Part 16 has undergone a re-write since it was posted, and doesn’t currently flow very well. I will get round to addressing that. If you read part 16 before it re-written please delete it from your memory. I’m embarrassed to have posted something which served as a personal diary rather than a blog post and in doing so held someone I love most in the world up for public scrutiny as well as possible judgement from close family and friends, (it being automatically linked on my facebook,). The auto-link to facebook has now been removed and I hope the re-write was completed before damage was done.
Well, Christmas is over, parents have flown back to the UK and my sister is gone.
My Mum really made an effort to use my name Ashley throughout the holiday and we had several conversations together about my gender identity. She even bought me a few very nice feminine tops for Christmas when we went out shopping, and while she worries about me, she understands that it’s far healthier to be who I am.
My father is in his 70’s and has treated me as his son for 43 years. I don’t expect his conceptions to change that easily, but as he suggested, it might actually be easier for him when he does get back to England. A few days before Christmas I announced my gender identity on facebook to my friends outside of Thailand and my wider family, and received nothing but positive and supportive comments from everyone. Hopefully when he is back in the UK and is surrounded by family members, he will find support and help from them to embrace to a new perception of me.
Although telling family was new and stressful, I’m so very pleased that I told them. My sister was right; it wasn’t as easy as I’d hoped, but not nearly as bad as I feared it could be.
I’m now busy researching everything I need to do to get my name changed on everything I’m registered with, and from abroad that’s not that easy. Deed Poll and passport can be done remotely, but banks and mortgages are another story. Deed Poll even has some very good online advice for transgendered people. I have today completed my Deed Poll application to change my name officially to Ms. Ashley Johnson, and the Enrolled Deed Poll certificates I’ve ordered which are needed for the bank, passport and DVLA should be through within a couple of weeks.
I really struggled with which prefix to use. When you change your name, you’re entitled to use any you want; Mr. Ms. Miss, Mrs, Mx. etc. I always knew that changing my name officially would be a major milestone, and while I’m not yet living my life 24/7/365 outwardly as a woman, I was hesitant to use Ms., Miss or Mrs. I’d not previously been aware of Mx., which is a relatively new prefix for people who do not want their gender indicated, and is pronounced “Mix”. While it tempted me, I ultimately decided to go with Ms. because I am embracing my gender identity, but I’m still quite scared at having done so. It’s a defined moment of stating my chosen gender in a way that touches every part of my life from now on; my passport, my bank accounts, my mortgage, my driving license, my work permit, my applications for future jobs……everything! In my eyes choosing “Ms.” as the prefix to my new name is the biggest and most scary thing I’ve done so far on this journey.
Well I’m back at work after an interesting Christmas holiday and while it was a little different this year, I’m missing my family already, grateful to have their support. In 2017 I’ll actually be making some resolutions for the first time, although they’re not set in stone yet, and I may need to visit the UK if my bank and mortgage can’t process a name change by mail or email.
Onward and upward as Ms. Ashley Johnson. Does this mean I get second birthday?