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Transgender People Seek Gender Change Ahead of Trump’s Inauguration

Transgender people are seeking to have their gender changed legally and immediately before president-elect Donald Trump officially holds office in 2017 over worries that a Trump presidency would threaten their civil rights.
A gay rights activist holds a rainbow flag while marching in downtown Belgrade September 27, 2013.

Reuters/Marko Djurica

Transgender people are seeking to have their gender changed legally and immediately before president-elect Donald Trump officially holds office in 2017 over worries that a Trump presidency would threaten their civil rights.

On Twitter, many transgender people, using the hashtag #TransLawHelp, are connecting with lawyers who are willing to help them through the legal process for free, the Telegraph reported.

The hashtag was created by Riley (last name withheld), who himself had his name changed with the help of a lawyer who got connected to him via Twitter after Trump won as president. He said he started spreading the hashtag to set a "bigger" stage for other transgender people to find legal assistance.

"If you're a lawyer willing to offer pro-bono services for trans ppl to get their docs now, please use HT #TransLawHelp," Riley posted on the social media platform.

However, he admitted it is not clear if changing one's name would become illegal under a Trump administration.

Many transgender people are worried about what would happen when Trump assumes office in January. They believe their civil rights will be threatened based on the president-elect's previous pronouncements regarding his desire to reverse a number of the Obama administration's regulations.

Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBT rights organization in the U.S., said a lot of transgender people have been calling their office and expressing worries over the possibility of the Supreme Court's ruling on same-sex marriage being overturned.

"This is a devastating loss for our community," James Brown, the organization's spokesman, said. "It is something a lot of folks are still trying to wrap their heads around."

A major issue plaguing transgender people is the rule on changing their passport names. A federal policy imposed by the State Department allows transgender people to change the name on their passport as long as they present a doctor's certification that they went through the necessary treatment for gender transitioning.

In some states, however, reassignment surgery is needed before a person can change his or her name on state IDs. Because the procedure is expensive, not everyone can afford it. Transgender people wonder if the Trump administration will adopt the state department's policy or not, CNN Money reported.

Trump's previous statements on transgender issues have been conflicting. He once said Caitlyn Jenner, formerly known as Bruce Jenner, could use the women's bathroom at Trump Tower, indicating he had no opposition to transgender people using bathrooms based on their gender identity.

He also criticized North Carolina for its House Bill 2, which dictates that people should use public bathrooms according to the gender they were born with and not their gender identity. However, a month later, his tone changed regarding the issue, saying "it should be states' rights and I think the states should make the decision. They're more capable of making the decision."

Tags : transgender, Transgender Rights, transgender rights in Trump administration, LGBT rights Trump, gender transition, gender identity, gender change, Same-Sex Marriage, Human Rights Campaign, North Carolina, North Carolina House Bill 2, North Carolina transgender bathroom law, House Bill 2, Donald Trump, #TransLawHelp