Exploring Gender: Name Change
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Exploring Gender: Name Change

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On Wednesday, I went down to the courthouse to change my name. After all my research and apprehension, it was a very quick process. After leaving my phone in the car and leading my best friend through the maze of downtown to the courthouse, we managed to find the Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court. A woman came over and asked what I needed, then handed me three forms and helped me to fill them out. She informed me of the fees involved ($41 plus a fee for the credit transaction), told me a judge would look over it soon and the order would be out to me within two to three weeks, and we were done. We walked out of the courthouse, and my best friend danced around me on the steps.

So I have written a lot about how to get your name changed. In Virginia, it is not a very hard process, most of the time not even requiring a hearing, just a signed order from a judge. Other states are more tricky. Here is a list of the laws and requirements by state.

Every person has a different experience transitioning. Some people want to talk to a gender therapist first, others change their name, still others simply change their appearance and the way they present themselves to their friends. It all depends on what you as an individual want to do, how you feel comfortable. There is no prescribed way to go about your transition. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. There are certain things about which you need to make sure to converse with a doctor or therapist, but other than that, you decide how you feel comfortable. You decide who you are and what that means. No one else can influence that or tell you you are not trans* enough for not having surgery or not taking hormones. Only you can develop yourself and know what you need. If you have any questions about transitioning and what it entails, ask in the comments or ask me on tumblr.

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