Meghan Stabler moved to the United States in 1990 – but three decades later, and long after she transitioned from male to female, she is still fighting with her home country of the United Kingdom to simply correct the gender marker on her birth certificate. After she transitioned, Meghan was able to receive a reissued British birth certificate relatively easily – but the United Kingdom’s justice department has blacklisted Texas, along with three other states in the U.S., for this purpose. While transgender people in the U.K. and most other territories around the world have a clearly defined statewide system for altering or reissuring documents to transgender people, Texas’ system essentially doesn’t meet the U.K.’s standards. To receive an accurate birth certificate reflecting her gender as the woman she has long known herself to be, Meghan would have to fly back to the United Kingdom and see multiple doctors there.
Changing her birth certificate never felt too important to Meghan – “How often do you get asked for your birth certificate?,” she said. But she lives in Texas, where lawmakers have filed anti-transgender legislation repeatedly over the past decade. One of the bills that always seem to have legs is a bill that would require Texans to use restrooms that correspond to the gender on their birth certificates. Without an accurate birth certificate displaying her gender marker as female, Meghan could face undue discrimination. Being able to change her document would make her feel safe. “I believe you should have the ability, now the world is beginning to understand gender dysphoria and trans people a lot more, to change that record going back in time — to recognize who you are and who you were,” Meghan said.