Legal Resources

For Transgender and Gender Variant

Insurance Information
Workplace Resources/Information
Name Change and Other Document Help
Transgender Rights FAQs and Information

Insurance Information

It is important for you to know that Howard Brown will offer services to you regardless of your insurance coverage. If you are not privately insured or do not have a state medical card, we offer sliding scale fees for all of our patients. Our goal is to work to make sure you get the care you deserve.

Finding Insurance for Transgender-Related Healthcare
Compiled by the HRC, this site contains a collection of insurance carriers that have available plans without blanket exclusions for transgender-related healthcare (though this does not guarantee coverage, and certain parameters still apply). It provides a list of direct links to the carriers’ websites where major guidelines for transgender-related treatments are openly available. It specifically covers providers for whom SRS and/or GRS are covered.

ICHIP Program

The Illinois Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan.

Introduction to Accessing Coverage for Transition-Related Care
Information on issues that still exist in accessing care that is covered by your insurance plan, as well as a link to Lamba Legal’s FAQ about health care access.

Transgender-Inclusive Health Care Coverage
Covers how one can work with their employer to make sure they are getting the coverage they deserve. Also includes help on understanding your current health care plan, examining exclusions it may have, eliminating them, and confirming coverage. Includes the following:

  • What do I need to know for my “elevator pitch” with leadership to get the coverage at my employer? Can you summarize it in five points?

Workplace Resources/Information

Transgender at Work
A compilation of resources for transgender persons in the workplace, including:

Workplace Tips for Transgender Employees
Includes a rundown of some issues transgender persons might encounter in the workplace, as well as a section called “The Keys to Employment as a Transgender Person,” which includes a set of 10 tips for success in the workplace.

Coming Out in the Workplace as Transgender
A rundown of the benefits and potential risks/consequences of disclosure in the workplace.

Social Security No-Match Letters and Transgender Employees
Transgender workers sometimes have different gender markers in employer records than what the Social Security Administration (SSA) has in their database. When this occurs, those transgender employees can be the focus of no-match letters from SSA. This information sheet explains what no-match letters are and what to do if your employer receives a gender no-match letter about you.

Transgender and Work: Your Rights as An Employee
This leaflet provides advice to individuals who are undergoing gender reassignment. It may also be a useful source of information for people who are not familiar with transgender issues. It includes:

  • Your rights under the Sex Discrimination Act (SDA)
  • Exceptions to the SDA
  • Information about the Gender Recognition Act and Confidentiality

Work Transition for Transsexual and Transgender People
A section from TS Road Map that includes information on the author’s own experiences in the work force as well as those of friends who had successful on-the-job transitions. It also includes links to outside sites that have information about employment issues (including The Center for Gender Sanity).


Name Change and Other Document Help

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TJLP Name Change Mobilization
During the Name Change Mobilization attorneys and trained volunteers assist transgender and gender non-confirming folks filed petitions to change their names legally at the Daley Center in downtown Chicago. Volunteers provide follow-up support services by accompanying folks to their court dates and helping them navigate the subsequent name change processes at the Department of Motor Vehicles, Social Security Office, Department of Vital Records, etc.

  • For more information about legal services offered or questions about how to contact a project attorney, you may email TJLP at info@tjlp.org.

How to Request a Name Change in Illinois—PDF Supplement
Compiled by Southern Illinois University, this link contains both form guides as well as forms for getting your name changed in Illinois. Parts include:

  • Application to Sue as a Poor Person
  • Motion to Waive Publication Costs
  • Order Waiving Publication Costs
  • Notice of Filing of Petition for Change of Name
  • Petition for Change of Name
  • Order for Change of Name
  • Letter to Newspaper

TS Roadmap: Birth Certificates
Under the “Instructions” portion of this post, please note that it is no longer necessary to obtain genital surgery before obtaining a new birth certificate with your desired gender in Illinois. Instead, you now need a physician’s note showing that you’ve been taking hormones, or potentially have had another gender confirmation surgery instead.

