Hate Crimes in America Based on Gender Variance
A Common Factor in Anti-Gay Hate Crimes
What Kind Of A Society Do We Live In?
DeKalb almost passes a transgender inclusive ordinance
Summary of Findings
Case Narrative Overview
1998 Case Narratives:
98-1 98-5 98-9 98-2 98-6 98-10 98-3 98-7 98-11 98-4 98-8
Overview of cases in Previous ITIL reports
Strategies for Human Rights Legislation
Local Ordinances with Gender Identity/Expression
A Q&A Guide to Transgender Rights
For Further Information, Contact
It's Time, Illinois
It's Time Illinois
This interim report is the 4th installment in our ongoing effort to bring about an awareness of the injustices committed against transgendered persons living and working in the State of Illinois. The first such report was issued in February 1996. The cases it contained were reprinted in the 1997 It's Time, Illinois (ITIL) Report along with an equal number of additional cases of discrimination and hate crimes.
Last year we issued a supplement to the '97 report with a dozen more personal stories injustice, of human rights violations which go unpunished in our society. Each of these reports provided background information on transgendered people and why there is a need for legislative reform to address the systematic discrimination against them. They included many first person or newspaper accounts of discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, of brutal beatings and murder. Those reports are just as valid today as they were a year ago.
The only thing that has changed since last year is the awareness. 1998 was a year of coalition building, and education. The gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community is one community united by the commonality of gender. We are all perceived as living outside some unwritten law of gender role expectations, and as such are stigmatized by society. The perpetrators of hate crimes, the religious fanatics, and others do not draw any distinction between sexual orientation and gender identity. To the world, all gender variant people are gay, and targets for discrimination and hate crimes. The realization of this simple fact was the prime motivational factor behind the coalition building efforts of 1998.
But across the nation, it was also a year of hatred and violence.
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October 12, 1998. Matthew Shepard died early this morning, six days after this young man was beaten, burned, tortured, pistol whipped, tied to a fencepost and left to die of exposure in the frigid Wyoming night. Matthew was a college student, just 21 years old, full of student's energy to change the world, make it better a better place not for himself but for the disenfranchised everywhere. According to the Denver Post, he dedicated his life to the fight for human rights. "He enjoyed spirited political debate and wanted to work as a human-rights advocate on behalf of the impoverished and downtrodden," friends said.
Like most of nation, It's Time Illinois joins with our brothers and sisters in expressing outrage over the recent rash of anti-gay hate crimes. But hate crimes do not just happen in remote corners of America. They happen right in our own neighborhoods. Last year, hate crimes devastated the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago and left one young man in the hospital with permanent neurological damage. There were three violent anti-gay attacks there within a month and dozens more in Chicago during the preceding months. These hate crimes brought hundreds of Lakeview residents and visitors out in early October to a town hall meeting and to a series of anti-violence rallies and marches in which several members of ITIL participated.
But more frightening than the hate crimes that receive all the media attention are the countless more that are never recorded. Like this one from the pages of ITIL's 1998 Supplemental Report.
" just before the train doors shut, the two young men jumped off as well. They pursued her down the stairs from the tracks, and at the bottom they grabbed her by the shoulders, and began to drag her around by her purse, saying "What are you, what are you?" She told them that she was a transsexual, a drag queen, and told them to take her purse... anything to get them to leave her alone. They said that they weren't interested in her purse, that they would get to that later. She managed to get away from them, losing her purse in the struggle, and she began to run away. She heard one or two shots as she continued to run. It wasn't until she was further down the block, maybe a block away that she realized she was shot.
The police and the paramedics arrived a few minutes apart. Although she couldn't see them, because she was lying face down on the ground, she heard the police say over and over, "That's not a woman, that's a man." The police asked where she was shot, and she replied that she was shot in the back. When asked how she got there, she replied that she ran there from the El station. At that point, the police said, " If you can run here, you can get up in the chair." Neither the police nor the paramedics would help her up into a stretcher. They did not even bring a stretcher over to her." At the hospital, she was in the operating room for five hours repairing the internal damage.
The callous disregard of the rights of our people by the police results in gross under-reporting of hate crimes. Why even bother going to the police. At the Lakeview town hall meeting, we heard from one man who was beaten in a hate crime in a parking lot across the street from the 23rd District police station. When he ran to the station to get help for his friend, the desk Sergeant told him, "Stop bleeding all over my desk."
Of course all police are not like the ones who refused to help these hate crimes victims. In fact, these are the exceptions, not the rule. But it happens often enough to make most of us think twice before going to the police for help. That's why we'll never know the extent of the hate crimes against our community.
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The most common characteristic of anti-gay hate crimes is that the victims are typically gender variant. Most perpetrators don't know the sexual orientation of their victims. They key in on some gender characteristic, some gender attribute, some gender behavior which cues them to the perceived sexual orientation of the victim. Transgendered individuals are walking targets for anti-gay hate crimes.
There were two well-publicized brutal hate-motivated murders of a gay men in 1998. Mathew Shepard in Wyoming and Billy Jack Gaither, in Alabama. But in the eight months between the murder of Matthew Shepard and Billy Jack Gaither, there were at least eight equally gruesome murders of transgendered people. One murder per month. Most of the transgendered victims were of lower socioeconomic class. Somehow these two factors, poor and transgender, diminished the humanity of the victims in the eyes of the media. With few exceptions, these murders were not considered newsworthy. When the stories were covered, transgender people were ridiculed with cartoons and dismissed with demeaning stereotypes.
The following hate-related murders of transgender people are know to have occurred in 1998 and the first quarter of 1999.
Tasha Dunn, 42 year-old transsexual woman, murdered in Tampa.
Vianna Faye Williams, 36 year-old transsexual woman, murdered in Jersey City.
Fitzroy Green, 36 year-old cross-dresser, murdered in New York City.
Chanel Chandler, 22 year-old transgender woman, murdered in Clovis, California.
Rita Hester, transgender woman, murdered (multiple stab wounds) in Boston.
Steve Dwayne Garcia, dressed in female clothing, murdered in Houston.
