30 September 2012
According to Bill Graves, I made a fraudulent request on 18 June 2003.
Thankfully (for me, anyway), he is a District Judge in Oklahoma. I filed my request in the Civil Court in Manhattan.
But the fact that Judge Graves presides over the court in Oklahoma County is not so felicitious for James Dean Ingram. My petition for my name change was granted within a month. A couple of weeks later, as per the law, I'd published it in the Legal Notices section of the Village Voice (the newspaper chosen by the judge), had the change notarized, and I have been Justine ever since.
On the other hand, Ingram, who has been living as a woman, was not allowed to change "James Dean" to "Angela Renee." The esteemed judge's decision was based on his extensive research: "If you're born male, you stay male, according to the study I've done on DNA. If you're born female, you stay female."
However, the honorable jurist revealed another motive for his denial of Ingram's petition: "You'll give me publicity I don't want."
And I thought the standards for scholarship in gender studies were low! According to Judge Graves, one can reach valid scientific conclusions based upon one's desire, or lack thereof, for attention.
I suppose Ms. Ingram is not aware of that. Had she known, perhaps she wouldn't have been so crushed that she "just wanted to die."
Last year, in a similar case, Graves cited the Bible and "expert testimony" in concluding that "the DNA code shows that God meant for them to stay male and female."
So let's see...His credentials in jurisprudence qualify him as an expert on the Bible and genetics. Hmm...Maybe I should have gone to law school. But, if I had, I somehow think I might have ruled differently. After all, two erudite and reasonable people can come to different conclusions on the same subject, right?