Fund for Legal Name/Gender Changes
This fundraising campaign has now ended. If you are still in need of funds to change your legal name or gender, you may wish to contact one of the following organizations instead:
Trans Relief Project: https://transrelief.com/
Trans Assistance Project: https://www.transassistance.org/
In anticipation of increased difficulty obtaining legal name and/or gender changes -- and of increased scrutiny, harrassment, disenfranchisement, and violence against trans/GNC people -- this fund is intended to provide financial assistance for those wishing to make these legal changes in the U.S. The goal is to expedite the process for people who would otherwise have to delay due to lack of funds, so they may change their documents before Jan 20, 2017. More context here .
Costs vary according to state. Legal name changes can easily cost more than $500, in addition to fees to replace driver's licenses or passports, etc. Obtaining a birth certificate with a new gender marker (still not available to those born in Idaho, Kansas, Ohio, or Tennessee) also requires fees.
This fund will be dispersed in order of incoming requests. There will be no requirement to prove one's trans status or financial need. We will ask only what documents need to be changed, which state the person is located in (or state where birth certificate originated) and how to deliver funds to them.
Any funds remaining after Jan 20, 2017 will be immediately donated to the Sylvia Rivera Law Project ( http://srlp.org/).
If you need funds to change your legal name or gender marker, please email transdocumentsfund (at) gmail.com (UPDATE: Requests are coming in rapidly and I am working as quickly as possible to respond. To help facilitate the process, please determine the cost in your state to change the documents you need changed, and include this in your email. A good place to start: http://www.transequality.org/documents)
If you need legal assistance for ID documents:
National Center for Transgender Equality ( http://www.transequality.org/id-documents-center/transgender-legal-services-network -- maintains a network of trans legal support across the U.S.)
Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund ( http://tldef.org/work_show.php?id=7 -- legal services for low-income folks in several U.S. cities)
SRLP ( http://srlp.org/legal-services/ -- provides direct legal services only for the NYC area, but may be able to direct you to resources that are local to you)
You may also find it helpful to follow #TransLawHelp on twitter, where many people are offering and sharing resources to navigate legal name/gender changes. https://mobile.twitter.com/hashtag/TransLawHelp?src=hash
More info that GoFundMe asked me to include for transparency:
My name is Toby Beauchamp -- I'm a professor of Gender & Women's Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where I research and teach in transgender studies.
This is a time-sensitive fundraising campaign. Individuals requesting funds are referred here by friends and colleagues, and all requests are treated confidentially. Funds are intended to directly offset the cost of fees for legal processing/paperwork, required newspaper notifications for name changes, and/or replacement ID documents. I will distribute funds either by mail or electronically, depending on requesters' preferences.
I'm happy to communicate with donors who want to know more about how this fundraising campaign is working, how their donations are being put to use, etc. Please feel free to contact me at the email address above.
Just one final message, which I hope will be a bright spot for you: in the final tally, we funded legal name and gender changes for 120 people. I still can't believe how successful this was, and I'm incredibly grateful to all of you.
You should know that we funded so many people not simply because a few individuals were able to contribute larger sums, but also because *hundreds* of people donated $5 or $10 each. Collectively, these seemingly small contributions made a significant material difference in trans people's lives. I have been carrying this knowledge with me over the past few weeks, remembering that even my smallest actions can be powerful when they're joined with others' contributions.
Thank you also for all of the messages of solidarity. The outpouring of support for this project has meant so much to me, and I feel more committed than ever to sustaining this kind of collective care as we move forward.
Special thanks to my colleagues Carol Tilley (who sold "resist" t-shirts to benefit this fund) and Mimi Nguyen (who sold her artwork to benefit the fund), as well as to Katie Gordon, who ran a similar local fundraiser in Massachusetts and gave her surplus donations to this one.
I'll be closing down the GoFundMe page in the next day or so. If you know someone who still needs funds for these document changes, you might refer them to the Trans Relief Project at https://transrelief.com/
On behalf of all of the funding recipients, thank you. Thank you.
Today, I sent funds to the 103rd person on the list of requests. This is amazing! I started this fundraiser just as a way for my own group of friends to contribute -- I never imagined its reach would be so wide or that it would help so many people.
The fundraiser will close one week from today. I now have ten people left on the list, and we need approximately $3,000 to cover their document changes. Last chance to donate and share!
