I've just received a phonecall from the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Today, they are issuing me with a passport. At no charge. And, just as importantly, an apology for the inconvenience.
It's cost me about $500 in application fees (rather than less than $200 of the original application), hundreds of hours of writing letters, going to interviews, communications with Ministers and Department Heads, being ordered to divorce, innumerable blog entries recording it all...
But I've won. Some 20 months after I first walked into a post office and put in my application, as is the right of every Australian citizen.
This should never have happened. Yes, unusual circumstances, well outside the norm, but had there been a modicum of rationality, goodwill, or simple decency at the highest levels, this would have been resolved long ago.
I dared to hope even before the election. You see, I'm not the only one in an equally unusual situation, involving foreign birth, marriage, change of legal sex, children... and DFAT had started helping, serving the Public, in some other cases, rather than being bloody-minded. There were signs and portents of a change of culture.
Now I have a lot to do: informing the various mailing lists and support sites, and individuals too, of the new precedent that's been set. Helping others, as I have been helped. The greatest gift I've received is the network of support from others who, like me, can only rely on each other, as we certainly can't rely on others. Well, that's not quite true, not for me. Unlike so many, the readers of my blog have been a pillar of strength for me. Any victory is really theirs, more than anyone else's. They had no dog in this fight, no self-interest as I did, they just helped out of a sense of justice, of doing the right thing no matter what.
Had this schlemazzle not happened, I never would have known the friends I had. Thank you all.
Now to do some e-mailing. But first, a cup of tea, and a good, long cry. I'm not superhuman, after all.