Lauryn Paige/Donald Fuller, 18 year-old cross dresser, murdered in Austin.
(Unknown white male), dressed in female clothing, murdered in Houston.
Billy Joe/Tracey Thompson, 33 year-old cross dresser, murdered in Cordele, GA.
The following are comments from Riki Anne Wilchins, Executive Director of GenderPAC.
"Where are the voices crying out against the murders of these people? Is it that the violence done to Rita Hester or the sadistic torture and murder of Lauryn Paige are less horrific? Is it that the hatred which impelled the killer of Tasha Dunn to, in the words of the police, beat her to her last breath any less virulent and profound?
"Or is it that when a hate crime occurs based on race, or religion, and now, at last, on sexual orientation, reasonable people can reasonably hope that voices will be raised in protest? But are six murders, or sixty murders, that occur based on gender rendered mute and invisible because certain kinds of bodies and certain kinds of hate don't matter as much? Within the queer community and certainly within the straight press, we are disposable people.
"How many of us will need to die violently, alone, and in terrible pain before our press, our leaders, and our organizations speak out? Perhaps they never will speak out, and some of us will continue to pay for being gender-different with our lives.
"It is ironic that GenderPAC's National Survey of TransViolence reveals that the most common epithet used when we are bashed is "faggot." Transpeople are targeted because of the perception that we are gay. And gays are often picked out because they are "visibly queer," that is, because they are gender-different.
"But the fine-line distinctions we draw to populate and protect the divisions among us--between orientation and gender or between gay and queer or between you and me--are lost upon those who stalk and prey upon us. We are all at risk, even if only some of us count. "
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One where it is acceptable, in fact expected, to harass anyone who is in the least bit different. According to a recent college survey, nearly one-quarter of the respondents admitted to harassing people they thought were gay. Among men, 18 percent said they had physically assaulted or threatened someone they thought was gay or lesbian. And 32 percent admitted they were guilty of verbal harassment.
One where a bill as obviously needed as the Hate Crimes Prevention Act has yet to be passed by Congress. Even after the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard, even with the complete endorsement of President Clinton. The Hate Crimes Prevention Act failed to be passed by Congress in 1998. It would have made it a federal crime to commit a hate crime based on real or perceived sexual orientation, gender or disability.
One where efforts to pass hate-crime legislation in Wyoming have failed repeatedly because critics have said it would give homosexuals special rights.
One where religious fundamentalists can hold anti-gay celebrations. Where noted football players can front for fanatic religious organizations in full-page ads denouncing homosexuality in leading newspapers across the country.
Set against that backdrop, it is no wonder that there is an epidemic of hate crimes ravaging our community.
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1998 was the year that Illinois almost passed its second transgender-inclusive human rights ordinance. The first was Evanston, which in 1997 amended its Human Rights Ordinance by redefining sexual orientation according to the Minnesota definition: "Having or perceived as having emotional, physical, or sexual attachment to another without regard to the sex of that person or having or being perceived as having an orientation for such an attachment, or having or being perceived as having a self-image or identity not traditionally associated with one's biological maleness or femaleness. "
Although a transgender inclusive bill was introduced in the DeKalb City Council, DeKalb excluded gender variant people in the City's Human Rights Amendment in the version which just three weeks later, on 12/14/98. The original version of the bill defined "sexual orientation" according to the Minnesota language, which includes both sexual orientation and gender identity, whether real or perceived. Shortly before the bill come up for final vote of the City Council, the inclusive definition was replaced by "heterosexuality, homosexuality or bisexuality, actual or perceived." There was no reason to change the wording... all the votes from the city councilmen, 6 out of 7 were committed to vote "yes" for the more inclusive bill.
We've learned a difficult lesson here. It's Time Illinois did not participate in DeKalb at all. It was Rick Garcia, Political Director of the Illinois Federation for Human Rights who gave them the Minnesota language and made sure they used it. ITIL stayed out, figuring why rock the boat. We're included; we don't need to be present at the hearings. The lesson we learned is that the "stealth" approach is a bomb... it can blow up in your face. By not being visible, by not showing that we are part of the DeKalb queer community, the DeKalb Human Relations Commission felt it was acceptable to exclude gender variance.
There is an important lesson in all this. We will never get recognition of our basic human rights if we remain hidden from society.
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It's Time, Illinois has been documenting cases of discrimination and violence for about 4 years. In that time we have recorded 42 individual stories, including 50 total incidents. Our access to complete information from all agencies remains limited. Our data comes mainly from individual who contact ITIL and from the files of the Chicago Commission on Human Relations.
Last year it became apparent that the concept of discrimination against transgendered people is mush too limited in scope and we started to look for discrimination which had its basis in some aspect of gender variance. We found three such cases last year, and another three this year. The individuals who filed the complaints did not identify as transgendered, but were discriminated against for being "too masculine", "too feminine" or "not feminine enough". In all of the cases, the individual has been targeted for discrimination because they exhibited some characteristic which violated societal gender role norms.
This year 8 of the 12 incident involved employment discrimination, one housing, two public accommodations, and one hate crime.
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The following are actual cases of discrimination based on actual or perceived gender variance against individuals who are currently residing in Illinois. The cases were taken from interviews with It's Time, Illinois or complaints filed with the Chicago Commission on Human Relations. Names and other identifying features were eliminated or changed where appropriate to protect the anonymity of the individuals. The words are those of the person who related the incident, with the exception of the phases in parentheses, which were added for clarity. Complete transcripts of the interviews are held in the confidential files of It's Time, Illinois!
|Number||Type of Discrimination||Comments|
|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 appearance|
|98-6||Employment||Woman (sexual orientation not specified) 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 talk show|
|98-9||Public Accommodation and Hate Crime||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|
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(This male-to-female transsexual, a resident of Galesburg, is employed as a Certified Respiratory Therapy Technician at an Illinois hospital, where she had worked as a man for over 21 years without disciplinary problems. Once she started to transition on the job, however, she immediately began to be harassed by supervisory and management level employees, subjected to discriminatory treatment, and threatened with termination. She filed a lengthy letter of complaint with the Chicago office of the American Civil Liberties Union, who referred the case to It's Time, Illinois. Her letter of complaint has been edited and somewhat abbreviated here.)
