Friday, June 19, 2009

Awkward Outing

After living as Sarah for more than 5 years one would think that it would be unnecessary to reveal one's past. Why is it that computer systems have longer memories than the people who control them. I guess these required revelations will always be necessary since Sarah decided to stay in the same town where she lived as that male person. Going to eye doctors, medical offices and any other place where "he" had an account has required me to give my past history so that they can access my Health providers information; it can be discouraging. Going to my Eye Doctor's office today was an identity reality check on cross referencing past medical history as written in their colored charts and in their computer files. Since I have a long history with my Eye Doctor; it was several years and a new identity between eye appointments and the fact that my military health plan was not one of the insurance companies that my doctor worked with; meaning that I had to pay out of pocket for my prior office visit. I was sure that I had worked patiently with the receptionist to quietly change all my personal information from my prior self to Sarah's information; the common link being my Social Security Number.
I really confused the receptionist this morning when I check-in and tried to verify my personal information. As she was using my SSN, I could tell she was very confused when my old name popped up in the computer and she was really confused when she asked me what my husband's work phone number was. I immediately realized that my SSN was still linked to my old name and with me trying to sign in as Sarah, she assumed that I was the wife. When trying to get authorization from Tricare, one has to be very accurate in the spelling of one's name. I did mentioned that the system might be using my old name but she didn't connect what I said to the problem she was creating as she used my SSN. Again, I had to quietly but patiently explain that the previous patient named "John" was indeed me, and that I now go by Sarah. I kept looking at her face to see some reaction, but she kept her cool and never broke her stride changing the information with my new name. She already had authorization from Tricare with the correct personal information but their patient sheet had Sarah listed as the spouse and "John" as the military sponsor.

Having a history of both identities with the same SSN around the town where one lives will always mean that some place, some where, I will have to "out" myself; again.

No comments: