Trans man who overcame legal name change battle dies aged 25
A transgender campaigner who fought to have his name recognised legally has died aged 25.
Rowan Feldhaus died on Tuesday due to complications during surgery, Lambda Legal announced.
The legal group had represented Feldhaus alongside Andrew Baumert in a lawsuit which in January saw them allowed by a Georgia appeals court to change their legal names.
A previous ruling had said that Feldhaus should choose a gender-neutral name in order to not confuse people.
In an interview, Lambda Legal spokesperson Jonathan Adams had said he was not aware of which surgery Feldhaus had undergone.
Attorney Beth Littrell, who represented the men, said in a statement: “Because Rowan stood up, Georgia judges are now required to allow people to change their names without bias.”
Lambda Legal had given the men legal advice to appeal the decision.
“I’m beyond happy this is finally done, that there’s precedent over this, regardless of whether you’re trans or not,” said Feldhaus in January.
He had attended Augusta University.
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“I hope it helps everybody.”
Judge Roper had originally said he thought the men were trying to commit fraud when they requested the name change.
“We weren’t trying to defraud anybody,” Feldhaus adds. “We were being our true selves.”
Beth Littrell, representing the men said: “It’s supported by sound reasoning that will help not only our clients but will help people throughout the state and likely beyond.
“It rejects the idea that a transgender person seeking to live his or her life authentically is somehow harming other people or committing a fraud.”