Bunny vs The Social Security Administration


I went to the Social Security Administration office in downtown Oakland, CA today. The reason I went was to get my gender marker corrected from male to female now that I’ve had appropriate treatment and am eligible.

It ended in heartache.

Background Stuff to Know

There’s a few things you should know.

  • I am terrified of downtown Oakland. 😦 I get harassed almost every time I go there. I’ve gotten the worse harassment I’ve ever received there. I get nervous and scared every time I even think about going there. This is why I’d held off getting this done for so long… I just didn’t wanna go to Oakland.
  • This was not my first visit to the SSA (or even this office!). I was last here in March of 2014 after I legally changed my name. I knew the drill ’cause I’d done it before.
  • I didn’t change my gender marker during the first visit because I hadn’t yet qualified for it. (I didn’t have surgery until March of 2015.)
  • My first and middle names are very feminine. There’s no male version of ’em, and there is little doubt I am a lady when you hear my name.
  • My last name is one of the most common last names in the United States. It’s not Mickley, but that’s what I’m gonna pretend it is for this story.
  • The only purpose of this visit was to get my gender marker switched to female.

That should do it!

The Story

You may not realize it, but while it doesn’t list your gender on your Social Security card, the SSA does keep track of it, and it’s used as a source of truth for some things. When you go through transition from one gender to another, you learn that there’s two places you have to have update your records – the DMV (this is what shows up on your ID), and the SSA.

I’d been putting off getting my gender marker changed with the SSA, because, ick, it’s not a fun thing to do. I had today off of work, however, and I decided to use that time to be productive and finally get it done.

I got there this morning and checked in. I was given a number, A178, and told to go sit in the waiting room for my number to be called. I didn’t have an appointment, but that was okay. I have an iPhone, and Twitter, and lots of other stuff to do while I wait. I was prepared for a long wait, and it was just fine. I ended up waiting about 90 minutes, which is less than I figured it’d take. (I was counting on two hours!)

While I waited they were calling off numbers slowly. I think they were in the A150’s when I got there, so I was pretty excited when they got to the A170s. Things were going pretty well at this point!

Eventually I hear them say on the PA “Mr. Mickley to window four.” I ignore this because “Mr.,” and because the last name was Mickley. My last name is so common that I just figured there was someone else there with it. It was also kinda weird that they said a name, because up till then, they were calling numbers.

They repeat this a few times. People start looking around the room trying to figure out who Mr. Mickley is, in case he’d fallen asleep or something.

Finally I hear “Last call for Mr. Mickley, number A178, to window four.” I instantly turn white as a sheet and my eyes fill up with tears, since A178 is my number.

I get up and take the walk of shame to the window. Everyone is looking at me at this point, because I’m a chick that got up when they called for “Mr. Mickley,” and I’m really upset and super embarrassed.

I get to the window unable to speak because I was so choked up and was fighting back tears. I give the clerk the letter from my Doctor certifying that I’ve completed my gender transition and the paperwork needed on the SSA’s side to have it changed. (I came prepared – I filled it out ahead of time on my computer and just printed it out and took it with me.)

The clerk asks for my ID, which I hand to him. My ID says that my gender is female, as it should. I still haven’t said a word because I’m so choked up. I finally bring myself to sit down while he’s working, and he calls me “Mr. Mickley” a few times while asking a few basic questions. (This was after I’d handed him my paperwork and my ID, all of which state female, and it was clear that I was there to get their database corrected at this point.) I merely responded by shaking my head.

He asks me “do you have a court order for ‘the change‘?” and I weakly get out “I don’t need one,” because I don’t. (This was the first thing I’d managed to say.) He starts doing something on the computer – looking up the correct procedure I assume – and learns that I’m correct. You don’t need a court order to get your gender changed if you have an affidavit from a licensed Physician.

The clerk keeps working on the computer for a while, and then gets up to talk to someone. I have no idea what he said… getting my name changed was a breeze, so I expected this would be too.

Finally he comes back and makes a photocopy of my doctor’s letter. He returns with the usual stamped letter stating that I’d applied for a new card and that it will be mailed to me in a few weeks. He did manage to call me “Miss Mickley” at this point, but the damage was done. I was a total wreck.

I collect the stamped letter, file it away in my folder, and slip out quietly to the bathroom to cry. 😦


Now that I’ve had time to calm down and collect myself, I am pretty sure the clerk did not mean to be mean to me. I am guessing he thought he was providing really good service by reading a name rather than some stupid number.

The problem is that, like it or not, the SSA and the DMV are the gateways to our identities in the real world. Assumptions like “Mr.” or “Miss” based on a character in a database may not be good there because that’s where we have to go to get it changed, and we need their help to do it.

My first and middle names are very feminine. If he’d just bothered to read the screen, he’d seen that “Mr. Mickley” was completely the wrong thing to call me, but he never did, I guess.

I do intend to contact the SSA office on Monday and let them know what happened. I’m done with them – I won’t need to go back for a long time to come – but I want to make sure that the person that comes after me doesn’t have to deal with what I dealt with today.

