Gender-Affirming ID For All
$3,648 raised
97% of $3.8k goal
75 contributors
167 Days running
cost should not be a barrier to getting gender-affirming ID. This fundraiser will give 100% of its proceeds to cover the costs of fees for legal ID amendments for vulnerable trans youth and low income trans people.
Hi! I'm Elliot and you're probably here because you saw my post on Facebook or you were curious what I meant by gender-affirming IDs for all. Here's a reproduction of that post:
I finally got my new Canadian passport, with my name and gender marker amended to accord with my gender identity! It took all of 3 years to get all my ID documents in right order and I have many thoughts about this process that I hope you'll find interesting enough to read to the end. For context, legally changing my ID documents took longer than it took my parents to immigrate to Canada and about the same length of time it took me to get a law degree. It involved individual applications to different agencies to get a certificate and then change my health card, drivers' license, sin card, bank cards, credit profile, tax profile, citizenship certificate, and passport. Part of the reason it took so long for me was that at one stage, IRCC took almost 2 years to process my citizenship card (why? dunno) and I could not continue with an application for a passport amendment until that came back. But it also took many hours of in-person trips, calls, emails, online contact forms, and a cost of roughly $375 just to file the papers. It required seeking patronizing doctors' and psychiatrist's notes. And in the meantime, it allowed for many demeaning questions and conversations at border crossings, service counters, and with other gatekeepers, where the misalignment among my various ID documents and between my presentation and the documents created suspicion about the veracity of my ID and my identity. 
But despite my frustration with all of this, I had the resources of a legal education and white and class privilege to move through the hurdles with relative ease, while I was mostly in school, writing papers about how this process manifests as administrative violence (quoting Dean Spade) against trans people, particularly poor and racialized people, and talking to people who face additional barriers going through the process because of their age, class, race, disability, education, and location. And that's what I want to emphasize in this post. Forms, document collection, getting notarization of documents, going to appointments, etc, etc. This takes time, money, and knowing the system - and in the meantime, living without concordant id and with an added risk of discrimination or denial of services. It's easy to forget (after you turn 19) how prohibitive ID can be when it works against you - banks, bus stations, borders, shelters. 
Downtown Toronto has a few services to help people navigate this process but applicants have to produce their own fees. The median income for trans people in Ontario is $15,000 (and a third report being fired or turned down for a job for being trans). 30% of homeless youth are lgbtq (we dont have provincial stats on trans youth) and 1 of 3 of trans youth surveyed are excluded from shelters due to their gender identity or expression, partly as a result of having misgendered ID. This makes $375 prohibitively expensive and its not surprising that a third of trans people don't have documents that match their gender identity.
There are a lot of people doing good work trying to establish programs and supports for youth and low income people to get barrier-free IDs, for example, at the policy level of city hall and through the legal clinic system. But there are still so many more ways I can think of to improve the process, including advocating to make it free for vulnerable youth and low income people to get gender-affirming ID amendments, establishing greater harmonization so that different agencies coordinate amongst themselves and lift the burden away from the user, inquiring into wait times, expanding programs that provide ID services to trans people across the province, and dedicating more funding for disbursements to cover the cost of filing fees. And everyone and not just community advocates can take note of and contribute to this issue by telling your elected officials you care. 
If you've read this far, thank you, and now I want to ask for your help. I am fundraising towards the costs of fees for amending ID documents for vulnerable trans youth and low income trans people. Roughly $375 a person. my goal is to get 10 people the funding they need to legally transition. 100% of proceeds will be donated. Please consider donating a small portion of your recent tax return or weekly alcohol/coffee/uber budget. Lets not make cost a factor in getting gender-affirming ID. Thanks so much.
Here's what your donation will cover:
  • $10 - passport photo fee
  • $35 - fee of one part of an Ontario birth certificate amendment
  • $37 - second part of an Ontario birth certificate amendment
  • $75 - citizenship certificate amendment (for those not born in Canada)
  • $137 - certificate of legal name change
  • $160 - Canadian passport amendment
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