‘We’re just being us’: Florida LGBTQ+ community concerned over difficulties with birth certificate changes

After a new state policy change that prohibits Floridians who are transgender from changing their driver’s licenses to match their current gender identity, there is a growing concern among the LGBTQ+ community that this policy may also apply to birth certificates.

“We’re not bothering anybody; we’re just being us,” Kris Wells, who is a transgender man, said.

Wells transitioned from a woman into a man in a few years ago.

He said he managed to change his gender from female to male on all of his documentation except his birth certificate with the state of Florida.

“It was roughly give or take about middle of last year. I feel like they’re in a way holding it against me and purposely dragging it along,” Wells said.

Current law in Florida permits changing your sex on a birth certificate with:

An affidavit of amendment of certificate of live birthAn application for amendmentA doctor’s note with proof of gender transition treatment

Normal processing time for computer-generated birth certificates is three to five business days, according to the Florida Department of Health.

“I think it’s pretty crazy that I’m having the difficulty with you know the birth certificate part and didn’t have this much problem with anything else,” Wells said.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles released this memo highlighting the state’s new driver’s license restrictions for transgender Floridians.

Attorney Gene Nichols spoke to News4JAX about the policy and said he believes the state will verify genders on licenses with birth certificates.

“What we’re probably going to see out of the law is you’re required to tell me, the DMV, what your sex is based off your birth certificate not what it is now,” Nichols said.

While there’s no current policy or law that prevents transgender people from changing the gender on their birth certificate, Kris is concerned.

“I know it’s silly but seeing everything fit the outside it means a lot,” Wells said. “It makes you just feel normal.”

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