Trans woman makes history in Sanpete County with gender change

Jan 13, 2023, 1:00 PM | Updated: Jan 14, 2023, 2:35 pm


FILE: East High School students hold transgender flags and pride flags during a protest in Salt Lake City on Friday, April 15, 2022. (Mengshin Lin/Deseret News)

(Mengshin Lin/Deseret News)

SANPETE COUNTY, Utah — Alysha Valerie Scarlett is the first person in Sanpete County to be legally granted a gender change. She presented her case to Judge Marvin Bagley Wednesday.

Gender change precedence 

Records as early as 1992 in Utah’s court system show only one other person in Sanpete County had ever made the request.

In 2015 that person’s petition was denied by Judge Bagley. The judge cited that the court would move forward once that person underwent gender-confirmation surgery.

Sue Robbins is on the Transgender Advisory Council with Equality Utah. She said the law didn’t require transgender-related surgery to grant a gender marker change in 2015.  

Since that hearing in Sanpete, the Supreme Court of Utah has heard another case that offered clearer guidance to judges.

In the hearing, “In the Matter of the Sex Change of Sean W. Childers-Gray,” the Utah Supreme Court ordered that anyone seeking a gender marker change would have to show that they were not making the change for a fraudulent purpose and must include proof of clinic care.  

Scarlett’s experience 

Scarlett was able to prove both of those at her hearing on Wednesday, so now her gender will be female on all her official documents.

Scarlett’s lawyer, Angela Elmore, said there are fewer people in rural counties and many of them might not feel comfortable coming out.

Elmore said that when she was filing on behalf of Scarlett, she didn’t receive any negativity from clerks. But, Elmore said many of them didn’t know how to respond to her questions about how the Sanpete County Court handles gender changes or what to expect at the hearing.

Scarlett said she’s identified as genderqueer since 2016, but started to transition publicly between 2017-2019. She said she has been dealing with gender dysphoria– a negative health effect someone experiences when the sex they are assigned at birth and their gender identity do not match.

“People have to understand it’s a matter of health,” Scarlett said. “This will definitely help me to not have those unhealthy reactions to being misgendered.”

Scarlett said she felt euphoric when the judge granted her petition.

“My doctor tells me I’m brave,” she said. “Other people have told me I’m brave. I’m happy if my bravery helps other people come out.”

Related reading:

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Race, Religion + Social Justice

A mural on the outer wall of The King's English Bookshop in Salt Lake City. A speech bubble reads "...

Mariah Maynes

Bringing literacy to the Utah book desert

The entire state of Utah is considered a book desert, but some groups are impacted more than others. A Salt Lake City Bookshop and nonprofit are working to change that.

5 days ago

A rendering of the Barcelona, Spain temple. (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints)...

KSL NewsRadio

Two new temple sites announced, visual rendering unveiled for third

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints announced the sites of two new temples.

7 days ago

Image of President Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. (Church of Jesus Christ...

Simone Seikaly

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland set apart as Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve

Jeffrey R. Holland is now the Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, the second-highest governing body of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

11 days ago

President M. Russell Ballard might have been losing his vision himself, but he never stopped inviti...

Boyd Matheson

Boyd Matheson: President M. Russell Ballard inviting all to “come and see!”

President M. Russell Ballard spent his life inviting people to "come and see."

12 days ago

New leadership at the Utah Pride Center...

Waverly Golden

New leadership at the Utah Pride Center, overspent on 2023 Pride Festival

The Utah Pride Center is revamping their leadership after spending $1.5 million more on this year's Pride Festival than the previous year.

12 days ago

President M. Russell Ballard, acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church o...

Sam Herrera

Funeral services announced for President M. Russell Ballard

Services for President Ballard take place Friday and are open to the public.

14 days ago

Sponsored Articles

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Human hand holding a protest banner stop vaping message over a crowded street background....

Prosperous Utah Communities

Utah’s Battle to Protect Youth from Vaping Epidemic Faces New Threat as Proposed Rule Threatens Progress

Utah's strict standards of nicotine levels in vaping products are at risk, increasing health hazards associated with use. Read more about how you can advocate for a better future for Utah's youth.

Aerial photo of Bear Lake shoreline with canopies and people camped out on the beach...

Visit Bear Lake

Last-Minute Summer Vacation Planning? Check Out Bear Lake!

Bear Lake is the perfect getaway if you are last-minute summer vacation planning. Enjoy activities with your whole family at this iconic lake.

Trans woman makes history in Sanpete County with gender change