Tag: ID

Come On Already, NYC

Posted by – November 12, 2014

Honestly, we need someone to do groundbreaking stuff – don’t let Iowa beat you to it again, okay? Shoot, NYS has already beaten you to it.


A proposed law that would allow individuals to change the sex on their birth certificate without having gender reassignment surgery would ease the barrier to basic services such as health care, housing and jobs, transgender advocates said.

Testimony happened on Monday, 11/10, that helped explain why surgery should not be a requirement to change your birth certificate in NYC.

AMA: Birth Certificate Changes Shouldn’t Require Surgery

Posted by – June 10, 2014

Great, great news. Not only is this requirement unfair and biased in favor of people who transition medically – not everyone does, or wants to – it also creates a problem with socioeconomic status, where those who can afford surgery are “real” and those who can’t, aren’t.

But this line in the Forbes article is a little silly:

Transgender people say they need IDs to accurately reflect their gender when they apply for jobs, travel and seek certain government services among other things.

Probably just a sloppy bit of writing, but um, everyone needs IDs that accurately reflect their gender.

This part of the article is, however, all too true:

“Birth certificates are primarily used for legal matters, not medical,” the new policy language approved by the AMA says.  “Requiring sex-reassignment surgery places a burden on an already marginalized population.”

Last week, New York State passed a law that states that people are not required to have surgery to change their birth certificates, so hopefully this new AMA ruling will mean other states will follow suit.

CA Trans Students: Good News

Posted by – August 12, 2013

Well, this is indeed good news:

Today, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed the historic School Success and Opportunity Act into law, ensuring transgender youth have the opportunity to fully participate and succeed in schools across the state. Assembly Bill 1266—which goes into effect on January 1, 2014—was authored by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano and passed the California State Senate and Assembly earlier this summer. The law is the first of its kind in the country, and requires that California public schools respect students’ gender identity and makes sure that students can fully participate in all school activities, sports teams, programs, and facilities that match their gender identity. . . 

and

California law already prohibits discrimination in education, but transgender students have been often discriminated against and unfairly excluded from physical education, athletic teams, and other school activities, and facilities. This exclusion negatively impacts students’ ability to succeed in school and graduate with their class. For example, physical education credits are required to graduate, but transgender students often do not have the support they need to fully participate in the courses.

It’s the first law of its kind, but it would be amazing to see this happen in a lot more states.

Argentina Raises the Bar

Posted by – May 12, 2012

Argentina set the new standard for changes in gender markers on identity documents for trans people:

“The fact that there are no medical requirements at all — no surgery, no hormone treatment and no diagnosis — is a real game changer and completely unique in the world. It is light years ahead of the vast majority of countries, including the U.S., and significantly ahead of even the most advanced countries,” said Eisfeld, who researched the laws of the 47 countries for the Council of Europe’s human rights commission.

In the US, you can get your passport changed with a letter from a doctor but no genital surgery is required, at least. The problems arise in the different ruling of the different states, so in Texas, for insance, a trans woman is always legally male, but she can legally marry her (cis) girlfriend there. Not quite how they expected the law against transness and against same sex marriage to play out, but there you go.

Both Ways

Posted by – November 15, 2011

A trans woman is insisting a Tennessee DMV can’t have it both ways: either they decide she’s a man and she should be legally allowed to go topless, or she is a woman & then they need to change her gender marker on her license to an F.

So she took her shirt off outside the DMV, and they promptly arrested her. I’m sure they still didn’t change her gender marker, however.

These ‘gender determined by genitals’ laws have got to go.

Texas Marriage Law

Posted by – April 24, 2011

Monica Roberts has been covering a proposed bill call SB 723; her most recent update is here. It’s in the Senate, & what it will do is make it illegal to use a court order about name/gender change to apply for a marriage license. The only reason it’s been proposed is to mess with the legal marriages of trans women to men, such as in the Nikki Araguz.

If you live in TX, call your senators now and tell them to kill this bill. List below the break.

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Leave Animals Out of It

Posted by – April 12, 2011

I don’t know if many people saw this, but recently, The Washington Times published an attack on identity document changes of the type sought by transgender people:

I won’t bother to reproduce their text here, but did want to say: what a bunch of prejudiced hogwash.

