Pastiche Foundation

Gender Variance made Simple

quiet lately.

I’ve been spending a lot of time working on community organization, a move, and the like, so I haven’t been writing much.

Within the last 24 hours, 2 different friends asked for clarification on WA’s Driver Licenses–specifically, on correcting your gender on them. Here’s the email I sent them.

From a paper article this august:

8-11-09 SeaTimes – State reverses transgender driver license policy

Washington used to require people changing the gender marker on their license only to submit a letter from a doctor saying the person “initiated appropriate clinical treatment.” That could mean anything from living full time as another gender to undergoing sex-change surgery. Washington was among a small number of states that did not require the surgery.

The new policy has one small difference from the pre-2009 policy: It allows applicants to submit a letter from a psychologist in lieu of a licensed physician.

The current policy still requires an altered birth certificate for applicants who want to change their gender on an enhanced driver’s license, which serves as a passport for citizens crossing the Canadian border. The birth-certificate requirement, which stemmed from post-9/11 discussions, is touted by the Licensing Department as a strategy to prevent forgery and bolster counter-terrorism efforts.

From a friend who’s successfully done this I learned that it’s a mail-in process. The DOL site states:

Change your gender designation

If you would like to change the gender designation on your driver license or ID card to accurately reflect your identity, mail a written request to:

Assistant Director for Driver Policy and Programs
Department of Licensing
PO Box 9030
Olympia, WA 98507-9030

The request must include all of the following:

  • A letter from you requesting the change in gender designation. The letter must include:
    • The name, address, and gender designation shown on your current driver license or ID card.
    • The name, address, and gender designation you want on the new driver license or ID card.
    • Your current phone number.
  • A letter on official letterhead from your licensed medical, osteopathic physician or psychologist stating you have initiated the appropriate clinical treatment.
  • A photocopy of your current Washington State driver license or ID card.
  • If you want to change your name, you must also include an original or certified copy of your Court Ordered Name Change.

Hopefully that’ll help!


September 29, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment


shades of conduct

With ‘political correctness’ (the fake cultural competence) poisoning our culture , it’s not done to admit to having an agenda against unchangeable aspects of who someone is. However, just like in the 50s, it still happens.

I shared WeBetterWinThisTime‘s article President Carter Calls Out Bigotry with a friend of mine who is slightly limited by the intensity of his privilege. He and I go rounds about class access issues all the time, but this article seemed to be a turning point in his comprehension. Pointing out that comic (which someone included in the comments), I said,

-ism is never acknowledged as -ism, it’s always about something else. You can tell by people’s reactions: ‘it’s ok’ for ‘people like me’ to (be late/mess up an application/break norms of appearance and behavior). There’s less  consequence and more praise for someone’s ‘boldness’.

Brass tacks: note that the black man who sassed a white police officer (low authority within the legal/political realm, though probably above the professor’s) should have known better… yet the white senator who called the black president (often considered the highest authority within the US legal/political realm, and definitely above the senator’s) has done correctly.

Have I made it sufficiently clear? Race completely flipped the reader’s perception of authority of the situation. This flies in the face of all logic. How does this apply to my situation?

Just like with race: If you do not appear to be heterosexual/cissexual, you may be judged harder because you’re not “one of us”. Imagine if you and your best friend Billy did the same work on a math test, but he scored higher than you did. Now take that to the job market. Take it to the shopping mall. Take it to church. Take it to the party at your friend’s house on Friday night. Get stared at. Get pushed aside. It sucks.

My personal solution (and again, I’m read as white so there is privilege tied into this–I’m more likely to get be recognised for my awesome than a black guy in my shoes would be) is to know my stuff. I do my best to know what the hell I’m talking about.  And not really make a secret of being queer, or ill, or trans. I figure that gives people a chance to chew on the concept that ‘hey, maybe the next transfolk or queer or chronically ill person that comes along will have something cool to give, too!”

It’s still -ism thinking, but at least it gives the next guy a chance. That’s why I’m out and proud. Are you?

September 16, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment