Children are often much more willing and able to explore gender than adults. Societal rules are more relaxed in childhood, so children can be open and able to experiment without the risk of feeling the pressures to conform. Some parents and teachers do not feel comfortable with this exploration, but many do. Some of these children are trans*, others go on to be satisfied with the gender congruent with their biological sex.
On Wednesday, I went down to the courthouse to change my name. After all my research and apprehension, it was a very quick process. After leaving my phone in the car and leading my best friend through the maze of downtown to the courthouse, we managed to find the Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court. A woman came over and asked what I needed, then handed me three forms and helped me to fill them out. She informed me of the fees involved ($41 plus a fee for the credit transaction), told me a judge would look over it soon and the order would be out to me within two to three weeks, and we were done. We walked out of the courthouse, and my best friend danced around me on the steps.
I spent yesterday celebrating the graduation of some of my friends from my alma mater. It is always exciting to see the people with whom you have shared finals weeks and campus traditions and horrible cafeteria food succeed. Taking those steps across the carpet toward the president of the university to receive your diploma in the not-quite-summer- yet heat is an end to previous adventures and late nights and walks to CVS at 3 am, but also a beginning to something new and different. New friends, new town, new job, new responsibilities. College, despite its ups and downs, has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I do not know if I will ever meet more amazing people than I did in my four years at a small women’s college in Virginia.
Looking over what I know about the government, most of it was learned my senior year of high school in our required United States Government class at my little private school in Virginia where the first day the teacher gave us a test which determined where we were on the conservative to liberal scale. The next day while handing them back, he looked at me and said to the class, “Well. I’ve never had someone out-liberal me.” For some reason that moment has stuck in my mind. So did the moment in fifth grade when as a class we visited St. John’s Church in Richmond where Patrick Henry made his famous “Give me liberty or give me death” speech, and the person who was giving us the tour said, “When you vote, you are giving your consent to be governed.” And I haven’t forgotten. Voting is so important. Some state laws, though, are making it harder for certain groups to vote with voter ID laws.