Attorneys volunteer legal work for Transgender residents to change their names

"It's about making people's lives better in a very profound way," said Kim Ray.

Ray is an attorney with Ford Motor Company on this day volunteering her time and expertise to help people in Detroit's Transgender community to change their names.

"It's a long process but it's actually a fairly simple one for a lawyer - not so much for a client," she said.

But now at the Ruth Ellis Center, FAIR Michigan, the ACLU, and attorneys from Ford and Dykema Gosset - are teaming up to help a population often victimized by discrimination and violent attacks - just for trying to live as their authentic selves.

"The barriers that they face - the discrimination that many of them have faced - the violence," said Ray.

"You can be fired just because of how you identify," said Julisa Abad. "You can be denied medical help - so just having documentation matching how you reflect makes life so much easier."

Abad is a Transgender activist. She says many people take for granted that our given names match our IDs and other records. But for many here - that's not the case and changing your name can be cumbersome.

But here there is fingerprinting for a background check, court documents, filing fees, all of that now in one place - and free...

"They get to do that here in the privacy of a small room so it is really great," Ray said. "We're going through all the paperwork with them today getting fingerprints filed for background checks and then we're off to the races."

For more information on the next name change clinic contact Fair Michigan.