Transgender In Virginia

Equality Virginia believes in a truly inclusive commonwealth where all are equally welcomed and valued, regardless of gender identity.

Read the Report

Updated Virginia data on transgender discrimination was released in 2017. View the findings now.

Virginia Law

Virginia law does not include statewide protections against workplace discrimination or hate violence based on either sexual orientation or gender identity and expression.

However, in January 2014, Governor McAuliffe signed Executive Order Number 1, which prohibits the discrimination of state employees based upon sexual orientation, and, for the first time in Virginia history, gender identity. The press release and the entire text of Executive Order Number 1 can be read in full by clicking here.

Federal Law

In a major development for transgender rights in the workplace, a federal court has ruled that Title VII bars discrimination against a male to female transgender person based on sex stereotyping. 

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The American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing Diane Schroer in a case against the Library of Congress, described the case this way in its press release:

The lawsuit charged that the Library of Congress unlawfully refused to hire Schroer in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which protects against sex discrimination in the workplace. The Library of Congress moved to dismiss the case several times, claiming that transgender people are not covered under Title VII of 1964. After a trial last month, the court rejected those arguments and ruled that the Library illegally discriminated against Schroer in violation of Title VII. The court’s decision indicated that the next step in the case will be further proceedings to determine the appropriate remedies for this discrimination. Those remedies may include ordering the Library of Congress to hire Schroer, award back pay for the wages she lost or provide monetary compensation for the injury caused by discrimination.

For more information, read the ACLU’s case profile.

Important Resources

  • Name and Gender Change Guide for Virginia Residents – This guide, developed by Whitman-Walker Health and Trans legal Advocates of Washington (LAW), provides an outline for Virginia residents who wish to change their name and/or gender marker on identity documents and other records. View the guide by clicking here.
  • Gender Marker Change on Virginia’s Driver License – The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles implemented a much simpler policy for changing one’s gender marker. A Gender Change Request Form (DL-17) is available on the DMV website and requires only a signature from a licensed provider attesting to the fact that the applicant is a patient of the provider and that the applicant’s gender identity is either female or male.
  • Gender Marker Change on Virginia Birth Certificate This guide developed by Equality Virginia and National Center for Transgender Equality provides an outline for Virginia residents who wish to change their gender marker on a Virginia birth certificate.
  • Healthcare Provider Referral Letter for Gender Marker Change on Virginia Birth This guide developed in a collaboration between Virginia League for Planned Parenthood, Health Brigade, National Center for Transgender Equality, and Equality Virginia, provides an outline for medical providers to reference when writing gender confirming letters under the new petition for change of sex form.
  • Change of Name & Gender ChecklistDownload this detailed reference list of documents, accounts and personal information that needs to be changed during your transition.
  • Voting Laws in Virginia – According for the National Center for Transgender Equality,  some voter ID laws increase the likelihood that transgender voters will encounter confusion, bias, and discrimination because of scrutiny of their ID documents at the polls.  Access this guide to learn about your rights at the poll.
  • Access to HealthcareUnfortunately, plans in many states, including Virginia, are still using discriminatory exclusions to deny coverage to transgender people for medically necessary health care. However, the Affordable Care Act does ensure that insurance companies cannot refuse to sell you a plan or charge you more based upon your gender identity or transgender medical history. To learn more about how to sign up for health insurance and get connected with a local navigator, visit the Out2Enroll website.
  • Housing and Homelessness – Transgender people in Virginia and nationwide face high levels of discrimination when buying or renting a home as well as when seeking temporary shelter. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has issued guidance stating that discrimination against renters or home buyers based on gender identity is prohibited by the Fair Housing Act. HUD has also issued guidance to emergency shelter facilities regarding gender identity. It is important to know your rights when seeking permanent or temporary housing. Click here to learn about your rights regarding housing discrimination.
  • Transgender Students and Bathroom Access– All kids should have the opportunity to do well in school and graduate. The Schools In Transition guide responds to the dynamics that affect a transgender student’s experiences in school, and incorporates recommendations for all students kindergarten through twelfth grade.  Transgender Students and School Bathrooms: Frequently Asked Questions addresses questions concerning safety, propriety, privacy, and legality that have been brought up by many people in the school community.
  • Infographics – Do you ever wish you had all the facts in one handy infographic?  Now you do!  Check out Trans Student Educational Resources! Use these infographics to educate yourself and others on definitions, statistics,  gender grammar, visibility, immigration, transgender rights, and more.

State and Local Resources

Below is a list of resources that are more local to Virginia and Metro Washington, DC.  There are groups for social, advocacy, or educational purposes; some groups have support meetings for transgender people and their significant others.


Washington, D.C. and Maryland

 Northern Virginia

 Central Virginia

 Hampton Roads

Eastern Shore

Southwest Virginia

  National Resources