1. ACGLI Passes
Two Transgender Supportive Resolutions
2. Chicago Commission On Human Relations Passes Gender Resolution
3. Congresswoman Schakowsky Extends EEO Policy To Include Gender Variance
4. Transsexuals May Be Protected Under Illinois Human Rights Act
5. Transgender Woman Forced To Resign As President Of IL Railway Museum
6. Resignation Letter to Illinois Railway Museum Board
7. Coalition Of Organizations Supports Inclusion of Gender Variant People
8. Organizations Endorsing Equality For All Members Of The Community
9. Jurisdictions with Laws Prohibiting Gender Identity-Based Discrimination
CHICAGO, IL --- June 20, 1999 --- At the June meeting of the Advisory Council on Gay and Lesbian Issues (ACGLI) of the Chicago Commission on Human Relations, two important resolutions were passed. Without going into all the preamble statements, the resolutions are as follows:
"Be it resolved, the Advisory Council on Gay and Lesbian Issues both supports the inclusion of gender identity/expression in the City of Chicago Human Rights Ordinance and will advocate for the passage of an amendment to the City of Chicago Human Rights Ordinance adding gender identity/expression to the CHRO."
"Be it resolved, the Advisory Council on Gay and Lesbian Issues respectfully requests that the City of Chicago Commission on Human Relations pass a similar resolution supporting the addition of gender identity/expression to the City of Chicago Human Rights Ordinance and join ACGLI in it's efforts to advocate for the passage of an amendment to the CHRO adding gender identity/expression."
Both resolutions were introduced by Robert Castillo, outgoing member of ACGLI, on June 16, 1999, and were passed unanimously by the Council.
To put these resolutions into perspective, a transgender supportive resolution was passed by ACGLI in September 1997. Since then, It's Time, Illinois has been working with ACGLI to educate the gay, lesbian, and bisexual community about gender identity issues. We have also been working to find common grounds where we could agree that inclusion of gender identity and expression benefits all members of the GLBT community.
It's Time, Illinois has also been working with ACGLI to put some teeth into the original 1997 resolution. As a matter of fact, immediately preceding the passage of the resolutions, It's Time, Illinois had presented ACGLI with the 1999 Report on Hate Crimes and Discrimination against TG people in Illinois, and had requested ACGLI's active participation in garnering aldermanic support in the coming months for an amendment to the Chicago Human Rights Ordinance.
Miranda Stevens-Miller, Chair of It's Time, Illinois said, "We are proud of Robert Castillo for his proactive support of inclusion of gender variance, and we are proud of ACGLI for their unanimous approval of these resolutions. We look forward to working even more closely with ACGLI to assure that all people of Chicago are free from the tyranny of discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, and other situations."
CHICAGO, IL --- July 28,1999 --- The Chicago Commission on Human Relations ("CCHR") unanimously adopted a resolution urging the Chicago City Council to amend its Human Rights Ordinance so as to include gender identity and self-image. Commission Member Laura Rissover introduced the resolution. After the introduction of the resolution, Beth Plotner, Vice Chair of It's Time Illinois, addressed the Commission about the serious need for legislation to protect the civil rights of gender variant people. To illustrate this point, copies of the two most recent discrimination reports compiled by It's Time, Illinois were distributed to the members of the Commission, along with our informational pamphlet.
Prior to voting on the resolution, the members of the Commission clearly demonstrated their understanding of the problems confronting gender variant people, and brought up the need to address gender identity and self-image issues in other City of Chicago ordinances. For instance, it was suggested that the Fair Housing Ordinance should also be amended to include protections for gender identity and self-image. Additionally, it was pointed out that other ordinances could be affected as well. The original resolution was therefore amended so as to urge City Council to provide gender identity and self-image protections in the Human Rights Ordinance, the Fair Housing Ordinance, and any other Ordinance that might be affected. On their own initiative, therefore, the CCHR members made the resolution broader in scope and more responsive to the overall needs of gender variant population of Chicago.
After the vote was taken, Clarence Wood, Chairman of the Commission, commented on how happy he was about the passage of the resolution. He went on to say, however, that it was now the time to get down to the serious work of educating the alderman about the importance of enacting the proposed amendments into law.
WASHINGTON, D.C. --- June 14, 1999 --- Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (9th District, Illinois), became the first Member of Congress to officially recognize gender variant people when she amended her office nondiscrimination policies to include "gender self-image or identity."
The new equal employment opportunity policy states that the Congresswoman's office "does not discriminate on the basis of an individual's race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender self-image or identity, national origin, disability, veterans' status, age or any other factors prohibited by federal law." Furthermore, the new anti-harassment policy states that "the Office is firmly committed to providing its employees with a workplace that is free of discrimination, harassment or intimidation" based on the same factors.
