Understanding New York’s New Gender Recognition Act

Michelle Michelle October 13, 2021

For transgender, nonbinary, and intersex New Yorkers, there have been a multitude of financial, logistical, and safety-related barriers to updating documents with the correct name and gender. According to the U.S. Transgender Survey, 88% of trans New Yorkers have not been able to update all of their identity documents, and 63% have not been able to update any of these documents. Mismatching ID documents leave transgender and nonbinary New Yorkers open to discrimination in employment, housing, education, travel, and health care. For victims of intimate partner violence in these communities, it makes them significantly more vulnerable to economic abuse and exploitation by their abuser.

On June 24, 2021, the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) was signed into law. The GRA is a comprehensive new law that has created streamlined and privacy-protective processes for transgender and nonbinary New Yorkers to update and obtain accurate identification documents. Empire Justice Center and Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund worked with a robust coalition of more than 20 different transgender, LGBTQ, civil legal, and civil rights advocacy organizations to identify the myriad problems transgender and nonbinary people faced when seeking to update identity documents. They worked together with legislators to propose solutions which have finally been adopted.

Join us to learn more about this landmark legislation that removes many of the barriers that transgender, nonbinary, and intersex New Yorkers have experienced in obtaining and updating accurate birth certificates, marriage certificates, driver’s licenses, and court-ordered name change. Notably, some of these new processes and procedures will also assist cisgender and other domestic violence survivors who need to use an identity change as part of a larger safety plan.

This presentation was recorded on October 13, 2021.  All information presented was accurate as of that date.

Materials can be downloaded here.