The Impact of the Gender Recognition Act (SB 179) on the Transgender Community

Because the Gender Recognition Act adds a third gender category to official California documents, it is generally considered a law that benefits Intersex and other gender nonconforming people. The bill states:

  • You will no longer require a physician’s approval to change gender, you only need to submit a sworn affidavit: “This bill, commencing on September 1, 2018, would delete the requirement that a person have undergone any treatment to seek a court judgment to recognize a change of gender and instead would authorize the petitioner to attest, under penalty of perjury, that the request is to conform the person’s legal gender to the person’s gender identity and not for any fraudulent purpose.”
  • Applications for driver’s licence will have three check boxes, male, female and nonbinary. The applicant decides their proper gender: “This bill, on January 1, 2019, would require an applicant for an original driver’s license or renewal of a driver’s license to choose a gender category of female, male, or nonbinary, as specified, and would require the department to adopt regulations to provide a process for an amendment to a gender category under these provisions.”
  • If you are changing your name to match your gender, then you are exempt from many of the current restrictions: “If the petition for a change of name is sought in order to conform the petitioner’s name to the petitioner’s gender identity, the action for a change of name is exempt from the requirement for publication of the order to show cause under this subdivision.”

This law makes it much easier for all of us to live our authentic selves, and is a major step forward for the Transgender and Intersex community.