Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Getting My Official Gender Changed: Let The Games Begin

So in brief, for the past six and a half years I have had the promise of having my official gender changed if I just cooperated and got recognized as an intersex person by the medical specialists here in the Netherlands. The legal provision to have said gender changed in official documents is given by a law in Dutch civil laws, specifically article 1, sub-article 24 of the Burgerlijk Wetboek. A few requirements are listed in said law, such as it being proven that the person in question is in fact intersex and the person in question also being infertile as the gender which is being abandoned.

The proof is generally obtained via a cooperative medical specialist who can then testify to this. Since I lack this due to law 1:24 BW being a dead law while the Disorder of Sexual Development (DSD) policy is in effect, as this ensures that no intersex person is ever recognized as such, instead being classified as possessing a birth defect and forced to undergo surgery, I am forced to appeal to the spirit of this law. I am most definitely infertile as the gender I wish to abandon (male) since I am incapable of ejaculating, do not even possess a prostate and there's every doubt that I even have regular testicles. I am also most definitely intersex as I have outwardly male genitals in appearance, while I possess a body which is most definitely that of a woman.

My current situation of having an official identity of 'male' is also causing significant problems for myself and my environment, as both gender indications are used interchangeably and where the male version is used, especially in public situations such as a hospital's waiting room, or when picking up medication, etc. it is most confusing to staff and others to have what appears to be a regular woman stand up when they call out the name of what they assume is a man. It is also extremely humiliating for me in addition to being embarrassing for the aforementioned staff.

As having an official male identity while this totally clashes with reality is no less cruel than doing the same to any regular woman, I do not foresee the judge having major issues with applying 1:24 in this case. Having my first name changed on this basis certainly went far easier than my lawyer then could have suspected. Having my official gender changed thus follows in the same pattern.

Tomorrow I'll be making an appointment at a lawyer's office in the nearby city of Deventer for a first chat during which the feasibility will be discussed. There'll also be the matter of paying for it all. My legal insurance only covers claims, and the government-based coverage which was provided for the first name change last year hasn't been assigned yet. Even then they managed to turn 'intersex' into 'metrosexual' in the request form for said coverage. My contact today with the government office providing assistance on legal issues like this kind of coverage simply referred me to a 'gender institute' as the lady who replied to my email basically admitted to not having a clue about gender changes.

It's a not so promising start, but I hope that the lawyer I'll be talking to soon will be more open to it, if only because it's a more interesting case. As for my part, I just hope that I can somehow fund it without having to resort to begging my readers for more donations.

Stay tuned,


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