BOSTON – June 21, 2023 – Namesake Collaborative and the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) are thrilled to announce the launch of the Namesake platform to help transgender and nonbinary Bay Staters navigate the legal name and gender marker correction process as a part of MTPC’s Identity Document Assistance (IDA) Network.
This launch follows a successful year-long testing period during which over 100 community members provided incredibly important feedback, recommendations, and quality assurance to the development of the platform. These testers were able to utilize the platform to complete their legal name and gender marker changes. Namesake will continue to be a community-informed platform and welcomes further feedback and suggestions to adapt to users’ needs and the frequently-changing requirements for legal name changes and correcting identity documents.
“In 2019 when we asked our community what they needed in our ‘Working for Lived Equity’ community needs assessment, nearly 80% told us that their top legal need was assistance with legal name and gender marker changes”, says MTPC’s Executive Director, Tre’Andre Valentine. “Knowing this, we made it a priority in our most recent strategic plan and I am so excited to share this new resource with our community as a part of MTPC’s ongoing work toward lived equity for all trans and nonbinary people in the Commonwealth.”
Legal name and gender marker corrections can be an important step for many trans and nonbinary people seeking to affirm their chosen names and gender identity. However, in the most recently published US Trans Survey, almost 70% of trans and nonbinary people reported that their identity documents do not reflect their correct name or gender. These disparities can impact an individual’s safety when engaging with law enforcement and access to lines of credit, bank accounts, and safe housing and employment.
“So often, technology and systems are built without considering trans and nonbinary people, or even actively excluding us, which is so significant considering how they govern our everyday lives”, says Namesake Collaborative founder Luke Lennon. “I’m proud that building Namesake has been and will continue to be a trans-led, community-collaborative effort. My hope is that folks feel seen, supported, and affirmed throughout this process, both by the tech itself and the people behind it.”
The Namesake platform is the newest addition to MTPC’s IDA Network, which also provides connections to pro bono legal resources and financial assistance with legal name and gender marker corrections. The fees associated with this process can exceed $400, which can be prohibitively expensive for many trans and nonbinary people. MTPC helps cover or offset these costs to create more access to corrected identity documents for all trans and nonbinary people in Massachusetts. For more information about Namesake, the IDA Network, or MTPC, please visit www.masstpc.org/ID.
About the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition
The Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition works to ensure the well-being, safety, and lived equity of all trans, nonbinary, and gender-expansive community members in Massachusetts. They educate the public, advocate at state, local, and systemic levels, and through collective action, they mobilize the community, engage in capacity building, and advance community wellness and prosperity.
About the Namesake Collaborative:
Namesake is a trans-led platform that helps the transgender, nonbinary, and gender-expansive community manage their identities, starting with the legal name & gender marker change process. With Namesake, users can easily navigate complex paperwork and systems in order to take control of their legal, financial, and medical futures. Reach out to learn more at firstname.lastname@example.org.