New Rapid-Response Program Creates Free Legal Resource for New England Transgender Community
Global law firm Ropes & Gray, together with GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) and the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC), Monday announced the launch of their collective effort, the Transgender ID Project.
The initiative is designed to provide legal guidance and representation to transgender people living in the six New England states (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont) in completing legal name changes and updating identity documentation including social security cards, U.S. passports, driver’s licenses or state identification cards, and birth certificates issued in New England.
“Our partnership provides a critical legal service and practical resource to the transgender community free of charge,” said Ropes & Gray tax partner Kat Gregor, who, with mergers & acquisitions partner Jane Goldstein, is supervising the firm’s effort. “Our team recognizes how important it is for transgender individuals to quickly resolve documentation questions.”
“Accurate identity documents are critical for the safety and dignity of transgender people,” said Jennifer Levi, director of GLAD’s Transgender Rights Project. “This project allows us to quickly and efficiently provide immediate support to people who need it. We’re grateful to Ropes & Gray for stepping up.”
Ropes & Gray attorneys working on the Transgender ID Program may also be able to provide guidance with respect to updating other forms of identification, as well as personal and commercial documents (including birth certificates issued outside of New England), to reflect proper name and gender.
“For transgender people, having accurate identification not only facilitates everyday interactions, but also safeguards their right to be treated fairly in the eyes of law enforcement and authority figures, something that is of utmost importance in today’s social and political climate,” said Mason Dunn, executive director, MTPC. “We’re proud to partner with Ropes & Gray and GLAD to help make this a reality for the people we represent.”
Transgender individuals seeking to update their legal names and gender designations on federal and state documents can receive free legal representation through this program. To sign up, visit www.glad.org/ID ,call GLAD Answers at 1-800-455-GLAD, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Financial assistance for government filing fees may also be available.