I don’t wanna get anyone in trouble, but I want to point out a gap in their training. I want to remind them that to some of us, these things reallllly matter, and we need their help.

I really wish he’d just called out “A178.” 😦

Bathrooms and Tiki Rooms


I spent part of this week at Disneyland! It was great. I love that place. 🙂

The trip was very special to me for a couple of reasons. One, it was great to spend time with a friend I don’t get to spend time with much because we live on opposite coasts. The second is a bit more personal.

The last time I was at Disneyland, in Feb of 2013, I was still presenting male, and hadn’t started toying with the idea that, to be happy, I needed to transition fully. At this point I had already come out as trans to my friends, and they were all very respectful and were doing their best to make me “just one of the girls,” but I hadn’t decided to transition all the way yet.

As most people know, I’m a kidfur. My character is a seven year old bunny rabbit. (I’m not a babyfur. I can use the potty all by myself, thanks!) Part of this is having a family that I’m connected to, including a Mom. I was out in LA to visit with them, but especially my furry Mom. While I was out in LA, they did their very best to let me be one of the girls, even if at that point I didn’t really look the part, and I love them for that. ❤

My furry Mom and I went to Disney together. We spent time in both parks over the course of two days, and I remember it very fondly.

It was my first time in LA, and I didn’t know that once the sun goes down, it gets cold. It gets cold fast. Because of this I wasn’t prepared for sundown at all… once the sun went down I started shivering because I was cold. (It’s Southern California, for sure, but it was also February!)

Well, my furry Mom did her best to be all Mom-like and tried to give me her coat. I wouldn’t take it at first (chivalry is a hard thing to unlearn!), but eventually she got all Mom-like and was like “Bunny, take my coat. Now,” and then more-or-less made me take it. I begrudgingly took it.

Here’s the thing… it was a lady’s coat. I didn’t think much of it, other than it was a purple hoodie and it was warm and I was cold.

Not long afterwards, we stopped at the restrooms inside the Enchanted Tiki Room area. (Right by the entrance door. Most people don’t know they’re there, so they’re very private.) When I was in the bathroom, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror.

I was kinda shocked at what I saw. I looked… female! The coat did a good job of making me look kinda curvy. I was also holding a white light-up rose, too, so that helped as well. It was just sorta magical to me because I’d never really seen myself that way. I was all like “Wow, I don’t look all that bad!!”

That moment in the Men’s room there at Disneyland was the first time I’d ever even _thought_ “wow, I look okay!” in my life. It was… amazing. I felt so awesome that night. It was the first time I’d ever “cross dressed” in public, and I was doing just fine. 🙂 (I’m careful to use the term “cross dresser,” because I’m not one. I’m a lady and I dress correctly as one.)

This trip, I presented female. I had zero issues passing. I used the lady’s restrooms without so much anyone even looking up, I got gendered correctly the whole time, etc. Kinda awesome to me.

But… I made my friend that I was at Disney with go use those hidden bathrooms at the Enchanted Tiki Room. Not because I had to go, really, but I just wanted to go back to the place that really “started it all” for me.

I got all teary-eyed as I walked up the steps towards the bathroom, only this time, instead of going into the Men’s room, I went into the Women’s room. (And yes, I was wearing that same purple hoodie as before!)

I’m all teary-eyed as I write this. I cried a bit leaving the restrooms that night. It was just so emotional… I… don’t really know what else to say.

The magic that happens in the Enchanted Tiki room is amazing, but the real magic that happened that night in the restroom next to it… that will live with me for forever. ❤

Things are Pretty Okay!

Looking back at my most recent series of posts I was little embarrassed at how I only seem to write about bad stuffs! I guess that’s correct, most of the time, because lately I’ve been using writing to work out emotions.

But it kinds gives a bad impression of me! I am not an unhappy person at all! In fact, things are actually going pretty well. 🙂

I am very quickly settling into my new life here on the West Coast. My budget is finally starting to recover. I’m not there yet, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, at least. It’s still going to be tight for the next 12-18 months or so, but after that, things should start getting better. I’m very happy about this.

Transition stuffs are going very well. I’m still not up to the full dose of HRT yet (my doctor starts you off slow and works you into it, to make it as easy on you as possible), but I think we’re getting close. Every four weeks I go into the office and she takes some blood work to see how I’m doing. My meds are adjusted based on the results of that blood work. It’s a lot more scientific than I thought it’d be, and that’s pretty cool. (And quite comforting! Yaaaaay for data driven decision making!) Even more of a surprise is that she does NOT monitor hormone levels directly – she uses my Prolactin levels instead. As of three weeks ago I had finally left the male range, but I’m still a ways away from the normal female range for a non-nursing female of my age. This stuff takes years, after all. 🙂

Today I wore a dress outside of my apartment for the first time in my life. I figured I’d just test the waters and try it when I went to make my breakfast run (there’s a bagel shop I go to so much they greet me by name when I walk in). I figured it was a really safe place to experiment with. Well, that went so well that I didn’t change clothes the rest of the day. It’s an amazing feeling to me! Both in how people react to me (I’m no different than any other lady in the place), and that I’m so comfortable with myself at this point. At lunch I accidentally spilled my drink and the manager at Taco Bell was all like “Oh, it’s okay Miss, we’ll clean it up! Here, let me get you a new drink!” It was a nice feeling!

