CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) – Those wishing to change their name and gender on state identifying documents now have a step-by-step guide for the process. According to Fairness West Virginia, the first-ever Name and Gender Change Guide for West Virginians is available, and print and online copies are available for free.
“At Fairness we regularly receive calls, emails, and messages from people who are looking to initiate this process, and it can be very daunting for them,” Schneider said. “We also understand that everyone’s situation is different and that some individuals have unique needs regarding this
process, but this document will lay out the basic steps to be taken.”
The 37-page guide is the result of a collaboration between Fairness West Virginia; the law firm of Bryan, Cave, Leighton and Paisner, the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), Whitman-Walker Health, Charleston attorney James Barber, and Latham and Watkins LLP.
NCTE estimates that only eleven percent of transgender people nationally have proper identification documents.
“The name and gender change process is complicated, expensive, and overwhelming to navigate.NCTE was proud to partner with West Virginia advocates to create this guide so trans folks can access updated and accurate IDs to go about their daily lives free from discrimination and harassment,” said Arli Christian, NCTE state policy director.
Following advocacy by Fairness, the state Legislature passed a law in 2015 make it easier for transgender people to change the gender marker on a driver’s license.But that process can still be intimidating for many, according to Schneider.
“We hope this guide alleviates some of that stressful burden for people by providing all of the resources they will need to get through this process,” Schneider said.