So, thanks to electoral reforms, I have been struck off the electoral register. I am no longer allowed to participate in democracy. And if democracy is the will of the people, that means I am no longer considered a person.
The letter went something like this.
“Dear Deadname. We have been informed that you are no longer resident at the above address1. As a result we have struck your name from the register of electors. You have two weeks to respond to this letter.”
Despite me receiving the letter in the last few days, it was in fact dated a month ago. Go figure.
I did not provide sufficient proof of my identity. Like many trans people, my identity documents are patchy because I either can’t afford them, or I am not entitled to them.
Currently, I am prevented from changing my details at all by the fact that all copies of my deed poll are in the possession of my ex partner, who although not malicious, does not see the importance of me having them and therefore is in no hurry to get them to me.
I know that the reforms were not drawn up to specifically exclude trans people. But this is what will have happened. Trans people, divorcees, victims of domestic violence… basically there are a huge range of reasons why people change their names and none of them are because it’ll be a fucking jolly.
I’m not out to defraud the system. If I was, I might have changed my surname as well as my first. But no. I kind of just want to… live? Without a daily reminder of the unhappy circumstances of my birth? Outrageous.
Anyway. Decided that, as I’m now an outlaw, I get to do all kinds of outlaw stuff. I’m going to be the dead man in Yossarian’s tent. They won’t be able to touch me. Because I don’t exist.
1Yes, the address they’re writing to me at.