How hard is it to tell if a person is male or female? Okay, there has been that rare occurrence when you do a double-take and are not completely sure if someone is one or the other. But, really, how often does that happen? In the case of Nakia Grimes, Clayton County, GA officials were not at all sure, and asked her to prove that she is, in fact, a woman.
Birth Certificate Error Causes Misery
Ms. Grimes never knew that her birth certificate, issued almost 37 years ago, listed her as “male” instead of female. It’s that old, “one stroke of a pen” error that can cause a bureaucratic nightmare, and make you miserable, especially when you have to deal with something like renewing your driver’s license.
One June 24, 2013, Fox 5 News in Atlanta reported that Ms. Grimes was asked by a state employee to obtain a doctor’s note to prove her female gender in order to renew her driver’s license. Before that request, Ms. Grimes never noticed that there was an “x” typed in the “male” field of her birth certificate. A change in procedures required Ms. Grimes to present her birth certificate to renew her license; before that, she claims she never noticed the error because she never had reason to present her birth certificate for any other reason. She was shocked to have to prove, at this stage of her life, that she was born a female.
“She [a state employee] said I needed to go have a PAP exam, have a doctor write a note verifying you’re a woman, and bring it back – notarized,” Grimes told FOX 5. A Fox 5 reporter contacted the director of Georgia’s Vital Records Services, who was able to obtain a copy of Ms. Grimes’ son’s birth certificate, listing her as the mother of the child. The request for the exam and doctor’s note was dropped, and Ms. Grimes’ birth certificate was immediately corrected.
Gender is something that is usually pretty easy to recognize, but when it comes to keeping accurate records, things can get a bit confusing. Maybe hospital employees are a bit short in the training department, and need some help in keeping accurate records. Still more might be in need of some diversity training, to make them aware of undesirable behavior in the workplace. Ms. Grimes’ predicament might be a bit amusing on some level, but it can also be infuriating when you have to deal with state bureaucracy to have your birth certificate corrected, and be denied renewal of your driver’s license because of another person’s error. We can laugh when everything is finally corrected, but while we’re in the process of dealing with the problem, life can become a series of frustrating, time consuming tasks we’d rather not deal with.
Nakia Grimes was lucky to have the local media on her side to help her solve her problem. The rest of us can turn to Coggno, to help us obtain the online training we need to improve our performance on the job, and in life.