So, I have received some questions and noticed some little curiosity recently about what the process of gender transition/sex reassignment looks like in the ‘verse, or since that is highly variable, in the Empire.
Well, it goes something like this – and this is the procedure and the whole of the procedure, which requires no permissions or approvals from anyone:
You pay a visit to the local branch of Novacorpora. (This will not be difficult. They’re everywhere – basically the Starbucks of bodysculpt parlors.)
You say, “I can haz new [appropriate-sex] body?”
They say, “We can haz deposit?”
You give them the 12%. (It is slightly higher in some cases – such as female-to-male, for humans – because you don’t have the relevant chromosome and they have to synthesize a compatible one. But that’s just an implementation detail.)
You stick your hand in the fancy laser-genetic-sequencing-machine when they ask you to. It goes beep, and then there’s a brief discussion (and possibly some holography) of any non-genetic features you have that you want preserved in your new body.
They ask you to come back in a week. (Unless you feel like paying over the odds for even-faster-than-regular-forced-growth cloning rates and went to a different store in the first place, but we’re assuming the default consumer version here.)
You come back a week later. They usher you into the changing room at the back, where you get to stare at an [appropriate-sex] version of you in a forced-growth tube. They cough to get your attention. You stop ogling yourself. (They laugh, and say that everyone does it the first time.)
They set up the cerebral bridge to put you into your new body. (There is a brief discussion of animus/anima/animua/animin remapping, but as you are what Earth would call a trans person, you don’t need that particular service.) You change into a medical coverall and sit down in the chair.
You wake up. By the clock on the wall, a couple of hours have passed, but right now you’re busy coughing growth-tank fluid out of your lungs. They hand you a towel. Your eyes ache in the peculiar way of eyes that have never been used before, but it soon passes. You look over at your old body, now running the Minimal Maintenance Architecture. It’s breathing, but it looks comatose.
They help you over to a chair and help you dress – well, unless you were good at guessing your new sizes and brought your own, help you dress in a fresh new set of GenericWear™. You’re hungry. Food is provided, all food you can eat with a rubber spoon, but in fairness you have to learn how to use a brand-new nervous system. There’s not enough of it, either, but they gently remind you that your digestive tract is new to all this, too.
Part of the forced-growth process involves teaching your new cerebellum how to operate, so it’s not as bad as it could be, and an hour or so of practice has you able to manipulate objects and walk around without falling over. They suggest that you wait a few days before operating heavy machinery anyway, just in case, as recommended in the pamphlet they hand you, Care and Feeding of Your New Body.
There’s a little legal paperwork to read through, details of the Identity Tribunal confirming that you are, in fact, still you and updating all the relevant records with your shiny new Body Identification Number so that all the biometric stuff in the world still works. That uses up another few minutes; the Imperial Service is efficient.
You pay at the desk. They ask you what you want done with your old body – they can ship it to cold storage for you, or put it up for resale, or arrange for biowaste disposal (i.e., euthanasia and incineration). It’s up to you – it’s still your property, even if you’re not living there any more. You ask them to keep it on site for a couple of days while you think about it. It’s not a problem.
You’re done here, so you go about your day. You catch sight of yourself in the store window as you leave. Damn, you look good.