The terms "gender self-image and identity" are broadly inclusive of people whose gender expression may fall outside of society's gender norms. Such gender variant people include transgender individuals as well as men and women, regardless of sexual orientation, who may be perceived as overly effeminate or masculine.
The 9th Congressional District of Illinois encompasses the North lakefront neighborhoods of Chicago as well as Evanston and other Chicago suburbs. Evanston is the only city in Illinois which has a Human Rights Ordinance protecting gender variant people from discrimination in employment and other situations.
The new policy was enacted following a meeting with representatives of It's Time, Illinois, a political action organization for the transgender and gender variant community in Illinois. The meeting took place on May 25 during GenderPAC's National Gender Lobby Days in Washington. GenderPAC is a national public advocacy coalition for gender, affectional and racial equality.
Said Miranda Stevens-Miller, Chair
of It's Time, Illinois, "Congresswoman Schakowsky's support
of our transgender and gender variant population is very encouraging.
Including us in her personnel policy is quite a symbolic statement
of the human dignity of a group that has for too long been cast
aside by society. We hope that this opens the doors for many others
CHICAGO IL --- August 19, 1999 --- "Transsexualism" may be covered as a "handicap" under the Illinois Human Rights Act. In a recommended order and decision, Jane F. Bularzik, Chief Administrative Law Judge for the Illinois Human Rights Commission determined that individuals diagnosed with gender dysphoria qualify for disability within the meaning of Illinois Human Rights statute. Accordingly, transsexuals are included as a protected class under the terms of that legislation.
Jess Evans, a transsexual woman in the early stages of her gender transition, was hired as a male at Hamburger Hamlet to work as a food server, but was fired a few months later. She filed discrimination complaints with the Illinois Human Rights Commission based on sex, sexual orientation, and disability. The case was reported in It's Time, Illinois' 2nd Annual Report on Discrimination and Hate Crimes (see case 96-9). The first two claims, sex and sexual orientation, were not considered by the Department of Human Rights because of lack of substantial evidence to support the claims. The third claim was held over for further review.
The recommendation was made in a largely uncontested case, however, and may not have extensive legal significance. In the time between the filing of the complaints and the judicial ruling, Hamburger Hamlet filed for bankruptcy and went out of business.
In her ruling, Judge Bulzarik considered the definition of "handicap" under the Human Rights Act. The Act defines "handicap" as a determinable physical or mental characteristic which may result from disease, injury, congenital condition of birth or functional disorder. Based on affidavit from Dr. Randi Ettner, Ph.D., well known for her expertise in gender dysphoria, transsexualism falls within such a definition. Transsexualism is "determined by recognized clinical diagnostic techniques, is not transitory or insubstantial and is significantly debilitating."
Furthermore, Judge Bularzik found that, in the case under consideration, the status of being transsexual in no way impeded Evans' ability to perform as a waiter at Hamburger Hamlet. In employment cases, a "handicap" must be unrelated to a person's ability to perform the duties of the job.
While It's Time Illinois welcomes the decision as providing some protections for some transgender people on a statewide basis in Illinois, it also recognizes the limitations of such an order. The ruling would apply only to those people who can provide evidence for clinical diagnosis of gender dysphoria. It's Time Illinois does not believe that protection of an individual's basic human rights should need to depend on determination of a disorder. Furthermore, no protections at all are provided for gender variant people who are not transsexuals. Approximately half the cases of employment discrimination reported by It's Time, Illinois would not be covered under the recommended decision.
Union, IL --- November 19, 1999 ---- Julie Ann Johnson, known nationally for her work with GenderPAC and the International Foundation for Gender Education, was forced to resign from her position as President of the Illinois Railway Museum in Union, Illinois because of her gender. She officially tendered her resignation at the Museum Board of Directors meeting on November 13.
Johnson, a 35 year veteran volunteer at the museum, was asked to resign when she came out to the Board as a transgender woman. In addition to serving as President for many years, Johnson was also the museum's single largest financial contributor. The Illinois Railway Museum is the largest museum of its kind in the nation.
The forced resignation was quite unexpected. Johnson continued to present herself at the museum in her male role, and had no plans to do otherwise. In addition, Johnson's personal struggles with her gender identity were well known to many of the members and directors of the museum.
Johnson is active in the transgender community both locally and nationally. She has been a member, activist and benefactor of It's Time, Illinois for many years. Nationally, she is on the Board of Directors of GenderPAC, and Vice-Chair of the International Foundation for Gender Education.
