Wednesday was a big day. I went to my local courthouse for my hearing on my name and gender change in the morning. After some time waiting for my turn, I got the petition approved. I am officially Ryan now.
There was a lot of thoughts and feelings going through my head (good ones, for that matter). I felt very happy (obviously). I felt relieved. I felt like a big weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I felt like a curse had been undone. I felt like I had a better sense of security. I felt free and liberated. I felt validated. And most of all, I felt like myself.
My new (legal) name? Ryan Eli Torres Turner.
I actually added a second last name and I added a middle name. I added “Eli” as my middle name. I found out about the name through one of my favorite motocross athletes. His name is Eli Tomac. I though he was a great rider (and person), that I was able to relate to, with a really cool (and pretty unique) name. I tried it out for myself and it ended sticking around – I really became attached to the name. I was originally going to add a second middle name – “Ethan”, which I felt really suited me (and still do) – but I was afraid my (full) name would get too long (but it will always be a part of me. You can all use it as a nickname for me).
I also added “Turner” as a second last name (“Torres” is my birth last name). The reason for this was because I thought it would look unique and I really liked the name. There’s actually a long history behind it: I began using this name back when I was a teen. I was growing up in a pretty dysfunctional family and I just wanted to get away from them. I was going through some pretty though times back then. I found out about the name from watching the Fairly Odd Parents growing up. I thought the name was cool and began using it. Little did I know it would really stick. I originally was going to drop “Torres” from my name (to disassociate from them) but I eventually ended up forgiving my parents. I have long forgiven them but the name has stuck – it has become such a big part of my life that I just had to keep it. (The other reason I wanted to keep “Torres” was so I can have a piece of my Latino heritage – and also because two of my closest cousins have it.) I feel like this is also going to be useful for separating my public life from my private life, but we’ll have to wait and see how its going to play out in the long run.
The next and final step in this transition of mine is to (of course) update/fix my legal/identity documents. First up is Social Security, then Medi-Cal, the DMV, the Department of Vital Statistics (to fix my birth certificate), and my doctors (PCP and Endocrinologist), and then everything else. Once this is all completed, my transition and Rite of Passage into manhood will be completed. I should be completing all this stuff by the end of the year and before the start of the new year. This means that I will enter 2015 with a fresh, brand new start!
Its been a long two and a half years, with a lot of big ups and downs. I am so glad to finally be able to put all this behind me. The lessons I’ve learned from this experience have definitely shaped me into a better person and these lessons learned will be sticking with me for life and will translate into other areas of life – like my emerging music career (which is why this is such a great Rite of Passage).
Never in a million years did I think I would be where I am right now. I always acted like and saw myself as male but I didn’t think I would actually be one (both biologically and psychologically). Even more so, I never thought I would actually turn out to be and find out that I was intersex this whole time, with a gender misassignment at birth. I never thought I would end up (legally) transitioning into my true self (from female to male).
It is the end of an era, and the start of a new one!