Social Security Administration Makes Strides In Transgender Rights, Removes Surgical Requirement

According to new regulations published by the Social Security Administration, transgender individuals will no longer be required to demonstrate surgical reassignment in order to change gender designation on official documents. The new

regulation is a big step for the transgender community. Salon reports:

SSC“This is a tremendous victory for our community,” Ilona Turner, legal director of the Transgender Law Center, said in a statement. “The Social Security Administration was one of the last agencies to hold onto an outdated, one-size-fits-all standard for gender change. Transgender people will now be able to change all their federal documents with a simple letter from their doctor recognizing that they have undergone the appropriate treatment for them.”

The letter in question is a far more preferable, and private, mode of official recognition.

…the administration will accept a letter from the person’s doctor confirming that they have undergone “appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition,” but, as the National Center for Transgender Equality notes, “no specific type of treatment is required, and details of your treatment should not be included in the letter from your physician to the SSA.”

By increasing the options for legitimate recognition of gender reassignment, the SSA has taken a significant step toward reducing the bureaucratic processes which have made transgender individuals second-class citizens. Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, Mara Keisling, recognizes the gravity of the new regulation:

“Most people may not see this as a big deal, but transgender people know that this seemingly small technical change will protect their privacy and give them more control over their own lives” she said in a statement celebrating the change.

Here's hoping that even more significant changes are underway and that discrimination will continue to slowly be disbanded.

Image courtesy of


  1. Tyler says

    Pray tell: why don’t these groups include gay people in both the names of their organizations or their stated aims for “their” community? You’ve been bullied and snookered, “LGBT” activists.

  2. says

    @Tia, it wasn’t linked to gay people, though if it were many of us would find it neither contemptible nor offensive since we don’t think of transgender people and their civil rights as “other.” This is one welcome step forward.

  3. says

    actually “Tyler” (love your fake names you dunce) you’re the bullied wuss – all you have in life is apparently using the internet to anonymously moan about transpeople.

    pray tell, what’s it like being a eunuch in 2013?

    ROCK ON, Ernie.

  4. Zoe Brain says

    There are three problems in separating GLB from T.

    1) Though many are straight, many T people are GLB too.

    2) Those who do violence on us make no such nice distinctions. They say “die, Faggot” whether we’re male or female, GLB or straight.

    3) And finally… those of us who are straight know what it’s like to be discriminated against. That’s why you find us at the forefront of the battles against homophobia, and always have been. How can we advocate for our own Human Rights without advocating equally for yours too? Even if (some of you at least) don’t return the favour. That doesn’t matter. It’s a matter of principle, not “I’ve got mine.”

  5. Tim says

    @Zoe Brain:

    1 – So what? Every social, racial, ethnic, sexual and political group on Earth has gay members. We don’t include every group on Earth in the LGB community.

    2 – Gay bashers don’t make distinctions? Dubious generalization. But even if true, we don’t emulate gay bashers. We don’t take their erroneous world view and define ourselves by it.

    3 – That’s an argument for an alliance. It doesn’t justify creating a bogus “people” called LGBT. There is no such thing as LGBT. It is a contrivance. The issue isn’t separating T from LGB. It is understanding why T was thrust onto LGB without debate in the first place.

  6. says

    there was no “debate” “TIM” (again, love your changing of screen names) because you pathetic anti-trans gay cowards never show up in person to say anything in real life.


    debate? how can one have a “debate” when your side exists solely via the anonymity of faceless and nameless internet forums?

    LGBT – we’re united and strong when we work together.

    you’re free to be Misery, party of one, in your own closet.

    suck it 😀

  7. chutney says

    @Tim, Tom,Troll LGBT is so much more than a contrivance. Just because you may be a transphobe, You don’t have the right to push your views off on the rest of us. I’m an MtF trans lesbian, so is my girlfriend. And we see ourselves as part of a much larger community. It’s sad to see transphobic gay men like you. That begs the question, are you even gay.

  8. says

    @Chutney – my sister, take solace: cowards like that Troll aren’t folks you’ll ever have to actually “see” – they don’t have the courage to live the life you lead.

    they suck, yes. but they’re so lowly they can only spew their hatred on the interwebz. rest assured, every gay man who possess self-respect also possesses respect and love for YOU.


  9. chutney says

    I lost the chance at a good paying job when SSA outed me with one of those identity mismatch letters. I was accused of attempting identity theftand even had my unemployment cut off for over a month, while I thoroughly outed myself to numerous government agencies and contractors, just to prove my identity and innocence.
    I for one am glad to see these changes, however slow they may be.

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