As a trans person, activating your identity through transition can be a fulfilling experience that finally allows you to engage with the world as the best version of yourself. But transition itself is a long, rigorous, stressful, triggering, exhausting process that can require you to completely alter the most fundamental aspects of your identity.
Choosing a new name that more comfortably aligns with your gender is a revelatory experience, but waiting for the world to catch up can be long and painful. The process for obtaining a legal name change is a study in patience as you maneuver the bureaucratic nightmare that is the civil court - which is why the name change process for some trans folks can take years and hinges on financial hurdles and access to legal aid. That can mean using cards and identification with their dead name every day. .
Thankfully, Mastercard is introducing the True Name card. According to a press release, the financial company is "working with partners to create a product, as well as a sensitive and private process free of personal questions, that will allow for true names, not deadnames, to appear on cards without the requirement of a legal name change. This will ease a major pain point for the transgender and non-binary community."
MasterCard is also challenging the rest of the industry to "apply these standards for everyone, ensuring a way for people's financial products to reflect their true identity."
"We are allies of the LGBTQIA+ community, which means if we see a need or if this community is not being served in the most inclusive way, we want to be a force for change to help address and alleviate unnecessary pain points," said Randall Tucker, chief diversity and inclusion officer for MasterCard, at a panel discussion in New York City on Monday, according to the release. "This translates not only for our MasterCard employee community but for our cardholders and the communities in which we operate more broadly. Our vision is that every card should be for everyone."
There are no details yet on when the True Name card will be available or what the application process will look like, but this is certainly a step in the right direction. Pride month is full of so many corporations capitalizing on queer trauma, and it's nice to see some institutions introducing products that actually better the lives of trans folks in tangible ways.
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