Legal Name Change
Two steps forward, two steps back.
I had to cry at the moment I put the letter for my legal name change request in the mailbox today.
This topic has bothered me for quite a while. In Germany, you can’t just simply change your name. Well, as trans-person, you can get the additional passport from dgti, which is supposed to protect you against discrimination. It has worked for me on some private companies such as Paypal and Ebay (to my surprise), but not anything semi-state related such as health insurance, the Sparkasse bank, the job center and having a company.
I have been in generally good mental condition for a few weeks now. But it hurts every time like a punch in the stomach if I have to read or use my old name, or being adressed as “Sir”. Latter issue only happens in paperwork anymore. But this needs to stop.
I needed to visit a psychiatrist yesterday for a letter. It was the final missing piece in my puzzle of getting every document together. Apart from that, they required me to send a copy of my passport, a letter that confirms my residence, a certified copy of my birth certificate (by the way, my birth certificate says “No. 42”) and my life story in form of a résumé on one or two pages.
I spent 30€ for all those letters and certificates, not including travel costs. But the biggst thing is yet to come.
Legal name change for transgender people is ridiculously expensive in Germany
Next, I am expecting to get an invoice from the court that I have sent my request to. They will send me to two independant psychologists for a letter each, which will cost anything from 500-700€ each. Then court fees, which I expect to be around 200€. So in total that can be anything from 1200-1600€, which I have to pay upfront before anything happens.
I have suggested two psychologists. I have no clue how good they were, but they responded to me by email. Both are in Cologne and I expect that I need to show up in person at least once.
I expect this to take months at least. And that is not all. After the name change has passed, I need to request new passports, new driving licence, bank cards, etc.. Probably not less than 150€ in additional expenses there.
Another issue is that I still have my company, even if it’s in liquidation at the moment. A legal name change requires me to see a notary and leave at least another 150€ there.
Inhumane laws and structures are wasting my money (also my time)
There’s one thing I don’t understand in why it’s so complicated in Germany. They want to make absolutely sure that every trans person is absolutely sure that they will never switch back. But why? A lot of the people who marry change their names. If it’s the first or the last name does not make much difference. Fact is: It’s a normal process that a name changes in some way or the other. Why is this so different for trans people?
I have been sure about my identity for over a year now. As in, I never had any doubt, such as in the long time before my outing. Someone who is not sure will not at all likely go through all the trouble of changing their legal name.
Also, if someone wants to switch back, what’s the problem? It’s not irreversible such as the effects on the hormone replacement therapy to your body or the genital operation which I am trying to get acknowledged this year.
Two steps forward, but two steps back.
I can complain about the situation as it is, but it doesn’t change that I have to go through this, as quickly as possible. Issues like that (for example my facial hair removal, which is still not approved after several months) can still stress me out greatly for days. Such as it felt like one step forward, two steps back while writing my life story, it now feels like two steps forward, one step back.
Two steps forward because the legal name change completes one part of transitioning and eases the source of stress, anxieties, anger.
Two steps back because going to two psychologists means a lot of (in my eyes unnecessary) work, stress and possibly anxieties and loss of a humongous of money.