Despite What You Hear, Gender Matters on Government Forms

Yep. Many government leaders make claims that you can pick your own gender, but have you ever tried filling out government forms for these guys? Fact is they still wanna know your gender and only give you two choices male and female.  (OK, your pets get to choose spayed or neutered when you sign them up for their license.)

Anyway, if you check the wrong box, guess what? Your application gets stopped until it is resolved. I got to experience this firsthand about a week ago.

I’m about to turn 62 and decided to apply for Social Security. I figured I should apply once I get within 90 days of my birthday. Well sure enough there was a problem. I found out after ignoring a phone call with a 301-area code. Of course, I ignored the call since I have no idea where 301 is and don’t have the number in my address book. A voice mail was left from someone claiming to be from the Social Security Administration. I called the number and extension that I was given and left messages on three separate occasions over the space of about 10 days. Of course, nobody has called me again. Oh, the number left on my voicemail did not match the one on my caller ID.

Finally, I got a letter from SSA which stated that there was a problem with my application. In typical government fashion, the letter never said what the issue was that was causing all the fuss. They asked me to complete a form SS-5 (it was an application for a duplicate Social Security Card). FYI you can only apply for a duplicate Card in person and the local Social Security office will not let you make an appointment to do this. (It took more than an hour of persistent dialing to my local SSA office to learn about the no appointments thing.)

In an attempt to learn more, I called the generic 800 number on the Social Security Administration website. Amazingly, I was able to speak with a real human. After extensive grilling to try to verify my identity, I was finally able to ask someone what the dire problem was with my application. Back in 1980, when I applied for a duplicate copy of my Social Security Card; allegedly, I accidently checked the box for female. Whether this is true or not I can’t say because I have never been offered a copy of this errant form. Ironically, this was the same time that I was registering for Selective Service—a  male only requirement—and two years before I went in the military to serve in a male only occupation. At the time, this error never bothered anyone. However, it is a big issue now.

I find the Federal government making an issue out of checking the wrong gender box on a form 43 years ago laughable. I thought under the enlightened leadership of Joe Biden that nobody cared about gender. I thought nowadays that gender could change on a whim; like maybe which restroom had the shortest line when you need to pee.

Anyway, I dug through my box of important documents and prepared to go to the nearest SSA office the next day.

The next morning, I got out of bed, got dressed, and then drove the hour and a half to the nearest SSA office. I arrived about 8 AM and was proudly the first in line. When they opened at 9 AM, I was admitted into the office and took a number. A few minutes later I was called to one of the four windows serving customers. I showed my letter from SSA and my documents. The lady was satisfied that I was in fact male without resorting to a package check. I was assured that the information would be forwarded to the SSA case worker that was holding up my application. Oh, and I will also get a new SSA card in the mail in a few weeks.

Please note that this was supposedly resolved over a week ago, but as of today, per the SSA website, my application is still on hold pending further review.

My wife is glad this happened because she was able to laugh at my predicament and then load me down with a list of chores to do when I went to the big city. As a result, we now have a barn door on the downstairs bathroom. What took three minutes in a YouTube video actually took two days to accomplish but that is a story for another day.

With my manhood secure and my pride recovering, I just wanted to share my story to let you know what I’m doing in my spare time.