I am a male-to-female transsexual in transition, tentatively scheduled for SRS in August 1998. My psychological counseling in preparation for SRS was commenced in September 1995, and has continued ever since. For over two years, my treating physician has prescribed for me a regimen of feminizing hormones and testosterone inhibitor. I legally changed my name in September 1997, and notified the personnel office of my employer of the name change. I also changed the gender designation from male to female, as is shown on my driver's license. Ever since then, I have run into situations and allegations at work that I have not had to deal with in the past 21 years of employment.
At about the time that I legally changed my name, I informed a number of my co-workers of my situation and announced my gender decision at an employee party, so that they would understand what was happening with me. Shortly after that I received a written warning from the Senior Assistant Administrator, accusing me of making "inappropriate" comments about my personal life and sexual related matters. I have never discussed sex with any employee and believe that sex and sexual identity are not synonymous.
In the later part of 1997, one of the nursing supervisors told her nurses in a meeting that they were not to talk with me regarding anything but patient care. She also said that they did not have to call me by my legal (feminine) name if they did not want to.
I was informed by the director of our credit union that she had received a phone call from someone representing the hospital administration, wanting to know what I was doing in the credit union office. I believe this may be a form of harassment. I also believe that my standing as a member of the credit union was in peril by the questions of the credit union director.
Another person working in my department was asked to keep tabs on me by the Assistant Administrator. If I said anything about what I was doing regarding my new role in life in any way, she was to report to the Assistant Administrator directly. I have to live with the possibility of being discharged after 21 years of faithful service if any of my co-workers becomes upset with me and falsely tells the Assistant Administrator that I have been talking about my life at work. The pressure I am under is tremendous.
When I had my ears pierced for earrings and had small gold studs in them to hold the holes open, I was told directly by my department manager that he was instructed to tell me not to wear the earring studs while working. One of the male registered nurses, however, has worn earring studs in the emergency room as a staff nurse, as well as in the unit where he is currently assigned.
The Assistant Administrator told me that I represent the hospital all of the time, and therefore I would not be allowed on hospital property in any type of female clothing or make up. Even if I was on my own time. I don't get paid for my own time, but I can't visit anyone who may be a friend of mine in the hospital unless I wear male or gender-neutral clothing. If I did not conform to this, I would be terminated.
I showed some of my friends a picture of me dressed in female clothing, as I usually am when not at work. I was told never to "show pictures in the hospital again." Everyone else can show pictures of themselves and their family, but I am not allowed to.
I believe it is obvious that the hospital is attempting to document any perceived error on my part. Employees and others have been vigorously encouraged to report any infraction to the Assistant Administrator directly, thereby bypassing the normal chain of authority. I believe this goes to demonstrate the degree of harassment.
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(This post-operative male-to-female transsexual was terminated from her employment after she informed her employer about her transition. She lives in Palatine, IL, where she worked as a regional sales representative for a company which was headquartered outside of Illinois. Her complaint was submitted to It's Time, Illinois on a Documentation Project complaint form.)
After over 2 years of promotions, etc., I came forward to my company about my transition. As I worked out of my home, 800 miles from the plant, they would not have been aware of any changes. I was post-op and wanted to change all legal information, and asked for a transfer to a different division to avoid questions, etc. I was told that they wanted me out of the company. They said I would not fit in with their "conservative" values, i.e. Southern Baptist.
I came forward so that I could transfer divisions as a woman. I was hired as a male. I tried to be honest.
My employment had been in the paper industry as a regional sales manager for 2½ years. I had received many promotions, great reviews, bonus, etc.
The company admitted they had no reason to fire me, so they offered me a "package." I accepted.
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(This individual is a transsexual woman who was employed at a bookstore affiliated with a well-known college in Chicago. Her employer denied her access to a washroom. She called It's Time, Illinois in March 1998 to discuss her options. This is her story as told to ITIL.)
I have worked for about 2 years at an independently owned bookstore on the campus of (omitted) college. I am a transsexual woman. I was hired by my employer as a woman, and presented myself as a female for the entire time that I have worked there.
Recently there was a change of management and I was told by my new boss that I could not go to any washroom in the bookstore. My boss instructed the security guard to prevent me from using the bathroom.
Furthermore, I was told that I would be fired if I went into the women's washroom. As a result, I was forced to go off the premises of the bookstore and use facilities elsewhere on campus.
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(This individual is a pre-op Male-to-Female transsexual who is employed at a major newspaper in Chicago. Her employer denied her access to a washroom. She called It's Time, Illinois in April 1998 document her complaint. This is her story as told to ITIL.)
I work at (a major newspaper) in Chicago. They have been giving me a lot of problems lately. I have worked there for 2 years as (name omitted), and have lived full time as a woman for at least 5 years. I am legally a woman, I have all the paperwork.
My boss will not allow me to use the women's room. I am forced to use the men's room. Right now I am working 3rd shift, and there is no one else around. I use the men's room upstairs from where I work, in a remote corner of the building. But I feel that I am in danger if anyone finds me there.
I would like to work day shift. The union steward told me that if I do work day shift, then I could not use the men's room. I can't use the women's room, and I can't use the men's room. I just don't know what to do.
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(This individual is a lesbian woman. In the course of her employment as a clerk for a major department store chain, she was harassed by co-workers and management level employees, and was eventually constructively discharged, on account of her sexual orientation and apparent masculine appearance. Her complaint was filed with the City of Chicago Commission on Human Relations.)
I believe I have been discriminated against due to my sexual orientation, gay, and sex, female, by [a major department store chain and several of its employees].
On December 2, 1998, I was interviewed for the position by Ms. [S], (sexual orientation unknown), a manager, and was hired. [S] told me to start work that day and I did. During the interview, my partner, Anna who had been waiting for me, asked Ms. [C], (sexual orientation unknown) a manager, to ask me whether I needed her to wait for me.