I also want to pass along just a few of the many messages of thanks that funding recipients have sent. In truth, these thanks belong to all of you, collectively, who have made this project possible. I've included the messages, without any identifying information, below.
Thank you all, again.
"I wish I could articulate to you the reaction my son had a moment ago when I told him the news. As a mother, I feel like I can finally exhale. You and the wonderful people who have donated are a reminder that there is good left in a world that has seemed hopeless in the past weeks."
"You just made tears come to my eyes. Oh my goodness, thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart. This is some of the best news that I have received for 2017."
"I don't know how I could have ever managed this without you and all those people who kindly donated to the cause."
"You and your donors have made it more probable that I can find and keep a job. I'm SO thankful, grateful and amazed!!"
"I want to deeply thank you as well as the fund and its affiliates for your crucial aid in this time of need. I'll never forget this, the genuine sincerity and outreach of you and people like you who donated."
"I wish I could personally thank everyone who donated to the cause. It's so refreshing to see people doing such good things for a marginalized group amid such uncertainty after the election. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart."
As of today, we have collectively funded name and gender changes for 84 people! I'm still awe-struck by the incredible response to this effort.
I've distributed funding to people in more than 25 different states, to people who are senior citizens and who are as young as ten years old, to people in major cities and in tiny rural towns, to people of many different gender and racial identities. Some are long-time trans activists, some are self-identified pink-collar and blue-collar workers, and some are currently unemployed and have told me that their birth name--which outs them as trans--has hindered their ability to get hired. All have been tremendously moved by and grateful for your generosity.
I'm writing to make one final push for this project. The donations are now almost entirely depleted, and 27 requests remain on the list. Another $8600 is needed to fully fund everyone on the list of requests. Every little bit helps -- some people need only $135 or so for a new passport. Please share the fundraiser again to help get funds to as many people as we can in these last few weeks.
My colleague Mimi Thi Nguyen is still selling prints of her drawings to benefit this fundraiser:
And if you need something new to share with friends, Mimi plugs the fundraiser in this article, where she is one of many amazing people interviewed about political resolutions for the new year!
I'll keep sending funds out to folks as new donations come in, until January 20, 2017. Thank you all, again, for making this possible.
As of this morning, I've distributed funds to 64 people who can now afford to change their identification documents, thanks to your generosity. I want to say again how grateful I am to you all, not only for the fact of your donations, but also for the sense of community-building and collective care that this project has brought to my life (and, I can say with confidence, the lives of the funding recipients). I hope it has given that to you, as well.
I'm still making my way through the list of requests, but looking ahead, there are approximately 30 people on the list whose needs cannot be met by the donations collected so far. Please continue to share the fundraiser information as you are able -- I'll keep distributing the funds as more donations come in, until January 20, 2017.
There is also a new art project benefiting this fundraiser! Mimi Thi Nguyen is selling prints of her most excellent "Keanu Cares" illustrations, with all profits going to this fund. Details here: http://sleezsisters.storenvy.com/
With continued gratitude,
I've donated money to the campaign, but I wanted to do something a little more. This morning, I launched a t-shirt design and all proceeds (about $9 a shirt) will go to the fund. The colors are drawn from the Transgender Pride Flag. Consider purchasing a shirt and wearing it with pride. https://www.booster.com/translegalsupport
Hello, a group of lawyers in the San Francisco Bay Area are organizing a pro bono clinic to get people's paperwork done. Would love to coordinate with you.
Just a note to people who need to change docs - courts usually have fee waiver requests that can be filed concurrent with your petition. They generally are not as difficult or detailed as they look, I have sent things successfully through for people in MD with a letter of circumstances accompanied by say.... a pay stub or a printout of a bank account balance. Hopefully this helps the size of this fund stretch farther.
I was just granted funds from this campaign to help me get a passport. I want to thank all of you for your kindhearted donations, and hope that donations for my fellow trans* folk will keep rolling in. You have saved my life. Thank you again.
Thank you so very much for making this campaign! I can't tell you how much I appreciate it, and how it heartens me to see so many people trying to help each other in a seemingly impossible situation. I live in MN and need to get my name and marker changed, as well as a passport. What would be the best way to contact you? Sincerely, Nicholas H.
Thank you Toby! This is a wonderful thing you're doing.