A Clerk’s Perspective

One of the best days I ever had working in the clerk’s office involved a Petition for Change of Name and Gender.

The petitioner was a lovely young lady, around 20 years old. Her mother was with her, after accompanying her to the hearing. They approached my filing window. I filed the petition in which the petitioner was asking to legally be designated female. I was thrilled when I also had the opportunity to file the decree. They were both all smiles as I processed the documentation. When I congratulated her and asked how they planned to celebrate, she said that they were going to get pedicures.

We completed our business and they went to a side counter to get organized while I called the next customer to my window. As I was helping the next customer, I kept hearing what was either laughter or crying coming from the direction of the mother and daughter. I glanced in their direction several times, and sometimes the mother would be looking back at me.

When I completed helping my customer, the mother came walking back to my window and said that her daughter would like to take her picture with me. I got permission from the court, and we stepped outside to take the picture. The young lady was grinning ear to ear, proudly holding her filed decree in one hand and hugging my shoulder with the other.

There are very few things that we process as clerks in which everyone involved is happy. Seeing her joy, and the support and total acceptance that she had from her mother, is one of those moments that I keep in my back pocket. I take it out and contemplate that moment when I need a reminder that my purpose here exceeds what can be specified in a job description.