San Antonio attorney Justin P. Nichols announced today he will start offering free legal assistance with name and gender marker changes for transgender people in Bexar County.
Gender marker and name changes are necessary for trans people in order to assure that documents like driver’s licenses, passports and other legal instruments reflect their true gender identity and expression.
Lambda Legal reports forty percent of National Transgender Discrimination Survey participants who presented identification that didn’t match their gender presentation were harassed, 15 percent were asked to leave an establishment, and three percent were assaulted.
Nichols says that while he is offering his assistance at no charge, individuals must still pay a filing fee of $272 and $10 to get fingerprints. They also need a note showing they’ve been evaluated by a medical professional.
Nichols will provide the documents and go to court with individuals for free. He also will provide clients a forms packet with directions on how to get a new Social Security card, driver’s license, and birth certificate – all for free.
Nichols says psychotherapists Darrell Garcia Parsons LCSW and Joseph Montaldi LCSW have agreed to do evaluation letters for free.
“For too long the ability to obtain a name and gender marker change has not been available to everyone who needs it, but only to those who can afford it, often times costing around $1000 in legal fees. As a service to the community we are going to get rid of that barrier,” Nichols told Out In SA.
Nichols is launching a web site, MakeItOfficialSA, that will provide the needed documents.
A community meeting at which Nichols will answer questions regarding the gender marker and name change process will be held on November 11 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at The Milam Building, 115 E. Travis St., Suite 1740, San Antonio TX 78205.
Food and drinks will be served and there will be legal staff on hand after the meeting to answer questions and help people fill out paperwork.