Nov. 15, 2021

Students help trans, gender diverse people affirm their identity

UCalgary Law students work with Skipping Stone Foundation to provide Trans ID clinics.
Transgender flag
Sharon McCutcheon, Unsplash

Pro Bono Students Canada's Trans ID Clinic is run in partnership with the Skipping Stone Foundation and volunteer lawyers from Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP. Our mission is to help empower trans and gender diverse people to affirm their identity by providing free legal information and personalized assistance with filling out forms for name and gender marker amendments on government-issued ID in an inclusive, non-judgemental and trans-positive environment.

The high cost and complex process for changing names and gender markers on government identification presents a systemic barrier for many trans and gender diverse people to obtain accurate, gender affirming government identification. The Trans ID Clinic assists in mitigating these barriers so that more people seeking name and gender marker changes can be empowered to do so. Accurate ID is necessary for trans and gender diverse people to interact with the world using their preferred name and pronouns. To date, our clinic has empowered hundreds of trans and gender diverse people to overcome the systemic barriers to obtaining government-issued ID that reflects their authentic identity. 

The Trans ID Clinic runs once per month and student volunteers have the opportunity to work one on one with clients filling out forms and with lawyers to notarize documents and provide legal information outlining the next steps of the government ID amendment process. Student volunteers are also responsible for conducting research on specific issues surrounding name and gender marker amendments on government-issued ID and creating an accessible and comprehensive educational resource the Skipping Stone Foundation’s clients.

Read more about the clinic.

Each year between November 13 – 19, people and organizations around the country participate in Transgender Awareness Week to help raise the visibility about transgender people and address issues members of the community face.