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.

South Carolina

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.

SC Advance Directives

Download this Power of Attorney form if you live in South Carolina.

South Carolina Name & Gender Change Guidelines


LGBT Rights - South Carolina MapThis 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 following are the steps one must take to legally change their name in the state of South Carolina if it is not due to marriage or pursuant to a divorce.

What You Need:

  • A set of fingerprints
  • State background check
  • Statement from the South Carolina Department of Social Services
  • Sworn statement indicating that you do not owe child support or alimony
  • Statement from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) indicating that you are not on the sex offender registry.

Note: The way the process is set up in South Carolina, you will need to hire an attorney to assist you.

Total estimated cost: Approximately $200 plus attorney fees


  • Background check conducted by the SC State Law Enforcement Division (SLED). Typically, you can have your fingerprints taken by your local law enforcement agency.  In some counties, however, you might find that the local law enforcement agency does not provide this service. If this is the case, you can have your finger prints taken by a private fingerprinting company.
    Fees – Fingerprints: $10 to $50; Background check: $25.
  • SC Department of Social Services statement indicating whether you are on the department’s Central Registry of Child Abuse and Neglect.
    Fee – $8.
  • Sworn statement written and signed by you stating whether you are under a court order to pay child support or alimony. There is no set form for this. Your attorney prepare a simple affidavit.
  • SLED statement indicating whether you are on the sex offender registry. Note: The form and fee for the SLED background check cover this.
  • File the Petition for Name Change.
    Fee – $150.
  • A hearing will be set and a Judge will determine whether to grant the name change.

Within 10 days of your name change, you must change your name on your South Carolina DMV records. To do so, you will need to visit a DMV office, complete Form 4057, and present proper documentation (your court order). All name changes must be done in person; they cannot be completed online or via mail. While the website does not indicate that a copy of your birth certificate is needed, it would be a good idea to take one along.

Report violence, discrimination, and harassment against LGBTQ people

LGBT Crowdmap

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.

From the CSE Blog:

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