New Jersey: Pass Bill NJ S478
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On May 5, 2013, a bill was introduced to the New Jersey Assembly (NJ A4097) the summary of the bill and its sponsors can be found here (https://legiscan.com/NJ/bill/A4097/2012 The purpose of this bill was to amend the process of changing one's birth certificate gender marker and removing the surgical requirement that would force transgender individuals to undergo this procedure if they wished to make such a change. Sadly, this bill was vetoed by Chris Christie on January 13, 2014. Today, New Jersey is being led by a new governor, and a new bill has been introduced on January 9th, 2018 and it's our job to make our voices heard so this bill will pass and the change that is so desperately required will be implemented. The information regarding NJ S478 can be found here (http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/bills/BillView.asp?BillNumber=S478
For me, this is personal, I am a transgender girl who wishes to change her name and gender marker on my driver's license and other legal documents which is relatively easy. However, on my birth certificate, I would have to undergo a procedure that I honestly don't think I would ever want to have performed for personal reasons. The current law that is put in place, blocks me from changing my gender marker, creating a further legal hassle in the future when applying for colleges, careers, loans, and the other multitude of applications should a mismatch occur. For many, myself including, having the ability to change something that might seem so small to others, changing an M to an F or vice versa might look as a minuscule change but its who we are. It's who we identify as, its the struggle that we go through when transitioning, breaking past the social norm of gender to be who we want to be.
This new bill must make it to the governor's desk and pass in order to bring the change to this state that has been long overdue. The current requirements are predated and drastic, not taking into account what each individual wishes to do in terms of who they are and how they identify. The medical practices of transitioning have grown so far beyond changing ourselves surgically, to taking hormones that will change our bodies to match the chemistry of our mind to simply dressing differently to feel at peace. Our society is heavily based on the black and white system of gender, with no gray in the middle. Individuals are defined by what's between their legs and not what's in their head, a brain that makes each and every one of us unique, with our own story. This bill is the next step in bringing change to our state, moving forward in the right direction to help myself, and the thousands of others who suffer from gender dysphoria and the mark on their birth certificate that automatically defines them as an individual. Our laws must adapt with the changing times, and together, all of us, everyone who signs this petition and shares it with others will be the driving force to bring the change to the State of New Jersey and possibly, the United States. Thank you so much for your time and understanding my story, we are all unique and beautiful in our own way! Stay positive and remember, one person can bring change if they try hard enough...
Thank you, Emma Beyer
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