You may need to make a deeply personal and absolutely important decision about how you want to proceed in this conservative climate. There is nothing wrong with transitioning, but it’s also okay if you were to decide to put off transitioning until it were safer to do so.
If you’re having suicidal thoughts, please contact a support system such as The Trevor Project (1-866-488-7386) or Trans Lifeline (1-877-565-8860).
If you decide to continue with your transition, there may be something to be said for starting the process to change the gender markers on your legal identification. Though state processes may not see changes immediately, if at all, federal processes likely will.
You may also want to change your legal name.
Lawyers from Ropes & Gray, working with GLAD and the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, have set up a pro-bono rapid-response program for trans people in New England to help them make these changes to their legal documents.
If you’re on a federal employee health plan or a publicly provided plan, such as MassHealth (or an Affordable Care Act–created plan), expedite what healthcare procedures you can.
MassHealth is unlikely to see significant changes—especially in the short term—because it predates the Affordable Care Act, but Medicaid programs may become more streamlined and restrictive.
In December 2016, a federal judge ordered the Department of Health and Human Services to stop enforcing the federal healthcare nondiscrimination rule. The National Center for Transgender Equality has a blog post on what the judge did and how it’s likely to affect healthcare plans.
If you’re married, get non-marriage legal documents taken care of in case the rights which go along with your marriage status are threatened.
- healthcare proxy
- power of attorney
- beneficiary of policies
Nolo, a useful resource for many legal and bureaucratic issues, teamed up with Quicken to make an easy-to-use software program, Quicken WillMaker Plus 2017, which helps you create legally valid wills, healthcare directives, durable powers of attorney, executor documents, etc.
If you’re living with HIV/AIDS, make sure to speak with a local clinic or your doctor to find reliable sources from which to continue getting your medications at a reasonable cost or for free. If you don’t know your status, get tested by someone at a local clinic or by your doctor.
Get to know the names and numbers of national and local legal-protection groups, which will be working to provide advice, materials, and support over the coming months:
- Transgender Legal Services Network
- Trans Road Map (legal section)
- National Center for Transgender Equality
- Oregon: PDX Trans Pride
- Boston – Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition
- New York City – The Sylvia Rivera Law Project