Running Streak: 349 Days on HRT: 230
VERY BIG DAY TODAY!!!
~~I had the hearing for my name and gender marker change; it was scheduled for 2:30 PM. I had been waiting and preparing for this hearing for months. I needed to be prepared, because judges have been denying gender changes. I had done a lot of research on the damaging psychological effects of Gender Dysphoria Disorder (luckily I’m getting my Bachelor’s degree in psychology, so I already knew quite a bit), and I did research on the legal side of the spectrum. Once I found out which judge was assigned to my case, I did research on her to find out anything I could that would help me.
Earlier in the day on August 6th, I got a call from the courthouse saying they will need to reschedule, so, I decided to come work some overtime, as it was my Monday off. I left home at 2:00 pm, and just as I was nearing work, I got another call from the courthouse; they made a mistake and meant to call someone else to reschedule! I told them I was nearby and would be there shortly (it was now 2:20 pm). I had 10 minutes to get there, find parking and run from my car to the entrance nearly a block away. I ran up the stairs and made it to the courtroom exactly at 2:30!
There were three other cases along with mine; the judge saved mine for last, thank goodness. The other three cases only took about 10 to 15 minutes each; normally, name and gender change hearings don’t take very long. She may have anticipated that mine would be much longer because of a letter I wrote to her the week before, explaining the importance of transgender people, whom suffer from Gender Dysphoria Disorder, being allowed to have their gender markers legally changed.
I took a great deal of time writing that letter and I even included a very fitting quote from her (the judge). I found the quote from an interview she had done in September of 2017, before she took the bench as the first female judge in this district; the quote read:
“One person can really change the trajectory of future generations. I think it’s easy to become cynical about people saying they want to change, and never do. But I know it can be done. And if I can be a person that inspires people to do better, even if it’s one person, one person’s life is a big deal to me. I wouldn’t underestimate people because I know they can change, and they can build their life any direction that is positive if they want to.”
After that quote, I told her that by granting the gender change, she would literally be changing the trajectory of, not only my life but, future generations, as well.
We began my hearing around 3:15 pm and I was prepared to be there all night if I needed to. We had several discussions regarding gender issues and the psychological effects that occur with people that are transgender and suffer from Gender Dysphoria Disorder. We also had discussions about past, current and upcoming attempts to change legislation. I went in well prepared to discuss these issues with her because, currently, there is no legislation in our state in which judges can have guidance to make determinations on whether or not they should grant gender changes.
She said my letter was very thoughtful, thought-provoking, and inspiring and thanked me for writing the letter. She also mentioned that she was, initially, going to deny my gender change, because of the lack of legislation. However, after she told me that, she happily informed me that I had educated her very well on gender issues throughout the hearing, and that she had learned quite a bit that she hadn’t previously known.
She commended me for being so passionate and wanting to help others with gender issues, and then told me that I clearly know what I’m talking about, and I’m very courageous, and praised me for knowing quite a bit about the legal side. She apologized that I had suffered with Gender Dysphoria Disorder most of my life, and noted that I am obviously not doing this on a whim. She then told me I looked beautiful and said, “Congratulations, miss Addison Quinn Gardiner! I will grant the name AND gender change, and I wish you nothing but the best with your future as, not only a therapist, but as a female therapist!”
I sat there speechless, with happy tears rolling down my cheeks. The bailiff brought over a box of tissues and I wiped away the tears of joy, but they kept coming. Haha. The judge was leaning her chin on her hand and looking at me with such a pleasant smile. Once I composed myself, I told her thank you for listening to me and for not dismissing anything I said and told her how huge this was to me and so many others that have been rooting for me. I asked if I could shake her hand and she said she would be honored to shake my hand. Wow! I said goodbye and began making my way to exit the courtroom.
Just as I got to the doors, over the microphone, she said, "Miss Gardiner....hold your head high and be very proud of yourself for this accomplishment. You did something today that not many people can say they have done. You educated a judge during your own hearing. You literally inspired me today and not many people have ever done that! Miss Gardiner, you are one of the most amazing people I have ever met in my life, and I am honored that I got the chance to meet you. Now I want to thank you. I want to thank you because, from here on out, I won't have to deny so many gender changes. You weren't only fighting for yourself, you were fighting for a lot of people. Be proud, be very, very proud!" Then she asked if she could give me a hug, and that's a no brainer. I'll take a hug any time, any day. Hugs are the best!!!
We hugged and said goodbye and I exited the courtroom. Right outside the door there is a bench. I sat right down on that bench and just soaked it all in for nearly 45 minutes. Then I went out to the car and sat there for another 45 minutes, just savoring all of it. 😊 Best day EVER!!!