2nd Birthday

Guess what my new state-issued ID calls me…

A New Man

Portions have been blurred to protect my sexy identity.

This morning I had my court date at Daley Center, and it was crazy easy.  I was nervous  because I knew nothing about the judge, and he could deny my request, and all that money would have been for nothing and I would be stuck with my girly birth name.

We got to the court room early, and waited outside for Hunter, the TJLPI volunteer who was going to sit with me and be legal support.  He’s not a lawyer, but he has been though the name change process himself, and was familiar with the proceedings.

There was one other person there, a woman trying to change her name, and her situation put mine in perspective.  She hadn’t filled out her paperwork.  She couldn’t remember how to spell her name, and was uncertain what year she was born in.  Watching her in front of the judge was just heart wrenching.  The judge, thankfully, was very kind.  He tried to help her, and clearly wanted to grant her request, but as he put it, “What kind of judge would grant a petition to someone who can’t verify their own name, or birthdate, or birth place?”  She was obviously mentally unstable, and I was thankful for Hunter and the judge this morning.  They both were really kind, treated her respectfully, and tried their best to help her–she just didn’t have all the necessary information.  Oh, and some other dude there, who seemed very much of sound mind and body, didn’t even bring any paperwork with him: he just showed up to court empty handed and in blue jeans–dafuck is wrong with people?

When my number was called (there were only a handful of us in the court room–this room was for name change petitions only), I approached the bench and was sworn in.  But the swearing in was for naught: the judge looked at my petition and judgment order, my birth certificate and xeroxed copy of my state ID, then glanced up at me and said, “Well, this all appears to be in order,” and then indicated that I should go sit back down.

So I did.

The judge got up and left.  The bailiff declared that court was in recess.  I sat in awkward silence, not sure what was happening or what signal I was waiting for.  A few minutes later the clerk called my case number again, wrote “ok to certify” on the bottom of my petition, said, “Here ya go,” and handed it back to me.  And that was it.  Elias Michael was born.

Hunter, Kae, and I went down a few floors to get the judgment order certified.  We had to get multiple copies certified because places like the Social Security Administration and the DMV won’t take some broke ass xerox copy.  They want the real deal:

Embossed like a boss.

Embossed like a boss.

After paying ten bucks a piece, I had multiple uber legit state documents proving my new legal name is, well, legal.

So we walked across the street to the Thompson Center, which in Chicago is a super futuristic mall with a food court and DMV in the basement.

From the ground up: Philip K. Dick's DMV of the future.

From the ground up: Philip K. Dick’s government office of the future.

After the first clerk refused to accept my printed-from-the-internet electric bill as proof of residency, and the second clerk got all lippy in my face about shit he didn’t understand, I finally talked to someone that treated me like a person.  He was totally cool, said my electric bill was a fine piece of corroborating evidence of my residence, and so thoroughly understood where I was coming from that as he said “Now, Elias,” he pointed down at my gender marker and asked, “is this changing today too?”  I said no, and he said, “Oh, that’s fine.  We get you guys in here all the time.”  And suddenly I felt much more at ease.  I’m not happy with my picture on my ID, but no one is.  What’s important is the name.

So of course the legal name change is just the tip of the ice berg.  Now I have to change my name with:

-Student Loan Companies

-Utilities

-Credit Card Companies/Banks

-Previous Colleges

-The Public Library

-The IRS

-My Landlord

-Credit Reporting Agencies

-My Veterinarian

-My Oncologist/Other Doctors

-Netflix

-Amazon

-The Sun Magazine (my one and only magazine subscription)

And the Social Security administration for a new SS card.  And that, in turn, is what I need to change my name with my employer.  Oh, and I’m sure lots of other places I’m forgetting.

But, all in all, today was a good day, a success, and there was a nice cool breeze that came along with it.

In closing, my first birthday:

Gangsta.

Gangsta.

And my second:

Birthday 2.0 comes with a hot  girlfriend, and a better hair cut than 1.0.

Birthday 2.0 comes with a hot girlfriend, and a better hair cut than 1.0.

Cheers, and be nice to yourselves!
Your Pal Eli

31 thoughts on “2nd Birthday

  1. Well done my friend, that’s excellent! I can’t help but notice how easy changing names is over here in the UK, to the hassle you’ve had to go through. Perhaps gender will be a different issue though, I guess I’ll find out.

  2. CONGRATULATIONS! My legal name & gender change was pretty straightforward (if expensive) too. But rather than calling a number, the judged called my name. My birth name. You could’ve heard a pin drop after he called “David William McEntee” and I walked up in a nice pink turtle neck, black skirt, pumps, and with an obvious bosom.

    It’s great to have this step done. I’m so happy for you!

    -Connie

  3. Congratulations on the legal name change!

    It is a lot of paperwork but rewarding when the mail with the new name starts showing up, and when you open up your wallet and everything says Elias. I’m pretty sure that Social Security covers the IRS. I’d recommend starting with Social Security and anyone who sends you anything you put on your taxes as either income or a deduction, so that your paperwork matches when you file for 2013.

    Just went through a series of phone calls with the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. They credited my 2012 tax payment to my old name, even though I filed and paid and the W2 was in my new (legal) name, and told me I still owed $1750. Ouch. So I had to explain the whole name change and gave them the check#, and they tracked it and found the multiple files and cleared it up. Arrgh. Hopefully next year will be smoother.

    • Yes, Jamie, I am trying to mentally prepare for all the frustration that comes with dealing with myriad agencies over the phone, and in person, and via mail and email that will have to be coached, multiple times potentially, on the name change.

      Most places will get it right, but I know there will be a few sticklers with whom I will have to be patient.

      Thanks for the heads-up. 🙂

      E

  4. Elias,
    When we were kids. I always wanted another sibling. An older brother to be exact. I often wondered what it would have been like if there were 3 of us instead of 2. And I never liked the fact that we would never have another sibling. But I when I was a child, I never would have guessed that later in life I would solve that problem of what it would be like to have a cool older brother. So congrats with the name change. I’ve finally gotten that older brother I have always wanted. And it’s just as awesome as I imagined!

  5. Congrats! I got my official name changed this January, and I remember the huge wave of relief that day… Awesome that it worked out for you like that, hope all goes well with the rest of your to do list!

  6. The first document that was updated was my voter registration because I had to file my judge’s order with the county clerk which is where voter registration takes place. The second was my Social Security Card which was necessary before changing my driver’s license because although they don’t put your SS# on your license because of identity thieves, the HSA requires it. I was able to also update my gender marker on my DL with a form signed by my doctor.who monitors my HRT.

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