Miranda Stevens-Miller, Chair of It's Time, Illinois said, "Julie Ann is one of the most generous and gracious individuals I know. She opened her home and her heart to the transgender community, and became a friend and mother to many of us. The greatest tragedy is that the Museum Board does not even recognize the unique and wonderful person they lost by their prejudicial act."
In a resignation letter to the Museum Board, Johnson criticized the directors for the forced resignation. "That some of you are uncomfortable with me I cannot help. Nor can I help that you are not possessed with enough tolerance for individual differences or respect for me as a person to judge me on the merits of my performance rather than on my gender."
Johnson's letter goes on to state that those who "allowed prejudice to be our guide in judging whether an African-American or a woman or a gay man ought to hold some public office have since looked back with shame The Board has today given in to the basest kind of undiluted prejudice."
Johnson's letter was followed by five minutes of silence. At that point, one of the directors left the meeting saying, "Looks like we threw the baby out with the bath water."
November 13, 1999
To: Illinois Railway Museum Minutes
Directors McCabe, Howell, McCutchen, Nauer, Jones and Garen:
You have asked me to resign as President of the Illinois Railway Museum. You ask this, not because of my performance, but simply because of how I express my gender. Let me spare you any suspense by acknowledging from the outset that I will resign as you ask, but not before I take a moment to share with you what is in my heart.
I have dedicated the past 35 years of my life to this Museum. I did so, like you, out of a profound love for the culture and magic of the rails. It was in all senses a labor of love, one that remains undiminished even today. I know we speak a common language when I tell you that certain things move us, not for moments, or weeks or even years, but for decades and for hidden reasons we can only guess. The Railway Museum is one of those things.
For me, strange as you may find it, so is gender. I have struggled as honestly and privately with this as I could for even longer than I've been committed to this institution. I took the steps I have taken, not to cause you or this Museum any embarrassment, but to be true to myself and the deepest things I feel inside. I did it, in short, out of a fundamental sense of honesty and a need to finally be who and what I am.
I know that I am a far better person for these actions I have taken recently in my life. I have worked hard to bring my life to a state where I now feel at peace with myself. In doing so, I have striven to avoid situations at the museum where I would be presenting anything other than my traditional identity. In fact, it was not until I shared my private life with you that some of you became concerned.
That some of you are uncomfortable with me I cannot help. Nor can I help that you are not possessed with enough tolerance for individual differences or respect for me as a person to judge me on the merits of my performance rather than on my gender.
One of the things we Americans hold most dear is freedom of expression. As a cultural institution, this museum's policies should reflect that. What a shame we do not choose to extend that freedom to our members and our board.
I will share with you something in closing. There have been numerous revolutions in this country. Many people thought the railway would be but a passing thing. Yet it rose to take over the country from one coast to the other.
On the human side, others thought that black civil rights would be a passing thing. The idea of a black man on the board of a cultural institution such as this would have been deeply embarrassing in many states until only a few years ago. Virtually the same can be said of women's rights, and, more recently, gay rights as well.
In each case, we experienced the newness of cultural revolutions and the emergence of a new and hitherto silent minority as different and foreign as those that preceded it. Some of us rose to the challenge. We put aside our biases and the small voice of intolerance and tried to see the person and to judge them on their merits, not what they were or how we felt about them.
Others of us buckled under. We allowed prejudice instead of performance to be our guide in judging whether an African-American or a woman or a gay man ought to hold some public position. Those of us who did so -- and who among us has not given in to that momentary reign of prejudice -- know we have since looked back with shame.
Gentlemen, there is going to be a gender revolution in this country. It is going to change what you and I can feel or say or do. It is going to mean that a woman will no longer routinely be fired, harassed or assaulted for acting or dressing "too mannish," or verbally assaulted or raped for acting or dressing "too sexual." It will mean that a man will not be harassed or humiliated for crying, or for dressing or acting "too feminine." It will mean that our daughters will not starve themselves each night with anorexia because "real women" are supposed to be supernaturally thin, and it will mean we will not have to fear that our sons will be humiliated each day because they want to play with dolls instead of guns, or play piano instead of Rambo.
And yes, it will even mean that transsexuals like me will not routinely lose our jobs, our families, the safety to walk our streets at night or the positions we hold in society simply because of who and what we are. One day a person will be judged, not because of their clothes or sex or gender, but because of how they do the job.
Because in the last analysis, that's what counts: it's about the job. I do this job, gentlemen. I do it very well. You agreed to that when you voted me into it for yet another term. Because it's what I bring to this job, what I put into it, the time and experience and vision and business acumen I bring to it that make me the best person to hold it.
