We are excited to announce the release of our Name Change Guide! Although the same process is utilized for anyone looking to change their name, this Guide was developed as one our 2023 Policy Squad (formerly known as the Policy Committee) initiatives in order to help answer a frequently asked question from transgender members of our community- "Where do I begin?" The volunteer who took the lead on this initiative identifies as transgender & is navigating this name-change process herself! This guide not only provides step-by-step information, but also has a QR code that brings you to a landing page that has all of the relevant court forms linked for you to download & complete! You can find the guide & all of the court forms here.
Of course, we can only provide legal information, not legal advice. If you need legal counsel, we are happy to refer you to a gender-affirming attorney. Use the "Get In Touch" page for any referrals or further inquiries.
The name-change process not only serves as an important part of gender affirmation for many transgender individuals- helping to reduce suicide rates- but also provides legal documents that match your chosen name which can help prevent discrimination, hate crimes, or unintentional outing caused by the mismatch between your chosen name & your legal documents.
We know the name-change process itself could be improved. An example of this is that your name-change court date must be posted in your local paper, rather than just on the court website like many other types of cases. This type of direct outreach could "out" people in their own communities, leading to potential safety issues or harassment, which might prevent some transgender individuals from wanting to go through this process. Although CFM understands the importance of public hearings & posting dates, it is our belief that if posting the dates on the court website suffices for other types of cases, it should suffice for this type of case as well. Additionally, having to post this in your local newspaper comes with additional financial costs that other types of cases wouldn't have.
Ultimately, we hope this guide helps you. If you need a more accessible version, please contact us & we can send a version that can be used by screen reading software.
If you are interested in working on initiatives like this, please consider joining our Policy Squad. Other initiatives this year include LGBTQ+ book-ban prevention & gender-affirming healthcare. Meetings are monthly, via Google Meetings. Sign up here!