Alex Blaze

Susan Stanton working again

Filed By Alex Blaze | April 10, 2009 2:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: Florida, lake worth, largo, susan stanton, transgender

Congrats to Susan Stanton, the woman who lost her job as city manager two years ago because she began the process of transitioning. She's working again in her field of expertise.

Susan Stanton, fired two years ago from her job as city manager in Largo, Fla. after she announced she was transitioning, has been hired as the new city manager of Lake Worth.

City commissioners voted this week to hire Stanton. She had been one of four finalists for the job.

I'm sure Lake Worth is lucky to have her. And even though she said that she and all transgender people need to "prove they're still viable workers," I'm still glad she was hired for a position for which she was qualified and that they saw that her work had already proved she was a viable worker.


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I am pleased for Ms Stanton.
I hope that she is happy in her new position and in her life there.

I can only say the same thing. She should never have been fired in the first place, but it's good she found similar work later on.

Does anyone here believe that if she'd been fired for being gay, she'd still be out of work 2 years later?

Does anyone believe that if someone fired for being gay was ever re-hired, it would be so unusual as to make headlines?

That's why removing T's from ENDA was such a betrayal. There were many justifications about the "millions of gays in flyover country" who were in danger of having to work for minimum wages. But for T's, working for minimum wages is a step up for them.

25% in fulltime employment. 35% in part-time employment. Average wage for those in any kind of employment, $15,000.

If those "millions of gays in flyover country" had the same situation, or even twice as good, then deletion of T rights might have been justified on the basis of "greatest good for greatest number". Instead it was taking the most oppressed and oppressing them further - all for the sake of a bill that never actually gave anyone any benefit, something that was just for show, to send a message.

The message that was sent wasn't the one that gays deserve rights though - it was that T's don't.

If she had been gay, I am sure that some municipality would have come up to the plate to offer her a position immediately, Zoe.
40% unemployment and a nearly 50% HIV rate from sex work(by some studies) speaks eloquently of the need for a Trans-Inclusive ENDA.

I'm very happy for Susan Stanton. I'm also a bit surprised. I previously predicted she'd never be hired as a city manager again. Not only did she have to battle discrimination against transpeople and against women, she exacerbated her situation by letting a CNN crew follow her around for a year. They even were allowed to record her at a job interview. This is not a good strategy for convincing politicians that one is a steady professional who will try to avoid controversy--a prime qualification for a city manager. (The documentary CNN filmed will premiere at the end of the month. I hope she has her employment contract all wrapped up before it's shown.)

She recently told a friend that she now realizes this was a mistake, and that she will not be speaking to anyone in the media ever again about trans issues. Apparently she has convinced the Lake Worth commissioners that she's not going to embarrass them for hiring her. Perhaps we'll never hear about her again after the documentary--which might be the best thing for her.

This is not a good strategy for convincing politicians that one is a steady professional who will try to avoid controversy--a prime qualification for a city manager.

I wonder if avoiding controversy isn't a good practice for anyone seeking a job? Certainly a city manager is expected to present sober and restrained, but don't most employers try to avoid potential employees who carry a lot of baggage?

At any rate, I am very glad Susan has been hired. A newspaper article, published a year and a half ago, mentioned that she had already applied for over 100 positions and fielded only four interviews. She's had a long search. And its a search she shouldn't have been forced to make.

Angela Brightfeather | April 13, 2009 3:58 PM

Well, congratulations to Susan are in order.

I am assuming here, that Lake Worth has already got a Trans inclusive HR policy in their city records. I looked up the Lake Worth Township and searced for their employment and HR group, but could not find anything about their policy on sexual orientation or gender identity and expression.

So now I am wondering if they don't have a policy, will they have one now that Susan Stanton is hired as the new City Manager? I'm also wondering if Susan will be setting any policy about "men in dresses" that might be found roaming around the Lake Worth area? When her comments about "those types of people" was aired early on in her transition, it met with a huge, "oh no, not another Transexual purist" by many in our community and one has to wonder now, if she is going to separate herself from the Transgender community as much as she is seeking to divorce herself from the media.

While I am happy for Susan, as I am happy for any Trans person who is able to continue their career during and after transition, I still have not heard any kind of apology to those in our community who were thoroughly insulted by her earlier remarks which constantly lent credit to the argument that a transgender person is less than realistic unless they have had the compulsory surgical cure and paid their dues to the medical community.

In any event, I wish her the best and know that she will do a great job. My hope is that she can serve as an "out" example of the fact that when undergoing sexual surgery, your brain continues to function as before and you are not robbed of the experience and expertise gained over the many years before such surgery.