The Moving Story of How a 20-Year-Old Trans Man Went to Change His Name

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Credit: TransEquality

“What if I’m not trans enough?”

That’s what 20-year-old Jake Ralston — born Madeline, or Maddy for short — thought the morning he had to go see the judge in order to officially change his name.

It sounds like a relatively normal story, a trans youth having to legally his or her name. But so often these occurrences never get talked about. That is, until Jake’s dad posted this beautiful essay  “The Child I Love“, online.

And that’s when everything went viral.

He wrote,

“This week, Maddy went to court, bravely told a judge why she wanted to be a male and wanted her birth certificate changed, too. After the hearing, when it was finally real, when he called me, I don’t think I have ever heard my kid sound so happy. And he wanted the story told.

When I get home later this week, I will see someone officially named Jake Ralston for the first time. And one thing I know for certain: It will be love at first sight.”

After the post swept the internet it wasn’t long before Jake was being interview by The Washington Post. About speaking with the judge, Jake said,

“I realized, he’s just a man sitting behind a desk like I’m a man sitting behind a desk talking to him. He’s just a person,” Jake said. “I told him that this was something I’ve been thinking about for a while. I told the truth and nothing but the truth — I had sworn to. He stopped me about halfway through.”

Luckily things worked out for Jake and the judge agreed.

While we’re all busy talking about bathrooms and legislation (VERY important issues, by the way), we forget to talk about all the steps in between that trans people have to go through just to be able to be themselves, just to be able to be called the name they want to be called.

Thanks Jake, for reminding us.

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