New YorkNews

Transgenders Taking New York to Court

The transgender community is taking New York City to court over cumbersome requirements that keep them from changing their gender on their birth certificates. The city requires anyone who wants to change his gender to show proof of surgical procedures in order to change the gender status that’s written on the birth certificate.

Noah Lewis, an attorney who is representing the residents in this case say that the requirements actually amount to discrimination for New York’s transgender residents. The lawsuit, which was recently filed by the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund in state Supreme Court, explained that many of the transgender residents couldn’t afford the surgical procedures.

They want, instead, for a doctor’s verification about someone’s gender to be sufficient. As Mr. Lewis explained, “They can be laughed at or turned away doing everyday transactions like going to the DMV or applying for jobs.”

As Joan Pinzivalli, one of those suing the city, explained, we “just want IDs that match who we are.” Gabriel Taussig, a city attorney, reassured the group that the Health Department would review the group’s concerns. As he said, “We are very sympathetic to the petitioners’ concerns and recognize that this is a complex issue.”


James Allenby is the editor of Gowanus Lounge, bringing to his position a vast background on New York, and especially Brooklyn history, culture and lifestyle. Born and bred in the heart of "the County of Kings" James Allenby knows what it means to be a Brooklynite, and imparts this meaning at all times to his readers. Contact James at info(at)