According to a press release yesterday [September 15, 2011] from NCTE, the National Center for Transgender Equality, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has confirmed that it has ended the practice of allowing gender to be matched in its Social Security Number Verification System (SSNVS). This will result in the immediate cessation of SSA sending notifications that alert employers when the gender marker on an employee’s W-2 does not match Social Security records.
Commonly called “no-match letters,” these have resulted in outings of transgender employees, often causing unfortunate consequences.
Changing your gender with the SSA still requires surgery, but at least people whose gender assignment at birth doesn’t match their current gender won’t be forced to disclose that at every job. If you are FTM and have a surgeon who is willing to write you a letter that your top surgery constitutes “sex change” surgery, you may be okay, but otherwise, very often what is meant by such surgery is genital transformation of some kind. And not everyone 1) wants that or 2) can afford it.