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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Gender Delusion


The name of my firstborn son is Austin. I chose that name because we were living in Utah at the time (he was conceived in Wyoming) and I missed my home state of Texas very much. At the time he was born we were living in Price, Utah and thought that we were going to live in that area the rest of our lives. We were actively looking for a home to purchase, even though my husband was working two part-time jobs, and I thought the name "Austin" was not only masculine, but played great homage to the capitol of my beloved Texas and Stephen F. Austin the Father of Texas.

Even if my husband told everyone, including his own family, that we named our firstborn after Austin Powers.

When my oldest son was six weeks old, we went to the hospital and got his hospital birth certificate. Everything about that piece of paper which I placed in his baby book was perfect--from his name, to our names, to the black ink transfer of his newborn feet.

When our son was about two years old we went to the county offices in Utah while on vacation and got his certified birth certificate. We had moved to Texas by then since my husband had gotten a new full-time job and had decided together that we should have our oldest son's official birth certificate on hand since we never knew when we might need it. Besides, we were already in Utah and figured it was a good time to get it since we were already there.

It wasn't until I enrolled Austin in preschool that I ever pulled out his certified state birth certificate again. It was then that I looked at that peice of paper stunned at what I saw. It was not so perfect after all.

Gender: FEMALE

I knew right then and there that Utahns are the weird people they are. I mean, who in their right mind would think that "Austin" is a girl's name? Austin. Stephen F. Austin, the Father of Texas.

(Yes, we Texans know our state history well and expect the rest of y'all to also.)

Since then, I never have taken the initiative to have his birth certificate changed. Partly because I want to see how far he can go in life with the wrong gender on it. Partly because I am nonconformist. Partly because I am too busy. I figure since he's already started public school and they didnt notice when I enrolled him, that he'll have no problem doing or opting out of anything. Like if there's ever a draft, then maybe he won't have to go. At least that's what I keep telling myself. But still, who names a girl "Austin"?

Apparently soldiers do.


That reads: "US Army Staff Sgt. Jackie Vanover from Spanaway, Wash. holds a message for his family, including 2-month-old daughter Austin, after crossing the border into Kuwait."

  • I'm hoping the press got the gender wrong.
  • Or they have a love of Texas.
  • Or maybe my idea to trick officials into thinking my son is a girl isn't too far-fetched.
  • Or maybe my kid is going to hate me when he finds out.
  • Or I could use it as a great incentive if my kid ever gets himself into trouble when he's older. You know, like blackmail. I mean, who needs nude photos when you have the perfect botched birth certificate?

Until then, I'm just going to revel in the fact that legally I have one girl and two boys. Although I have a feeling he'll hate me if I ever dress him up like a girl. Just no one tell him what I did when he was two-months-old.

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