This is what the fuss is all about. This is The Glittering Prize that lies beyond The Surgery. It arrived yesterday from Southport. You can get two versions if your birth was registered before 1969, both of them printed on watermarked A4 paper: a landscape-style version that shows all the information that the original birth certificate did, but not your surname at birth (although that can be inferred from your father's name); and a portrait version, very much simpler, that omits most of the original information but does show your current surname. Here they are:
YES! I can take all the pain of owning this.
YES! I can take all the punishment. Bring it on.
Even these are not the Ultimate Certificates. I can imagine someone being even prouder of a Marriage Certificate or similar that shows their corrected birth name and gender. But for me, my new Birth Certificate is sufficient to put an end to a lifetime feeling like one of society's awkward misfits.
For preference, I will use the old-style Certificate. I paid £18.50 for two copies of it. (The new-style Certificate was free) I'll have to set up a fresh Statutory Declaration to connect my birth surname of Dommett with my adopted surname of Melford, so that I can drop my original 'male' Birth Certificate and the Deed Poll as linking documents. I'm thinking about consulting the Gender Trust or Gires about that next week.
So am I carrying printouts of these Certificates (and the GRC) in my handbag? You betcha. At least for now, because lots of people seem very keen to see them, including the three natal women I had a meal out with last Monday evening. (They toasted me, and I was officially welcomed as One Of The Girls) But eventually I'll carry only the old-style Birth certificate, along with my passport and NHS Medical Card, these basic items being essential anyway for my caravanning holidays far from home. But adequate firepower, I'd say, to let me win any showdown with transphobic officialdom.
[Act Two. Outside the Ladies Club. Enter Lucy, in the costume of a Venetian noblewoman, making for the entrance. A Transphobic Official bars her way]
Transphobe: You're a man, aren't you?
Lucy: I beg your pardon? Let me pass, oafish slave.
Transphobe: Listen, I know all about these things. You were born a man.
Lucy: You insult me. I was always a woman. Do you want me to prove it?
Transphobe: Yeah, yeah, yeah. You think you were born a girl. You people all say that. Are you going to flash your fake boobs, then?
Lucy: Now you're annoying me. Supposing I prove what I say, will you fall on this dagger, and drink from this cup of hemlock?
Transphobe: I'll fall on a dozen daggers, aye, and drink a hundred vile cups of poison. Show me your proof.
Lucy: So be it. Here's my passport. Sex: F for female.
Lucy: Here's my Birth Certificate. It says 'girl'.
Lucy: I'm afraid you must die.
[Transphobe dies of self-inflicted stab wounds and excess toxicity. Exit Lucy]