Trans Field Guide
Name and Gender Marker Change with Tea Time with T Boys
Vieno: My guests today are Rico and Sam From Tea Time with T boys. Can you guys start off by telling us a little bit about yourselves?
Rico: Yeah for sure. We are two trans guys that have a youtube channel, we talk about trans topics, we do product reviews, we do giveaways quite often. We do have quite a presence on instagram too. That’s usually where we do our giveaways.
Vieno: And you guys do give a lot of advice on getting a name and gender marker change. What are the steps for getting those done in Texas?
Sam: So, every time someone is interested in getting a name or gender marker change, the first thing that I’ll do is ask them where they’re from. If they’re in Texas I’ll ask them if they can specifically come to Austin because Austin has the easiest process. If not I’ll just try to get them the best info that I can.
The first things that I ask for people to have before I’ll even talk to them again- not to be a jerk about it, but just to simplify the process- is I’ll ask them to get a letter from either a physician or a therapist, and that letter just needs to say that they’ve had irreversible changes from either hrt or surgery. It just has to say some kind of irreversible change to reflect your true gender before they’ll change your gender marker. The other thing that is required is a fingerprint card, and that’s specifically for the name change portion of this. That’s typically the only thing required in austin.
Depending on where you’re at, sometimes they’ll require two letters. It’s really up to what they require. Some states will require having surgeries, whether it’s top surgery or bottom surgery or both. So I tell them to get those two things for me first. After they get those two things i will typically offer to go with them to the travis county law library and I’ll show them how to fill out the petition and the final order for the gender marker and name change.
If they can’t afford the court cost fees which are like three to four hundred dollars, most states will have an affidavit available to waive the court costs and fee, which will cover everything except for the copies of the final order. Those are typically 4-5 dollars a copy.
Vieno: You did mention, in a couple of steps, some things that other states require. Are there any other differences between Texas and other states as far as those processes go?
Sam: Not really. The main difference is the type of changes they require as far as surgeries go for the gender marker change. For the name change, chances are that all you’re going to need is your fingerprint card with your social security number on it. The other difference is if you have any felony charges. You will need to bring case numbers for those. It doesn't mean you can’t get them changed, they just want to have them on file to make sure you’re not running from the law. You just want to look into what your state specifically requires especially for the gender marker change. Because not all states are as easy to get that gender marker change
Rico: Still to this day I’ve heard that some states make people announce it in the newspaper
Sam: Basically they have to do a birth announcement. It’s kind of ridiculous, but they basically have to out themselves in the newspaper. Like hey i’m trans i’m getting my name and gender marker changed. I’m no longer so-n-so I’m now so-n-so.
Vieno: Is there anything that would actually cause a judge to just straight up say “No i’m not going to grant you this?”
Sam: Typically not. I think most of the issues that might come up are, like I said if you have a criminal record make sure you bring all the case numbers because they want to make sure you’re not running from the law or have warrants for your arrest. But that’s really the main thing unless the judge is just not a nice person and doesn’t want to do it because they’re like transphobic or something. You shouldn’t have any issues with getting it done. You just have to make sure you follow the steps to the t.
Rico: And it’s important to point out we’re not legal representatives and not giving legal advice. We’re only speaking from experiences in travis county.
Sam: Yeah I basically just hold your hand for the process.
Rico: Sam gives people moral support. Some people are scared and they don’t want to do it alone, and he wants to show people it’s not as hard as it looks, at least in travis county.
Sam: It’s basically about just following everything to the letter. You don’t want to leave anything to chance. Some states want the letters to be notarized, some states may not. Maybe just get it notarized if you’re not sure. And make sure that the letter follows the model of what they need it to say, or at least hits all the bullet points essentially. Just so there’s nothing they can say that can deter you from getting the changes done.
Vieno: Do you think some people would be better off getting a lawyer to help them through the process?
Sam: I don't think that’s necessary. The process is so simple that you really don’t need to spend the money on a lawyer. If you go to the travis county law office before noon, and there are lawyers that are there that will help you and give advice for free. So I would definitely check your local law library to see if they offer that too. Use your resources, honestly. There’s plenty of free resources that are out there to help you with this process.
Vieno: Is there any other advice on the process that you feel would be useful for listeners?
Sam: I would say that when you do get your name and gender marker changed, remember that the process doesn’t end there. After that it’s up to you to get everything else changed. You can get your new driver’s license, new social security card, etc. just remember that it’s up to you to get all of that stuff changed.
Rico: With that said, no one knows you have this legal gender marker and name change unless you tell them to. You can keep your bank information and stuff under your old name if you want to, but just make sure you get your social security card changed. And sometimes the social security office might be more complicated than you expected, that’s ok, try the dps office first. Some people just have the luck of the draw of not having someone helpful at the social security office and just have to go back later.
Vieno: Thank you guys for coming on the show. Listeners make sure to check out Tea Time with T Boys on Youtube, Instagram, and Facebook.
Sam: And our Instagram and Facebook handles are both @teatimewithtboys