Shortly after the top surgery it was clear that there were
people still misgendering me. While I’d most often been addressed as “sir”
before surgery, I was finding that “ma’am” was creeping into the picture a
little more than I liked. Frankly, I didn’t like it one bit. I’d always had the
issue over the phone but in person it hadn’t been so common in the past. I
thought that if my voice pitch was lower – more masculine – this problem would
Some transgender persons choose to change their name to
something that they feel better suits them or is more in line with the gender
to which they identify. I was fortunate to have been given fairly unisex first
and middle names and I had no desire to change them – other than the spelling. I
was told that my maternal grandfather had named me thinking or hoping that I
would be a boy. When it was discovered at birth that I appeared to be a girl,
they put the female spelling of my name on my birth certificate. I have friends
who labor untold hours and weeks and even months over what name they want for
their self. My process was easy. I simply legally changed both my first and
middle names to the perceived masculine spelling.
I have walked
across the sticky floor of the darkroom at Faces untold times carrying DJ equipment
through…nasty; and I have had to replace a broken toilet in the second floor
restroom at the Loading Zone on a busy Saturday night – more than once – because
some of you thought having sex there would be cleaner than the floor or sink…nasty.
Most of you don’t know me, but I have worked in more than half a dozen of the
bars in this community over the past two decades, in a number of roles, and I
have had to deal with the nasty that goes with that. But I have never met
anything so nasty as what I’ve seen from this group of people like I have the
past couple of weeks.
Nothing gets the gay community talking like throwing a
little drama in their faces. Here’s the thing, now we have a conversation
going, don’t we? That tells me it was the right decision. It was right for
Pride St. Louis to want no uniformed officers in the parade, it was right for
Mayor Krewson to support the ask, and it was right for the SLPD to support the
decision – as difficult as that must have been for them to do, having LGBTQIA
officers in their departments.
Morning – or what would pass as morning as early as it was
– came quickly. The plan was to be on the road between 2:30 and 3:00 am. We
would be on the highway and well on our way before most people were even
thinking about getting out of bed for the day. There would be no morning coffee
or breakfast for me since I’d been given strict orders for nothing after
midnight in preparation for the surgery.