Trans in the South: A Guide to Resources and Services

New data from the Williams Institute shows that more than 300,000 trans folks call the South home. Too often, they face a lack of resources and support. We often hear stories of people going without medical care or traveling hours to reach a doctor who will treat them with respect. That’s got to change. 

To respond to that need, the Campaign for Southern Equality is releasing Trans in the South: A Guide to Resources and Services.

In the pages of this edition of Trans in the South you’ll find lists of trans-friendly service providers – from doctors to attorneys to counselors – across the South as well as resources to assist with funding medical transition. This information has been collected and vetted by Ivy Gibson-Hill, our LGBT Rights Toolkit Coordinator. We hope this resource guide helps people access the services they need to survive and to thrive.

You can download a PDF of Trans in the South: A Guide to Resources by clicking here.


Laws in your state

Laws regarding adoption, nondiscrimination protections, hate crimes reporting and much more vary from state to state. For information about the policies that affect LGBT people in your state, please see these resources from national LGBT organizations:

Human Rights Campaign’s state law maps

Lambda Legal’s state law map

For more information about state-issued documents in all 50 states, see the National Center for Transgender Equality’s ID Documents Center.

Power of Attorney

Protect your rights with estate planning tools like health care power of attorney forms. Estate planning makes clear your wishes for treatment during emergencies, at the end of your life, and beyond. For LGBT people and their families, estate planning is a tool that can be used to secure basic rights that many take for granted. If you haven’t completed these important documents, it’s important to do so as soon as possible, at any age, whether you are single or partnered.

These documents will help you protect your rights and wishes:

  • Health Care Power of Attorney
  • Durable Power of Attorney
  • Will
  • Hospitable Visitation Form

Learn more about these tools in Life Lines, a publication of the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

Alabama Living Will and Health Care Proxy

Download these Living Will and Health Care Proxy forms if you live in Alabama.

Alabama Name Change Guidelines


AL-MAP-BLUEThis document is intended for informational use only, and is in no way intended to constitute legal advice or the opinions of the Campaign for Southern Equality. Because the law is constantly changing, the Campaign for Southern Equality cannot guarantee that this information is accurate and up-to-date.  Procedures may vary by county.  If you have any questions, please consult a licensed attorney.

The Alabama law related to name change can be found here: Alabama Code § 26-11-3

What you’ll need:  Name Change Petition (see your local clerk of probate court), Social Security Form SS-5

Total Estimated Costs: $100.00 depending on county of residence. Cash or money order is accepted in most counties.


  • Some counties may require different forms, check with the probate court in your county of residence to find the specific petition form. Fill out the petition and get the form notarized. File the notarized name change petition with probate court of the county where you live.
  • The probate court may or may not set a hearing date.
  • If a hearing is scheduled, the court may ask you why you want to change your name.
  • The court will decide whether to grant the name change or not. If granted, the court will issue Decree Confirming Declaration as to Change of Name.

*Additional documents may be required: Letter from a therapist noting reason for name change, driver’s license or picture ID, birth certificate or current passport, copies of current bills showing current address.

Don’t Forget: Once your name change has been approved, you will need to update this with several government agencies. This includes changing your name with the Social Security Administration and the Alabama Department of Public Safety. You will need to change your name with Social Security Administration prior to changing it with the DPS. You will need to bring the copy of your name change order along with $25.00 for a corrected license.


Alabama will issue an “amended” birth certificate noting change of name and sex, but will not issue a new birth certificate replacing the original.

The fee to prepare an amended birth certificate is $15.00, which includes one certified copy. Additional copies of the same record ordered at the same time are $4.00 each.

You will need an original or certified copy of the court order for your name change, as well as an original or certified copy of a court order indicating that your gender has been changed. The fee for the court order is a separate fee, and varies from one court to another.

Because the gender change process involves more than simply filling out forms, it is recommended that you consult with a licensed attorney to help you negotiate this process.

The Alabama Law relating to changing the gender on your birth certificate can be found here:  § 22-9A-19(d).  It states that, “Upon receipt of a certified copy of an order of a court of competent jurisdiction indicating that the sex of an individual born in this state has been changed by surgical procedure and that the name of the individual has been changed, the certificate of birth of the individual shall be amended as prescribed by rules to reflect the changes.”

For more information, contact:

Department of Public Health
Bureau of Vital Statistics
Montgomery, AL 36130
Phone: 205-261-5033


State Board of Health
Center for Health Statistics
P.O. Box 5625
Montgomery, AL 36103-5625
(334) 206-5418; (334) 206-5426


Ms. Dorothy S. Harshbarger
State Registrar and Director

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Trans in the South Resource Guide

In the pages of this edition of Trans in the South you’ll find lists of trans-friendly service providers – from doctors to attorneys to counselors – across the South as well as resources to assist with funding medical transition.

You can download a PDF of Trans in the South: A Guide to Resources by clicking here.

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