As a trans advocate and social worker who works with the transgender community everyday I fully support this amendment. Surgery requirements as they stand for changes to vital records do not align with leading medical and psychological organizations current standards of care, including the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, American Psychological Association, and the American Medical Association.
I too agree with other commentors that the Vital Records regulations 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. Other states have already taken this step and this would put Virginia in line with those states on updated policies, while freeing resources for more appropriate court needs. Lastly, I believe this amendment will provide greater consistency so that individuals are not granted changes to their vital records solely based on geography but more importantly on their gender identity and the standards of care outlined for professional medical and mental health treatment of the community.