In what I hope will be the final bureaucratic adventure of my gender transition, I recently changed the sex on my birth certificate. This change will help circumvent a lot of other potential bureaucratic and legal nightmares in the future (I hope). Many trans folks view the birth certificate change as an act of finality, the parting shot of transition. After all, it’s right there in writing, all nice and legal – according to some old rule book and a couple strangers you’ve never met in an office somewhere, you are officially your desired gender now. Congratulations.
When I received my new copy in the mail, I did feel a sense of closure and relief, though it was mostly in the legal, official, my-ass-is-now-bureaucratically-covered sense. On the more personal, emotional side of things, I felt a little conflicted. The more I thought about it, the more guilty I felt, like I was now tacitly endorsing the arbitrary power system that oppresses us, the gender-nonconforming.