The Texas Birth Certificate Gender Change Mystery Solved! Blame the 4th District.
by Nick K. Posted Oct. 8, 2005 - Updated Oct. 13, 2005 added link to Texas Marriage Info from a Texas resident
Didn't think there was a mystery? Well, there was.
In 2004 I got an email from a guy who said he was able to change his sex/gender marker on his birth certificate. It was credible along with information on whom to contact.
Then in August of 2005, I got a nasty email from another Texas FTM who said he could not change his sex/gender marker on his birth certificate, lambasting me for posting in the BC change area that it was possible.
How could this be?
I finally received information that cleared all this up! I was reading through my November 2005 issue of Playboy, yes, I actually do read the articles as well as admire the sumptuous airbrushed beauties who grace the remainder of the pages within.
In the Forum Reader Response area I found a letter written by Ryan King of Madison, Wisconsin titled Who Can Marry? stating, in part:
"Several states have passed laws defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman, but how does the law view transsexuals? Can a man and a woman marry if both were born male but one had a sex change?"
Playboy's response (be patient, you'll understand what this
has to do with Texas soon) is as follows:
"Good question. In most states a person can change the gender on his or her birth certificate after a sex-change operation, paving the way for a heterosexual union. The exceptions are Kansas, Ohio, Tennessee and 32 counties of the fourth district of TEXAS, which includes San Antonio. The district provides an instructive example of why laws that restrict certain adults from marrying are not useful.
As an interesting tid-bit, the answer to Ryan goes on to explain, "In 1999 a court there ruled that chromosomes, not genitalia, are what matter and invalidated a marriage between a man and a transsexual woman. Phyllis Randolph Frye, a Houston attorney who specializes in transgender issues, noted that because of the ruling, straight transgender couples (e.g. two people born male, one of whom becomes a woman) can't marry in the district, but gay or lesbian ones often can. In fact, just a few months after the court decision, Frye helped secure a marriage license in Bexar County for a lesbian couple because one of the women had been born male."
In closing, check with your local county before attempting to change your birth certificate if you live in Texas.
Addendum: I received a letter today (10-13-05) from a Texas Transman who wishes to impart to fellow Texan Transmen his experience with getting married in this state and tips on how to go about it.