THE GUERRILLA ANGEL REPORT — A 70-year-old trans man had sex reassignment surgery (SRS) but the New York City Health Department was giving him the runaround when it came to changing his birth certificate. So Louis Birney took them to court. In a ruling, state Supreme Court Justice Paul G. Feinman agreed with Birney and gave the city a scolding:
From the Associated Press: [Feinman's] ruling faulted the Health Department for not providing “a clear, straightforward list” of requirements for changing a birth certificate. And he suggested that calling for psychological records amounted to overreaching for information and underappreciating what it takes to change genders.”It does not seem very likely that an individual would go through all the years of required preparation for surgical transition, including psychotherapy, undergo major surgery, assume life under his or her new gender, and then decide it was all a mistake and change back,” Feinman wrote. “This apparent assumption tends to suggest a certain ignorance by the department of the lengthy transition process and the lives and experience of transgender people.”
Erica Kagan, Birney’s lawyer: “I hope that the Department of Health will really take this to heart and really see that the court is, in this decision, recognizing the importance of respecting the identities of transgender individuals.”
While it is not quite clear what the city is going to do in reaction to the ruling, but changes are expected. Trans advocates in NYC are also hoping the city eventually drops the surgery requirement as well.
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