Illinois Name Change
Though TJLP provides free attorney services and is potentially best, this is another alternative which allows you to pay a fee and download name change forms that you can fill out by yourself at home, should you choose.

Changing Birth Certificate Sex Designations
Guidelines for acquiring a new birth certificate in the United States with the name and/or gender marker corrected or amending the information on your current one.

DMV Gender Change Requirements
An outline of what the Illinois DMV needs to change a gender marker.

Illinois Vital Records on Gender Reassignment
An outline of how to obtain a new, corrected birth certificate in the state of Illinois (if you were born in Illinois and have an existing Illinois birth record).

Legal Name Change Project
An outline of the importance in changing your name legally, as well as valuable advice for how to go about doing it, including obtaining a court order.

Changing Legal Name
Covers the basics of choosing a first name as well as how to go about legally changing it.

Illinois Name Change for Transgender People
A complete rundown of how to change your name in the state of Illinois.

Illinois’ Stance on Updating Gender Markers
Written July 31, 2012, this article contains information on the most recent advances in Illinois to assist you in updating the gender marker on your birth certificate. Unlike the other sites listed here, it does not supply step-by-step procedural help, but instead provides general information on the current state of the law to help you stay informed.

Transgender Law Center: Identity Documents
Though this site is written specifically for the state of California, it still contains helpful information about the processes required for changing your name and/or gender marker on all necessary identity documents.

Transgender People and Marriage: The Importance of Legal Planning
The legal issues surrounding marriage for transgender persons and suggests some ways that a transgender person can protect their marital relationships.


Transgender Rights FAQs and Information

Center on Halsted Legal Program
Center on Halsted’s Legal Clinic provides free and confidential information and referrals from local volunteer attorneys and legal organizations. Sessions are 45 minutes in length. Depending on your legal issue, you may be provided with basic information about the issue, possible options and/or referrals to other legal advocacy groups, attorneys that have been assessed for LGBTQ competency or other social service resources.

  • This service is not for those individuals who are looking for legal representation or who need a specific outcome, but instead for individuals needing more information. Often this is a great first step for individuals to learn more about their rights and options in regards to their concern, and it could also be the link to another legal referral or pro-bono (free) representation.
  • To speak with someone from Center on Halsted or to schedule an appointment, please call
    773.472.6469 EXT 436 or email legal@centeronhalsted.org.

LGBT Rights in the US, State by State
A very cool interactive map of LGBT rights nation-wide.

Transgender People & the Law FAQ
A PDF resource with the answers to questions such as:

  • Are there laws that clearly prohibit discrimination against transgender people?
  • Do laws that prohibit sex discrimination protect transgender people?
  • Does the law protect a transgender person’s right to use the restroom consistent with his or her gender identity?

Lambda Legal: Transgender Rights
A collection of important information regarding transgender legal rights, including:

  • FAQ about Identity Documents (Do I need sex-reassignment surgery to change the gender marker on my ID? How do I change my name officially? Etc.)
  • Resources for changing your documents
  • FAQ about transgender workplace rights (What is ENDA and what will it change? How do you know which bathroom a TGNC person should use? Etc.)
  • FAQ on access to transition-related care
  • FAQ about health provider discrimination

Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago
For over 30 years the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago (LAF) has been providing free legal aid to hundreds of thousands of the most vulnerable women, men, and children in Cook County. LAF provides advice to individuals on their legal rights; negotiates settlements on behalf of clients; represents clients in court in individual cases; represents clients in complex cases establishing legal precedents affecting thousands of individuals; works with government officials to improve public policies; works with community groups on community problems; and provides community legal education and self-help materials.

Transformative Justice Law Project of Illinois (TJLP)
Free legal advocacy for transgender people in Chicago, targeted by the criminal legal system.

Silvia Rivera Law Project
The Sylvia Rivera Law Project works to guarantee that all people are free to self-determine gender identity and expression, regardless of income or race, and without facing harassment, discrimination or violence. The site also includes links to help find legal help.

National Center for Transgender Equality
Dedicated to advancing the equality of transgender people through advocacy, collaboration, and empowerment. Includes: