So I need a replacement Social Security card. I filled out the convenient PDF and after going to the Clinic today for my evaluation and getting my appointment set to see the shrink next month (YAY!!!), my Dad drove me to the local Social Security office. I had my (expired) passport and my Drivers License - both picture IDs - one showing my US citizenship. I also had my father. I've had a replacement card in 2011 - I just washed the last one. No biggie for most people. Bring in paper and ID, get new card in the mail 7 - 10 business days later.
Not for me. First, unlike Clatsop County I had to wait for over an hour to get to the window. It happens, this is certainly a bigger city and gets more traffic. I didn't mind that, I brought a book. But once I got to the window things changed. The woman took my form, my ID, poked at the computer and them made That Face. The one that means you are about the get screwed. It seems I don't get a replacement card.
Because my birth gender doesn't match my current legal gender.
It's not my name. It's not my citizenship - I had a card (and a Passport and Drivers License - for nearly 20 years) in this name. She could SEE I had a card in this name and admitted as much. But since all my ID (in this name) says I'm male - I don't have any rights to a replacement card. I'm not even human.
Now, I guess I got spoiled living in Oregon. I got uppity and thought I was a human being. An American citizen. I certainly paid into Social Security since I was 16 years old and sent away for that midwestern Social Security number. Last time I checked I wasn't paying with my junk, either. I was allowed briefly to travel outside the country as a human being. (This was before Hillary changed the rules to allow transgender people to be human and have passports like normal people - mine was only good for a year.) But I was briefly recognised as a human being. Not here.
She asked for my birth certificate - I certainly don't use that as ID for anything, even an expired US passport counts with everyone but the Passport office - and even sort of with them. Not Social Security in Lafayette Parish. My dad came over wanting to see what was taking so long. She informed him she would not be issuing a card because my gender was WRONG. Not wrong on their form, but wrong in my person. Because she, window clerk at window 4 was the arbiter of gender for Social Security and she said so. We asked to speak to a supervisor.
She called security on us.
I'm a little angry about this. I've had some issues that caused me to move home with my parents in this hellish swamp, which has been challenging in its own ways. I've been jumping through the hoops of SSDI in order to have some kind of income and medical coverage while I try to get better - and since this is the office my SSDI claim was transferred to I don't think I'll be getting any help from them - I'm not even human. This is 180 degrees from how I was treated at the Clatsop County SS office. Where they issued the card without batting an eye - and it's not Portland, it's podunk Astoria. Where they told me that I should have applied for SSDI sooner, and made me feel like I had some dignity.
She called security on us.
Now props to my Dad here - he has never missed a beat or a pronoun in public. EVER. And it's hard for him, he doesn't understand - but he accepts that I am his son and I should be treated like a human being - and he stood up for me. He was angry too. And the Colonel angry is something to behold.
He bought lunch, and when we got home he ordered a copy of my birth certificate and my marriage license. (legal name change document) Because you know if I have the Birth Certificate that is in my original name with that big fat F - that's not going to help any at all, just make them more assholish about it. Ms. Window 4 made that clear.
I happen to have been born in another deep south redneck state where they DO NOT give new birth certificates. Period. They require tens of thousands of dollars of cosmetic surgery I don't want and can't afford and THEN they will give you an "amended" Birth Certificate - which is basically a declaration that JESUS AND THE STATE DO NOT APPROVE and outs you to anyone who sees it. This is why I use a Passport when I need to prove I'm am American.
I am not an out and proud kind of guy about this - I had a birth defect and have managed to live as best I can around it, as extreme poverty prevents even the chest surgery I wouldn't mind having from happening. I "pass" extremely well - because I'm a man - not because I'm some kind of monster out to trick people. I don't hang out with other transpeople as a general rule, I'm not an activist.
But I am a human being. I am a US citizen. I have a legal name and a legal gender - and they are both male. But not here. Not down in the swamps.