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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Virginia makes it easier to "Let Mama Drive" (from Trailer Bride's song of the same name)

woman driving fancy car

On April 24th 2012 a new regulation to protect our freedoms as transsexuals went into effect. The Commonwealth of Virginia has simplified  the process of getting your gender marker changed on your drivers license to reflect your gender identity. In a landmark policy change, the Commonweath of Virginia has amended it's regulation so that an individual may have their gender marker changed to reflect one's gender identity without regard to a time frame when one anticipates having a surgical procedure. Indeed, one may not even be on Hormonal Reassigment chemotherapy to qualify to have her gender marker changed. Prior to the enactment of the new regulation, one had to be within 18 months of a planned surgery.
This new regulation has untold value for us and is such a leap forward for the Commonwealth of Virginia in becoming one of the states with cutting edge policy in protecting Transsexuals' rights on Aril 24th 2012. It is a powerful tool to ensure our rights are protected just as anyone else enjoys as a citizen of the Commonweath. It opens up a tremendous number of opportunities for us if we are
willing to experience new challenges. No longer will be we subject  to discrimination for using the appropriate bathroom publicly. Your identification supports your use of the appropriate bathroom legally. It also is a passport to a new job or career, or simply going back to school.

Here is the release that I got yesterday from the Virginia Trans Health Initiative, another agency of the Commonwealth. It has the link to get the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles to obtain the proper form.

"Virginia embraces a SIMPLE mechanism for changing one’s gender marker on a driver’s license. As of April 25, 2012, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) implemented a new, and much simpler, policy for changing one’s gender marker on a VA driver’s license.  Individuals can now use the Gender Change Request form, known as DL-17, which requires only a signature from a licensed provider, including a doctor, psychiatrist, nurse practitioner, social worker, or counselor attesting to the fact that the applicant is a patient of the provider and that the applicant’s “gender identity” is either female or male and “can reasonably be expected to continue as such for the foreseeable future.”  The form does not require proof of surgery or even proof that the applicant is engaged in hormone therapy.  Link to form: 
Until now, the VA DMV policy required proof of sexual reassignment surgery (SRS) evidenced by a letter from a surgeon or a court order recognizing a gender change.  In most states, such a court order depends on proof of SRS.  This requirement made it very difficult for many individuals to obtain a VA identification card accurately reflecting their gender."

We are living in a time where we women of transsexual experience are being allowed to take our place in society on an equal level. It is early, things are not perfect, but we should also rejoice in the progress as we gather ourselves to identify the next significant human rights advance to be confronted.
HAPPY MOTORING!!                                               


  1. Rejoice . . . and again I say rejoice!

  2. Florida adopted that law about 1 yr ago...I get my new license with my new name and gender marker in 2 weeks yayyy!!!

  3. I for one am not the least bit happy with this development! Why? Because while you see it as a benifit to those who live in the margins, it's not an if, but a when that this will be abused by a man in womens spaces he has no business being in! When that happens, and it will. The backlash will be swift and severe and it won't be the transgender who will pay the price. Rather, the full weight of that blow will fall to those born transsexual who must transition or die!

  4. Thank you Miz Know it all for contributing your opinion. I'm curious as to why you believe that this will contribute to a man abusing womens' spaces. As a therapist who is also a woman of transsexual experience, I do not view myself as one who lives in the margins of society. I live a full life as a woman and am accepted as such where I go. Having a legal identification that matches my gender identity makes my life easier than having to present an id that lists my gender as M on the occasion that I must present my i.d. such as when I fly or on the occasion I may be pulled over for a traffic violation. The first situation is uncomfortable, but I have no trouble with the airlines or
    TSA. The second situation could result in hours of delay while the officer ensures public safety to ensure I am not disguised with the intention of purpetrating a crime.

    Reading your comment again, I can understand that you worry that there are many who are not "true transsexuals" or how one wishes to define someone such as myself will suffer, if some other gender variant person acts in some way that would violate a woman.

    This document is going to be have to signed by a health care provider attesting to the fact that the person in question is living full time in their true gender identity. This is not something I would attest to for a patient unless I have carefully assessed the person and determined that this is not a temporary whimsey for the person who comes for evaluation and that person is living their life full time in the appropriate gender that they present, much like other aspects of the WPATH standards of care. Personally, I would not sign off on this document if a person has not legally changed their name and were not living full time in the self idendified gender role. I think you are making this distinction between transgender people who only wish to present in an alternate gender identity part of the time and transsexuals who are moving towards living full time in their true gender identity. In order to qualify for this identity change one needs to demonstrate a stable full time gender presentation as I interprete it.

    I hold myself to this standard. My name has not been legally changed and I am not quite full time, but I think I soon will meet that standard. I will not seek to make this change until I can meet the standards I hold forth.

    I think that you are also overlooking the idea that this regulation also applies to f to m individuals equally. They are no more or no less likely to violate womens's spaces.

    Finally, we do need to recognize that most transsexuals will never be able to have GRS. Either is is not affordable, or perhaps health conditions prohibit a safe GRS procedure. Then in the case of the F to M, the surgical options for GRS leave a lot to be desired for the individual and many choose not to do anything. Should these individuals be penalized for these situations? I would hope not.

    I may have misinterpreted what you meant, or you might wish to comment again and expand your thoughts. In any event, thank you for your comments!