If you have been reading some or all of my blog, the title of this post will seem a bit odd. From previous posts it should pretty obvious that I’m a woman. In fact, since I sent off my Deed Poll at the start of December 2014 and it was executed soon after in that month, it has been official that I had a female name and title since then. I have also had my passport for over four years stating that I am female. Also since early 2015, the vast majority of people in my life (daughter excepting) have accepted me as female too, as has the world as a whole. The medical profession has accepted me as female too. However, in spite of this, things have officially moved up a level since then.
If you will, so far I have achieved the bronze medal in the ‘race’ for my female status, with some of the things that I have obtained or achieved as mentioned above… though the race is not against anyone else but is just a progression against my life’s timeline. And this week I achieved the silver medal!
On Tuesday I received my Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) from the UK Gender Recognition Panel (GRP), and when I opened the envelope and pulled out the small wad of material with the certificate at the top I was overwhelmed at this recognition of my true gender… and, for a change, I had quite a lot of tears that were joyful! (Oh no, she’s crying again). The certificate states that, as of 2nd August, the above person named (Andrea Denise ____) is of the gender shown, which is of course ‘Female’! 🙂
Now that I have this certificate, I can (with certified copies) get the gender corrected to female on all of my pensions, as most companies in this respect have refused to update this (despite changing my name) without a GRC. It also means that I am now able to get a birth certificate with all of the details correct. I had thought that I would have to organise all of this myself, but thankfully (considering my current, and continued, poor physical health) all of this is set in motion by the GRP.
(edit) – In the medal table, I see the gold medal as obtaining my birth certificate – this will mean that (a) every piece of documentation that I have in my life is right and (b) I can marry a guy (should I ever find one that will want me for all that I am) without my marriage being considered a ‘gay marriage’, and it will be considered no different than any other marriage between a man and woman… and should I want a marriage in Northern Ireland it will mean I actually can get married here (present legislation standing).
One piece of advice that I will give to you in respect of applying for a GRC in the UK – if you are having difficulty obtaining two medical reports, then apply to your Gender Clinic asking them to execute a Data Subject Access Request, and the resultant report should satisfy the GRP, as it did for me. I would have otherwise had to fly over to the UK for a half hour interview with the doctor who signed off my second opinion, and paid around £300 for the privilege… plus travel expenses – in my poor state of health post-surgery, that is something that would have been a very painful experience.
So, for a change, some good news, and a happier tone!! However, as eluded to in the above paragraph, my state of health since my gender reassignment surgery (18 months ago) remains lousy, extremely painful, and prohibits me from having a ‘normal’, and enjoyable, lifestyle. Next time I write, I will give an update on this, as some of the detail may be useful for anyone else out there who is either having post-op problems as well or contemplating surgery; I might even ask for some help too…
(Thanks for reading… if you’re still there)