LGBT

Transgender People Are Connecting With Lawyers On Twitter Using #TransLawHelp

Fueled by the anxiety of the election outcome, many in the trans community are attempting to get their legal documents and gender markers in order.

1. Following the election, many LGBT Americans have been left feeling anxious and disappointed. Many people in the transgender community have expressed added pressure to have their gender and identification documents in order before Trump officially takes office in January.

2. Correcting your gender marker on ID cards or changing your name legally can be confusing and tedious, since the process varies from state to state.

Bernie_photo / Getty Images

3. On Wednesday, Twitter user @dtwps sent out a tweet asking lawyers who are willing to offer pro-bono services to trans people to use the hashtag #TransLawHelp:

4. Figuring that others might be feeling the same sense of urgency and anxiety following the election, the 30-year-old New Yorker told BuzzFeed News they decided to start the hashtag to connect trans people with legal aid.

“Personally, I’d been putting off documentation changes because I figured I’d have time,” the creator of the hashtag added. “Well, time could be up.”

5. Twitter users quickly began reaching out with with legal questions from all over the country:

6. The hashtag gained more momentum after actor Laverne Cox did a little re-tweeting:

Follow this thread for help updating ID documents if you are trans https://t.co/z3sNoJ8ptE

— Laverne Cox (@Lavernecox)

8. Lawyers stepped up to lend their services by tweeting out their locations and opening up their DMs:

10. Chase Strangio, a staff attorney with the ACLU, told BuzzFeed News he is offering his services to “connect people to information that they need.”

“Particularly on a day like today, when so many communities are in mourning and in fear, it feels important to provide support in any way possible way,” Strangio said.

“I have no idea what to expect in the coming months, but I recognize that for many people it can be terrifying to have identification documents that don’t match who you are — the process for updating those documents can be arduous and complicated.”

Strangio did not identify any direct threat to updating IDs posed by the Trump administration, as changes to driver’s licenses and birth certificates are handled at the state or county level.

11. Tim Bingham, who only just passed his bar exam this past summer, said he felt compelled to offer his services after the election results left him and his wife feeling especially helpless.

“We know we are white, middle-class, cisgendered individuals and that the election results may not affect us but it most definitely will affect people in other communities, like trans individuals,” Bingham told BuzzFeed News.

12. A website inspired by the hashtag is also being put together in order to create a database of lawyers looking to offer up their services.

For anyone seeking legal aid, Strangio suggests starting with The National Center for Trans Equality which has excellent resources for tracking the various policies.

Check out more articles on BuzzFeed.com!

Sarah Karlan is the Deputy LGBT Editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Sarah Karlan at sarah.karlan@buzzfeed.com.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.
 
  Your Reaction?
  REACT WITH GIF
 

    Starting soon, you'll only be able to post a comment on BuzzFeed using a Facebook account or via our app. If you have questions or thoughts, email us here.

    Contributions

    Now Buzzing