Last Friday I wrote a skirt to work, again for the first time, and it also was a total non-issue. I even went on the Muni train to see my therapist and took the ferry to and from downtown San Francisco… looks like the thing that was holding me back was me… which is kinda normal for me, I think.

The emotional side of this is very different than I figured it would be. Both in the timeline and how strong it is. I’m already becoming a very different person. Here’s an example… last week I went to see a foot doctor about a constant pain I’ve had in my right foot for many years. (It was never a problem, really, until I moved here and started walking a lot.) I showed him the back of my shoes and how it’s all torn up inside and he was kinda shocked. After that he looked at my feet and quickly determined that I have Achilles Tendon Bursitis on my right foot. He mumbled something about “need to get a drop of steroid in there” and told me to flip over on my belly, which I did.

He then injected my foot with a cortisone shot. OMG did that hurt. Like, really, really, really hurt. I was hurting so bad that I just started crying right there in the office. I was overwhelmed with a feeling of “I need to cuddle something,” but I didn’t have a plushie with me, so I just cuddled with my purse. (It was the only thing I had with me. I didn’t know this was coming, or else I would have brought a friend with me.) The doctor could see I was hurting (duh), and was like “It’s okay sweetie. Take as much time as you need to recover. When you’re ready, get your shoes back on, and let me see you walk around the office a bit so I know you’re okay.” So I sat there in the doctor’s office, cuddling a purse and crying for a few minutes. It wouldn’t have gone down that way before… I would have just walked it off. Nor do I think it would have hurt so much, testosterone is good at covering up things like that.

I am _totally_ not complaining here! I like the new me! Very very much so. It’s just very different than before, and I know I’m roughly three months into a 24 to 36 month thing… so there’s still a lot more to come.

My new job is going great, too. We just wrapped up a really big project that’s pretty much been my whole world at this company. (It kicked off right as I was getting there.) I’m excited to see what comes next, as there’s a lot of things coming in the future, and all of it is going to need support from Ops in some way.

I talked with my team lead for a few minutes this morning. I said that when I knew how big of a project this was going to be (a few months into my employment), I decided to step back and focus on the things I’m good at, and then pick up other holes in my knowledge later. My goal was to take the day-to-day heat off the rest of the team so they could work on the project work. He then told me something that, to me at least, is a really big compliment. He said that one of the things they saw in me during the interview process is that I’m a really good Production Engineer. They knew they’d be able to drop me into the Production environment and thrive right away, which I have done. The holes in my knowledge are over project work – things that happen before something gets to production – but the actual part of running services in production is my thing.

I’d never really thought about it like that, but yeah, that’s exactly right. I do thrive in a production environment. I understand very well that my customers are the company’s customers, and that we want them to give us money… and they do so with the machines I’m running. I kinda find some project work to be really boring, while other people thrive in it. (And other people hate the pressure of working on the front lines!)

Needless to say, I know without a shadow of a doubt I’m in the right job and that I love what I do. It’s a small company, so who knows how long things are gonna last, but for right now, while the band is together, I’m really enjoying it. I’m doing my best to savor it while it lasts, because it may not last for forever!

I could go on and on here. 🙂

Lots of things are going very well. I’m sorry that the last few months of posts were completely negative… it’s not actually like that! I guess things are so good that when bad things come along they seem reeeealllllly bad and I turn to writing to work out my emotions.

Lop lop lop! 🙂 ❤


Union Lake Baptist Church

I grew up in the Baptist Church. I spent the first 28 years or so of my life very deep in the church. I served on committees. I was someone people could always depend on when things needed to be done. I was really, really deep into the church… yet most of it never really clicked in my head. I was just doing what I was suppose to do.

There was this long running dialog in my head for years that went something like this: “God doesn’t make mistakes. God made males and God made females. The roles are very well defined. God doesn’t make mistakes. Why do I feel the way I do? What’s wrong with me? Is this a sin? Am I going to hell? God does NOT make mistakes.”

I’ve had some very difficult conversations with my therapist working all of this out. Christmas last year was really rough, hopefully this year will not be so bad. (I had a big crying breakdown on Christmas Eve – there’s a big Baptist church near my apartment and the parking lot was parked for Christmas Eve services and I just lost it.)

I’m still really struggling with the notion of “God is Love” vs “Behave exactly the way God says the way you should or else he will punish you so hard that not even death itself will save you.”

These days I identify as agnostic. There might be a God, there might not be. I’m not sure. (And if there is, I have to keep reminding myself that Baptists do not have a monopoly on God.) For now I am focusing on what has always made sense to me – Science and Technology.

So that’s been my life for the last year. I’ve been working on all of this. It took a long time for me to get where I am and it’ll take a while for me to get it out of my head.