Typically during a gender transition, you may wish to change your legal name and your gender marker. You can do these both at the same time or at different times and there is no one right way to do this. If you are good with jumping through paperwork hoops, you can do both yourself, which is what I did, though I did consult with an attorney per the judge’s order. If you go to court, be sure to follow appropriate courtroom etiquette.
When you are ready, I am happy to write you the name/gender marker change letter of support and have it notarized so you can bring it to court with you. You will also need one from your doctor for the medical transitional verification.
The name change is typically easier than the gender marker change because it is done for the general public for other reasons. You can go to your local county law library to get the appropriate paperwork to file a petition with the clerk of courts. Name changes must be done in the county in which you reside.
The gender marker change is usually granted after being on hormones for six months to a year or after having a gender altering irreversible procedure such as bottom surgery for trans women and top surgery for trans men. And each judge may rule differently. At the moment, Dallas county, Harris county and Travis county are supportive of gender marker changes. Collin county is hit or miss. Tarrant county is not able to change gender markers right now, though it is a moving target, so check with the county clerk of courts for help.
For both the name change and/or gender marker change, you will have to be fingerprinted and have an FBI background check done. The courts typically give you a fingerprint card when you file the petition. You can take them to a police station, jail or fingerprint service to have that done.
You may also wish to contact an attorney to handle the matter for you and there are several listed here that have trans experience. Gender marker or gender marker plus name change can be done in any county, per my understanding.
As another alternative, you might wish to coordinate your name change with a Documentation Specialist such as Shannon Walker with Nu Trans Movement.
Finally, for many, this act of changing one’s name and gender marker are truly life changing milestones in life. It may be a good time to celebrate with a meaningful ritual or spiritual ceremony.
- Jaime Duggan
- Phyllis Frye (Houston)
- Stephanie Gonzalez (criminal related issues only, not for name/gender marker change)
- Joseph “Jody” LaFleur
- Katie Sprinkle (Judge Sprinkle is on a sabbatical from practice)
Clerks of Court
Name & Gender Change Packet
- Travis County (Austin) – Gender Marker Only Kit. Name and Gender Marker Kit. You may file online or go in person to the court.
- Dallas County – The kit is not online, but you may go to the law library to make a photo copy. Call 214-653-7481 for details.
National Level Support