How To Legally Change Gender In India

gender-option

Except a few personal anecdotes/experiences shared by some trans folks, there aren’t any complete online resources that will guide you through the process of legal change of name and gender.  From my own personal experience I’ve compiled this guide to save you some time and trouble. Legal change of name and gender is a three-step process. Namely, 1. Get An Affidavit 2. Publish Newspaper Advertisement 3. Notify in The Gazette.

1. Get An Affidavit One can get an affidavit for the change of name and gender from any notary. They normally charge around 300 rupees. A sample affidavit is available here for your reference.

2. Publish Newspaper Advertisement Choose any one local newspaper of your choice and submit a copy of the affidavit to place an Ad. You can easily do this online too, from the comfort of your home. If you want to do it discreetly, choose a newspaper that’s less popular and it’ll save you few bucks too.  The Ad will cost anywhere from 1000 to 1500 rupees. To give you an idea of how the Ad looks like, I’ve attached a template here 

3. Notify in The Gazette The final step is to notify the change of name and gender in the gazette. Gazette is like an official magazine of the Government. State and Central Governments have their own gazettes. While one can notify in either of the gazettes, many governmental/semi-governmental institutions insist on notifying in the Gazette of India.  Advertisements and public notices from private individuals are generally published in Part-IV of the Gazette of India. I’ll be describing the procedure to notify the change of name & gender in the Gazette of India. For those of you who don’t know, no surgery/treatment is necessary to change the gender, thanks to the landmark Supreme Court’s NALSA judgement. For the gazette notification, the following forms/items should be submitted.

  1. Copy of the Notarized Affidavit for Change of Name & Gender from step 1
  2.  An undertaking duly signed by the applicant
  3. Original Newspaper
  4. Prescribed proforma in duplicate duly typed with signature of applicant and two witnesses.
  5. C.D containing the print matter without witness portion in MS Word and type name in place of signature.
  6. Two self-attested passport size photographs and a self attested photocopy of ID proof.
  7. A Certificate duly signed by the applicant declaring therein that the contents of hard copy and soft copy are same.
  8. Request Letter along with the requisite fee ( Rs.1400 cash if submitting in person or Demand Draft drawn in favor of “Controller of Publications” payable at Delhi, if sending it through post/courier)
  9. Attested photocopy of medical document ( GD certificate or SRS certificate).
  10. Specimen Proforma regarding Change of Sex for people who had SRS (It’s not mandatory)

One can either submit documents in person or send them through post/courier. It is advisable to submit them personally (takes less time to process) rather than through post because the office hardly attends your calls if there’s any problem. Also, the applications sent through post/courier would take at least 2 months to get processed. The gazette is normally published every Saturday and it can be downloaded from  the website address egazette.nic.in

For further information on Gazette of India, please check the official website at deptpub.nic.in

Once you finish all the three steps, with the copies of affidavit,newspaper Ad and the gazette notification, you can change other IDs like PAN, Aadhaar, Voter card, Company ID etc.

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1 Year HRT Anniversary: Update

Yay! another day, another milestone, inching closer and closer towards my authentic self. Finally, I’m now starting to like the person I see in the mirror.  I’ve never been so happier and positive in my entire life. Came out at work last month and it went fairly well beyond my expectations. While my so called “friends” remained silent, I surprisingly found acceptance from unexpected corners. Still, not much progress with my family as they continue to live by “don’t ask don’t tell” rule expect my mom who’s trying very hard to understand things. With one year of HRT I’m kinda slowly coming into my own and here are some major changes during the last several months.

Weight  Estrogen makes it so easy to gain weight and I found it almost impossible to lose my pounds.  I’m not really a workout person so i started to watch my food intake. All i could do with the calorie counting is that i was merely able to maintain my weight. At the time of starting HRT i weighed around 77 kgs (170 lbs) and lost about 4 kgs (8 lbs) of water weight, that’s all. A couple of months ago, i stumbled on this incredible low-carb weight-loss regimen called Dukan diet. Since on this diet two months ago, I’ve shed a whopping 10 kgs (22 lbs).  I’m aware of the consequences of this sort of rapid weight-loss but I’m very happy about it.

