Why is the LGBTQ Notary Association necessary?
July 31th, 2021 :::
Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening - where ever you may be! thank you for visiting the project website of the LGBTQ Notary Association! My name is Zara Shea. I want to start by saying that I'm not a lawyer, and I'm never allowed to give legal advice, and nothing that I have written is intended to be taken as legal advice. It is always appropriate to seek a qualified legal professional for all legal questions. With that said, I have been a busy little beaver doing my research on exactly how we as Notaries can provide a better service with a very special continuity to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Intersex, Gender Non-Binary, and Transgender community, and here are my research findings so far:
Most of the mistakes that notaries have made were honest mistakes and were corrected easily, apologies were made, and everything moved forward, no muss, no fuss - BUT there are a few reviews that stick out to me, where the notaries behavior wasn't so innocent, or well-intentioned... Before I get started with this next section, I just want to say - the point of all of this isn't to smear or scold notaries who have made mistakes - my purpose is to address my research findings, so that we can hear customer feedback, learn some facts, and move forward, because when it all comes down to it, we should all pay attention to customer feedback. This project intends to help everyone learn, grow, move forward, and coexist in harmony. All clients deserve to receive essential services such as Notarizations with peace of mind.
Many LGBTQ clientele reluctantly look for professionals to meet their needs, because either intentionally, or unintentionally in the past they have had experience with someone who is supposed to be a professional, who didn't handle things very well, all of this making the entire process very stressful for potential LGBTQ clients. Many past Intersex, Gender Non-Binary, and Transgender clients have reported that while most Notaries are well-intentioned, some LGBTQ clients still report being dead named, misgendered, being given a dirty facial expression, and one story of a Notary very obviously wincing and recoiling when the Notary checked the ID of a Transgender Female client, and the Notary sees a face on the client's ID that doesn't match their clients current very female appearance and a few reports that Gender Non-Binary clients were denied services altogether by Notaries who weren't aware that "X" or "N" could appear on an identification indicating that "gender non-binary" or "gender-neutral" is a legal pronoun that can appear on a legitimate identification (because these situations aren't prominently taught about in Notary schools, I had to reach out to my Notary teacher to learn about this stuff, so this isn't entirely the fault of the Notary). Usually when a Notary dead names a gender and or sex diverse client, and or misgenders them, they do not realize exactly how dehumanizing and insulting that is, or how violating it is, or how demeaning it feels. It's especially important for those who do RON (Remote Online Notary) because they can be Notarizing for a worldwide clientele!
What does it mean to be an ally of the ENTIRE LGBTQ community?It is important to point out that "LGBTQ" isn't only just "Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual" but it's also "Transgender, and Queer" as well, but in its entirety, "LGBTQ" actually covers more than meets the eye! "LGBTQ" is used to describe Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Gender Non-Binary, Intersex, and Queer people. An ally of the LGBTQ community is an ally of the ENTIRE Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Gender Non-Binary, Intersex, and Queer community as a whole, without compromise. If you can read to the end of this article, you will read exactly why anything less than acceptance, and allyship with the LGBTQ community is frankly bigotry in its purest form. Bigotry is a very unattractive, and untrustworthy trait for any public official, and if any client can help it, they would very likely rather do business with a person who doesn't harbor unfounded hostile, and bigoted feelings towards them, which is why LGBTQ Notary Association exists, to ensure that clients can match up with a notary that they're most comfortable working with.
These findings exist across all U.S. States, Districts, and Territories - and they are very troubling, and may only be the tip of the iceberg in terms of what's happening, in terms of the data I've collected, plus because members of the LGBTQ community are typically at a disadvantage being poverty-stricken, they can't always afford a lawyer to pursue legal action, which is why this isn't taken to court if ever at all, causing there to not be a lot of legal data about this matter (court cases), and also the process to complain about such incidents entails having to explain a lot of very sensitive and personal details, which is in its self humiliating, and may deter LGBTQ people from actually filing a complaint. This type of thing has gone on for long enough, and now it's time that we all do better as public officials. Please remember, mistakes happen, people can learn, this is all understood, but sometimes to learn, professionals must receive feedback, and be open to receiving that feedback!
Sometimes in the subconscious mind of a person, whether they're a professional who may harbor hidden hostilities towards LGBTQ people based on their personal beliefs, even though they’re trying to be professional, and keep their hostile thoughts to themselves - sometimes these hidden hostilities manifest into outward, and obvious - but subconscious objectionable behavior, and or microaggression. No matter what we believe, let's find a way to keep the client happy, to reduce, and hopefully put a stop to these situations! As public servants, ALL notaries are technically responsible for accommodating LGBTQ people with the utmost respect, because when it all comes down to it - Notaries exist to cater to, and accommodate the ENTIRE public, without prejudice, it is a duty that should be taken seriously, it's all about keeping it legal, professional, and let's not forget about client satisfaction.
I won’t mention any names here, I don't want to smear anyone - however there are Notaries, and prominent Notary Agencies who prominently display their bigoted, hateful, and harmful opinions of minority groups (not even just about LGBTQ people, but also about race groups) to the public on social media, even though they have taken an oath or affirmation to serve the ENTIRE public in a respectful, and dignified manner and this causes a rift in the trust that the public is supposed to be able to have in Notaries everywhere, it's damaging! This very thing is what sparked me to create this project (LGBTQ Notary Association) because I searched and searched, and although I found PLENTY of LGBTQ representation for the Real Estate community, I found virtually none for the Notary community, although I do have to say it was VERY touching when the LGBTQ Notary Associaton showed their support during the June 2021 Pride Month by switching to a rainbow logo!
How exactly is the word "bigotry" being defined for this article?
Bigotry is a mindset and behavior. People who are bigoted are those who have any kind of problem with another person, because of the genetics they were born with. A person can not control what genetics they're born into, therefore harboring any kind of misgivings with a person because of their genetics is indeed bigotry, whether it be for the color of a person's skin, who that person loves, or how they identify in terms of gender/sex.
Anyhow, really, unless a notary receives some type of diversity sensitivity training, or if the Notary has family members who are LGBTQ themselves, or if the Notary is LGBTQ themselves, a Notary won’t possess any frame of reference on the etiquette required to complete a successful Notarization with an LGBTQ client, that respects the client's dignity and respect. It is a learned skill with the practice it takes to learn to remember to use correct pronouns, and to remember never to use dead names. Truth be told, factually and scientifically, there isn’t anything wrong with being LGBTQ. It only takes a Google search to see that it is a proven scientific fact that being LGBTQ all around as a whole is genetic, therefore harboring ill feelings, and or treating LGBTQ people like 3rd class citizens is not only an unjustifiable act of bigotry, it is also a terroristic bullying behavior that should be addressed by a licensed behavior professional. For the people who do have a problem with LGBTQ people, their problems only exist because of believed disproven, archaic, and outdated misconceptions about the LGBTQ community.
Thank you for reading! If you are an ally of the LGBTQ community, please consider Joining our Notaries Association! LGBTQ clients everywhere are looking for notaries who are specifically LGBTQ friendly, would you consider allowing us to add you to our area map, so that we can serve as many LGBTQ clients in as many locations as possible?
If you feel that you may not be ready to join yet but still want to be helpful, please consider making a donation.
If you haven't already, please consider reading the Notaries LGBTQ Code of Conduct for better context on how to handle certain situations.
Thank you very much for your time and consideration. Have a wonderful day!
XOXO, Zara Shea