Ms. [C] came into the room where I was being interviewed, and said someone outside wants her to ask her girlfriend if she wants her to stay or how long the interview was going to be. Complainant claims she told [C] that it was her girlfriend waiting outside. She claimed [C] looked at her weirdly and with disgust.
On December 3, 1998, Complainant stated that she went to work from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. She said while stocking items on the counter, Ms. [S] called her into her office, and claimed that Mr. [F] (sexual orientation unknown), the Store Manager, wanted to see me. I went into [F]'s office, he slammed the door behind me and he asked me to tell him if I am male or female. I said female. He asked if I need to go to the bathroom, which bathroom would I go to, and I said female's bathroom. He said no. I said but I can't go to the men's bathroom. He said that either. Then I said so what you are saying is that I cannot go to the bathroom at all. He said that was correct. I said that was discrimination. Later that day, [F] came to me and said he was joking with me about the bathroom issue.
Later on December 3, 1998, I went to work from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. while I was stocking purses, a short female employee (sexual orientation unknown) came up to me with her boy-friend. The female employee said there is the "he-she." She and her boy-friend looked at me strangely and with disgust, and then walked away. I felt scared and did not appreciate being called a he-she.
I believe that one of the managers (Ms. [S], [C] or [F]) had talked about my sexual orientation and sex to other employees. I did not feel comfortable working at Respondent, I felt it was a hostile work environment. Because of what they perceived my sex or sexual orientation to be.
On December 4, 1998, I was constructively discharged by Respondent. The above conduct is a violation of Chapter 2-160 of the Chicago Municipal Code. I am seeking all relief available under the law. (Case No. 98-E-229, filed December 11, 1998.)
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(This woman was discharged from her employment as a legal secretary for a Chicago law firm because she refused to present a sufficiently feminine appearance. Specifically, she refused to wear makeup. Her complaint was filed with the City of Chicago Commission on Human Relations.)
I have been discriminated against due to my sex, female. I was hired as a part-time Legal Secretary at [a Chicago law firm] in January 1998, and was made full-time on March 16, 1998. My work performance was satisfactory, and I have never been reprimanded by Respondents.
On or about September, 1998, I was returning from break when [P], Office Manager, saw me and asked me," Where is your makeup, girl." I responded that, "I just didn't wear any." I looked at her, then I walked away.
On October 23, 1998, I received an e-mail addressed to me and two other females ([S] and [J]) from [P]. She indicated that "Casual does not mean no makeup. We all look better with it; let's wear it. It's a good thing."
On November 13, 1998, [P] said, "You're not wearing make up." I responded, "No, I'm not." [P] responded, "I thought I e-mailed you a couple of weeks ago. I hired you with make up and I expect you to wear make up. Just because it's casual day doesn't mean no make up." I did not respond and walked back to my desk.
On November 13, 1998, I responded via e-mail, to [P]'s verbal comments re: make up, and informed her that I did not appreciate her unprofessional comments regarding women in the office not wearing make up.
I believe male employees are not held to a standard as the female employees are regarding make-up.
After [P] received the e-mail, she came up to my desk, and said, "How dare you? Who do you think you are? Are you trying to be cute?" I said I was responding to her e-mail. I hold her make up should not be a prerequisite for being a good secretary.
She also said, "Look at you! Look at your face! Look at that hair! You're a mess!" She then told me she was firing me for my "attitude, always being on the phone, and leaving pleadings on my desk." I was totally embarrassed and distraught.
Discharging me due to my sex (female) is a violation of Chapter 2-110 of the Chicago Municipal Code. I am seeking all relief available under the law. (Case No. 98-E-214, filed November 19, 1998.)
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(This gay man was harassed by co-workers and constructively discharged from his employment on account of his apparently effeminate presentation. His complaint was filed with the City of Chicago Commission on Human Relations.)
I am gay. On March 30, 1998, I was hired by Respondent as a Customer Service Representative. Since the beginning of my employment, I have been subjected to unfair terms and conditions because of my sexual orientation. On September 9, 1998, I was constructively discharged.
On or about April 7, 1998, my co-worker, [V], (non-gay) returned from his vacation. Upon his return, on the first day, we were introduced. However, we did not work together and we did not engage in any conversation.
On April 8, 1998, when I arrived at my work station, Mr. [V] was sitting at my desk with all of his work. He used my supplies; took items out of my desk; and he yelled at me when I moved his work from my desk. I stood or sat near my desk for 20 - 30 minutes until he decided to leave. I did not complain to management. However, [P], (non-gay) the Production Supervisor, worked in the same area and was aware of Mr. [V]'s behavior.
On August 26, 1998, I was sitting at my desk reading an article when another co-worker, [Q] (non-gay) said, "don't read that book!" After I responded, "One day [Q], you won't have me to boss around," he responded, "Don't help me. Just shut up . . . Stay out of my work area . . . I don't have time to play that girly shit. Go play it with [J]." [J] is a co-worker who works on the second shift. He is also gay.
I informed both [P] and [Z] (non-gay) the Plant Manager, of Mr. [Q}'s behavior. However, there was no action taken to rectify the problem.
Further, I often saw Mr. [V] engage in derogatory behavior such as hopping, skipping and making limp-wristed motions.
Additionally, a co-worker informed me that Mr. [V] often questioned fellow employees about my sexual orientation.
On September 9, 1998, I was compelled to resign because I could not tolerate the harassment any longer.
I believe that I was constructively discharged because of my sexual orientation, in violation of Chapter 2-160 of the Chicago Municipal Code. I am seeking all remedies available under the law. (Case No. 98-E-180, filed September 11, 1998.)
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(This gay man began being harassed, suspended, and threatened with termination by supervisory personnel at his place of employment after appearing on a television program entitled "Can you be as glamorous as a woman?" He is also paid less than other employees doing similar work. His complaint was filed with the City of Chicago Commission on Human Relations.)
I charge that I am being discriminated against and harassed by my employer because of my sexual orientation. I am gay but do not discuss my sexual orientation at work.
I have worked for Respondent since January 10, 1995. I am a press operator. I perform my job well, my production is higher than that of other press operators and I have never been written up for work issues.
