If you're running an event and you care about trans people like, at all, you shouldn't be asking for our legal names or legal IDs, unless you have an actual reason to need that. "The host that's giving us the venue for free requires them for security" isn't a good reason.
I've seen this a lot at events aimed at diversity and inclusion in the tech industry, specifically. We're so eager to just take whatever free venue we can get that we're willing to put attendee safety and comfort on the line, or even discourage transgender people from attending.
Tough shit, honestly? If your venue had like, idk, an unstable shaky floor or a constantly leaking roof, you wouldn't say "oh well, it was free", would you? You'd care about safety then, right? You'd find a better venue. (or reschedule)
You'd be SHOCKED at how often venues providing spaces to meetup groups are just like... willing to change policies for you if you just explain the issue. Every single tech meetup space I've worked with in Chicago has been willing to change their policy when asked.
(Full disclosure: Worked with as in personally organized an event at or was a featured speaker at, at least in the last year-ish since I started asking. Just because you've attended an event with me in Chicago doesn't mean I've asked.)
But still, my point still stands. Don't just throw your hands in the air and go "oh well!" when a venue tells you that you'll need to collect legal names for attendees. Explain to them why this is important for trans attendees.
Companies and venues donate space to organizations because it's good PR and (maybe) because they actually care about the group. They want to look good. Help them look good by caring about your trans attendees.
Thanks again for providing venue space! We unfortunately are not comfortable asking attendees for legal names, as it can be uncomfortable, un-welcoming, and unsafe for transgender attendees. What can we do to change this requirement?
And like, to be clear. I get it! I totally understand why many places need to see IDs! I'm not saying that businesses and buildings shouldn't need legal IDs! If you're hosting an event open to the public, seriously consider finding a different venue, though.
As a trans person attending an event and needing to share my legal name, I'm immediately on edge. Will these people decide that I'm "just a woman" or "not trans" or "faking it" when they see my legal name? Will they use the wrong pronouns because of my legal name?
Or will I get turned away from the event from not looking like my actual ID? Or will they print a name badge with my legal name on it and not my actual name? Or will an organizer decide to just call me by my legal name?
And I'm super fucking privileged to be white, in all this. White trans-masculine people are relatively safe compared to black trans women. I don't worry about being fucking murdered when I tell you my legal name or you see my legal ID.
This world is structurally and systemically hostile to transgender people. Please just make it a little bit better by doing your part. If you organize events and can find literally any other venue or get them to change their legal ID policy, do it.