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Transgender People Facing Hurdles When ID's Don't Match Identities

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- For Donna DiAngelo, winning tickets to a Yanni concert at the Oracle Arena presented a unique challenge: How to pick up her winning tickets at will-call.

DiAngelo dresses, lives and identifies as a woman.   Yet, her driver's license – the form of ID required to get the tickets - still has a male name.

"It didn't occur to me they would require a photo ID," DiAngelo explained.    "I didn't want to show up at the arena and make a big scene. "

And when Donna tried to contact the Arena to explain the problem beforehand, she was unable to find anyone to help.

So, she contacted Consumerwatch.

Inaccurate or mismatched ID's are "an enormous issue for transgender people," according to Sasha Buchert of the Transgender Law Center.   "At the very least they risk being denied service.

A lot of times they face harassment.  They're also outed."   According to a recent survey by the Transgender Law Center only 41% of transgenders have accurate ID's.

But, getting those accurate ID's can be costly and time-consuming.   Buchert says the first step is usually an official name change.  "You have to get a court order and that can be as much as $450," she said.  Concerns about terrorism and identity theft have also complicated the process of changing identification documents to reflect a new gender.

The T.S.A. recently announced an official policy to deal with transgender travelers.  The agency advises people to book the tickets under their legal name, call ahead with any concerns, and request a private screening if they are uncomfortable.

Donna did attend the Yanni concert, with some help from Consumerwatch.   After we reached out to the Oracle Arena,   officials there put both her old and new name on her Yanni tickets.


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