Recently, I was scrolling down my timeline on Facebook and I saw a post in a Notary group regarding a transgender signer, and the comments ran the gamut from supportive to hostile. This post jogged my memory about an experience I had.
I received a phone call from an attorney one weekend regarding a client of his who needed mobile Notary services. After discussing the particulars, I accepted the assignment. I then contacted the signer to introduce myself and confirm the appointment.
He sounded like a nice gentleman, and everything was arranged easily. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary.
A Surprised Notary
I arrived at the client’s home later that afternoon. His daughter answered the door and welcomed me in. She escorted me to the room where her father was. That’s when I got a major surprise. I assumed the signer was a man, but standing before me was a woman. I initially thought that I had made a mistaken assumption based on the voice on the phone call.
I introduced myself and asked for the paperwork and photo ID. The woman handed me the document and her ID. Here’s where it gets tricky. The woman’s facial features matched the description on her ID, except the ID said she was a he and included a man’s name.
A brief discussion revealed that she had gone through gender reassignment. So I proceeded with the notarization. The signer was able to provide satisfactory evidence of her identity, and then signed the document in both names. I finished, and I went on about my day.
Now that literally was a first in my nine years as a Notary Public. I know that being in that environment alone would make many people uncomfortable. Some Notaries would simply refuse to do the job once they arrived.
As I thought about what transpired, I reflected that, as Notaries, we are public servants, and it is our duty to seve all the public. We are not the judge and/or jury about the situations we encounter in our day-to-day activities. I actually welcome and appreciate the unique opportunity being a Notary gives me to serve the public. This experience allowed me to open my thinking.
How many other transgender signers will I meet? What other variations of the human experience will I encounter? And how I can make all my clients comfortable?
What we do may seem routine, but it is so important for people’s lives and livelihoods.
In my previous job as a 911 communications operator, I witnessed many dysfunctional and strange situations. I have carried many of the skills I learned as a 911 operator into my Notary business. I am here to serve all people, not judge any individual on whatever they choose to be. I have personal morals and beliefs on the LGBTQ topic, and I keep them to myself. My personal motto is, if it doesn’t affect my pay, it doesn’t affect my day.
I can also recall a few years ago, a firefighter here in Texas died on the job, and there was much controversy regarding his widow receiving the life insurance benefits. This firefighter was married to a transgendered person. I do believe that many people mix their personal feelings and beliefs with their professional duties and force their feelings on an individual.
In business, that is incorrect. If a transgendered person has documentation to prove their identity, then that person has the right to receive the services that anyone else would recieve.