So It Is Done

On September 29th, early in the morning (this judge was an early riser!), I and three other transgender persons received our court orders affirming our legal name and gender change. I am not going to discuss details of this, due to the extremely transphobic nature of so many of Texas’ radical right wing religious bigots, but I can and will recommend my attorney, Phyllis Frye, if you should need such legal services in Texas.

Frye, Oaks and Benavidez, PLLC
3315 Mercer
Houston, TX 77027
Phone: (713) 227-1717
FAX: (713) 522-2610
Email: info@liberatinglaw.com

Phyllis did a super job, handling everything professionally but with kindness and consideration as well. And so my legal name and gender are now correct in state records. I now begin the long process of updating financial and other records. I’ve updated one bank account already and I need to get copies made of my court order to send to credit card companies, the mortgage company, etc.

Phyllis and her law firm handle all aspects of transgender legal needs. Need a new will? Divorcing? Other legal issues? They handle it all. They’ll even go to bat for you with your employer if there are problems on that front. (Note: My employer has been super supportive, aside from being unwilling to alter the corporate insurance policy for GRS. And I expected that so am planning to go to Thailand for mine.)

If you are trans, in Texas, and need legal representation, I recommend Phyllis Frye and her firm.

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7 thoughts on “So It Is Done

  1. *
    I am so happy that you got your legals completed. Don’t hold your breath.

    My state petitions were easy; SSA complicated the process.

    SSA corrected my records in 1978. For some odd reason – SSA refuses to explain – they reverted me to my male record; they won’t say when they did it.

    SSA told me to get a new court order and they would re-correct my file (2007). I promptly went to court and got my new affirmation to my name Sharon, female sex, and birth certificate order. I submitted exactly what they requested but they only re-corrected my name.

    I went to SSA twice this year so far and talked to a brick wall. They told me that they have my 2007 court papers but now demand that I re-submit that exact same document. HUH? I am waiting to get another certified copy from the court. My endocrinologist wrote another letter certifying my sex change effective 1980. I have been trying to locate additional old medical records at least to the 1980s. to bring to SSA to bolster my re-request.

    Let’s hope this does not happen to you in your future.
    *

  2. *
    I was browsing the Social Security Administration web-site and noticed that their instructions for sex change no longer requires final surgery:

    >>>

    Gender

    We’ll need to see a:

    -Full-validity, 10-year U.S. passport showing the new gender;
    -State-issued amended birth certificate showing the new gender;
    -Court order directing legal recognition of change of gender; or
    -Medical certification of appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition in the form of an original letter from a licensed physician.

    -The document must have enough biographical data (e.g., name and date of birth) to clearly identify you.

    >>>

    This means we need only one of the four – this is good news for all pre-ops who can now get this medical statement upon diagnosis.

    Then there those SSA still haunts – but SSA can get snippy.

    I posted that SSA is giving me fits when they reverted my status to male and now won’t re-correct their error without me going through numerous hoops demanding from me the exact same documents they already have in my file. SSA already has that court document which orders my new name Sharon, sex as female, and corrected birth certificate to female in my file when I re-re-filed in 2007 – but they refused to restore my female sex designation.

    Yesterday (25 Jun 15), the agent told me that he was looking at that same document as we spoke, demanded that I resubmit a new certified copy because he can’t apply the certified original he already has in my file, and then he will re-re-correct my sex to female that SSA erroneously reverted to male.

    This agent refused to tell me when SSA reverted my record and why SSA refused my subsequent correction to female (2007); he told me that SSA will change it when I re-submit that exact same document. AGH! Why did they not correct it in 2007 if they can correct it now?

    I presented my endocrinologist’s letter to the SSA agent. He rejected it and demanded more information on the letter. At least this time the SSA agent was dutifull enough to print the SSA form (‘RM 10212.200′) listing the exact words they require. The agent told me the easiest thing to do is to have the physician answer each of the six items exactly as posed and that SSA will then accept the doctor’s letter. We’ll see if that happens.

    With SSA having wrongfully reverted my status to male, MediCare sent a letter informing me that they will charge $900 to me for my medical visit last month (May 2015). MC rejected my urgent care bill because of their discrepancy – my medical record since 1978 as female versus SSA’s now reverted record as male. I called MC’s billing and claims offices’ toll-free line. I first spoke to Amanda. She was VERY courteous and understanding; apparently I was her first, or so she said. She recognised my file documented female for all those years and was mysteriously changed to male – but that she had no authority to correct SSA’s error. She wrote a note to my file to ignore this current discrepancy. She transferred me to Kay, another agent. Kay told me she corrected my billing file to female and that at least this issue will not occur again. At least those two SSA employees are not hyper-bureaucratic.

    These are problems that can surely arise no matter how well or how long you think they have been resolved.

    Liz, if there is a way, I can scan this SSA ‘Gender Reassignment’ instruction document, send / post it to you for your perusal, and you can post it to your site.

    *

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