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.

Tennessee Healthcare Power of Attorney

Download these Power of Attorney forms if you live in Tennessee.

Tennessee Name & Gender Change Guidelines


Tennessee Map of LGBT RightsThis 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.

Tennessee law about name changes: Tennessee Code Annotated § 29-8-101 through 29-8-105

What You Need:

  • Name Change Petition (forms vary by county, check with your local chancery court)
  • Social Security Form

Total Estimated Costs: $216.00


  • Fill out a name change petition and get it notarized.
  • Certain chancery courts may require different forms, so it is best to contact your local court to find out specific requirements. You can find a listing of courts here.
  • File the petition with $200.00 at your local chancery court.
  • You will be assigned a court date by the clerk. Appear in court and request your name change.
  • If the court grants your request, you will receive a court order for your name change.

*Additional documents may be required:  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 Tennessee Department of Driver Services. You will need to change your name with Social Security Administration prior to changing it with the DDS. You will need to bring the copy of your name change order along with $16.00 for a corrected license.


Tennessee will NOT change the sex designation on the birth certificate. Tennessee will issue an amended birth certificate with the old name visibly struck over and the new name typed above it. You will need an original or certified copy of the court order for your name change.

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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