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.

Virginia Advance Directives

For a comprehensive guideline of Advance Directives for citizens of the state of Virginia, please visit the Healthcare Decision Day web page on the Virginia State Bar website.

Virginia Name & Gender Change Guidelines


Virginia 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.

Virginia law about name changes: Virginia code § 8.01-21

What You Need:

Total Estimated Costs: $152.00


  • Fill out the Name Change Petition and get it notarized. Make two copies of this form. Fill out the Civil Cover Sheet.
  • Take all forms along with self addressed stamped envelope and $132.00 and file with the circuit court clerk in the county where you live.
  • You will be given a court date. Appear in court on that date and if your name change is granted you will receive a certified copy of your name change order approximately three weeks later.
  • For additional copies of the certified order you can pay $2.50 each.

*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 Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. You will need to change your name with Social Security Administration prior to changing it with the DMV. You will need to bring the copy of your name change order along with $20.00 for a corrected license.


Virginia will issue a new birth certificate as of 2005.  The law about changing the gender on your birth certificate can be found here:  Virginia Code Annotated § 32.1-269.

Provide the State Registrar with a certified copy of a court order indicating that your sex has been changed by medical procedure, or provide the State Registrar with acceptable evidence (pre-operative diagnosis, postoperative diagnosis, description of procedure, and notarized affidavit from your physician) and request that they issue a new birth certificate.

If your petition is denied, you can petition the circuit court in the county where you live or the Circuit Court of the City of Richmond, Division I, for an order compelling the Registrar to amend the vital record. See also 12 Virginia Administrative Code 5-550-320, if a notarized letter from the physician performing the surgery is presented, a court order may not be necessary.

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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