There should be some version of Godwin’s Law that clarifies: once you’re using animals in your metaphor to justify your own prejudices, you’re not allowed to talk anymore.

Revised Passport Requirements

Posted by – January 29, 2011

From NCTE: New News on Passport Requirements

The U.S. State Department has announced some small but important additional changes to its policy for updating gender on U.S. passports and Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBAs). The changes make clear that any physician who has treated or evaluated a passport applicant may certify that he or she has had appropriate treatment for gender transition. The revised policy also clarifies language and procedures to ensure that individuals with intersex condition can obtain documents with the correct gender.

In June 2010, the Obama Administration announced a new policy for updating gender markers on passports and CRBAs. For the first time, the June policy enabled transgender people to a passport that reflects their current gender without providing details of specific medical or surgical procedures. Instead, applicants could provide certification from a physician that they had received “appropriate clinical treatment” for gender transition. This policy was the result of years of advocacy, and represented a significant advance in providing safe, humane and dignified treatment of transgender people.

The policy announced in June was a huge step forward, but it was not perfect. It contained rigid and unnecessary restrictions on which physicians could write supporting letters for applicants, and contained confusing provisions regarding people with intersex conditions. With input from NCTE and other organizations, the Department moved swiftly to clarify and improve the policy. The passport policy as it now stands represents a model that other federal agencies, such as the Social Security Administration and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, should move swiftly to adopt.

NCTE has prepared a revised resource that fully explains the new guidelines and outlines the ways in which transgender people can make changes to their passports and CRBAs. We are thankful for our colleagues at the Council for Global Equality, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Lesbian Rights for their wonderful collaborative work on this vital issue.

This TDOR: Why Not “Tranny”?

Posted by – November 20, 2010

& To close this year’s Trasngender Day of Remembrance, a note from Mara Keisling of NCTE on what the day means, why not “tranny,” and what next:

The Day of Remembrance, which we commemorate tomorrow, is a time of mourning for transgender people, a time to honor the lives tragically cut short by another person’s hatred or fears. It is also a time to look at how we can have fewer and fewer deaths to commemorate on this day in years to come.

Each year as I look at the names and faces of those we have lost, they touch me profoundly and they also call me to a renewed commitment to the work ahead of us. We have to use every tool available to us to stem the tide; one of those tools is federal law.

A full year has passed since the passage of the first federal law to offer protections to transgender people-the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009. While the law certainly won’t end the problem of hate crimes, it does provide new avenues to address violence when it occurs. For the very first time, the Department of Justice and federal law enforcement officials have been authorized to take action to address the violence that transgender people face. And, while it’s easy to be cynical about the government, there are people in law enforcement who are truly and deeply dedicated to working with us to address the violence.

We’ve been at the table with the FBI and other departments as they’ve worked to update their training programs to include explicit information about gender identity and change the way they record information so we gain vital knowledge about the extent of the problem. I know, paperwork doesn’t seem like it will do anything. There is something very important about seeing the word “transgender” there in the manuals and forms because it means that the federal government is making a record and taking notice of the horrific violence we as a people face. It is information they can use to prosecute a crime and ensure that local law enforcement takes violence against us seriously. It will also help formulate violence prevention programs.

But there’s also something awful about knowing that those forms will record the terror of victims of hate-motivated violence. Law enforcement officers will note down the weapons used, the damage done and the derogatory words that are said to harm a transgender person-someone’s child, or partner, or parent, or loved one.

One of the reasons that we don’t use the word “tranny” at NCTE is because we’ve heard too many stories of violence. We know that when someone hears that word, it often heralds the beginning of an attack. And words matter when we look at hate crimes; the language used is, in fact, part of how we determine if something is a hate crime, because words are one of the weapons used to hurt the target of the violence. Because in a hate crime, damage is done to hearts and spirits as well as to bodies-and sadly, that’s the perpetrator’s point. We hear regularly, especially over the past few weeks, from transgender people who tell us that “tranny” is a word that feels hostile and hurtful to them. We shouldn’t use words that cause pain to others, especially when the word is one that, horrifyingly, transgender people hear as they are being bludgeoned. We have to use our words differently than that.

