Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Transsexual in the Jury Pool

There are times, especially these days as I live my life as Sarah that I am pushed, or stumble into situations that I would not like to go,not many but there are some. I resist stepping over the line out of fear of the unknown; I tend to create scenarios in my mind of all the possible outcomes; good and bad. Usually there seem to be more bad than good. I know it’s not rational to presuppose events scenarios and how they play out, but I do. I get antsy and imagine all sorts of strange string of events happening around me.

I mentioned in one of my previous posts that I have been summoned for jury duty in the Counties Superior Court System for the first week in October. Looking at the notice that was sent to me, I am required to list the name of my spouse. I must speak the name of my spouse in a room full of all the other people who have been called to serve as jury members. When I speak Kay’s name I can see all eyes looking upon this crazy woman. I am not one to keep my personal history so secret that I would want it to dissolve into thin air, but speaking the name of my wife in a room full of people that I do not know is not how I would like to tell people either. People tend to get excited and look at me differently when I try to explain that I was born male and am now living as female.

The State of Georgia does not make any allowances for same sex marriage or for same sex blessings real or perceived. So for me to have to give them some legal document stating in a court of law that my spouse is indeed female could, I imagine, cause a big ruckus in the courtroom. I will explain that our marriage is rather unusual in that we were married before I legally changed my name and had the gender marker corrected on my drivers license. That the Federal Government and the State of Georgia recognizes our marriage, because we were legally married as male and female.


I have served on juries before and the last time I received a jury selection notice I was in the middle of transitioning. Not wanting to create a bad situation, I called the county clerk and explained my dilemma at which time she just deferred me from the jury pool. Just like that, I was excused from jury duty.

For me, it is an honor to serve as a juror for the legal system. Qualified jurors are difficult to find sometime and I am qualified to serve and I will be impartial in my decisions if called upon to serve. The decision to have me step down depends, I guess on the lawyers acceptance, what the case is about, what their perceptions of my being transsexual are, and could my just being included as a member of a seated jury cause other member of the jury to focus on me and not the case. I will go to my appointed place of civic duty and stand tall for justice, expecting problems to arise, but hoping that I can fulfill my civic duty with pride and with honor.

1 comment:

Grandmère Mimi said...

I will go to my appointed place of civic duty and stand tall for justice, expecting problems to arise, but hoping that I can fulfill my civic duty with pride and with honor.

I know you will, Sarah. May God go with you and given you strength and peace.