As I’m knee deep in a paperwork nightmare, I can’t help but freak out a little. I question my decision to change my legal gender, wondering whether it’s worth all this hassle. Things were fine before. Well, things weren’t fine before, but things were fine, or… functional. When will it be fine again? Maybe I just made the biggest mistake of my life and inherited a legal nightmare that’s going to continue to haunt me till the end of my days. Maybe I should’ve just let things be.

This sort of panicked reasoning has been an all too common pattern for me immediately after a big transition change, creeping up just as it’s a done deal yet while I still have to face the consequences and clean up the remaining mess. It’s funny how one can be so sure going in that THIS is absolutely 300% the right decision, then find a pit-in-the stomach regret a few days later.

But whenever this familiar doubt starts creeping in, I remember how I feel about all the transition decisions I’ve made so far, after a little time has passed and the dust has finished settling. And my answer is always: great. Satisified. Relieved. Content. Happy. That’s why, eventually, I have to ignore the rain and just wait for the rainbow.

Rainbows are rare. I was lucky enough to see this one.

16 thoughts on “Doubt

  1. sometimes the paperwork is more intimidating than the other stuff, because the other stuff we have more control over–the paperwork side of things is so often dependent on other people who have to get the paperwork pushed through, something outside our control.
    Deep breath. Believe.

    1. Yep, that’s exactly the feeling. Sometimes it seems my whole fate rests on this one cranky (to use a nice word) person who doesn’t feel like helping me. It’s quite unsettling. I know I just have to give it time, but it doesn’t make it less stressful at the moment.

  2. I’m not to paperwork yet, but I think I have a similar pattern. Things get to the point where something new has to give, I take a deep breath and make another step, and then feel awful for a bit before things improve (but then they get even better than I hoped they would).

  3. I had similar feelings in the days after legally changing my name. It’s been 7 months now and I am soooo happy and relieved that I did it. The benefits later far outweigh any hassle in the beginning. Paperwork (of any kind) seems to happen in overwhelming waves, but it always subsides.

  4. Maybe it’s because I’m in Canada, but all I had to do was have my surgeon and family doctor sign a piece of paper, then I sent that with my birth certificate card in, and then in a couple weeks I received a notification that it was changed now on the official records.

    1. Another sign we should all move to Canada!

      Getting the court order was quite easy as well – it’s all that comes after that has been quite a nightmare. Also I’m a different situation in that I’m in the US but I’m not a citizen. Because of that California is making it extra difficult to just get any ID, regardless of name.

  5. Commitment nearly always shines a bright light on the parts of us that aren’t ready yet :). I’ve found the scariest parts of transition have been putting aspects of me (new name, new title, new gender, new appearance, new voice) out into the public domain – I think of it as the “transitioning out loud” parts. So it seems pretty reasonable to feel a “public speaking” kind of anxiety in those situations.

    1. THIS. Perfectly said.

      Since I’ve been transitioning privately for so long, it’s hard to accept that it’s real and “out there.” Thanks for your wise words.

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