READ: Know Your Rights during COVID-19

Trans people & Navigating COVID-19

COVID-19 and TLDEF’s Preparedness

TLDEF has maintained a preparedness plan to inform its operations since news broke of the first COVID-19 cases arriving in New York. As of early March, TLDEF temporarily closed its office to ensure the safety and health of its staff, clients, and partners. TLDEF remains “open” albeit operating virtually in line with both city and state orders for workers to remain at home to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Know Your Rights during COVID-19

In times of crisis, transgender and non-binary people among other communities are often at higher risk of violence and discrimination. The COVID-19 pandemic presents a series of unique challenges that may have long-term impact on transgender people and their families.

TLDEF has prepared Know Your Rights guide for transgender and non-binary people who are grappling with questions related to employment, housing, health care, identification, and accessing assistance from government agencies among other issues. The guide is available in both English and Español.

Additionally, TLDEF has developed a separate New York State guide for transgender and non-binary people who live in the Empire State. The resource was produced in partnership with two groups, including New York Trans Advocacy Group (NYTAG) and the TransLatinx Network .


New York State

The NY State guide is accurate as of June 1, 2020 and the national guide is accurate as of May 18, 2020. Both resources may be periodically updated by TLDEF’s legal team as the response to COVID-19 continues to evolve.

The guides are dedicated to the memory of Lorena Borjas.

Name Change Project

Obtaining accurate identification is a matter of safety and well-being for transgender and nonbinary people. Accessing medical care and facilities and vital social services with identification that matches our authentic selves is part of the equation for keeping trans and non-binary people healthy.

The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented public health crisis in the United States. At TLDEF, the health and safety of both our clients and our pro bono counsel is our top priority. We are also striving to ensure minimal disruption to the Name Change Project

TLDEF’s Name Change Project remains open to conduct intakes. You can apply by completing our online application. A Name Change Project Associate will follow up shortly by email to schedule a phone intake.

Courts are currently closed for all non-essential business to protect the health of both court petitioners and court employees. In-person court appearances are suspended across all our Name Change Project sites. In addition, courts that do not maintain an online filing system are currently unable to accept physical paperwork.

Despite courts not being open, TLDEF’s Name Change Project and our pro bono counsel are working with clients to conduct intakes; complete all appropriate documents to file in advance; and meet virtually to prepare for when court procedures return to their normal operations.

The Name Change Project is regularly monitoring the status of courts across all our sites. TLDEF will keep clients informed about any changes and next steps in the process.

If you have any questions, please contact the Name Change Project team .

Updated on Jun 15, 2020