So, the sitcom that is my life decided to give me jury duty while I’m here trying to get things done and figure things out. I report tomorrow. I keep making plans for how I’m going to start things off right tomorrow morning, and then remembering that first thing tomorrow I’m heading for the courthouse.
My understanding is that they’re only going to tie me up for a couple of hours morning tomorrow, for a sort of orientation process, with any actual work days requiring my presence to be announced later. The helpfully threatening little slip of paper I have assures me that the average juror is only called to be present for 5 to 7 days during the month in which we are called to serve, but that doesn’t mean it’s outside the realm of possibility that I’ll be engaged for longer.
It’s also not outside the realm of possibility that my services won’t be needed at all. I am supposed to call in this evening to make sure I’m still on, and even if I’m still scheduled for my orientation, I might not be assigned to a case. I can’t really plan for that, though. I’ve got to assume I’m going to be busy for an indeterminate number of days on an indeterminate schedule.
This isn’t new news for me, as I found out last month. I haven’t talked about this for the same reasons I haven’t talked about much else. I’ve been quite anxious about it, though. Dealing with officialdom while trans is never fun. I have a lot of experience in doing so in an airport, but none in a courthouse.
I think the most likely scenario is that it’s not a big deal, few people notice (this is usually the case) and few say so. I know for most intents and purposes I’ll be a number, not a name, though I do expect my “wallet name” to be called out at least once.
The nightmare scenario, of course, is that my presence and existence are questioned, that my presentation of myself at my most presentable is interpreted as a mockery, and at the worst extreme, I’m subjected to legal repercussions for someone else’s decision to take issue with my life. (That’s ignoring the even worse extreme of being subjected to potentially lethal violence, but that’s always a possibility.)
There are still times when I suck it up and squash the dysphoria long enough to try to present myself as male in order to avoid what seems like a bigger headache. Apart from a high psychological cost, it rarely actually works. The number of times I’ve been challenged trying to use a male-coded restroom is higher than the number of times I’ve been challenged using the correct one. But even if I wanted to try it (and I really don’t think I could), it’s not like I have kept up a closet full of courtroom-appropriate masculine-coded attire. So it’s show up in a nice ensemble from Kohl’s, or old sweat pants and a t-shirt. There’s the risk that someone will think the former is me not taking things seriously, while the latter leaves no doubt.
So I’m just going to have to do what I always do, which is to show up as myself and hope for the best. If things go well, I’ll come back in the afternoon and hopefully have a lot of energy and motivation. If not, the day might end up being a wash, or worse.
Either way, I’ll let you know how it goes, once it’s gone.