Trans Action

What does transgender mean?

Transgender is a term used to describe people whose gender identity differs from the sex the doctor marked on their birth certificate. Gender identity is a person’s internal, personal sense of being a man or a woman (or someone outside of that gender binary). For transgender people, the sex they were assigned at birth and their own internal gender identity do not match.

People in the transgender community may describe themselves using one (or more) of a wide variety of terms, including (but not limited to) transgender, transsexual, and genderqueer. Always use the term preferred by the individual.

Trying to change a person’s gender identity is no more successful than trying to change a person’s sexual orientation — it doesn’t work. So most transgender people seek to bring their bodies more into alignment with their gender identity.

Many transgender people are prescribed hormones by their doctors to change their bodies. Some undergo surgeries as well. But not all transgender people can or will take those steps, and it’s important to know that being transgender is not dependent upon medical procedures.

Transgender is an adjective and should never be used as a noun. For example, rather than saying “Max is a transgender,” say “Max is a transgender person.” And transgender never needs an “-ed” at the end.

How is sexual orientation different from gender identity?

We use the acronym LGBT to describe the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. The first three letters (LGB) refer to sexual orientation. The “T” refers to gender identity.

Sexual orientation describes a person’s enduring physical, romantic, and/or emotional attraction to another person (for example: straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual), while gender identity describes a person’s, internal, personal sense of being a man or a woman (or someone outside of that gender binary).

Simply put: sexual orientation is about who you are attracted to and fall in love with; gender identity is about your own sense of yourself.

Transgender people have a sexual orientation, just like everyone else. Transgender people may be straight, lesbian, gay, or bisexual. For example, a person who transitions from male to female and is attracted solely to men would typically identify as a straight woman. A person who transitions from female to male and is attracted solely to men would typically identify as a gay man.

What name and pronoun do I use?

For some transgender people, being associated with their birth name is a tremendous source of anxiety, or it is simply a part of their life they wish to leave behind. Respect the name a transgender person is currently using. If you happen to know a transgender person’s birth name (the name given to them when they were born, but which they no longer use), don’t share it without that person’s explicit permission. Sharing a transgender person’s birth name and/or photos of a transgender person before their transition is an invasion of privacy, unless they have given you permission to do so.

If you’re unsure which pronoun a person prefers, listen first to the pronoun other people use when referring to that person. Someone who knows the person well will probably use the correct pronoun. If you must ask which pronoun the person prefers, start with your own. For example, “Hi, I’m Dani and I prefer the pronouns she and her. What about you?” Then use that person’s preferred pronoun and encourage others to do so. If you accidentally use the wrong pronoun for someone, apologize quickly and sincerely, then move on. The bigger deal you make out of the situation, the more uncomfortable it is for everyone.

Why is transgender equality important?

Transgender people face staggering levels of discrimination and violence. In 2013, 72% of anti-LGBT homicide victims were transgender women. According to “Injustice at Every Turn,” a report by the National Center for Transgender Equality and The Task Force:

Transgender people are four times more likely to live in poverty.
Transgender people experience unemployment at twice the rate of the general population, with rates for people of color up to four times the national unemployment rate.
90% of transgender people report experiencing harassment, mistreatment or discrimination on the job.
22% of respondents who have interacted with police reported harassment by police, with much higher rates reported by people of color. Almost half of the respondents (46%) reported being uncomfortable seeking police assistance.
41% of respondents reported attempting suicide, compared to 1.6% of the general population.
Transgender people still cannot serve in the US Military.

Transgender people, particularly transgender women of color, face shockingly high rates of murder, homelessness, and incarceration. Most states and countries offer no legal protections in housing, employment, health care, and other areas where individuals experience discrimination based on their gender identity or expression.

Nevada Name Change Laws

To obtain a legal name change in Nevada, an applicant must submit a petition to the court. The applicant must publish notice in a newspaper once a week for three weeks, however the petition and proceedings may be sealed for the applicant’s personal safety. (Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 41.270-41.290).

Nevada Drivers License Policy & Procedures

In order to update the name on a Nevada ID, an applicant must first change their name with the Social Security Administration, and then submit a court order certifying the name change to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

In order to update the gender marker on a Nevada ID, no documentation is needed. NAC 483-070. Applicants may select male or female on the application form regardless of the gender on other documents submitted. An applicant must appear in person to make this change and is not limited in the number of times the change is made.

The DMV addresses name and gender marker changes here.

Nevada Birth Certificate Laws

As of November 2016, Vital Records will issue a new birth certificate with a corrected gender marker upon receipt of two affidavits reflecting an individual’s gender. NAC 440.030.

To apply for an amended birth certificate the applicant should submit:

  1. An Affidavit from the individual, their parent or guardian, or legal representative, stating the gender that should be on the birth certificate and why.
  2. Supplemental Affidavit from someone else who knows them confirming the facts in their affidavit. The second affidavit can be from anyone who has personal knowledge of the applicant’s gender, meaning anyone who knows the applicant’s gender firsthand through a personal, familial, medical, or professional relationship. The affidavit should confirm the individual’s gender identity and the gender they intend to maintain. A written statement on letterhead from a licensed healthcare professional or a court order confirming gender change can be submitted instead of the Supplemental Affidavit.
  3. A copy of the original birth certificate
  4. $40 fee, that includes one certified copy of the amended certificate. Additional copies are $20 each.

See the Instruction Packet on Changing Gender and Name on a Birth Certificate from the Nevada Office of Vital Records for more information.

Submit applications to:

Division of Public and Behavioral Health
Preparedness, Assurance, Inspections and Statistics
Nevada Office of Vital Records
4150 Technology Way, Suite 104
Carson City, Nevada 89706

For specific questions about amending or correcting information on a birth certificate, call 775-684-4242 and ask for an amendment clerk.