So I leave, not with my head held down but with pride in what I have contributed and in the sure and certain knowledge that I have followed the dictates of my heart and my conscience. I hope you all will be able to look back and say the same. For I am convinced that your cowardice in refusing to stand by me does this organization and this institution which we all love no service. I am convinced that this day will not be remembered favorably in our history nor reflect well upon us when it is recalled. The Board has today given in to the basest kind of undiluted prejudice, that kind which always expresses itself at the expense of one socially inconvenient minority or another, and in doing so it has betrayed our commitment to honor the principles upon which this organization depends and which it is obligated to uphold.
I do resign my position as President, effective this Board of Directors meeting. I also resign immediately my position as budget director, along with any formal or informal work on financial matters and supervision. I will be available to train others at convenient times to take over my previous duties in the financial analysis and budget areas. In addition, I will remain on the Board until my term is served out. It is also my intent to continue as manager of track, manager of signals, and in other duties.
(signed) Jim Johnson
CHICAGO, IL --- July 20, 1999 --- It's Time, Illinois has enlisted the support of a rainbow coalition of the LGBT community in an action leafleting the Human Rights Campaign's (HRC) tenth annual dinner at the Hyatt Regency Chicago on July 31st. The endorsers represent the spiritual community, the women's movement, youth groups, people of color, veterans, the bisexual community, and rural regions.
This action will be the 4th year that It's Time Illinois! has leafleted the HRC Dinner in Chicago, highlighting the need for protection of the entire gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community under nondiscrimination laws. It's Time Illinois and the endorsers of the action claim that the omission of gender variance in the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA) was a deliberate plan to keep transgender people out of the bill. ENDA was reintroduced in both houses in June, and once again, the bill excludes gender variant people.
According to Miranda Stevens-Miller, Chair of It's Time Illinois, the only stumbling block for inclusion of gender variance in ENDA is the HRC. "When asked, HRC will tell you that they will lose votes if 'transgender' were included in ENDA. But I have not heard HRC mention the name of even one congressman who would change his vote."
During GenderPAC's Lobby Days in Washington DC in May, 1999, the Illinois contingent asked each of the Illinois co-sponsors of ENDA whether they would change their vote if gender variance was included. Each of the congresspersons or their legislative assistants said they would continue to support ENDA with the more inclusive language. Many were appalled that HRC is using that as an excuse to keep transgender out of ENDA, and several indicated that they would take that message directly to HRC.
Gender variant people include not only transgenders, but a large portion of the gay and lesbian population. GenderPAC, a national coalition for gender, racial and affectional equality, has documented that about a third of the employment discrimination suffered by gays and lesbians can be directly attributed to gender expression, and not to sexual orientation. Many national organizations, including the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force have publicly stated that they will not endorse ENDA because it does not include gender variant people and much of the LGBT population in the current form.
We believe in fairness and equality for all members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community, and therefore support inclusion of all in the Employment Nondiscrimination Act.
1. Advocacy Council for Human
Rights (Bloomington, IL)
2. Ambiente Pa'lante
3. Amigas Latinas (Latina Les/Bi Women's Org.)
4. The Association of Latin Men for Action (ALMA)
5. Chicago AntiBashing Network (CABN)
6. Chicago Black Lesbians and Gays
7. Chicago Lesbian Avengers
8. Chicago NOW (National Organization for Women)
9. Chicagoland Bisexual Network
10. CMAGYC (Chicago Metro Area Gay Youth Coalition)
12. Gay and Lesbian Association of Decatur (GLAD)
13. Gay, Lesbian & Bisexual Veterans of America
14. Generation Q
15. Illinois Federation for Human Rights
16. Illinois Gay & Lesbian Political Action Network
17. It's Time, Illinois
18. It's Time, Wisconsin
19. Khuli Zaban (South Asian/Middle Eastern Les/Bi/Trans Women's Organization)
20. Linda M. Schroeder, Co-Chair, Champaign/Urbana Equality Begins at Home
21. Logan Square Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Neighbors
22. Metropolitan Gender Network (New York City)
23. Officer Lori Cooper, Chicago Police Department
24. OUTpost Community Center (Champaign, IL)
25. Queer Nation - Chicago
26. Queer to the Left
27. Rev. Karon C. VanGelder, Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches
28. SafeZone (University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign)
29. SANGAT-Chicago (South Asian LGBT Organization)
30. TransFair (Kentucky)
32. Trikone-Chicago (South Asian LGBT Organization)
33. TRUE (TRansgenders United for Equality) (San Francisco)
34. WACT (Women Of All Colors And Cultures Together)
|St. Paul, MN||268,266||1990||x||x||x||x||x||x||x|
|Santa Cruz, CA||52,853||1992||x||x||x||x||x||x||x|
|San Francisco, CA||728,921||1994||x||x||x||x||x||x||x|
|Grand Rapids, MI||1,015,099||1994||x||x||x||-||x||-||x|
|Iowa City, IA||59,313||1995||x||x||x||x||x||x||x|
|West Hollywood, CA||35,209||1998||-||x||x||x||x||x||-|
|New Orleans, LA||489,595||1998||x||x||x||x||-||-||-|
|Benton County, OR||77,755||1998||x||x||x||-||x||-||-|
|Jefferson County, KY||700,000||1999||x||x||x||x||x||x||-|
|Ann Arbor, MI||109,766||1999||x||x||x||x||x||x||x|
Index of Previous Cases
after 21 years as printer, 2 months after starting transition
96-2 Violence, Harassment Assaulted and raped. Received biased treatment at hospital.
