I was born there only because my parents happened to be there.

I'm just hoping that someone doesn't "make a mistake." More important, I hope Georgia isn't one of the states that doesn't change the gender on birth certificates. Even though it may not matter to anyone but me, I want to make that change because whatever data were entered on it were gathered from looking at and measuring my body. Whatever its shape and apparatus, I was just as much a female then as I ever have been. My mind and spirit could as well have been two X chrososomes; they've always been that way. And I have always been the person carrying them; the girl who's become a woman.

So...After I get my Georgia birth certificate with the box next to "F" marked, will I qualify as a Southern Belle? Well, maybe not the Belle part. Then again, is that what I really want? I mean, I've met some southerners whom I've just loved to pieces--Marilynne and her family come to mind--but somehow I don't see myself as one. I guess I never had a Scarlett O'Hara fantasy. Did I miss out on anything?

I just want to get a birth certificiate that records the one who actually came into this world, even if it doesn't matter to anyone else. The last person I talked to--a very sweet-voiced woman who, somehow, I pictured as a Black church lady--very patiently explained what I needed to do, although, as it turned out, her office was about to close for the day. I have to write a letter and send my old BC, copies of "official" ID, the court order for my name change and, of course, the letter from Marci that says I had the surgery. Those things, and a money order for $25 will get me a new birth certificate, she said.

I hope it's not any more complicated than that.

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