Today's laugh: Dale's falcon
Today's song: Shinedown - What a Shame
I finally succeeded in my original aim for 2010: a completely stealth license. Name, gender, photo, the works. Everything I could possibly do with it without yet being on T. Unfortunately, it was a mild fiasco and unnecessarily so. Am I surprised? Hell no. But anticipation doesn't equal fun.
It started the other day when I went to a standard license center. They claimed they couldn't do anything for me outside of mailing the documents to PENNDOT themselves, were going to charge me double the standard fee, and claimed there was no way I could get a new photo until the standard 4-year renewal. Mine wouldn't be coming up until September of next year. My former photo is not only 100% female, but also 100% femme; it had been my last-ditch effort before finally admitting to myself what I was. As if this photo news wasn't bad enough between how I looked then and how I look now, I also factored in the major issue of me likely being on T for at least 9 months by the time I could get a new photo. Already I've been accused of a fraudulent license, but this would be far worse. Like, "determined to catch me when I run" worse. After my continuing insistence and their continuing dead fish eyes, I decided to gather all of my materials from my fruitless endeavor and wait until PENNDOT itself opened the next day.
Fast-forward to the next day. First off, apparently the new photo comes standard with the name change alone; I couldn't not get a photo even if I tried. That was probably the only good news of my day. Long story short, although the woman that initially handled me became increasingly polite to me as I waited, the experience wasn't favorable. It all came down to the gender marker, which they themselves unintentionally admitted to. I had all of my paperwork, but apparently it was "policy" for the manager "to handle such matters as these himself." I waited over three hours after my initial wait for service, counting exactly 137 people successfully serviced in the meantime, some of which I overheard were changing names and addresses. Their average accumulated time spent at the DMV was 20 minutes.
Knowing that I was currently representing the entire trans community whether any of us liked it or not, and further knowing that there was nothing I could do in this DMV situation, I sat and waited as politely as possible. I could only sit and watch as those 137 presumably cisgender people got their service without a hitch and in reasonable time. I had been having issues since I set foot back in Pennsylvania to finish all of my documentation, but this certainly won the gold. The wait time was extensive despite the pepperings of interrogation. The manager claimed my therapist's license number was inaccurate, soon claimed it to be nonexistent entirely, demanded he "take a look at me" (i.e. my general appearance), asked me "security questions," inquired the nature of my request, and so on. Yet whenever he was forced to look in my direction, I flashed him my fox-smile; pleasant as pie. When I know a cizzy is a lost cause, I tend to play with them. It amuses me.
Being the paranoid, anal-retentive Virgo I am, my arsenal was packed. I countered every last of his requests and demands, right down to providing him with my therapist's personal cell to contact him directly. (Newsflash: turned out my therapist's license number hadn't been wrong to begin with.) Once he seemed to run out of excuses and realized that hell hath no fury like a determined tranny, the manager finally succeeded in the overwhelming task of changing one letter in the computer. I was cleared as sane, legit, law-abiding, and not a threat, and was given the photo request to solidify it all with a picture. This additional wait took all of 5 minutes, another 2 when I finally sat down in front of the camera, and another 1 for the license to pop out of a little machine run by a pleasant elderly woman with a light Scottish accent. It cost me $12.
Just today I found out that my mind has likely already started the process of transition by altering my body chemistry to the best of its own ability. No, seriously. I mentioned a few seemingly random and subtle bodily changes I've noticed in myself to a transman friend of mine, noting how they seemed to all be things that I assumed would happen once I was on T, but not before. (I'll save my fair damsel readers the nasty boy-details [okay, so I'm just a little embarrassed on a public blog], but I'll share at least this one: I've learned the hard way that I can no longer skip a day of showering no matter what I try.) These changes all seemed to become noticeable within the past several weeks. My buddy said this is actually really normal for transguys about to go on T; for whatever reason, the minds of many transmen seem to subconsciously start the process ahead of time on their own accord. We both agree that this is likely both one of the best indicators that one is ready for T, but also is a clever way for the mind to prepare the body and hence make the T less of a shock to the system.
Absolutely no literature or studies have been made on this and the phenomenon has yet to be properly christened with a name. And yet, it apparently happens so often--without provocation of the stories of other transmen--that it cannot simply be trashed as a coincidence or wishful thinking. Am I the only one that finds this one of the freaking coolest things on the planet? I call dibs! This is definitely going into my master's thesis. Too bad it probably won't fit properly in my current seminar paper.
Is it wrong that my personal and academic lives are so intertwined? It's actually caused me some days to become nearly too overwhelmed to function due to the lack of a break from it all, but that's what SNES is for. Just find the Book of Mudora and everything will be okay.