Father Tony

How to Flummox the System

Filed By Father Tony | May 15, 2009 2:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: sexual identity

This report in the Pink News suggests one possible strategy for achieving gay equal rights. Here's an excerpt:

A trans woman in Tennessee has had her marriage declared invalid after the state refused to recognise her female status.

Terri Jo Rittenberry, 46, was born male but claims to have had gender reassignment surgery. She has a driver's licence and a Kentucky birth certificate identifying her as female.

She is currently in jail on fraud and assault charges.

In the state's eyes, her marriage to husband Jeffrey Scott Phillips, 33, is the first gay marriage in Tennessee as gender change, even after surgery, is not recognised.


If every gay person in the country had his/her driver's license photo taken while disguised as the opposite sex, and if we then always had our licenses renewed with a photo that indicated a sexual identity opposite that of the previous license, we could wreck some havoc with the system.

The authority of a driver's license is built on the premise that an applicant would always present as his chromosomes dictate. A disguised presentation would lead to a number of mistaken "male/female" check marks on a number of licenses, and we'd be off to the races with glee.

This mischief could be extended to all different kinds of personal identification documents, and would eventually drive the argument to one of two possible conclusions: either you are the sex dictated by your genetics, or, you are whatever sex you proclaim yourself to be at any given time.

This would take sexual identity out of the hands of government.

Following the ordinary and traditional rules for checking off male/female boxes when applying for anything only serves to support a system that does not treat us equally. An attack on that premise of cooperation would be great fun, and, if organized for full participation by gays - and sympathetic straights - nationwide would soon drive the homophobic bureaucrats nuts. That is one way to bring about change.


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