A few years ago Stephanie, a transgender woman, went to the state’s Department of Health and Environment’s Office of Vital Statistics to update her birth certificate to reflect her accurate gender. Stephanie was raised male, but that never felt right, and so she transitioned to live each day as the woman she has long known herself to be.
Her request to change her documentation was denied twice, which jeopardized Stephanie’s safety and wellbeing. She and other LGBTQ people in Kansas were left vulnerable to discrimination in part because LGBTQ people are not explicitly protected from discrimination in Kansas – and in many other states.
In 2019 Stephanie passed away, but she leaves behind a vibrant legacy of work toward LGBTQ equality in Kansas and beyond.