A note from the woman who has been hassled about her passport has a few things to say:
I want to clarify some things for people. Please share this post to trans groups.
One: What’s happening with my passport is unique to the facts in my case (adoption as a minor and being trans) and I have been crystal clear about that. As a trans person with a relatively high profile I do have lingering questions about the extent of hoops I am being asked to jump through as well as the cruel indifference with which the current policy is being applied in my case.
Two: journalist who are personal friends publishing whole hog “friends only” Facebook posts without waiting to get permission, quotes, or contexts is not only unethical journalism, but could place a source (me) in danger. It violates journalistic ethics and standards. I could be deported from Sweden as I am here on a tourist visa and saying otherwise can cause me to loose status here. I could also possibly be arrested upon reentry as I am currently unable to prove citizenship to the satisfaction of State Dept. I’m really angry at Sarah Toce from LGBTQ Nation / Seattle Lesbian for publishing an update intended for a limited audience of friends and family that has been following an ongoing story and are concerned about me.
It has been unnecessarily alarming the community by not placing it in the context of my individual case facts while also placing me in jeopardy by antagonizing a very delicate situation. Backing the Trump administration into a corner is never a good idea, they could easily choose to make an example of me. I asked Sarah to retract the story, she didn’t, instead she deleted my request. People should apply pressure to get the story taken down.
NCTE has issued a great statement that the policy has not changed at the State Department with clear instructions on how to get a passport. They are absolutely in the best possible position to know! People should continue to be able to get their passports.
The facts in my case (sealed court records as a minor) make producing certain documents they are demanding extremely difficult without traveling to Maine to appear in court.
That combined with a rigid and cruelly indifferent application of the current policy, a few pissed off and rude bureaucrats who have made threats – is what has produced a shit show around both my legal status, my fear of possibly being accused of fraud, and questions on the validity of my temporary passport.
We should continue to monitor if people are unable to get passports or encounter problems – as some other cases have now started popping up.
BUT people should not draw conclusions from simply a small sample size of 2 that the sky is falling. I am playing it safe. I am in Sweden for safety reasons and will return when I feel that doing so is safe. That is my #1 priority.
Lots of people are working hard on my case from allied organizations, lawyers, Congress people, attorney general’s, UN Human Right Council, etc. I am sharing my process because it is isolating and terrifying in the current context of our government.
I have faith that it will eventually get to some resolution, until then it is complex problem with a unique set of facts and other people should not fear their own ability to get a passport. So go get your passport.