Although I have always worn earring studs and small hoops in my ears, this was never an issue nor was it ever mentioned to be a safety issue until after I appeared on the Maury Povich Show in January 1998 and the fact that I am gay was revealed. Other co-workers wear posts daily and no issue of this is made by supervisors.
On or about July, 1998, my wearing earring posts and small hoops in my ears and left eyebrow has become a big issue at the work place. I believe I am being singled out by the supervisors (crew supervisors [K], [D], [W] and [C], non-gay) since I appeared on the Maury Povich television show in January, 1998. I was invited to the show because a personal friend was going to appear on the show entitled, "Can you be as glamorous as a woman?"
At the time, I had mentioned to co-workers I was going to appear on the show, but I did not discuss the topic of the show. Once the show was aired, my co-workers and supervisors became aware of my sexual orientation. I noticed co-workers at first were treating me in a different manner, but they came around, stating I am a good worker.
My former supervisor [W] (non-gay), my present supervisor [D] as well as other supervisors, however, have made a big issue about my wearing earrings. They single me out on every occasion, making it a big point to find out if I am wearing posts and hoop earrings and a small hoop earring in my eyebrow. No one else is treated the way I am being treated.
On or about June, 1998, I met with [H] (non-gay) from Human Resources. He stated that I could wear posts, but not hoop earrings because of safety reasons. I explained I wear safety glasses which cover my eyebrows entirely, including the eyebrow earring, and ear plugs for the noise which cover my ears entirely. I believe the Company treats me in a different manner from other employees who wear studs and earrings because I am gay.
On July 3, 1998, [W], my supervisor, told me that [B] (non-gay), the owner, wanted to see me because he was concerned about my wearing earrings. [B] stated that if I do not take all earrings off, I can be terminated.
On July 31, 1998, [D], my second shift supervisor, told me that the earrings "had to go." I spoke to [H] on the speaker phone and he said all earrings "had to go." When I questioned him about this decision, contrary to what he told me before, Hughes go mad and told me not to argue.
In July 1998, I was sent home three times after one or two hours of work, and on August 3, 1998, I was sent home once more even though I had taken out all of the studs and the hoop earrings except for the one place in my eyebrow, as a special instrument is needed to take it out. I had in the past covered the eyebrow earring with a band-aid. The safety glasses also cover the eyebrow earring entirely.
I also believe I am being paid less than other non-gay press operators even though I am an excellent press operator. Whenever I questioned my salary, I was harassed more by management.
Being singled out because of my sexual orientation at the work place for wearing studs and/or earrings and being paid less than non-gay press operators is a violation of Chapter 2-160 of the Chicago Municipal Code.
I seek to: a) be treated in the same manner as all other employees; and b) to have management stop harassing me; and c) to be paid a salary comparable to that of other press operators; and any other relief available to me under the law. (Case No. 98-E-155, filed August 4, 1998.)
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(This pre-operative male-to-female transsexual was brutally assaulted while attempting to patronize a neighborhood liquor store. The owners of the store watched the attack, but did nothing to intervene or assist the victim in any way. Her complaint was filed with the City of Chicago Commission on Human Relations.)
I am a pre-operation transsexual. I was subjected to discrimination when I was physically attacked because of my orientation.
On October 2, 1998, at around 9:00 p.m., I went to Respondent [a particular liquor store] to purchase some beer to take to the house of my aunt who lives in the neighborhood. I myself have purchased liquor from Respondent on several occasions because I grew up in the neighborhood. I believe they know my sexual orientation because they knew I had grown up in the neighborhood.
There were four men (names unknown, sexual orientation unknown) behind the counter on the night in question. I believe they are the owners of the store, because they have been there over the years when I have gone there to purchase liquor.
When I approached the counter, a young, drunk male customer (name unknown, sexual orientation unknown) called me a "faggot" and told me to get out of the store. The customer proceeded to beat me in the face. The owners just watched me get beaten up and they did nothing to assist me. I screamed and ran out of the store into the street, bleeding from the beating.
I was able to get to another store and they called the police for me. The police came and took me to the hospital. I had to get 36 stitches on my face.
I believe had the owners assisted me, I would not have been physically attacked.
This is sexual orientation discrimination in violation of Chapter 2-160 of the Chicago Municipal Code, and I seek all relief available under the law. (Case No. 98-PA-70, filed December 14, 1998.)
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(This transgendered person's building manager abruptly terminated her tenancy at the apartment she had occupied for approximately six years. She claims that such termination was actually due to her being transgendered and mentally retarded. Her complaint was filed with the City of Chicago Commission on Human Relations.)
I am of transgender and mentally retarded. I believe that my tenancy is being terminated [at the apartment building where I live] because of my sexual orientation and disability.
I have lived at [my apartment building] for approximately six (6) years. I have been a good tenant throughout these years, minding my business, and paying my rent on time.
Over the last six months, some of my neighbors have called me derogatory names concerning being transgendered, and have told falsehoods to the management about me. I have never exhibited any illegal or disruptive behavior towards my neighbors or to management. Examples of such behavior Mr. [P] said he has been told by tenants are: my removing light bulbs from the socket, taking fuses from fuse boxes, stealing mail and the like. None of that is true. Also, when I told [Mr. P] that the other tenants were harassing me because I am transgendered, he did nothing to stop them.
On June 29, 1998, I received a termination of tenancy notice effective July 31, 1998 from [the property management company], signed by [Mrs. P]. It did not provide any reason for the termination.
I have lived in this building for 6 years without causing problems. The Respondents' decision to believe other tenants instead of me is due to me being transgendered and mentally retarded.
I believe that the above conduct constitutes a violation of the Municipal Code of Chicago. I am seeking to be permitted to rent this apartment and be treated fairly as any other tenant and all relief available under the law. (Case No. 98-H-93, filed July 28, 1998.)
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(This individual is an intersex lesbian woman. She reported this case of discrimination in a public accommodation to It's Time Illinois in Feb. 1998. The case is reported here to show that discrimination unfortunately also occurs within the GLBT community.)
