If you were like me and wanted something issued in your new name, not just changed documents, you got a library card. Things have changed greatly since the mid-nineties.
Just before Thanksgiving of 2012 (early October in Canada) the Ontario government quietly slipped out a new piece of legislation. This act made it possible for transpeople to change the gender on their birth certificates without undergoing surgery, but with a doctor’s letter saying it is necessary. My adventures with this are chronicled in my posting “The 4,000 mile birth certificate” of October 21, 2013. The 4,000 miles refers to the total distance my documents travelled between my home and the office of the Registrar-General in Thunder Bay, Ontario before I finally received my new birth certificate.
Once I had the birth certificate, it was possible to change my health card and obtain an Ontario identification card, since I no longer have a driver’s permit.
In February of this year, the federal Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, just as quietly as their provincial counterparts, changed their rules so that transpeople can self-identify and change the gender on their federal documents – Social Insurance card; any old age documents, and anywhere else gender is recorded. This requires only provincial documentation showing the person’s gender. There is no charge for any of this except for the fee to change your birth certificate in the first place. Federally, the only exception appears to be the passport. This requires a passport renewal, which has a fee attached – I was quoted $160 but I believe that is for a 10 year passport.
I have visited various provincial and federal offices and have changed everything but the passport. When you’re on a government pension, an extra $160 isn’t easy to find. Does it make a difference in my daily dealings with others? Of course not. But knowing that I am officially recognized as female by both the province of Ontario and the federal government makes me feel better about myself. No more looking hot and having my papers show that cursed designation “M”.
Enjoy your day and remember to hug an artist – we need love too.