08 April 2011

It's A Girl Again!

Another "girl" was "born" today.

Or, more precisely, a girl who was born on 7 July 2009 became who she is, again.

Actually, the event happened a couple of days ago.  But I just got the official documentation of it today.

I'm talking about my birth certificate.  I know I should've had it changed a while ago.  But somehow it didn't seem as urgent as changing my passport or Social Security cared, or my state ID.  Those last three documents are the ones used in nearly all situations requiring personal identification.  However, I can't remember the last time I had to show my birth certificate.

On the other hand, I didn't know I would feel as good as I did about getting that new birth certificate.  When I said getting it didn't seem urgent, I was telling just part of the truth.  Something about changing my birth certificate seemed even more monumental (at least in my life) than changing those other documents.  After all, most people get new passports, driver's licenses or other government IDs every ten years.  Some people even get new Social Security cards.  However, most people get only one birth certificate in their lives.

Getting the new birth certificate was easier than I expected.  It turns out that Georgia, where I was born, actually has an easier process than many other states--including New York!  I had to send the following items to the Georgia Bureau of Vital Statistics in Atlanta:

  • My old birth certificate
  • A certified copy of Marci Bowers' letter certifying that she performed my surgery
  • The court order for my name change
  • A photocopy of my New York State ID and US Passport*, and
  • A money order for $35.
I sent these items via Express Mail, and included a pre-paid Express Mail return envelope.  Today, ten days later, I received my new birth certificate.

It is a brand-new certificate.  I found out that many other states issue amended copies--in some cases, with the former name and gender visibly typed over.  And some other states won't change a person's name or gender at all.

Now I have an official Georgia birth certificate that records my sex as "female."  Does that mean I'm now officially a Southern Belle?  Well, maybe if I were a little bit more belle, I guess I could be one.