On February 7, 1998, I along with other Performance Artists was scheduled to perform at a coffee house - a place known for its "Women-born-Women" policy. Because I was working with a member of the coffee house and Literary Exchange (the organization hosting the "Herstory" Event) I assume she received permission for me to perform my Poetry, Prose & Plays in that space. We had rehearsed for months for this event. The ironic thing is, the day before this act of discrimination, I won the "Georgia Black Award." An award presented to the Trans/Intersex African-American Activist of the year.
I am known throughout Chicago for my Activism, Writings (Columnist for Lambda Publications-BLACKlines) & Performance. I am a member and Transgendered Component Director of "A Real Read." I have performed at the coffee house in the past during one of their Open Mike Poetry Readings, and I was looking forward to performing work there again.
Around 3 p.m., 3 hours before the performance, I was paged several times. When I finally returned the page, I was told that manager of the coffee house said I will not be able to perform because I am transgendered.
I didn't know how to take the news. I was hurt and ashamed that I have put myself in that situation. Another ironic thing is, while I was being discriminated against, I was also Directing a play I wrote called "Sweet Jane." The play was performed at Harold Washington Library, as part of the first ever "Transgendered Forum.
I was naïve about coffee house and their stupid policy, but it was naïve of me to think I would be able to perform in that space. Especially since I was already being picked on by the manager of the coffee house for having the guts to be an out and proud African-American Intersex Lesbian.
I wasn't trying to take over their space, but I was hoping things had changed enough for them to share it with the Trans/Intersex Community.
I was never paid for my hard work and rehearsals.
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|Number||Type of Discrimination||Comments|
|96-1||Employment||Transsexual woman. Fired after 21 years as printer, 2 months after starting transition|
|96-2||Violence, Harassment||Intersex woman. Assaulted and raped. Received biased treatment at hospital.|
|96-3||Employment||Transsexual woman. Fired after 16 yrs. in housekeeping, 3 mo.after starting transition.|
|96-4||Employment||Transsexual woman. Fired after 1 yr as proofer of printing film. Hired as a woman, fired 1 month after discovered to be transsexual.|
|96-5||Employment||Transsexual woman. Fired after years in automobile service, 1 mo. after announcing intention to transition.|
|96-6||Civil Rights Violation||Transsexual woman. Lost custody of child, home, possessions. Jailed without due process of law.|
|96-7||Sexual Harassment||Pro-op transsexual woman. 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||Brutally 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 within 6 months of informing employer, after over 20 years in management at a government agency.|
|96-15||Assault, Discrimination by Police/Paramedics||Shot twice in the back in a hate-related incident, then received discriminatory treatment.|
|96-16||Police Brutality, Medical Negligence, WrongfulDeath||Racist-motivated beating by police of a 20-year-old intersexed man, neglect by hospital, resulting in death in jail|
|96-17||Assault, Discrimination in Hospital||Hate-related aggravated assault of a crossdresser and subsequent neglect in hospital emergency room|
|96-18||Public Accommodation||Denied access to public shelters on two occasions.|
Attempt to deny access to class
registration in a public
institution of higher education.
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|Number||Type of Discrimination||Comments|
|97-1||Hate Crime, Assault||Crossdresser harassed and assaulted by stranger on street.|
|97-2||Due Process, Police Harassment||
Crossdresser falsely arrested and
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.|
|98-7||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|
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Prior to 1997, there were a handful of locations in our country that had any laws protecting transgender people from discrimination. Of course there was Minnesota (with separate ordinances in Minneapolis and St. Paul). San Francisco and Santa Cruz, Iowa City and Cedar Rapids, and Seattle. That was it! One state and five cities outside that state where we could feel safe.
In the past two years, there have been nine more cities across the country to either pass trans-inclusive gay rights legislation, or amend current legislation to include gender identity. In 1998 we saw passage of legislation in Toledo, New Orleans, Benton County (OR), West Hollywood and Ypsilanti. Before that in 1997, it was Cambridge, Evanston, Pittsburgh and Olympia. (Two more were added in the beginning of 1999: Louisville, KY and Ann Arbor, MI.)
The strategy of It's Time Illinois has always been to use the Minnesota inclusive definition of sexual orientation: "Having or perceived as having emotional, physical, or sexual attachment to another without regard to the sex of that person or having or being perceived as having an orientation for such an attachment, or having or being perceived as having a self image or identity not traditionally associated with one's biological maleness or femaleness."
The definition is very broad. It covers the entire GLBT community and then some. Not only are transgenders included, but also all other gender variant peoples who may or may not identify as "trans" anything. It also defines sexual orientation without using the words "homosexuality, heterosexuality or bisexuality. It includes affection and choice of partner and self-expression. It protects as many people as possible.
So how about other cities? How are other trans-inclusive ordinances worded? Toledo, Ypsilanti, and Evanston all include gender identity within the definition of sexual orientation. Seattle also expanded the definition of sexual orientation to include transsexuality and transvestism. The wording of the new Toledo ordinance the best because it is simple, yet totally inclusive: "Sexual orientation means a person's actual or perceived heterosexuality, bisexuality, homosexuality, or gender identity, by orientation or practice."
The approach taken in Cambridge was different, but similar in that it redefined an existing category to be more inclusive. In Cambridge, "gender" is defined as "the actual or perceived appearance, expression or identity of a person with respect to masculinity and femininity." This is another excellent way to broadly include gender variance. It is also the approach which has been used to include gender variance in the Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Santa Cruz also uses an expanded definition of gender to include transgender.
West Hollywood, Benton County, Olympia, Iowa City, San Francisco and New Orleans all define a separate category for gender identity. The best definition is West Hollywood's: "Gender Identity refers to a person's actual or perceived sex, and includes a person's identity, appearance, or behavior, whether or not that identity, appearance, or behavior is different from that traditionally associated with the person's sex at birth."
Try to include the broadest portion of the population, and don't exclude portions of the community for easy political gain. There are pitfalls in setting yourself up as a separate category. It opens the doors to a debate of special rights, and may result in a very cumbersome, narrowly defined category. For example, in the New Orleans ordinance there is a four-part definition of gender identification as well as an exclusion of cross-dressing at the workplace unless the employee can certify with a letter from a doctor that the employee has been diagnosed with gender identity disorder.
