Pa. makes it easier for transgender people to change their birth certificate

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Sep 22, 2016 4:43 PM

(Harrisburg) -- Transgender people across Pennsylvania now will have an easier time to have their birth certificates changed.

The state Department of Health has changed the requirements for adjusting your sex: Pennsylvania no longer requires proof that a transgender person has undergone gender reassignment surgery.

Instead, they'll just have to present a note from a physician that they're receiving treatment for a gender change.

The move comes after about a dozen other states made similar adjustments.

Ted Martin, director of the LGBT rights group Equality Pennsylvania, says it may seem like a minor change, but can mean a lot to someone who has to present their birth certificate, and then "have to explain why they don't match or why you live differently or why you're presenting differently and I think for the transgender community, this is just a step in the right direction."

"It's really uncomfortable to people and it's very much intrusive and very degrading in a lot of ways," says Martin.

Martin says it took a couple of months of discussions to change the policy.

Children under 18 who wish to change their gender on their birth certificate will need their parents to make the request.

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