Don’t Panic, Get Informed: Updating ID Docs Under the Trump Administration

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December 23, 2016

In the weeks since the presidential election, we have heard from many who want to know what this new era of conservative domination in the federal government will mean for the transgender community.

The short answer is that we have no way of knowing. But we can make an educated guess. The coming years likely mean heightened vigilance, resistance and struggle — efforts trans people know all too well.

Lambda Legal will be there with you and for you.

In fact, for the first time in our history, we are offering direct legal services in the form of Empowerment & Passport Clinics — including covering the cost of passport applications — to respond to the urgent need to help members of our community get identity documents that affirm and reflect their correct gender.

Even with the urgency brought on by the changed political landscape, we know that each person has to decide what’s right for them. No person or policy should dictate whether and when to amend identity documents.

Click to learn more!

But if you’re ready, we’re here to help. Especially if you live near our Southern Regional Office in Atlanta or our South Central Regional Office in Dallas, where we are partnering with law firms and local organizations to offer legal clinics that provide hands-on help and financial assistance to participants needing gender-affirming passports and updated SSA records. 

Here’s why the urgency.

The gains made under an LGBT-supportive administration include rules updated in 2010 and 2013 that allow the State Department and the Social Security Administration (SSA) to issue passports and update SSA records to reflect corrected gender designations without individuals having to undergo surgery. All that is needed is a letter from a treating physician (psychiatrist or medical doctor) affirming that you are undergoing, or have undergone, appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition (along with required identity and citizenship documents).

While we can’t predict with certainty if or when these rules will change or go away, they are vulnerable. As interpretations of existing law by the executive branch, they can be amended relatively quickly. So, if you are at a place in your journey where a gender-affirming federal government-issued ID would be helpful — especially if you are in Atlanta, Dallas or Houston — we are here and we are ready and willing to help.

Click here to sign up and learn more about our upcoming Empowerment & Passport Clinics in Atlanta and Dallas on January 5 and in Houston on January 10.

For more information and resources for LGBT people and those living with HIV, contact Lambda Legal's Help Desk.