Gender Marker Change in the State of Texas

The year is 2019. Everything has changed
even the genders assigned at birth. Today, the existence of lesbians (a
homosexual woman) and gays (a homosexual man) are widely recognized. In the
same vein, there are also transsexuals who have a gender identity different
from their assigned sex, and undergo medical assistance to transition
themselves to the gender in which they identify.

In the leading case of Obergefell vs.
Hodges decided in 2015, the United States Supreme Court held that same-sex
marriage is now allowed in all 50 states of the USA on the ground that it is
protected under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clause. Consequently, bans
on same-sex marriage by conservative states are declared unconstitutional. This
is a landmark decision because finally, after decades of fighting for equality,
the world now acknowledges the fundamental right to marry of the LGBT
(lesbians, gays, bisexuals, Transgenders) community.

Another particular right that transsexuals
can invoke is their right to change their gender marker. This means that state
and government agencies can legally change their listed gender in official
documents such as a birth certificate.

The procedure varies from state to state.
In Texas, a gender marker change is legal in any county, provided that the
applicant complies with the requirements. The legal effect is that it shall be
recognized in the entire state of Texas.

Documents and Forms Needed

First off, he/she needs to fill out two forms,
namely: Petition To Change the Sex and
Gender Identifier of An Adult,
and Final
Order To Change The Sex and Gender Identifier of the Adult
(Order).
The former is a pleading to
the judge to order agencies for the change in official documents, and the latter
is signed by the judge to make the official order. These forms are filed with
his/her fingerprints on card stock, which are taken for a fee and are not
allowed to be done electronically.

There is a lot of paperwork involved in
this case that he/she must furnish. The most important one is a letter from
his/her medical doctor stating the diagnosis of gender dysphoria, that a gender
marker change is in the applicant’s best interest, and that he/she is being
treated properly for the diagnosis. The last one is significant because the
applicant has to prove that he/she is undergoing hormone replacement therapy
(HRT) by way of prescribed medicines.

Other important forms include a Statement of Inability to Afford Payment of
Court Costs
in the event that he/she wants to waive the filing fees, a copy
of certificate of discharge if he/she was convicted of a felony, a copy of
his/her discharge from felony probation if he/she has successfully completed
probation, and a copy of Sex Offender Update Form if he/she is required to
register as a sex offender.

The applicant has the option to hire a
private attorney to review his forms.

Filing of the Petition

The filing of the petition can be done
personally or online. All the aforementioned documents must be attached to the
petition. In case the applicant is filing them online, an instruction in the
‘Comments’ section that the paperwork must be submitted to the court for
consideration.

Without the foregoing waiver, the
applicant will pay a filing fee of $285 in the District Clerk’s Office.

Appearance in Court

The applicant must personally go to the
court and appear before the judge with the copies of said documents on hand,
and other supplemental documents such as a passport.

During the hearing, he/she must prove
that the gender marker change is in a reflection of the gender that he/she
identifies with, and not for the reason that he/she is getting away from the
law.

If the judge signs the Order, the applicant must obtain certified copies from
the District Clerk’s Office and notify the state agencies involved with the
change.

If the petition is denied, there is no
gender marker change that will take place. However, the applicant may return to
the court with additional evidence to continue with the request.

The post Gender Marker Change in the State of Texas appeared first on Texas Divorce and Family Law Blog.

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