Why Being Trans Could Cost You The House

Christin Scarlett Milloy couldn’t get a mortgage approval, because she couldn’t get a photo ID, because she’s transgender:

I sat on the phone and patiently explained why I can’t provide photo ID. Because I don’t have any. Because the government has destroyed all my previous ID documents and refused to replace them on several occasions. Because I am transgender. Yes, really. No, I don’t think it’s fair, either. Yes, a lot of people are surprised it’s so hard for us, but there it is. No, I really don’t have anything at all. Mmm, OK. Call me back. Goodbye.

We looked into other ways I could prove my identity. It turns out, there aren’t any. What if I show the dozens of letters back and forth between me and the government, where officials explain that my identity is not in question, but they still won’t send me new ID, because I refuse to check “male” on the application form? Apparently that doesn’t count.

How about expired government-issued ID? Back from a simpler time, when the government and I agreed on what my gender should be. I have that; it even has my photo and my old name on it. (Old-name ID presented alongside a legal ”change of name” certificate is considered valid to identify a person by their new name.) But alas, it’s against the rules to accept expired ID, even under exceptional circumstances.

Update from a reader:

Thank you for continuing your coverage of trans related issues. However, don’t you think that the headline that you wrote is over the top? Would you lend money to someone that did not have a proper ID? Seriously. Trans or not, that is nuts. It sounds like real estate lending pre-2008.