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My Bittersweet Sex/Gender Court Ruling: The San Diego Court Appearance

“I respect trans women as women, but I do not believe they are female.”

“Females have a right to set a boundary and have it be respected.”

“…Females have a right to be free of Males if they so choose. Trans women are male.”

~Cathy Brennan

Image: Autumn SandeenToday on May 22, 2012, I woke up here in my home state of California being only able to marry those who are legally female. When I go to bed this evening, I’ll only be able to legally marry males. That’s because this morning I went to the San Diego Courthouse under the rules created under 2011’s AB 433, I legally changed my sex — or as California refers to it, legally changed my gender — from male to female. So, who I’ll be able to marry changed from female to male as my legal gender changed from male to female. Remember — Prop 8 limited marriage in California to one man and one woman, and I’m no longer legally male as of today.

Documentation is the only thing that changed between when I woke up and when I go to bed today. And, of course, my legal change of gender isn’t recognized across many state lines — If I married someone in Texas, Kansas, Tennessee, or Florida, I would only be able to marry women because these states don’t recognize what happened today in that San Diego, California, courtroom. Again, because these states only recognize marriages between one man and one woman…well since these states still consider me male I’d only be allowed to marry females in those states.

For me, it’s the stupefying reality that I can now, because of today’s San Diego court ruling, jurisdiction shop acrros the nation to marry anyone in the U.S in a heterosexual marriage — with the one exception of another trans woman who’s also legally changed her sex. What gender a state recognizes me as makes a difference of whom I’m allowed to marry heterosexually.

I’m pretty much asexual and pretty much aromantic though. Marraige of any sort is pretty unlikely to me…my chances are actually pretty slim.

Still, marriage equality is the oddly first thing that came to mind to me on the day California legally went from recognizing me as male to recognizing me as female.

My other thought today is how my legal change of gender is this one: a year or so ago I’d have told you today would be an incredibly exhilarating day for me. Actually, it’s been a modestly gratifying day.

In the days ahead, I’ll explain why my legal change of sex/gender feels a bit bittersweet to me. The stories are bittersweet ones that entail cyberbullying, cyberstalking, and cyberharassment from some public and less-than-public people.

For example, one of the players in the cyber-nongood behaviors includes Cathy Brennan — the woman quoted at the beginning of this piece, and how she apparently acted according to that belief system espoused above by personally interjecting herself in my change of legal change of gender.

Again, that’s a story for another day.

So, in an anticipated toast lifted to me by me later this evening, let me just put forward a lower case toast cheer of “yay!” on the table. The world changed for me this morning at 10:03 AM PDT in a downtown San Diego Courtroom today — which is just pretty gosh darn important to me! — that’s at least worth a lowercase cheer.

I’ll be likely quietly celebrating hat lowercase cheer tonight with a Stone Brewing Company Ruination IPA beer in hand. (A lower case, but heartfelt, “yay!” too for beergeeks and local breweries too!)

Further reading:
* Part 2 of the series: The Bittersweet “Change Of Gender” Court Ruling: It Came With Cyberbulling
* Part 3 of the series: The Bittersweet “Change Of Gender” Court Ruling: It Came With Even More Cyberharassment
* What Genital Reconstruction Surgery And When
* Surgery Set For February
* Dates Are Set, So Full Speed Ahead
* Under The (Hopefully) Tiny Knife Tuesday
* Released From Weight Control Monitoring
* What Genital Reconstruction Surgery, And When
* My Primary Care Says I’m Recovering Well From My Orchi
* The Ginchy Letter I Received Via Snail Mail On Saturday

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Autumn Sandeen

Autumn Sandeen