TGI Network Celebrates New Birth Certificate Regulations for Transgender Rhode Islanders

Post date: Jun 07, 2015 11:39:57 PM

November 11, 2014

For immediate Release:


TGI Network Celebrates New Birth Certificate Regulations for Transgender Rhode Islanders

Two weeks ago, the Rhode Island Department of Health passed new regulations for transgender individuals who seek to change the gender markers on their Rhode Island birth certificates. Today, we celebrate as those changes officially go into effect. TGI Network of Rhode Island wishes to thank our many leaders and advocates who fought alongside us to make this change possible including Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, Youth Pride, Inc., the RI chapter of the ACLU and the RI chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.

“For far too long, transpeople born in Rhode Island, who wished to update the gender marker on their birth certificates, were held to out-dated guidelines requiring surgical treatments that are inconsistent with the Standards of Care for treating transgender individuals”, said Jayeson Watts, a clinical social worker and TGI Network Board Member. “This regulatory change is the result of years of education and advocacy with the Department of Health and I want to thank state officials for their leadership on this issue”. The new regulations will help to align state requirements for updating identity documents with existing policies for updating federal identity documents including US Passports, foreign births of US Citizens and Social Security.

In 2001, Rhode Island became the second state in the nation to pass broad legislation to protect transgender individuals from discrimination in employment, housing, credit and public accommodations. In 2012, Rhode Island’s Department of Motor Vehicles joined a handful of states by updating our Driver’s License/State ID policies to allow transgender individuals to obtain appropriate documentation that reflect their identities without subjecting them to invasive questions about their personal medical information. And now in 2014, Rhode Island has become one of 7 states who have removed surgery requirements and streamlined the process for updating birth certificates.

In the coming days, TGI Network plans to post details about the new process for updating birth certificates to their website and also to reach out to the medical providers who will be asked to complete the required documentation.

TGI Network of Rhode Island is the state’s only organization solely dedicated to the support, advocacy and education of Transgender, Gender Non-Conforming and Intersex (TGI) individuals and their allies. We offer support groups for TGI individuals, their partners and families. We also hold various social activities throughout the year including an annual summer picnic and a holiday party. For more information, please visit


Rhode Island's new regulations for updating gender markers on birth certificates goes into effect as of November 11, 2014. The new regulations removed the surgical requirement. We thank our partners at Gay & Lesian Advocates & Defenders for creating this tool kit to help folks navigate the new regulations. You will need to get a letter from a medical provider stating that you have undergone "treatment appropriate for the individual for the purpose of gender transition based on contemporary clinical standards." The tool kit includes model language that medical providers can use to create their letters.