I really had no clue what to call this post. I don’t want to call it a rant. What i do have to call this particular discussion is one of the saddest things I’ve ever read. That part of my fate was decided for me before I was done. Ive spent the last few hours crying over it, but I shouldn’t get ahead of myself.
Some news spread amongst the local trans community that lifted me so high I could feel optimism pouring out of me. A new local bill passed making it super easy for local trans to change their gender marker on their birth certificate. A close friend sent this information to me by email. We were so happy. All day was a form of celebration locally by those who had been held in gridlock by the system.
By four this evening I was still brimming with happiness and excitement as i told my girlfriend. We were discussing getting the papers filed and getting this step that I have long needed in to place. Then I found the road block. I was born in Tennessee. I lived there only a few years. I have no memory of the state other than the relatives I had there.
Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-3-203(d) (2006) states the sex of an individual will not be changed on birth certificates even with sexual reassignment surgery. In essence. Because I was born their and my birth certificate is from there I will never get to change everything fully. I get to live with this shadow that has caused more stress and fear than any other issue in my life.
So what do I do? I would never go back to Tennessee. Last time I was there was probably in 1989 right after my grandmom passed. Thanks to one backwards state my life will always have this fear I thought would end. Ive spent the hours since this discovery trying to calm myself and think what can be done. Sadly I have no answers. I have a local therapist friend looking in to things for me.
My anger for this has been as great as my sadness. So much so I have decided I will never again declare that state as my state of birth. It is a blemish on my life that I will never shake the scars from. I don’t even know how to end this post. With everything we have read about trans rights over the last year the fact Tennessee has gone unchallenged with this rule is absurd.
I don’t expect this to do anything but I want to start a hashtag. Maybe see if we can get some light shed on this draconian rule that affects not just myself but others who have moved away from Tennessee and still feels the long arm of ignorance strangling them. I know others have to be out there.
No one should ever be forced to face the rules of a place they do not live.
If you wish please share this. I don’t want to see these kind of things hurt anyone else.