Wednesday, 28 March 2012

What my GRC looks like - and Dad's Silver Jubilee Medal

Look away with a yawn if you've already got one of these. Otherwise, you may be interested to see what a 2012 Gender Recognition Certificate looks like.


It's on a very pale blue-green piece of paper, with a swirly printed background pattern and an 'ER' ('Elizabeth Regina') watermark. As you can see, it's a rather plain and austere document, and it reminds me of a GCE examination pass certificate, such as the one I got for my three A levels in 1970. It's similar also in that no marks are mentioned. You don't get 'Lucy Melford attained a pass mark of 89%, and has therefore achieved a grade B as a real woman'. I've simply satisfied the GRC Panel, and so get this document which resembles, let's face it, something you might receive if you've swum 100 lengths and can save and resuscitate a plastic dummy.

Much more impressive, and hanging in my hall, is the framed Jubilee Medal and Certificate that Dad received from the Queen in 1977. Now that says:

Buckingham Palace, 7th June 1977. By Command of HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN the accompanying medal is forwarded to William Rodney D--- to be worn in commemoration of Her Majesty's Silver Jubilee. 6th February 1952: 6th February 1977.

The medal is silver, attached to a white ribbon with blue and red stripes. Rather attractive. Although it says 'forwarded', Dad had to attend a function at the Palace at which the Queen presided. Doubtless he had a brief conversation with her - perhaps (in my dreams) on these lines:

The Queen: 'Arise, Sir Rodney. Accept this honour in commemoration of my Silver Jubliee.'
Dad: 'Thank you, Ma'am.'
The Queen: 'Your family will be very proud of you. I understand you have a lovely daughter named Lucy.'
Dad: 'Indeed I do, Ma'am. She is a fine young lady, already making her mark.'
The Queen: 'I hope then that one day I may meet her. Perhaps by the time of my Diamond Jubilee she will have achieved something worthy of a medal in her own right.'
Dad: 'Thank you Ma'am. No doubt she will.'

The above is invented, you understand, because Dad wouldn't say what actually happened. So I've simply supplied the most likely words, subject to what the Queen herself might disclose if I ever meet her!

Dad did say that he was never quite sure why he was awarded this medal. I knew that he had regularly introduced innovations at work of his own invention - he was a great 'ideas man' - and possibly it was felt that he deserved some recognition. On the other hand, pretty much every Civil Servant of some seniority must have got one of these medals. So maybe it was simply for long and loyal service. Dad was proud of it nevertheless. Mum was too, fit to burst, and so am I.

Well, I wish my GRC had 'By Command of Her Majesty The Queen...' on it, just to sex it up a little! Never mind, even if unassuming in appearance, it's a very important document that will affect the rest of my life in ways that Dad's Jubilee Medal couldn't.


  1. As long as your new certificate doesn't say, 'She achieved two breasths'...LOL'. Well done Lucy. I am wondering if , now that you have finally reached your goal, if perhaps you feel a little anti-climaxed to it all. Remember the first steps you took on this momenteous journey? When you look back over all the events that have happened since that first step it probably all seems detached from your experience but you know you've been through it all. Much of what I went through is now just a distant memory and I almost never think about it. Is that the same for you?

    Shirley Anne xxx

  2. Thank you for the congratulations, Shirley Anne.

    No, I don't feel any anti-climax at all. In fact this feels like how I imagine it must be if you've been let out of prison on parole, but now the Royal Pardon has come through, and you're completely free - and can prove it!

    In any case, although the transition process up to surgery was always going to be the hardest part, I saw from the very beginning that my life had changed forever, and that for evermore it would be an ongoing series of challenges, of which getting a GRC is merely one. So there is much, much more to do, no reason to sit back, and all kinds of experiences to come my way - and hopefully enjoy!

    And no, I document everything as I go along, and won't forget, nor do I want to.


  3. Being happy and content is all that you need Lucy. I hope and wish that all your (future) dreams come true. Lots of love

    Shirley Anne xxx


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