People have many reasons to legally change their name.  For some, it could be that they simply want a different name than the one they were born with, or they could have divorced a long time ago and never bothered to change their name. For transgender, non-binary, and gender expansive people, legally changing a name is affirming, exciting, and prevents unwanted outing. Finally showing one’s true name on IDs, passports, and other official documents can be a huge sigh of relief. However, the name change process carries its barriers.

Changing your name legally can be a tedious process. For transgender people, the name change process can also be exhausting, frustrating, and unduly burdensome. Transgender, non-binary, and gender expansive folks may find themselves managing misgendering, deadnaming, and potential safety concerns – in addition to the slew of paperwork and documents to update after the fact.

Having trans-friendly lawyers and legal staff through the process takes a lot of weight off one’s shoulders. We at DangerLaw can help in many ways. Legal staff will draft motions to waive publication requirements that needlessly out trans people. Clients who face challenges paying for filing fees will be able to have an affidavit of indigency prepared. Our legal staff prepare the petitions, along with any supporting documents. We even will talk to court officials on our client’s behalf so they do not have to deal with getting a hold of court officials and handling oftentimes transphobic bureaucracy. At DangerLaw, we try our hardest to make the process as seamless as possible.

Doing this work as a legal admin means so much to me, as a trans person myself. When I went through the name change process in Connecticut, I didn’t know any other transgender person who had gone through the process. I felt alone and overwhelmed, climbing through the tiring checklist. I wish I had people like DangerLaw to guide me through the process and represent me in court. That’s why I’m honored to help fellow trans people with the name change process. 

All the work we do is entirely free for the trans community because we believe a person should have a name that reflects their true self, and we know that there can be many barriers in access accessing legal services. We’re here and ready to help. If you’re a transgender, non-binary, or gender expansive person looking for pro-bono representation for your name change, please email us at scarlett@dangerlaw.com or call at (617) 340-3231 x7. 

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