NOW, I am happy! Downright giddy. Triumphant feeling. Content with everything that I have accomplished and relaxed about the things that I have ahead of me.
Yesterday, I received the very first “F” of my life, and I am so happy to have made the grade. I am the happy owner of a drivers license on which I have an updated photo, my name is Gina Joy Eilers, and my sex is listed with that big, lovely F for female.
I now have the Big Three accomplished.
One: Name change. On Monday, a judge declared me to be Gina Joy Eilers. Because I am not changing my birth certificate, I did not need the judge to change my gender.
Two: Social Security. Monday afternoon, the process to have my identity changed on my SS# was nothing more than handing over my paperwork and the agent making some keystrokes to my account.
Three: Drivers License. One has to wait till the next day after the Social Security office, and I had a very busy Tuesday, so I did not go to the BMV until Wednesday. Jessica was the agent who served me. She had done several name changes, but was new to a gender change. She summoned the branch manager.
They have had it drilled into them that all gender marker change requests must be accompanied by the BMV’s form. I did not have their form. I had my doctor’s letter. I was certain that I had what they needed, but they disagreed and sent me home with the form to have my doctor complete.
You could hear the air seeping out as my hopes were deflated of getting this done without nails on the pavement.
When Julie got home from work, she jumped on this. “They are wrong. The website says ‘or.’ You either need their form OR your doctor’s letter.” She printed the page from their website and I prepared to head back first thing Thursday morning, as Jessica had recommended I do that because things are slow right after they open.
I returned as she suggested, bright and early and ready to make my case. Jessica summoned the branch manager. They pulled out their fine toothed combs and examined their own instructions. The branch manager called Indianapolis’ main office. A few minutes later, she returned with the good news that Julie was correct and my letter had the necessary information.
They don’t know Julie. Of course, Julie was correct.
BMV branches are not able to make the change for the gender marker. As Jessica completed everything she could, we waited for the main office to make the change from “M” to F.” Ten minutes later, Jessica called me back to her desk, announced the good news, I paid the $10.50 fee, thanked her for being so kind and friendly, shook her hand, and departed.
On my way out, I took my picture in front of the BMV sign. As I then walked to my car, it hit me. I was so happy! As my friend, Steve, wrote on Facebook after I got my name change, Gina Eilers was “filled” with Joy!
I got into my car, placed the key into the ignition, and burst out with a triumphant, “Yeah!” I raised my hands in victory and punched at the air. I told myself, “NOW, I am happy. NOW, this all feels so good.”
And with this I realized something really important to me, why I could not gear up for Monday’s court date.
Everything I wrote on Monday remains true. I never wanted to transition, Greg deserves better than all of this, and all that I have done is for the sake of necessity because attempting to resume living as a male is, as I have learned from trying it so many times, a fool’s game.
But, on Monday, there was one more major ingredient to be stirred in, and the waters were too murky for me to see it lurking down deep. I was more concerned about getting my drivers license than I was about getting my name changed. I don’t recall any trans friends speaking of being denied their name change, or even having any trouble with a judge. But, the gender marker on the drivers license? Yeah, I’ve heard too many stories of BMV employees putting up hurdles and not being helpful, of “You need this,” and “You don’t have that”—just as happened with me on Wednesday.
So, even with Monday’s name change in my hand, I could not enjoy it with my drivers license looming. Now, with my drivers license corrected—Gina Joy Eilers, Sex: F—I have walked every legal step.
NOW, I am happy. NOW, it all feels so very good.
I have loads of name changes to make—mortgage, credit cards, magazine subscriptions, and the like—and I am no fan of what feels like bothersome paperwork, but, jeepers, these all will be nothing more than time-consuming nuisances.
Bring ‘em on. I am Gina Joy Eilers, recognized as a female person. Just give me time to get my new signature down pat.
As I waited for the BMV, I sat and prayed, “Thy will be done.” I pray to the Lord, every step of the way, every day, seeking His good and gracious will for my life. I never make a move unless I have the spirit of my convictions about it.
I praise the Lord for abiding with me through all of this. The most-imagined unimaginable thing of my life is a full reality. I am living as, and documented as, a female person, the person my brain always told me I should be.
Really? At fifty-nine years old, is all of this really true? No one is going to pinch me awake only for me to return to my youth and the aching of my heart?
Yes, it is true, and I have the paperwork and the always-painted fingernails to prove it.
I am reminded of some Bible verses: “With God, all things are possible (Matthew 19:6),” and “God works all things for good in the lives of those who love Him, whom He has called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).”
That my trust in Christ is the strongest it has ever been, and that my chief desire is exactly as it was when I was a pastor, to proclaim Jesus Christ, His victorious death and resurrection for the entire world, and His gifts of forgiveness, life, and salvation, I have confidence that the Lord is leading me where He wants me, to give me peace with Him and with myself, and to educate the world regarding what it means to be transgender and a Christian.
I like to say that the Lord has never blessed any person, in the history of the world, more than He has blessed me. I renew that saying, today. I am humbled, dazzled, and just plain in the pink with His blessings which I enjoy in this life and which I will enjoy forever.
As I conclude the writing of this piece, I am, as I so often am, reduced to a puddle of tears. Today, they are tears of joy.