Hair It’s amazing to see my hairline getting rounder and the receded temples filled in slowly. My hair improved so much in the last 12-16 months since I was on anti-androgens. I’ve been shedding heavily since last two months and it’s crazy. Most probably due the hair re-bonding that I’ve done recently to my dry-fizzy hair. Also, I’m doing so many things (HRT, Anti-depressants, Weight-loss etc) and i’m not sure what’s causing what.

Body Hair While hair on chest and arms is getting thinner day by day, HRT seem to have no effect on hair on legs and thighs. I’ve started laser on my face and had five sessions so far. I can’t believe how people understate the pain as small pricks or rubber band snaps. Let me tell you, laser hurts like hell. I know HRT increases pain sensitivity but still, it’s a damn lot of pain. It’s very tricky to have laser on thick dark hair on dark skin. It would leave me with serious burns, though temporary.  I am very happy with the results so far and I have around 5-6 more sessions to go.

Breasts Sadly, my breasts are down by a size, thanks to my weight-loss. I still have those little mounds around the nipples which are a sign of growth. My Endo says that I’m currently in stage 4 of tanner breast development.

Feet I’ve never heard of something like this before but my shoe size shrunk by a size. Probably from the muscle loss due to HRT and my overall weight-loss.

Appetite My appetite is very low these days as I eat a lot of protein which makes you feel full. My craving for salty and sour foods still going pretty strong.

Psychological Since coming out, I feel like a huge weight lifted off my shoulders and I’m so relieved. I am currently on extremely low dose of medication. I feel really good and almost free of psychiatric symptoms.

 

Like every person in transition, I get so impatient sometimes about the changes even though i know they won’t happen overnight. I’m planning to go full-time as soon as i get my facial hair to some manageable level. Also I’ve finalized my SRS surgeon and it’s gonna be Dr. Chettawut. I reckon it’s better to have the surgery around 2-year mark of HRT and I’m thinking, may be it’ll be the end of next year.  By the grace of God, i already got the money part of the surgery covered.  I’m so anxious and excited about it and I can’t wait to be freed from this male body of death.

I Am Myra: My Coming Out Story

Disclaimer: I’m neither writing this to portray myself as some sort of victim seeking sympathy nor I solicit your approval. It is sort of an explanation to some of my good friends and well-wishers. 


I’ve been waiting for aeons to come out to all of you as living a double-life proved painful and unhealthy. The person you’ve known all these years is not truly who I am. It’s all a performance I had to put on, trying so hard to fit in everyone’s expectations. It feels so unauthentic that I’m living two lives and neither of them is complete.  It took a great deal of courage to come to terms with my truth and fight to be my genuine self.

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   Since childhood, I had these feelings and it felt awkward. Sometimes, I’d sneak and wear my sister’s clothes when nobody’s around, didn’t know why I did that but I felt so comfortable in them. I didn’t take this matter seriously then, as I thought it could be some phase all teens go through and it’ll get better. As I got older and older, my identification with the opposite gender got stronger and stronger. I have wrestled with this existential crisis all my life and being raised in a Christian family was really hard. I was taught of these things as abominable. So, I tried all sorts of things to suppress my feelings and get my mind off it. I didn’t have the courage to deal with the situation and I was always running away from it. By the time I moved to Mumbai in 2010, i was severely depressed and my whole life was miserable. The next couple of years were the hardest of my life. I lost some good friends along the way since i was emotionally volatile and I was always fighting people. Cynicism took complete hold of me,  I grew so pessimistic, full of negativity and I was completely frustrated with life. I had this crippling depression so dark and terrifying. I was frightened by this cold absence of feeling and nothing could move me, not even death.  Life seemed so insipid and pointless that I wanted it to end.

