Ruling bars courts from asking for doctor’s notes in trans name changes

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Trans people who legally change their names will no longer need to provide courts with a doctor’s note after a ruling from New York’s Supreme Court.

The case concerned Olin Winn-Ritzenberg, 23, a trans man who attempted to change his name earlier this year.

When he was told by a New York court clerk he had to show a note from his doctor detailing his “need” to change his name, he contacted the Transgender Legal Defence and Education Fund for help.

The group won the case on Wednesday.

“This ruling means that I can finally change my name and move forward with my life. My gender transition has been a very personal journey, and no one is in a better position to decide that I need to change my name than I am,” Winn-Ritzenberg said in a statement.

According to the Guardian, he asked his father permission to use his middle name, which has been in the family.

“I just tried it on and immediately it just felt right,” he said. “It tied me to my parents. I felt a little bad that I was losing a name that they had picked out, so that fact that it was coming from one of my parents was a bonus.”

He added: “For a second I had a pain of sadness that ‘Leah’ was officially gone. And it does feel like that’s behind me. It is really helping me transition.”