Changing Your Name & Gender Marker

Changing Your Name & Gender Marker

Unless you were given a unisex name at birth, changing your name will probably become a priority early on in your transition. Once you’ve selected a name that you identify with, you’ll want to get a legal name change, the process and cost of which varies depending on where you live.

After you obtain your name change certificate, update your identification (driver’s license, social security, passport etc.), banks and credit cards, utilities, etc. with your new name. The process takes time, and like many aspects of transition will require some patience and perseverance.

Many, but not all, transgender people are able to get their gender marker changed on their birth certificate, and subsequently other identification documents. Changing your gender marker on your birth certificate is done in the place where your birth was registered. Depending on regulations there, Gender Reassignment Surgery—Vaginoplasty for trans women, or Metoidioplasty or Phalloplasty for trans men—may be required. There are still many countries as well as U.S. states that don’t permit gender marker changes on birth certificates.

Note: In some jurisdictions, you can change the gender marker on identification documents such as a driver’s license without changing the gender marker on your birth certificate.

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