Sunday, June 16, 2013

Into the Main Stream

Any time I open my email account and the lead news story is 'M' or 'F'.-  Outdated ID's worry transgender people. I immediately paid more attention.

This story actually originated in San Francisco through the Associated Press:


"Most U.S. residents don't think twice about the gender printed on their government-issued documents. But those "M'' or "F'' markers — and the legal and administrative prerequisites for switching them on passports, birth certificates and other forms of identification — are a source of anxiety and, even, discrimination for transgender individuals.

The rules vary from state to state, agency to agency and even clerk to clerk. But a transgender applicant generally has been required to submit both a court order approving the gender change and a letter from a surgeon certifying that the person underwent irreversible sex reassignment surgery before obtaining a new document. Over the last few years, though, the emerging movement for transgender rights has been quietly pressing the issue, persuading state lawmakers and federal and state agencies to simplify the lengthy and often costly process.

Advocates recorded their latest victory Friday, when the Social Security Administration announced that it would no longer require proof of surgery to alter the gender identification of individuals in its computers and records."

One of the "Advocates" is Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality who was quoted as saying:

"Most people may not see this as a big deal, but transgender people know that this seemingly small technical change will protect their privacy and give them more control over their own lives,"  Since 9/11, it's become  incredibly important to have accurate and consistent identification. Without it, you can't open a bank account, you can't use a credit card, you can't apply for a loan, you can't get a job, you can't vote, you can't get insurance."

For more on this story and it's far reaching implications, go here.

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A Life in Gender Flux