Transgender boy gets new birth certificate

Transgender boy in Denton gets new birth certificate

DENTON -- Max Briggle lives his life just like any other 9-year-old boy, and now it says so in writing on his birth certificate.

"He's always going to be transgender, but having that piece of paper, my hope is that it's going to make it a little easier for him," said Amber Briggle, Max's mom.

Max was born Mary Grace. WFAA has covered his story in the past, including when his family invited Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to their home for dinner.

They have become outspoken advocates for transgender kids.

Now, all of Max's documents reflect his identity, with his new name and gender identity. The Briggles said they have successfully changed his legal name, as well as his Social Security card and birth certificate.

"I feel like this is another milestone," said Amber Briggle.

She believes this amended documentation is essential for her son in a time when there's an active debate on transgender rights. Proposed bathroom bills like SB 6 would mandate that people use the bathroom that matches the sex on their birth certificate.

"As long as we're going to pass laws saying which facilities you can and can't use, it's awfully nice to have a document saying he can use it," said Briggle. "At the same time, I just feel like it's so unnecessary. Why do I have to change my son's birth certificate so he can be treated like the boy that he is?"

Changing Max's name required a court order. His birth certificate is an unusual case. He has what is called a Consular Report of Birth Abroad issued by the U.S. State Department because he was born in The Netherlands. 

The document functions as a birth certificate for all official purposes, the State Department said, and changing it required a letter from physician meeting specific requirements. Max's CRBA now states his sex as male.

"The fact that he was born abroad made it significantly easier for us than had he been born here in Texas," said Briggle. "In which case, I'm not sure it would have happened at all. At least not at this age."

Texas Health & Human Services told WFAA that changing the sex on a Texas birth certificate requires a court order. In 2016, only 34 people in the entire state met that requirement and were able to change their vital documents.

For the Briggles, the new document is cause for celebration. They're planning a baby shower this weekend, with blue decorations and even traditional food from The Netherlands. They're calling it a do-over.

"I want to have a baby shower for my baby boy," Briggle said. "He's always been my son. But it's been this very long, gradual process over nine years for us to get to this point, and I feel like that needs to be recognized."

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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