Forgive the typos that are likely to apper in this post, I am typing on a phone and am shaky from my normal tremors and my meds. Now, without further ado, I present my post for the evening.
I had a hard conversation with a friend today. She’s someone whose opinion I value highly, even when I disagree with that opinion. But, Goddess help me, sometimes she’s hard to talk to because she’s not afraid to hit me square in the face with a shovel full of truth.
Today’s topic of discussion was my name change and the problems that I am facing there. She asked me to look hard at what I personally would get out of fighting this fight. If I am able to get help with the filing fee, I could have the name change, so that would eventually happen either way.
I am a firm believer in equal access to our government. This was simple, blatant discrimination based upon my economic status. That it happens apparently as a matter of policy in Denver County Court is shameful. It is my fight, because the policy of not allowing the waiver of filing fees on a name change petition affects trans people and DV survivors disproportionately- two groups I am very invested in, personally.
Tiered access to our court system is an abomination that should not, and can not be allowed to exist in our country. Every citizen should be able to file whatever case that they find it necessary to file, regardless of ability to pay. I want to know that if a situation arises where I must make a court filing, I will be able to access our court system, not be locked out because I am poor.
But the timing is lousy.
I am having increased problems with my asthma and other medical conditions, the stress of this has me so wound up I had to give up my volunteer shift- which means I ended up deprived of one of my favorite activities because of this. Also, the problem of not having ID with a name that matches my gender marker and gender presentation makes me a possible target. It makes it more difficult to cope with government agencies and businesses. It makes me afraid to go to the doctor because I don’t want to do the tranny walk of shame when they scream my hyper masculine legal designation across the waiting room- at a time when I need a great deal of medical care.
She made it clear that this would be a long fight, even though worthwhile, but not good for me. Then she told me something that stunned me rigid. She told me, “I wish you’d think of yourself for once.” I had to ask if I was really that bad.
I have a passion. My passion is helping my fellow Americans be free and have the dignity and rights they deserve. I could, and would, win this fight- eventually. But at what cost to my health?
I will look at it in this manner: I am not surrendering in the war, I am merely retreating to regroup.