Sunday, January 8, 2017

It's Official: Name Change Day

Originally published on July 2, 2016.




Yesterday, we went before a judge to change my daughter's name legally.

She showed her bravery once again. She walked into a court house, sat in a plaintiff chair, and waited for the judge to affirm that her name can be her name in the eyes of the state. She was nervous. It's intimidating. It was intimidating for me, and I'm 34 years old. She's 9. 

My heart hurt a little that she had to go through it at all. No parent wants extra challenges for their kid. It's why I never understand critics who accuse parents of young trans kids of forcing this on them. Nobody wants this road for their child. And sometimes my heart hurts that we didn't fully understand who she was for so many years, that we couldn't affirm her from birth. We just didn't know.

There's so many emotions with the name change. In some ways, it felt anti-climactic. Of course, she's Rebekah. We didn't need a judge to tell us that. We can't imagine her being anything but Rebekah anymore. It felt strange and uncomfortable to hear her birth name read aloud. I loved that name... but it's definitely not the name of the girl who sat beside me. And so we celebrated her identity being affirmed in one more way. A name is a big deal. Now, she has claimed hers. There can be no question.

After, we were done the judge invited her to come sit in his seat. He gave her the gavel and told her to order her parents to take her out for her favorite restaurant. She couldn't decide where but she banged the gavel anyway, shyly grinning.

As we walked out of the court house, it dawned on her. "Oh I know! I should have ordered you to take me to Starbucks!" I chuckled as the stress melted away. That's my girl. #transkids #transkidsmatter#keepingitreal #loveandgrace

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