30 June 2011

Someone Who "Gets It"

Someone I see regularly--the UPS truck driver-- said, "How does it feel to have the right to be married?"

I said that I'm glad the law passed, though I'm not sure of how relevant it will be to me.  He furrowed his brow.  "Well, you're a woman.  But..."

A while back, he claimed not to have known about my transsexual status until someone else revealed it to him.  So I can understand his confusion about how, whom or whether I'd marry.  So I tried to explain, in the proverbial 25 words or less, what New York State's new law means for me.

I told him that, for the purposes of employment, housing and just about everything else, the State (but not the Federal) government identified me as a woman as soon as they received notification from my doctor and therapist that I had a disorder, was living as a woman and was taking hormones in preparation for my gender reassignment surgery.  However, I could not marry a man, although I could've married another woman if she and I chose to do so.

Once I had my surgery, the State and Federal governments recognized me as a woman.  That meant I could marry a man, but not another woman, at least all but those states that had same-sex marriage and those that did not recognize sex changes.  As an example of the latter, in Idaho, I could marry a woman because I am still considered a man in that state.  In contrast, in New York, before the law was passed, I could have married a man but not a woman, while in neighboring Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont, I could have married anyone.

The man seemed, not so much by the complexity, but by what he described as the "silliness" of it.  "God made us all equal. Why shouldn't you, or anyone else, marry who you want or whoever wants you?"

Well, I didn't get it all into 25 words.  But he understands.  And he's sympathetic, or at least expressing respect for a person's rights.  When one person "gets it," that's enough to make my day.

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