This week, the Department of Justice brought federal hate crimes charges under the new law for the first time, against white supremists who attacked a developmentally disabled Native American man in New Mexico. Disability was one of the other new categories added to the hate crimes laws, along with gender identity. It is a reminder that violence to any of us hurts all of us.

There are many more cases that are currently in the midst of the legal and investigative processes that have to happen before charges are filed. Each of these cases makes a statement that hate crimes are intolerable and illegal.

But we also have to keep our eye on our goal-ending violence against transgender people. We do this by educating people about the realities of our lives and by asserting our human rights to express who we are and to live in safety. To make this a reality, we have to build a climate of acceptance, free of derogatory words and angry fists, and filled with respect for the differences among us.

PA Changes Gender Marker Rules

Posted by – August 31, 2010

Good news in PA!

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) ? The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is changing its policy on how transgender people identify themselves on driver’s licenses.

The department and Equality Pennsylvania announced a settlement Wednesday that allows people to change the gender on their licenses if they are living full-time in the new gender and it can be verified by a licensed medical or psychological caregiver.

The previous policy only allowed changes in gender for drivers who could prove they’d had sexual reassignment surgery.

PennDOT says about half the states already have adopted a similar policy. The new policy takes effect immediately.

New Guidelines for Gender Marker Changes on US Passports

Posted by – June 10, 2010

This just in from NCTE:

Last night the US Department of State announced new guidelines for issuing passports to transgender people. Beginning today, applicants for a gender marker change on their passports will need to submit certification from a physician that they have received “appropriate clinical treatment” for gender transition. Most importantly, gender reassignment surgery is not required under the new policy.

The new rules will also apply to changing a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) for US citizens who were born outside of the United States. CRBA’s are the equivalent of a birth certificate.

For years, NCTE has been advocating with the State Department to change their rules about gender markers on passports and CRBA’s. Previously they had required proof of irreversible sex reassignment surgery before the gender marker could be changed, although there were exceptions for temporary, provisional passports to allow someone to travel for surgery.

NCTE and other advocates have stressed with the State Department that this policy unnecessarily called attention to transgender travelers whose appearance and gender marker were at odds. In some destinations, this had the potential to create an extremely dangerous situation when a traveler is outed as transgender in an unwelcoming environment or in the presence of prejudiced security personnel.

Fortunately, the new rules represent a significant advance in providing safe, humane and dignified treatment of transgender people. There are details in the guidelines about what information a physician must provide and we will communicate those to you as soon as possible. However, the State Department notes that applicants will not need to supply any additional medical documentation and that there is no SRS requirement.

“We want to extend our thanks to the Obama Administration, and particularly to Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, for understanding the need for this change and then responding to make travel safer for transgender people,” commented Mara Keisling, Executive Director of NCTE. “This shows how changes in government policy directly impact people’s lives, in this case, for the better.”

In the next few days, NCTE will be issuing a definitive resource that fully explains the new guidelines and outlines the ways in which transgender people can make changes to their passports and CRBAs.

Many people-from elected officials to LGBT advocates-have worked for years to change these policies and deserve credit and thanks. Particularly important work was done by Rep. Barney Frank as well as Rep. Steve Israel in the House of Representatives; Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies (GLIFAA), which represents LGBT employees and their families working in foreign affairs offices for the US government; all of our allied LGBT organizations who have been committed to this work, including the Center for Global Equality, The Task Force, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Lambda Legal and the Human Rights Campaign; and those working on medical policies, including the American Medical Association and the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH).

NOH8

Posted by – April 17, 2010

A Lawrence student has been taking photographs of faculty, staff & students who wanted to participate in the NOH8 campaign, and yesterday, on our 12th anniversary, we decided to (finally) get ours taken. Here are some of the shots.

Photographer: Andrew Hawley

Pelosi Doesn’t Have Balls

Posted by – March 22, 2010

Fantastic rant from ultrageek over at Daily Kos:

She has courage. She has guts. She has a spine. She has tenacity. She has fortitude. BUT, she does NOT have balls. The inner feminist in me, long hidden in my workaday world, has been getting more and more irritated all day by the continual reference to Speaker Pelosi’s non-existent testicles.

