Trans*forming Family

thoughts on the transition journey of our entire family, from the proud mother of a transgender youth

Category Archives: Legal

video: Clergy Rebukes Media for Asking Wrong Questions About Amendment One

Constitutional rights are once again being put to popular vote in North Carolina. The following video, which i found courtesy of the amazing Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson, perfectly sums up the problems with the media’s framing of the questions surrounding Amendment One:

May 6th, 2012 – In a press conference held in Greensboro, North Carolina, Clergy from around the state gathered together to pray for the wisdom of it’s citizens regarding the May 8th vote on Amendment One. In that conference, Rev. Dr. William J. Barber took the time to rebuke the media for asking the wrong questions regarding the amendment.

It is important that those who are opposed to this amendment make a strong showing today, because the supporters certainly will. And, if you have family or friends in North Carolina, please encourage them to take a few moments to vote NO today as well.

Victory: Federal Agency Rules Trans People Protected by Sex Discrimination Law

“Though this ruling follows a growing number of court decisions around the country that have held that transgender people are protected by existing federal anti-discrimination laws, this is the first decision by the EEOC on this issue.”

National Center for Transgender Equality's Blog

NCTE congratulates our colleagues at the Transgender Law Center, who tonight, announced a significant federal workplace rights victory. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) ruled in a 5-0 decision that an employer who discriminates against a transgender employee or job applicant because of the person’s gender identity is illegal sex discrimination based on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Though this ruling follows a growing number of court decisions around the country that have held that transgender people are protected by existing federal anti-discrimination laws, this is the first decision by the EEOC on this issue.

NCTE Executive Director Mara Keisling said, “This ruling is a major advancement in transgender rights that will provide a significant tool to fight discrimination. It will also help us advocate for still needed protections like the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and the federal contractors executive order.”

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Filing the Name Change: “Say Goodbye to ____”

This morning, my husband and i went to the local Clerk of the Circuit Court and filed the necessary paperwork to legally have our son’s named changed to his chosen male-gendered name. It is the first step in a process that includes changing the name and gender marker on his birth certificate (fortunately, we live in a state that allows for this), and changing the name and gender filed with Social Security. After these steps have been taken, my son will not need to worry when it comes time to take his PSATs/SATs, apply for his drivers permit, get a part-time job, or apply for college — he can do any of these things as a legal male.

In our state, a name change for a minor is a fairly simple process: both parents fill out the paperwork and the court order, sign the documents in the presence of the clerk of the court with a valid ID, and the paperwork and court order goes to the judge for review. There is no hearing; the judge simply reviews and approves the order and sends the certificate to the home address. We were told that the judge was in today and that the order should be reviewed and processed this afternoon. My child’s name change will be legally effective by the end of the day and we should have the paperwork by the end of the week.

As the clerk entered the information into the computer system, she absentmindedly said: “Say goodbye to (child’s previous, female name)” as our copy of the order began to print. She had no way of knowing the deep meaning behind her words or how much they would affect me. We really are saying “goodbye” to more than just a name. I was sad as we left the court building, but not at the goodbye — i was sad that my son had to live under that name and identity for so long. Mixed with the sadness was a joy that the first step in this legal process is so easy, so that my son’s true identity can quickly be affirmed not just by family and friends but by the state in which he was born and calls home. I’m okay with saying goodbye to “her” because saying hello to him is so beautiful.


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