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Someone should set up a scorecard for various companies to fill in how long it takes them to get name changes processed, for trans people and the like (some people just change their name BECAUSE).
and including what processes they made you go through.
like can you go on their site and just click the "EDIT" button on the name field and 20 seconds later, you're done?
Do you have to call them? go in-store? both? do you have to send them certified mail? does it take a long time?
will they refuse to sell you a phone until you can show up with a valid ID in your old name despite having changed your name on their site 6 years ago?
NOT THAT I'M MENTIONING ANY SPECIFIC PHONE COMPANIES HERE...
but I'll give you a hint:
their name starts with a T and ends with a -mobile.
are they just fucking weird, like my old student loans page that'll let you change your last name on their site, but if you want to change your first name you have to call them and then fax them a copy of your name change order?
will they actually change it, or will they stick it as a "ALSO KNOWN AS-" field so if you go into a store they'll be like "OH HI ALEX" and you're like "I'VE BEEN NAMED ELLIOT SINCE THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION, DAMN IT"?
do they have a gender marker in their files and do they change that one too?
or will they be like "Welcome to AT&T Sarah-Jane McGirlName, right this way Sir"?
it'd be nice to have a list of which companies do this shit badly and which ones do it well, both to help out people with anxiety about changing it (HOW MUCH SHIT AM I GOING TO HAVE TO GO THROUGH TODAY?) and to try to shame the companies that are doing it very very badly
(not mentioning any deutsche telekoms)
the worst part is after SIX YEARS of having told T-mobile my name changed, I'm still not 100% sure it's been changed. because they told me it had been changed and it looked like it was finally changed like 4 years ago.
BUT
I go in and say "my phone's broke, I want a new one" and they're like "ok that's Xty hundred dollars" and I give them the money and they go "I need your ID" and I give it and they're like "no, I need your OLD ID, FROM 2012, WITH THE WRONG NAME, ISSUED BY A STATE 3000 MILES AWAY"
and what can you answer that but "fuck you"?
if I didn't have like 4 other people on my account and wasn't about to go on a long trip and kinda really needed a working phone ASAP, I would have been more "OK, where's the nearest Verizon store?"
but the worst part is that they would probably demand my old ID to let me close my account :(
anyway that's supposed fixed now. I had to mail a certified copy of my name change order to an anonymous shack in arizona and I have no confirmation it ever went through so *shrug*
apparently the technical reason why they're horrible is that if you have a multiple-line account, the in-store people and the support phoneline people can only change the names on the lines, not on the account.
changing the name on the account apparently requires approval from the president, UN secretary-general, ICANN, both popes, and Dave McCallister of Star Valley, AZ.
which'd be fine except when you go in to get a new phone they don't want the ID of the name on that line, they need the one on the account, and of course that's the one they can't fucking change.
the annoying thing is that you can authorize other people on the account to be allowed to make changes, like buying phones. my ex-roommate was on that list, and she can buy all the phones she wants.

but you can't let yourself be authorized because you are yourself.
I could in theory authorize myself by pretending not to be myself, but then they'd need confirmation from myself that myself is authorized (by myself) so they'd be able to figure out that I am, in fact, myself.
possibly if I had someone on the phoneline who could pretend to be myself, I could authorize myself in person and have them call myself and get the remote-fake-myself to authorize it, allowing in-person myself access.
btw, you'd also want to list how different states work and how easy that is.
in CA 2019 you can change your name/gender by going to the courthouse, paying Xty$, and then they say "ok come back in a few months to pick up your court order"
NC 2012 it was "ok first you need to fax your fingerprints to the FBI, then you need to seek out the old wizard in this cave, and also collect 6 mystical crystals, and the judge at the end can deny it for any reason or even no reason. and that's just for name"
if you want to change your gender, it's simple.
first, build a time machine, then go back in time and make sure you were born in a different state.
thank you for living in north carolina, and also fuck you.
"BTW the FBI is also super overloaded and can take any amount of time they want to get back to you on name changes. if it takes 6 months, it takes 6 months, so I sure hope you aren't planning a wedding or anything"
I had to have two weddings, a ceremonial one and a legal one, because I just gave up waiting on the fucking FBI to get back to me about when my name would be changed, and I couldn't do the marriage certificate without changing my name first.
fun fact about NC: You could do simple easy name changes, but you have to fulfill some criteria:
1. You had to be only changing your last name.
2. You had to be a woman.
3. You had to be getting married to a man.
4. You had to be taking his name.
which is why we had to wait until my name change was finalized before getting married: if we did, my wife changing her name would be a checkbox on a form.
if we didn't, she'd have to go through the several-hundred-dollars-and-many-months process I went through.
we did the thing where instead of her taking my name or me taking her name, we picked a new last name and both changed to that.
this is a good alternative to the traditional name-changing-on-marriage practice and I recommend it, but dear god does NC not like it one bit
(I have no idea how this has changed now that NC has gay marriage. I haven't lived there since long before that happened)
I would make up some hyperbolic joke about how NC only lets you change your name when you get gay-married if you're the more femme half of the couple, but this is the same state that says you can't pee unless you have a birth certificate matching your name and gender
so hyperbole seems useless here. NC has already gone at least that stupid and is actively looking for new ways to become even stupider.
BTW someone asked if the "you have to be a woman marrying a man to change your last name" part would count as gender discrimination and get challenged, and I think the answer is yes.
and for all I know it has been changed by now.
But the thing is, this isn't an old law. it's not like we wrote some law in 1950 that was still on the books simply because no one had challenged it. this was a recent addition.
because North Carolina was one of those fun states that was doing proactive law changes in response to the 2004 legalization of gay marriage in Massachusetts and more importantly to the 2008 legalization in California.
because a lot of states that didn't have gay marriage were changing their laws to make sure it wasn't legal.
it was already illegal because we didn't have it at a federal level, but they wanted to make sure it was illegaler.
so there were a lot of new laws saying things like "marriage is recognized by the state of north carolina to refer only to the union of a man and a woman" and rolling back a lot of these sort of gender equality things.
a lot of these got thrown out by legal challenges before long and all of them were thrown out by the 2015 supreme court decision. most of them had no real "teeth" anyway because of Loving v. Virginia which required all states to recognize other state's marriages
but this was mainly a culture-war thing to get votes. if your opponent voted against the Make Marriage Straight Again amendment of 2010, you could run attack ads against them saying "SENATOR CLEGGENS WANTS YOU TO HAVE TO MARRY YOUR DOG!"
so they knew it would do nothing as a law and it would get overturned or overruled anyway. which is a great way to make laws, really. but hey, it keeps lawyers and politicians busy, I guess?
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