Forgive me father for I haven’t blogged. It has been 92 days since my last post. (That is your cue, internet audience, to suggest my penance.)
I am suppose to be logging my experiences as a transitioning trans woman here for the world to see. You would be well within reason to think that nothing has been going on, based on my latest reports. Fortunately that is not the case.
My last blog dealt with my official name change and I am happy to report It went very smoothly. Say hello to the official ‘Jess Helene Herbst’. The judge did not bat an eye when he granted my request and I got a couple of ‘Congratulations’ from people in the court.
So now I have a new Social Security card, Drivers license and Passport. I’ve updated my bank, medical and insurance records. There are a few more records to update, but for all practical purposes, Jeff is history.
It’s been 8 months since I came out to my town, and inadvertently the world. I am called ma’am when I'm out and when I’m with my wife, they say ‘ladies’. It feels weird to have wait staff always ask if we want the dinner bill on separate checks or one. I was used to the assumption that we would always be paying together.
We struggled for a while on how to identity each other. My Wife did not like ‘Spouse’ or ‘Partner’, she found them a little too impersonal, having been together 37 years. She surprised me one day by casually introducing me as her ‘wife’. I really like it and I think it shows how far she has come with her acceptance, not of me, but of how our relationship appears to others and her role in it.
I have gotten used to most of this, but sometimes I have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not just dreaming. 50+ years of keeping my identity a secret make it hard to get used to letting it all out there for the world to see.
I joined with hundreds of other LGBTQIA in Texas and took up the battle against the states attempt to create discriminatory bathroom laws. It was a struggle that involved many trips to the state capital in Austin. Testifying three times before state senate & house committee hearings, protests marches and rallies. I was privileged to be included in one of the most amazing alliance of rights organizations ever - One Texas Resists. 36+ major diverse groups along with dozens of grassroots organizations. We won, for now.
It’s time to plan strategies to replace the legislators in Texas that believe discrimination is acceptable with those who know it is not.
And finally it is time to look at my own political future. I have a Mayoral election in the spring if I wish to keep my seat, and I do. Beyond that, the 2020 elections are coming and I think it’s time for new blood in US congress. Maybe someone with local governmental experience…