Let me be clear: ONE DOES NOT NEED TO BE MALE IN ORDER TO GET THINGS DONE IN WASHINGTON . . .

It took someone with a uterus to make this happen, to bring this home.

And, while I’m at it, can we please stop talking about what a good looking woman she is? How she looks so young, and vibrant, and HOT?

JESUS CHRIST! WHAT DOES A WOMAN HAVE TO DO TO BE JUDGED ON HER OWN MERITS?

This woman brings home one of the most progressive pieces of legislation in 45 years, and we talk about her HOTness? Are you shitting me?

No, they are not shitting you, ultrageek; a woman’s hotness is still, surely, far more important than her accomplishments. (& We wonder why we can’t get more women into office.)

Egg Nog Made With Romulan Ale

Posted by – December 24, 2009

Happy Christmas Eve! Check out this amusing post from 2004 about the 10 Least Successful Christmas Specials. Here’s my favorite:

Ayn Rand’s A Selfish Christmas (1951)

In this hour-long radio drama, Santa struggles with the increasing demands of providing gifts for millions of spoiled, ungrateful brats across the world, until a single elf, in the engineering department of his workshop, convinces Santa to go on strike. The special ends with the entropic collapse of the civilization of takers and the spectacle of children trudging across the bitterly cold, dark tundra to offer Santa cash for his services, acknowledging at last that his genius makes the gifts — and therefore Christmas — possible. Prior to broadcast, Mutual Broadcast System executives raised objections to the radio play, noting that 56 minutes of the hour-long broadcast went to a philosophical manifesto by the elf and of the four remaining minutes, three went to a love scene between Santa and the cold, practical Mrs. Claus that was rendered into radio through the use of grunts and the shattering of several dozen whiskey tumblers. In later letters, Rand sneeringly described these executives as “anti-life.”

New MVA Policy Detrimental to Trans Marylanders

Posted by – December 15, 2009

Equality Maryland is Maryland’s largest LGBT civil rights organization. They recently sent out this information about the proposed changes to the rules for changing gender on MD driver’s licenses.

The Maryland Vehicle Administration (MVA) is currently considering an update to their policy regarding changing the gender marker on a driver’s license. The new policy would go into effect on January 1, 2010.

The current policy allows for a change to the gender marker, so long as an applicant is able to provide a physician’s or psychologist’s report to confirm that the applicant is in active treatment. The MVA requires annual re-evaluations until the applicant meets requirements for permanent gender change. The primary criterion for a permanent change is for the person to have undergone SRS or sex reassignment surgery.

If you’re a resident of Maryland, you can bug the governor of Maryland to keep this proposal from happening.

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Morehouse Crossdressing Policy

Posted by – October 20, 2009

Morehouse College has chosen to have a clothing policy that prohibits crossdressing:

The dress-wearing ban is aimed at a small part of the private college’s 2,700-member student body, said Dr. William Bynum, vice president for Student Services.

“We are talking about five students who are living a gay lifestyle that is leading them to dress a way we do not expect in Morehouse men,” he said.

Before the school released the policy, Bynum said, he met with Morehouse Safe Space, the campus’ gay organization.

“We talked about it and then they took a vote,” he said. “Of the 27 people in the room, only three were against it.”

There has been a positive response along with some criticism throughout the campus, he said.

Senior Devon Watson said he disagrees with parts of the new policy, especially those that tell students what they should wear in free time outside of the classroom.

I’m wondering if someone needs to tell them about straight crossdressers, and about pre-transition MTF trans people. Hopefully Morehouse’s Safe Space already does – but I doubt it.

NCTE: Flying Now Requires Gender

Posted by – August 18, 2009

From NCTE:

Washington, DC, August 17, 2009-The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) rolled out a new phase of their Secure Flight program over the weekend. Passengers will now be required to provide their birth date and gender when they book an airline ticket as part of a move to help distinguish passengers from those on the government’s “watch list” (often called the “no-fly” list).

NCTE has issued a new (.pdf) FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) about the Secure Flight program and its impact on transgender people. The resource includes information about how to navigate the new process, particularly if you have identification that does not match your gender presentation. NCTE firmly supports the right of transgender people to maintain our privacy and to travel freely.

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