I usually put it like this: if my mother had been a man I would have had a British passport long ago. Of course if my mother had been a man there wouldn’t be any me. But it’s almost that raw: until 2002, British men could pass citizenship to their adult children, but British women could not. Now that the law has been changed I felt obligated to apply, just to underline the fact that my mother is a human being.

Ceremony was today. I dyed my hair blue and wore a skin-tight white t-shirt with a glittery Union Jack heart. I was not, perhaps, taking the occasion very seriously. Jeremy came for moral support, and to take lots of pics. The British Consulate is in One Sansome, a generic Financial District high-rise, with more laid-back security than most Manhattan fund managers. Thirteen of us filed into the Nova Albion room, where an absurdly flattering picture of Queen Elizabeth II fought for space with a full-sized polyester Union Jack.

I didn’t expect the consul-general to make me laugh (“Love making new Brits. Best part of the job. New taxpayers! Lovely.”); I really didn’t expect to find the whole thing so moving, or to feel such a wild sense of relief in the aftermath. Of course now I am English I am sentimental. I also like Doctor Who, talk funny and drink gallons of tea. So, no change whatsoever.

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