This one came as a complete shock to me, and it’s incredibly encouraging. Today, the Social Security Administration announced it would no longer require documentation from a surgeon that Gender Confirmation Surgery had been performed in order to change the gender marker in an individual’s Social Security record. Now, all that is required is “medical certification of appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition in the form of an original signed statement from a licensed physician.” This change in policy, along with a similar recent change for US passport documents is a huge leap forward for the federal government in recognizing that GCS is not an appropriate way to mark the change from one gender to another. In many senses, this means that a letter from an appropriate physician is all that is required for the US government to legally recognize you as your new gender.
I’m absolutely overjoyed by this news. Not only because it will directly make my transition process easier, but because it represents an awareness of trans issues at a national level. So many thanks to everyone who works so hard lobbying for these changes and striving to improve the every day lives of the trans community.
With any luck, a simplified process for changing gender markers on state-issues driver’s licenses is not far behind.