Update Michigan Birth Certificate Gender Change Requirements
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In 2016, Michigan changed its laws about how to obtain a change in gender marker on Michigan driver's licenses by allowing a US passport with the updated gender to serve as sufficient proof of gender change. This was a great first step. However, now the time has come that changing a Michigan birth record should follow the same process.
In our current political climate, there is a growing concern among transgender people about "bathroom bills" which require that one must use the bathroom that matches the gender listed on their birth certificate. As a transgender person who was born in Michigan, I am unable to update my birth certificate to the proper gender. Not only do I have concerns about my safety, but I also have concerns about legal implications if I were to visit a place with a "bathroom bill" in place.
The current laws in Michigan require that a person wishing to change their gender on their birth certificate must undergo sex-reassignment surgery. As the law is currently worded, many people assume that this means the person transitioning must undergo bottom surgery (surgery related to the genitals). As a female-to-male transgender person, it will cost me upwards of $50,000 to get this surgery, while for male-to-female individuals it will cost roughly 1/2 of what I would pay-- still very expensive. Frankly, bottom surgery is nearly unobtainable for many people simply due to cost. Additionally, the health risks of bottom surgery are high. For this reason, many transgender people do not wish to pursue it.
However, top surgery (chest reconstruction surgery) also fulfills this requirement. For most transgender people, top surgery does not occur for years after they have started their transition, also due to a relatively high cost. Often times transgender people pass long before they have top surgery. This means that, even though these people are consistently perceived as a certain gender, their birth certificate says something else.
Please sign this petition to voice your support for the transgender community and to demand change to this outdated law. Surgery should not be required!
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