Advocates nudge agencies to make it easier for transgender people to update sex markers on IDs

Most people don't think twice about the gender printed on their driver's license. But those "M'' or "F'' markers — and the legal and administrative prerequisites for switching them on passports, birth certificates and other forms of identification — are a source of anxiety and, even, discrimination for transgender individuals.

Transgender rights activists have spent years persuading state and federal agencies to simplify the process. And Friday, they received their latest victory when the Social Security Administration announced it would no longer require proof of irreversible gender reassignment surgery before it would change the gender of individuals in its records.

The move mirrors similar actions by the U.S State Department for updating passports and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for changing green cards, work permits and other documents.