From the previous posts [here, here, & here], the reader knows I was seeking a name and gender change through court order. I got a call from BillyJean Dixon, my attorney, a couple of days ago, who told me that we had a court date this morning at 8:15. This news was exciting, frightening, and unnerving because I had imagined being placed on the docket in October or November.

So I found myself on a waiting bench outside the row of elevators on the third floor of our country courthouse at 8:10. BillyJean arrived at 8:25, just as I was beginning to get quite nervous that I had gone to the wrong place. We sat on the bench and she explained that we would swear, under oath, all the reasons and facts in my petition in the judge’s chambers.

We met Judge Overhill, a tall, semi-portly man with kind eyes and a mustache, promptly at 8:30, where he made me swear to tell the truth. BillyJean then asked me all the facts in the petition, one by one. She also handed the judge a letter from Chuck Garcia, my therapist, which he read while he jotted down some notes in blue ink in my file. He read aloud one part of the letter, where Chuck wrote that “Joyce lives and works 24 hours a day as a woman,” to which he asked, “You don’t really work 24 hours a day, do you?”

“It seems like it, Judge, but no, I do sleep when I can.”

“OK,” he said, “Petition granted. Congratulations.”

And that was it. I shook the judge’s hand and BillyJean and I left to walk down to the first floor filing office, where we filed the order, the fingerprints, and the other paperwork, and where I received three official copies of the order. BillyJean said we were done, shook my hand, and rushed off to another meeting, leaving me standing alone in the hallway of the county courthouse, all other urgent business having begun in courtrooms and offices elsewhere.

I had expected this episode to feel momentous, but instead it felt like a formality. Perhaps the gravity will sink in later, if at all. I do feel the court order, signed by the judge and filed at the courthouse, has almost magical powers because it represents a new and different kind of transition, a legal one, and this transition has consequences involving paperwork, correspondence, and explaining my situation at every office I visit to change my name and gender marker.

This transition pales in difficulty and import to the social, hormonal, and psychological transition(s) I’ve undergone for the past couple of years. But it feels good to be legitimate.


ORDER GRANTING CHANGE OF NAME OF ADULT AND GENDER MARKER CHANGE

On August 21, 2008, the Court heard the Petition for Change of Name of Adult and Gender Marker Change of GEORGE MICHAEL BAILEY, Petitioner.
Petitioner appeared in person and through attorney of record, BillyJean Dixon, and announced ready.
The Court finds that it has jurisdiction of the case and GEORGE MICHAEL BAILEY.
The making of a record of testimony was waived with the consent of the Court.
The Court finds:
1. Petitioner is an adult.
2. Petitioner’s full true name is GEORGE MICHAEL BAILEY.
3. Petitioner’s sex is Male.
4. Petitioner’s race is Caucasian.
5. Petitioner was born on 09/09/1909 in xxxxx, xxxxx County, Texas.
6. Petitioner’s driver’s license numbers of any license issued within the past ten years is: Texas DL# 999999.
7. Petitioner’s Social Security number is 999-99-9999.
8. Petitioner has no FBI number or SID number.
9. No offense has been charged against Petitioner above the grade of class C misdemeanor.
10. Petitioner has not been finally convicted of a felony and is not subject to the registration requirements of chapter 62 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.
11. Petitioner’s change of name and gender marker change is in the interest or to the benefit of Petitioner and is in the interest of the public.

IT IS ORDERED that Petitioner’s name is changed from GEORGE MICHAEL BAILEY to JOYCE xxxxx xxx, and the Court hereby grant the request and ORDERS that the gender marker on the original birth certificate be change from MALE to FEMALE.

IT IS ORDERED that all relief requested in this case and not expressly granted is denied.

SIGNED on August 21, 2008

JUDGE PRESIDING