Dotting the “i”, Crossing the “t” and Not Trying To Run a Number

As a post-transsexual lesbian I assume that my relationship with any woman either WBT or assigned female at birth is on shaky ground legally.

I know that I can be legally married in a handful of states and not have that marriage recognized beyond the boundaries of those states.

Hence I work for marriage equality for all.

Heterosexual transsexuals have been rubbing my nose in their ability to marry their partners ever since I came out as lesbian in 1975.  That is heterosexual privilege.

The problem is heterosexual post-transsexuals are used to using that heterosexual privilege and aren’t as careful when examining the laws governing the marriage of post-op men and women.

As far as I know one major requirement which seems pretty universal in states that do not have marriage equality is completion of SRS and completion of change of birth certificate prior to getting married.

I’ve also suggested a notarized statement acknowledging the post-transsexual person’s status with a date of completion of SRS dated prior to any marriage license application.

I know everyone is so deep stealth it might actually require the 50 dollar personal background check to reveal your entire past instead of a simple Google search.

But this isn’t about the popular internet game that started on Usenet called “I’m real and you are just a disgusting pervert.”

Not playing by the rules and checking with a lawyer has real consequences.

Not paying attention to details and trying to fudge things has real repercussion.

I’m in Texas, the state where Christie Lee had her marriage voided.  Where one of her relatives, Leticia Van de Putte pushed through a bill to permit post-op transsexuals to marry after completion of sex reassignment surgery.

I sympathize with Nikki Araguz.  I really do, in spite of thinking her claim of “intersex” has no more validity than most I encounter in transworld.

What is happening to her is totally fucked and wouldn’t be happening if we had marriage equality, which covers everyone’s right to marry not just gay men or lesbians.  It makes sure that SRS doesn’t void either a marriage from before or a marriage after.

One thing people with transsexualism pre-op or long time post-transsexual as well as transgender people have to remember is that we never ever have the luxury of assuming we are just ordinary people and can operate without extra caution when dealing with matters where the bigots may try to fuck us over.

Because one thing is absolutely certain, not one of us is an exception.  I don’t care how loudly you proclaim you are not transsexual but rather intersex.  I don’t care about how straight you are, what church you go to or about your being a right wing conservative Republican.

If you change the sex you were assigned at birth, you are a transsexual.

So, you have to follow the rules to the letter.  Maybe even going to a state where it is officially law that people who are post-SRS can marry.

Yesterday I came across the following:

From Boston Bay Windows: http://www.baywindows.com/index.php?ch=news&sc=glbt&sc2=news&sc3&id=119111

Kolkhorst, who authored the 2009 law that allowed the sex change documentation to be used in getting marriage licenses, did not respond to messages left at her office seeking comment on why she now wants to take it out.

The 2009 law originally was filed without the sex change document provision, but House records show Kolkhorst put it in as part of a lengthy amendment in the last month of the session. The changed legislation passed the House and Senate and Perry signed it into law a month later.

“It would be terrible for Texas, now that it finally caught up with the rest of the country, to take a step back,” said Shannon Minter, an attorney for the national Transgender Law and Policy Institute. He said most states allow marriages for people who have undergone sex reassignment surgery.

Nikki Araguz was at the Capitol last week to lobby against the legislation. Her husband, a volunteer firefighter, was killed in the line of duty in July and she is being sued by her dead husband’s family over control of his $600,000 estate.

Araguz had a final sex change operation in October 2008, two months after they were married, and says her husband knew and supported her. His family argues the marriage should be voided because Araguz was born a man and same-sex marriage is not legal in Texas. A hearing is scheduled for May 13.

“This is crazy. I feel like this is a personal attack on me,” Araguz told The Associated Press. “If this bill is passed, it essentially means women like myself who have had reconstructive surgery will not be allowed to marry their heterosexual partner.”

So my heart goes out to Nikki and the warning to others as well.

  1. Don’t try to play games.
  2. Check with an attorney.
  3. Follow the rules to the exact letter of the law.

Ninety-nine times out of a hundred this will never be an issue.  But divorces happen.  So do deaths of a partner. Have an incontestable will.  Have beneficiary papers made out for insurance policies.

No it isn’t fair nor just.

But fighting it is an absolute horror show that will ruin your life for a long time.

Further you will be condemned to be held up as “the example” by every TS/TG activist trying to get apathetic sisters and brothers to march for and publicly fight for their rights.

Twenty years from now they will be using you as an example.  This applies only to sisters, brothers are forgotten about as soon as their case drops from the papers.

3 Responses to “Dotting the “i”, Crossing the “t” and Not Trying To Run a Number”

  1. Janet L. Says:

    Here in Kansas, completion of my transition will leave me in a double bind: Should my soul mate be female, I can’t get a marriage license ’cause my ID will say “female” and same-sex marriage is illegal.

    Likewise, should my soul mate be male, I can get a license on the basis of an amended birth certificate, but should my transsexual history be revealed to the court, it will be invalidated (on account of the J’Noel Gardner decision) ’cause the courts look to the chromosomes rather than the genitals to determine sex for the purposes of marriage, so I’m stuck.

    Now, in the unlikely case I were to marry a nice bisexual girl (I’ve done it before, except for the nice part) before all my ID is fixed, that marriage would be valid ’till death or divorce.

    Sigh. Another case of “What’s the matter with Kansas.”

    • Suzan Says:

      I really wouldn’t count on that one…

      J’Noele’s case was an Anna Nicole case. She married a dinosaur and didn’t get an iron clad will. The relative, not the state contested it, in civil court.

      But the post was to emphasize the importance of legal counsel and going the extra mile and then some. As well as why we need marriage equality, which should be a right for all LGBT/T people as well as straights and not just a heterosexual privilege.

  2. tinagrrl Says:

    I’m of the opinion that most heterosexual post-ops of the “HBS” and “Classic Transsexual” persuasion look down on us lesbians, especially if we happen to be two lesbian post-ops.

    They have told me so on some of the old post-op groups, and some folks did the same on our WBT group — while DEMANDING we give up our work for expanded marriage rights to support THEIR heterosexual marriage rights.

    When it was pointed out that expanded marriage rights would negate any threats to THEIR marriages – their response usually was, “but, I’M not gay!!”.

    No one or nothing matters — as long as they can say, “I’m not gay”.

    If that’s not extreme homophobia ——- what is?


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