This week, lawmakers in Maryland passed a measure that makes it easier and cheaper for transgender people in the state to change the name and gender marker on their birth certificate.
Under the new bill, trans people will only need to have a health care professional sign off that their sex assigned at birth does not reflect their true gender identity. Here’s what trans people in Maryland are currently up against:
Current Maryland law makes it difficult and expensive for transgender people to update their Maryland birth certificates, requiring them to receive a court order which indicates that they have had surgery, and even then only providing an amended document. However, the types of medical treatment transgender people receive vary greatly, and many people are not interested in particular types of medical intervention. Even among those for whom surgery is appropriate, many cannot receive it because it is not covered by their insurance, there may be no appropriate providers, or they have a medical condition that prevents them from undergoing these medical procedures. Nationally, only 1 in 5 transgender people (21%) have been able to update all their identification documents and records, including birth certificates, to reflect their appropriate name and gender.
There’s been so much bad news lately, so hearing about this is truly refreshing. Congratulations, Marylanders!