         I so  badly wanted to turn my life around as i was utterly disgusted with the person that I become. In the year 2015, I’ve finally reached my breaking point and I couldn’t take it anymore. I’ve realized that accepting myself is my only salvation. So, I mustered all courage in the world and sought help from an LGBT center nearby. After a few months of counselling by their psychologist,  I was referred to a specialist at Sion General Hospital. After conducting a few psych tests, i was diagnosed with Gender Dysphoria (GD) and Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). As I’ve been reading a lot of literature on transgenderism for years, the diagnosis was hardly surprising. I knew what’s in store for me and it’s a life and death decision that i had to make. To me, to live like a man for the rest of my life would mean death. Either i live miserably with life long depression or take steps to treat my dysphoria. I’ve decided to undergo gender transition since for me it’s the only way to a happy, honest and fulfilling life. I didn’t arrive at this decision through some overnight fancy. Transition has been on my mind for over a decade and i think now is the time to set things right.

     Along with the psychotherapy, the treatment for Gender Dysphoria includes Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and/or Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS). I finally started HRT in june’16 in Seven Hills Hospital after getting a recommendation from two other doctors. In the next couple of years, I’m planning to have SRS and complete my gender transition with legal change of name and gender.  Some of you may not approve of what I’m  doing but with or without you, i continue to do everything in my power to strive for every ounce of happiness, like everybody else.

3 Months HRT Update.

Though it’s on my mind for several years, i didn’t completely believe that i’d be on this road one day. I had so many doubts and fears about coming out to family and transitioning at work, it almost seemed impossible. So many things have happened so fast in the last ten months and I didn’t even expect them. I’m finally here, completing my three months of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). I’m so happy that I’ve done it and I’m so fortunate to find such wonderful team of counselors, therapists and doctors.

         I’ve started my HRT on 7th of June after getting my blood work done to check my serum hormone levels. Interestingly, my T- levels were on the lower side of normal range for an adult male. My Endo was a little cautious about the side effects of estrogen so he put me on a low dose. I didn’t complain much as I read somewhere that starting low and slowly working the way up gets better results. Though these are the very early days, I am quite happy with my progress so far. And these are my perceived physical and psychological changes after starting the therapy.

Skin After a few days of starting therapy, my skin has become very dry.  I  was very pleased as my face gets so greasy. I used to have acne on my back and shoulders and it’s completely gone in a week. My skin has always been soft and i hope it gets better with more estrogen in my body. Also, my body smells a lot nicer now.

Hair Initially, my hair was so dry and then it got so greasy that i couldn’t even wash the shampoo off. It must’ve been the imbalance since Spiro (T-blocker) dries out, while estrogen hydrates skin and hair. I bought this amazing clarifying shampoo which worked like a charm. Along with the DHT (responsible for hair thinning and baldness in men) blocker, i’m also on biotin supplements. I’ve observed some re-growth and my hair is getting thick and soft. I don’t know if it’s gonna repair my receded hairline at the temples but i’m hopeful.

Body Hair It is thinning all over and grows a bit slower. I recently found out some patches of my facial hair turn white and finer. I’ll be starting laser hair removal on my face in a few months.

Weight In the first two months i have lost around 3-4 kgs. I’m guessing the loss might be the water weight since Spiro is a diuretic. Also, i seem to have lost some muscle and i feel very weak in my upper body.

Appetite, Taste & Smell God! my appetite’s through the roof . I’d feel hungry even after a square meal. Surprisingly, my sense of taste and smell became more sensitive. I even find lettuce to be tasty now, LOL!

Breasts My nipples started hurting after a week and i could feel some tissue growth after some days. The nipples getting bigger and erect, also the areolae are turning darker. I’m quite happy with the growth as it’s only three months. They supposedly grow for 2-3 years and i’m excited. Generally, they grow up to one size less than the females in the family line and i would be content with a ‘B’ cup. I’m not really thinking about having a boob job. This is a picture of me wearing a tight turtleneck with no bra.

Psychological Lately i’ve been experiencing brain fog and mood swings, i don’t know if it’s hrt or my antidepressants. I’m certainly better than before though.

I’ll be visiting my Endo next month and probably my dose gonna be doubled this time. Overall, i am satisfied with my slow but steady progress. I spend a lot of time checking transition timelines on reddit and it kinda gives me hope. Some one rightly said that transition takes a lot of courage, patience & lots and lots of money. I’m currently running low on all of them but i’m positive.