Transgender mans name change denied – Greg Livadas

A transgender Rochester man must provide medical evidence to justify his request to change his first name from Sarah to Evan, a local judge has ruled.

Allowing Sarah Rockefeller to change his name without evidence “would be fraught with danger of deception and confusion and contrary to the public interest,” State Supreme Court Justice William P. Polito, citing a 1976 law journal article, said in his ruling.

Polito on Friday ruled for the second time against Rockefeller’s request for the name change. The ruling has sparked the involvement of the American Civil Liberties Union, which argues that the ruling places an unnecessary burden of proof on transgender individuals that isn’t required of others.

Sarah Rockefeller filed paperwork on Nov. 17 to have his name changed to Evan Rockefeller, “which he believes better reflects his male gender identity,” according to court records.

“I’ve been using it a year and a half,” Rockefeller, 26, said this week. “Generally, people call me ‘sir’ when they see me.”

But Polito denied the name change, saying the application “lacks any medical, psychiatric or psychological corroborative support concerning the petitioner’s alleged psychological/anatomical sexual conflict.”

Rockefeller declined to discuss whether he has had sexual reassignment surgery. It shouldn’t matter, his lawyers contend.