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Transgender Name Changes

By ensuring that transgender people have adequate legal representation when seeking name changes, the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) has helped hundreds of transgender clients successfully negotiate the legal process, so that their legal identities can conform with how they self-identify and live their lives. This is just one of TLDEF’s many initiatives to end discrimination based on gender identity and to achieve equal rights for transgender people. 

In the Market

We have an ongoing partnership with the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF), having taken on 20 matters for the organization’s Name Change Project since December 2010. Securing a legal name change can be an intimidating experience, involving interaction with the court system and judges as well as significant expense and a serious commitment of time and effort.

In addition to working with TLDEF on name changes, we serve as pro bono co-counsel on litigation on behalf of four transgender individuals seeking to change the sex designation on their birth certificates. The New York City Board of Health’s current requirements are stringent, mandating that sex reassignment surgeries take place prior to the sex designation being changed. Not only do these guidelines date back to the 1970s, they are also stricter than the state and federal guidelines on the issue and do not reflect the realities of transgender identity. Along with TLDEF, we hope to get rid of these rules in favor of more modern guidelines.