96-3 Employment Fired after 16 yrs. in housekeeping, 3 mo.after starting transition.
96-4 Employment Fired after 1 yr at printing firm. Hired as a woman, fired 1 month after discovered to be transsexual.
96-5 Employment Fired after years in automobile service, 1 mo. after announcing intention to transition.
96-6 Civil Rights Violation Lost custody of child, home, possessions. Jailed without due process of law.
96-7 Sexual Harassment Hostile work environment and termination.
96-8 Public Accommodation Denial of entry into a public night club.
96-9 Employment Terminated after two months as food server.
96-10 Denial of Name Change Employer refused to recognize legal name change.
96-11 Employment Hired as a telephone interviewer, then denied job on first day.
96-12 Violence, Murder Brutal murder by date after discovery as biological male.
96-13 Murder Brutal "overkill" murder by strangulation, stabbing, and arson of a 24-year-old transsexual woman.
96-14 Employment Terminated after over 20 years in management at a government agency.
96-15 Assault, Discrimination Shot twice in the back in a hate-related incident, then received discriminatory treatment.
96-16 Police Brutality, Medical Racially-motivated beating by police of a 20-year-old intersexed man, followed by neglect
Negligence, Death in hospital, resulting in death in jail.
96-17 Assault, Discrimination Hate-related aggravated assault of a crossdresser and subsequent neglect in hospital
in Hospital emergency room.
96-18 Public Accommodation Denied access to public shelters on two occasions.
96-19 Public Accommodation Attempt to deny access to class registration in a public college.
97-1 Hate Crime, Assault
and assaulted by stranger on street.
97-2 Civil Rights, Police Crossdresser falsely arrested and physically abused by police.
97-3 Employment Transgendered person hired as woman in retail, fired for not obeying male dress code.
97-4 Employment Computer specialist, 15 yr. experience, denied job because of gender identity.
97-5 Hate Crime, Harassment Stalking, threats, terrorism of young transsexual woman.
97-6 Housing Discrimination by public housing authority in rental situation.
97-7 Employment Transgendered person initially hired in telemarketing, then denied job before starting.
97-8 Employment Transsexual woman denied access to woman's washroom by employer.
97-9 Employment Surgical Technologist, lesbian, fired after repeated harassment due to her masculine appearance.
97-10 Employment Gay man initially hired in retail, then denied job before starting, perceived as "too feminine."
97-11 Employment Gay man hired as temporary but denied permanent position because perceived as "too feminine."
97-12 Housing Transsexual woman evicted along with family when landlord discovered her gender status
98-1 Employment MtF
transsexual 21yrs at an Illinois hospital, harassed by supervisory
and management level
employees, subjected to discriminatory treatment, and threatened with termination.
98-2 Employment Post-operative MtF transsexual terminated from her employment after she informed her employer
about her transition
98-3 Employment Transsexual woman denied access to rest room by employer (bookstore)
98-4 Employment Transsexual woman denied access to rest room by employer (newspaper)
98-5 Employment Lesbian woman harassed and constructively discharged because of her apparent masculine
98-6 Employment Woman discharged for not presenting a suitable feminine image (no makeup)
98-7 Employment Gay man harassed and constructively discharged because of effeminate presentation
98-8 Employment Gay man harassed, suspended, threatened with termination after seen cross-dressed on television
98-9 Public Accommodation, MtF transsexual assaulted while store owners looked on and did nothing to intervene or assist
98-10 Housing Transgender woman harassed and evicted from apartment
98-11 Public Accommodation Intersex woman denied access into coffee house with "women only" policy