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Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Virginia Department of Health
State Board of Health
Board of Health Regulations Governing Vital Records [12 VAC 5 ‑ 550]
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12/17/15  12:50 pm
Commenter: Morgan Conley, Trans Love Fund

Support Treating Transgender Individuals as Humans Who Deserve Dignity

As a transgender individual, I cannot express in words how important this amendment is in recognizing that transgender individuals deserve the right to live freely and openly as themselves.  According to the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH),best practices for a modernized policy means recognizing that gender transition is an individualized process that is not the same for all transgender people; and, a surgery requirement does not align with current understanding in transgender health care.

The policy should allow for gender change upon submission of a statement from a licensed provider,rather than requiring a court order. Forcing people to discuss their gender identity and any medical treatment they have undergone in open court can cause significant discomfort and be psychologically traumatic. Further, the expense of securing legal counsel is beyond the means of many transgender people, a significant number of whom are unemployed or underemployed because of employment and education discrimination.

It is important to take the gender change process out of the courts and into the hands of the vital records agency will bringconsistency and efficiency to the process, and also has the benefit of reserving court resources for more appropriate matters.

Every single day, I have to live with the discrimination of being trans. I miss out on many things simply because I do not want to have to show my ID and be outed as a trans individual. I can't get proper healthcare without the fear of being discriminated against. This policy would allow me the ability to live a normal life like everyone else without having to have that fear. I don't want to get my documentation changed so that I can hurt or deceive anyone. I want to get my documentation changed so that I can live my life as me and  have the right to be happy just as yourself or anyone else.

CommentID: 45404