On this, the International Transgender Day of Visibility, I wanted to share some important information from the Williams Institute at UCLA. While many states, like Idaho most recently, seem determined to legislate away the rights for transgender people, public opinion seems to be moving in a different direction. The upshot: – 73% of respondents thought transgender people should be protected from discrimination – 71% of respondents thought transgender people should be allowed to have gender-affirming surgery – 51% of participants wanted the United States to do more to support and protect transgender people The bottom line: We ALL play a role in moving the needle in a positive direction for transgender Americans – inside and outside of the workplace….read more
Tomorrow, March 31st, is Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV), and while our country – and the world – adjusts to life that is very different from anything we have ever known before, I ask that you turn your attention, if only for a few moments, and read on an open letter written my trans sister, Aimee Stephens, who was fired from her job as a funeral director after coming out to her employer. Her case is one of the cases heard by The Supreme Court last year regarding whether or not LGBTQ protections fall under our nation’s bedrock civil rights law, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. They are expected to render a decision soon.
As Erin Uritus, CEO of Out & Equal Workplace Advocates so eloquently puts it, “So even as we deal with the myriad challenges caused by the coronavirus, we must take a moment to listen to, and learn from, transgender Americans like Aimee. Read Aimee’s letter and let her powerful words ground you in the human toll of discrimination and the opportunities we all have to forge a more inclusive future.”
A big THANK YOU to Erin and all of my dear friends at Out & Equal Workplace Advocates for teaming with the ACLU to keep a light shining on this most pivotal issue for all transgender people.
Stay Safe. Stay Well. Be There for Each Other. We Are All in This Together.
Is your company on this list? If it isn’t, why not? Perhaps it is time to ask: how committed is your company to ensuring the rights and well-being of transgender individuals? They are your customers and in many cases, your employees. Is your company an ally with a capital “A”???
On the eve of Idaho potentially becoming the first state in the nation this year to pass a law specifically targeting transgender people, Chobani, GoDaddy, Hewlett Packard Inc. and Verizon today joined more than 40 major employers in a previously released open letter, calling for lawmakers in states across the country to oppose bills that target LGBTQ people, and transgender children in particular. These business leaders stress the importance of fairness and opportunity for their customers, their employees and their employees’ families. This letter was released earlier this month, but has been updated with these new, additional business signers.
We have come a long way in ten years concerning LGBTQ equality in the workplace. HOWEVER, as you will see in this report from the Movement Advancement Project (MAP) there is still MUCH WORK to be done! This is of particular note for transgender individuals who still can be fired for coming out in 27 states (54%)!
Mapping LGBTQ Equality: 2010 to 2020 presents a fresh perspective on the current status of LGBTQ equality in the states by examining MAP’s policy tally, encompassing nearly 40 LGBTQ-related laws and policies across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the five U.S. territories as of January 1, 2020. The report also compares the current status of LGBTQ policy landscape to the status of these same laws as of January 1, 2010.
And this is my biggest concern as we wait until June (!!!) for SCOTUS to rule. I have concerns that the ACLU’s argument that Aimee Stephens is an “insufficiently masculine” man who was fired for not adhering to male stereotypes is fraught with risk. Risk in further confusing judges that already do not quite get the gender identity argument at the root of what being trans is. Conversely, it does move the narrative away from gender identity – something that, arguably, a person cannot “see” when they meet a trans person for the first time – to the much more “visual” dimension of gender expression. Rather than looking at these dimensions of gender separately, the much more compelling – and complete – view is to present them together in explaining what the true essence of being transgender is.