After the election, Gender Justice League, a trans activist organization located in Seattle, WA, asked the trans and gender-diverse community what they felt they needed immediately to help them stay safe during what promises to be a degressive presidential administration. Overwhelmingly we heard that having up-to-date identification documentation (DL, birth certificate, passport, social security, legal name change, green-card, etc) was high on their list.
We then immediately began the process of organizing a clinic that would provide the access to legal and medical professionals that are necessary to this process. And because the community as a whole lacks financial wealth, we knew that we needed to also come up with funds that would pay for all the necessary state and federal filing fees. Here in King County, WA to change the name and gender marker on every piece of identification information costs almost $500.
Having up to date and accurate identification documentation helps to protect trans and gender-diverse folx from housing, employment, and travel discrimination, and more than 80% of the trans and gender-diverse population lack it. When one's previous gender marker and name does not match the identity of the individual, it creates opportunity to discriminate against them, as well as reminding them of an identity they never truly felt comfortable in.
We want to do what we can for our community. We want to provide access for every individual to have the reassurance that their true and authentic identity is recognized by the State, that their ability to travel, and to find employment and housing isn't impeded by not being able to afford to update their gender markers and name on all documentation.
Funded by Awesome Without Borders (December 2016)