While transitioning, I have had several embarrassing encounters while having to present my ID, but sometimes you meet a cool individual that doesn't question your picture ID while you're in front of them.
The other day I was shopping and if anyone has been shopping with me, they know I am very indecisive. One because I am a bargain shopper and love the deals. Two because I can have the most confidence one day but be dysphoric the next. So, shopping with me is hit or miss. But, on this day I met a really cool sales associate. He addressed me as "dude" and "man" and I really liked that. Too, this associate wanted to know what I was looking for and if he could help. And I said sure why not because I had time to kill. Thus, he picked me out some outfits and got me a fitting room. We carried on conversations about work, some life events and just had casual conversation. Throughout this whole process, I finally chose a shirt he had picked and gathered a couple more things before heading to the register to pay.
As I was about to pay, he asked me for my ID because I was paying credit (building the credit early ya know). I was hesitant because throughout our conversations he had known me as Ian and I addressed myself as such, but when handing him the ID I soon felt my face turn slightly pink as I was embarrassed in that I felt like two individuals in that moment. A female on ID and a transgender non-binary individual in person. After giving my ID, the questions continued as he asked if I wanted to sign up for rewards and I said "sure". Thus, he needed my email address which is still connected to my biological name. He started typing and while he was typing he was saying my email address back and before you know it, I had to stop him as he started typing "Aaron" as that is the male way to spell my biological name. Thus, I corrected him to "Erin" and continued with my email address information. From talking to him for an hour in the store as Ian to now giving my information as "Erin" I felt embarrassed. Whether he knew I was transgender or not, I am unsure. But what I do know is I have not had many encounters where the sales associate treated me without the care of what gender I was and that my friends felt amazing. He walked around the register, handed me my bag and dapped me up before walking out the store.
Unlike this day, the looks in regard to my driver's license have been the classic look down, look up, then look back down as the individual proceeds to let me know my ID is in fact me like I didn't already know. The other classic look is the wide eyed, mouth perked, and dumbfounded look on the individuals face as they proceed to examine the change from the picture on the license and the individual in their presence. Finally, the most common response to examining my driver license is the common comment of "oh wow you look different" as if the individual standing in front of their face (me) did not know this already.
My driver's license has not been updated in a year and a few months, thus I expect to get the looks or the occasional comments. While I am not upset about the looks or the comments, I have found myself to be rather embarrassed to present my ID. I do not feel confident when presenting my ID because I have very feminized characteristics in my picture such as the long hair, the slight make-up, and the rounder pre-pubescent face. Today with my more masculinized voice, slight facial hair, and change of name, I find myself awkwardly standing twiddling my thumbs, rarely making eye contact, and thinking about anything but what is going through their head as the ID is examined at the hands of the individual.
Many have asked why I have not changed my drivers license and for starters it's the small fee associated with changing an ID picture. Secondly, I am changed it a year and a few months ago when I moved home after college and I plan on moving again soon. Thus, I am sticking this ID out as I do not want to change my addresses again. Lastly, I do not have the legal paperwork needed to change my name on my license, thus I would have an ID picture that matched me for the time being, but I would still have "Erin" printed on loud and clear. So, to save myself some of the fees I have left my license as it is until I move and get the legal paperwork (who knows when that will be because this is NC).
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