Including a medical definition in a human rights ordinance is also dangerous. It leaves your identity in the hands of and at the whim of another person. It presupposes that you have a pathological condition that requires certification from the medical profession. Using this model may guarantee your human rights, but it dehumanizes you in the process.
There are undoubtedly other strategies for inclusion in nondiscrimination ordinances. The ones which will prove to be most successful are those which are the most inclusive, establish the most linkages to the rest of the community.
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Toledo (1998): Amending various sections of the Toledo Municipal Code to include prohibition of discrimination against any person upon the basis of sexual orientation (i) "Sexual orientation" means a person's actual or perceived heterosexuality, bisexuality, homosexuality, or gender identity, by orientation or practice.
Ypsilanti MI (1998): It is the intent of the City that no person be denied the equal protection of the laws: nor shall any person be denied the enjoyment of his or her civil or political rights or be discriminated against because of race. color. religion, national origin. sex, sexual orientation, age. marital status, having a disability, familial status, educational association, source of income, height or weight . "Sexual Orientation." Heterosexuality, male or female homosexuality, bisexuality or gender identity.
Evanston (1997): an equal opportunity to secure employment or to enjoy the benefits of employment without discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation (as defined in Section 5-5-6 of this Code), marital status, age or physical or mental handicaps that do not impair ability to work. (Also covered fair housing, public accommodations, human relations commission) "Sexual orientation" is defined as: Having or perceived as having emotional, physical, or sexual attachment to another without regard to the sex of that person or having or being perceived as having an orientation for such an attachment, or having or being perceived as having a self image or identity not traditionally associated with one's biological maleness or femaleness.
Seattle: "Discrimination," "discriminate," and/or "discriminatory act" means any act, by itself or as part of a practice, which is intended to or results in different treatment or differentiates between or among individuals or groups of individuals by reason of race, color, age, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, political ideology, creed, religion, ancestry, national origin; or the presence of any sensory, mental or physical handicap . "Sexual orientation" means actual or perceived male or female heterosexuality, bisexuality, homosexuality, transsexuality, or transvestism and includes a person's attitudes, preferences, beliefs and practices pertaining thereto.
Minnesota (1993): Sexual orientation. "Sexual orientation" means having or being perceived as having an emotional, physical, or sexual attachment to another person without regard to the sex of that person or having or being perceived as having an orientation for such attachment, or having or being perceived as having a self-image or identity not traditionally associated with one's biological maleness or femaleness. "Sexual orientation" does not include a physical or sexual attachment to children by an adult.
Cambridge (1997): "Discrimination" means a policy or practice that by design or effect segregates, creates unequal status, separates or has a disproportionate impact on the basis of race, color, sex, age, religious creed, disability, national origin or ancestry, sexual orientation, gender, marital status, family status, military status or source of income "Sexual orientation" means the actual or supposed heterosexuality, homosexuality or bisexuality. "Gender" means the actual or perceived appearance, expression or identity of a person with respect to masculinity and femininity.
Santa Cruz: It is the intent of the city council, in enacting this chapter, to protect and safeguard the right and opportunity of all persons to be free from all forms of arbitrary discrimination, including discrimination based on age, race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital status, sex, gender, sexual orientation, height, weight or physical characteristic . "Gender" shall have the same meaning as "sex" as that term is used herein and shall be broadly interpreted to include persons who are known or assumed to be transgendered.
West Hollywood (1998): It is hereby declared as the public policy of the City of West Hollywood that it is necessary to protect and safeguard the right and opportunity of all persons to be free from discrimination on account of sexual orientation and/or gender identity Gender Identity refers to a person's actual or perceived sex, and includes a person's identity, appearance, or behavior, whether or not that identity, appearance, or behavior is different from that traditionally associated with the person's sex at birth. Sexual Orientation refers to a person's actual or perceived identity as being lesbian, gay, bisexual or heterosexual or as having one or more attributes commonly associated with being lesbian, gay, bisexual or heterosexual.
Benton County Oregon (1998): It is the policy of the County to eliminate discrimination based on race, religion, color, sex, marital status, familial status, national origin, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or source of income "Gender identity" includes the status of being transsexual or transgender. "Sexual orientation" means actual or supposed perceived homosexuality, heterosexuality or bisexuality.
Olympia Washington (Fair Housing Code, 1997): to prohibit discrimination in housing by any person. including real estate brokers, associate brokers, salespersons, owners of real property and lenders to forward the cause of community, and to secure a reduction of tensions and discriminations because of race, color, religion, national origin, gender. familial status, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, the use of a trained guide dog or service animal by a disabled person, marital status. sexual orientation. or gender identity or the perception thereof. "Gender Identity" includes the status of being transsexual, transvestite, or transgender.
Iowa City (1995): Amending Title 2, "Human Rights," City Code, by adding the definition of gender identity, and by adding Gender identity as a protected class "Gender Identity": A person's various individual attributes, actual or perceived, in behavior, practice or appearance, as they are understood to be masculine and/or feminine.
San Francisco (1993): It is the policy of the City and County of San Francisco to eliminate discrimination based on race, religion, color, ancestry, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or place of birth within the City and County "Gender Identity" shall mean a person's various individual attributes as they are understood to be masculine and/or feminine.
