MLSA is excited to announced that we recently received a grant from the Pride Foundation, which works to advance equity and justice for LGBTQ+ people in all communities across the Northwest. The grant will fund MLSA’s new TransForm Project, which aims to increase access to the justice system for transgender individuals and allow MLSA to address the structural legal challenges faced by LGBTQ individuals in Montana.
Specifically, TransForm will involve MLSA developing do-it-yourself legal forms to allow transgender individuals to more easily change legal documents such as birth certificates, driver’s licenses, and social security card to better reflect their names and gender identities. Being able to change these documents is crucial because they are what allow people to open bank accounts, start new jobs, enroll in school, and travel. Unfortunately, the name and gender change process is complex and can be prohibitively expensive, making it difficult if not impossible for many transgender individuals to successfully update their identification documents.
By creating clear and concise do-it-yourself legal forms and instructions on how to complete the name and gender change process, TransForm will make it possible for more transgender individuals to complete this process on their own, without the need to hire a private attorney. The forms and instructions developed as part of TransForm will be freely available online through MLSA’s legal help website www.MontanaLawHelp.org, making them easily accessible to anyone in Montana regardless of where they live or how much money they make.
MLSA anticipates that the TransForm legal documents and instructions will be available on www.MontanaLawHelp.org beginning in Fall 2020. For more information, please feel free to contact us through our Contact page.
Photo of pride flag by Ludovic Bertron from New York City, USA – https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/2942525739, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=14831997