With the passing of Colorado House Bill 19-1039, Transgender and nonbinary residents of Colorado can obtain a new birth certificate with the gender of their choice without any surgery required, or doctor’s note.
The bill was named after a 13 year old named Jude who said “I wasn’t living as my true self, which caused a lot of self-hate. By changing this, it pretty much cuts off all association with that.”
Per Denver Post, Jude spent so many years fighting for the bill to allow transgender Coloradans to more easily change their names and gender designations on identity documents that, eventually, they named the thing after her.
And early Thursday morning, Jude, 13, rode with her mom and sister from Boulder County to the state health department building in Denver, where Jude became the first person in Colorado to benefit from the law that bears her name.
“Boom,” she said as she ripped her old birth certificate in half, before ripping it a few more times for good measure.
“I was living under a name that didn’t match who I was,” said Jude, whose family asked The Denver Post to publish only her first name because of safety concerns.
Per KJCT8, as of Jan. 1, 2020, Colorado House Bill 19-1039 Jude’s Law is now in effect. This law allows transgender and nonbinary Coloradans access to change their name and gender on Colorado-issued identity documents.
Colorado, the state’s leading advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) Coloradans and their families, released the following statements from Executive Director, Daniel Ramos:
“In 2015, the initial version of this legislation – the Birth Certificate Modernization Act – was the first transgender-specific legislation to be introduced in Colorado. Four years later, Colorado is now a leader, being one of the first states in the country to have nonbinary gender options and self-attestation for gender on a suite of identity documents, including birth certificates, driver’s licenses, and state identification cards. This progress wouldn’t be possible without folks like Jude sharing their stories.”
“This was a historic session for LGBTQ Coloradans and their families. With legislation that impacts LGBTQ youth, transgender, and nonbinary Coloradans, One Colorado championed bills for some of the most vulnerable individuals in our community to improve their everyday lives. The strong bipartisan support of this bill further demonstrates that LGBTQ equality is a nonpartisan issue, and we applaud the Republicans who stood with our community. While this is a huge step forward for transgender rights, there is still much work to do.”
Jude’s law will eliminate transgender and nonbinary Coloradans from having to have a surgery, a doctor’s note, or court order, to update the gender on their birth certificate.