Transgender Legal Clinic Launched in New York City
[NEW YORK CITY, NY] - A new free monthly clinic aimed at assisting transgender-identified people interested in obtaining legal name changes will held a ribbon cutting ceremony and reception Monday, October 7 at 6 p.m. at the LGBT Community Center, 208 W. 13th Street.
The West-Village Trans-Legal Clinic, the first of its kind in New York, is a collaborative effort of volunteers from half a dozen legal and social service groups serving the gay and lesbian and transgender communities.
According to Carrie Davis, a counselor at the Center's Gender Identity Project, lack of a legal identity consistent with an individual's gender presentation often creates crushing economic handicaps for trangendered people.
"Street sex work is survival sex and without legal identities, how can people create new lives?" Davis asked, referring to transgender sex workers concentrated in the West Village's Meat Market. "The hope if for young transgendered people, armed with new legal identities, to begin more productive careers and leave sex work behind them."
Melissa Sklarz, chairperson of Community Board 2's LGBT committee and a vice president of the Gay and Lesbian Independent Democrats, helped steer a $5,000 grant proposal through the Community Board. Sonya Staff Foundation gave the Name Change Project an additional $5,000.
The clinic will meet at 6 p.m. on the first Monday of every month at the Center.