New Orleans (1998): No law shall arbitrarily and capriciously or unreasonably discriminate against a person because of birth, disability, age, sex sexual orientation, gender identification, culture, language, social origin, or political affiliation.
b) "Gender identification" is the actual or perceived condition, status or acts of: 1) identifying emotionally or psychologically with the sex other than one's biological or legal sex at birth, whether or not there has been a physical change of the organs of sex, 2) presenting and/or holding oneself out to the public as a member of the biological sex that was not one's biological or legal sex at birth, 3) lawfully displaying physical characteristics and/or behavioral characteristics and/or expressions which are widely perceived as being more appropriate to the biological or legal sex other than one's biological sex at birth, as when a male is perceived as feminine or a female is perceived as masculine, and/or 4) being physically and/or behaviorally androgynous.
c) Nothing in this Chapter shall prohibit an employer from prohibiting cross- dressing in the work place or while an employee is acting in the course and scope of his or her employment "Cross-dressing" shall mean the wearing of clothing, cosmetics, footwear and/or other accouterments generally deemed or perceived as inappropriate to the gender that was one biological or legal gender at birth and/or generally deemed or perceived as more appropriate to the gender that was not one's biological or legal gender at birth. "Cross-dressing" shall be deemed not to include the regular wearing of clothing, cosmetics, footwear and/or other accouterments which is appropriate to the gender other than his or her biological or legal gender at birth with which an employee or applicant identifies if the employee or applicant provides the employer with the written statement of a licensed doctor or other health care professional certifying that the employee or presents the characteristics of gender identification disorder or another similar status or condition and that the employee or applicant intends prospectively to attire and conduct himself or herself for the foreseeable future in the employee's employment and workplace or workplaces in the manner appropriate for persons of the gender with which he or she identifies.
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Q. What does It's Time, Illinois
A. We are seeking legislation which would add gender identity and/or expression as protected categories under existing state and county anti-discrimination laws.
Q. What do we mean by "gender
identity" and "gender expression"?
A. Simply put, "gender identity" is the gender of the person you know you are, have been, and always will be. It is your core identity. "Gender expression" is how you choose to present your identity to the world. Everybody has a gender identity. Most of the time, except for transgendered or gender variant people, identity and expression conform to biological sex.
Q. What does "transgendered" mean?
A. A "transgendered" person is someone whose gender identity or expression differs from conventional expectations of masculinity or femininity. Typically, their gender identity differs from their physical sex. Because of this, their gender expression conflicts with currently defined societal gender norms.
Q. Are all gender variant people
considered to be transgendered?
A. No. Gender variance, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. An gender variant individual may be a transsexual or crossdresser; or a gay man or lesbian who is perceived as "too feminine" or "too masculine"; or a straight man or woman who someone thinks is a little bit too effeminate or aggressive. Any of these may find themselves discriminated against because of their gender expression. After all, they're all considered "gender outlaws" in the eyes of society.
Q. How many gender variant
people are there?
A. That's a really hard one to answer. It has been estimated that a few percent of the population are transgendered to some extent. Many of these are crossdressers who may express their gender only on rare occasions. Transsexuals probably only account for a small fraction of a percent of the population. But gender variant people, those whom others may perceive as straying outside of their gender role expectations, could include as many as 1 out of 10 or 20.
Q. How did transgendered people
get that way?
A. Transgendered people are born this way and have no choice in who they are. This is not a lifestyle choice. It is determined by a physiological process that starts in the womb. Most transgendered children know that they are somehow different early in childhood, typically between the ages of 4 and 10, well before puberty ever sets in.
Q. Aren't gender variant people
covered under existing human rights laws?
A. Except for Evanston, there is no protection from any form of discrimination for transgendered persons living in the state of Illinois. Laws protecting persons based on appearance, sex, sexual orientation or disability have not afforded transgendered persons any legal recourse. Transgendered people have been found by courts to be outside all definitions of such anti-discrimination laws.
Q. What about laws protecting
gays and lesbians?
A. First of all, there are a very few places in Illinois (Chicago, Cook County, and Champaign/Urbana) that have laws providing protection for gays and lesbians. In these laws, sexual orientation is defined as heterosexuality, homosexuality, or bisexuality. These terms refer to the gender of the person to whom the individual is attracted, not to one's self identity. A discrimination case will be thrown out of court unless a transgendered person proves that discrimination was based on sexual orientation.
Q. How did Evanston include
A. In 1997, the City of Evanston, by unanimous vote of city council, amended their human rights ordinance by redefining "sexual orientation" to include real or perceived gender identity. By adding these few words, they immediately were able to provide protection to all gender variant people living and working in Evanston.
Q. Just how are transgendered
people discriminated against?
A. Like other marginalized minorities, transgendered persons face employment and housing discrimination. They are also denied public accommodations and access to health care for their medical conditions. They are also potential targets for hate crimes: verbal harassment, hate mail, harassing telephone calls and even acts of violence committed by the same persons who hate gays. It's Time, Illinois! has documented cases of all these types of discrimination.
Q. Are other gender variant people also discriminated against?
A. Individuals who do not identify as transgendered may also find themselves persecuted on the same basis. For example, last year we documented three cases in which a gay or lesbian was singled out in an employment situation because they were perceived as "too feminine" or "too masculine." The laws that were enacted to protect gay rights leave out protection for gender variant gay men and lesbians. This is the best argument for amending existing legislation to include a new definition of "sexual orientation" which encompasses both affection relationships and gender identity.
Q. Are legal protections necessary?
Aren't they special rights?
A. Transgender inclusion in human rights laws is not about protecting a special class, it is about guaranteeing that all individuals have the right to express their gender regardless of whether they are within the boundaries of traditionally accepted gender roles.
Q. Are there any places with
laws to protect gender variant people?
A. The only state which has such a law is Minnesota . A dozen cities around the US have municipal ordinances that specifically protect individuals from discrimination based on their gender identity or expression. These include Santa Cruz, San Francisco, West Hollywood, Seattle, Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Minneapolis, St. Paul, Evanston, Pittsburgh, Cambridge, Ypsilanti, and New Orleans. Most of these jurisdictions expanded their definition of "sexual orientation" to include gender identity. Cambridge expanded their definition of gender to include all gender expressions.
Q. Who supports laws to protect
gender variant people?
A. In 1997 the Chicago Advisory Council on Gay and Lesbian Issues (ACGLI) unanimously passed a resolution calling for the amendment of the Chicago Human Rights Ordinance to include such protection. The Illinois Federation for Human Rights (IFHR), the National Organization of Women (NOW), the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF), Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), as well as the Chicago Bar Association and Lucent Technologies, just to name a few, have all gone on record supporting laws to protect gender variant people.
P.O. Box 3932
Oak Park, IL 60303
Phone: (312) 409-5489
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