Fan Free Clinic has made a commitment to providing culturally competent care to the transgender community for over a decade, including hormone treatment, mental health care, primary health care, and more recently a co-partner for the Richmond Trans Legal Collaborative, which helps transgender persons to understand and obtain the necessary documentation to get their legal documents to accurately reflect their identity. It is through our rich history of providing these services with a team of mental health and medical providers that has led us to strongly support this amendment. A surgery requirement to make changes to vital records does not align with the current understanding and best practices of care for transgender persons according to the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, American Psychological Association, the American Medical Association, and all other leading medical, psychological, and psychiatric organizations.
We support a policy allowing 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.