Dr. Jillian T. Weiss

ENDA: More Trans Follies

Filed By Dr. Jillian T. Weiss | January 15, 2010 10:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics, Politics
Tags: employment discrimination, Employment Non-Discrimination Act, ENDA, transgender, transgender bathrooms, transsexual

Representative Barney Frank, quoted in the Advocate, has said that the House Committee on Education and Labor will mark up ENDA sometime in February, with a full House vote in March. Right now, of course, the Congress Channel is all health care reform, all the time.

follies.jpgRepresentative Frank dropped a bombshell by noting that the revisions are not confined to the three issues of which we were previously told. Those were the issues of lawyer's fees for ENDA plaintiffs (originally yes but now no), whether a plaintiff could receive double recovery under multiple statutes (always a no), and whether a disparate-impact case (institutional discrimination) could be brought (also always a no). It didn't make much sense to hold up ENDA for those issues, as they were pretty easily resolvable. We had a pretty good idea that something else was going on, and we heard it was about trans inclusion, and that was flatly denied.

And now, here it is. Said Representative Frank: "There continues to be concerns on the part of many members about the transgender issue, particularly about the question of places where people are without their clothes -- showers, bathrooms, locker rooms, etc.," said Frank. "We still have this issue about what happens when people who present themselves as one sex but have the physical characteristics of the other sex, what rules govern what happens in locker rooms, showers, etc."

Notice that Representative Frank's statement now slips in the word "bathroom" in between showers and locker rooms, and says that all three involve people without clothes. Of course, that's not true, because people in the United States do not disrobe in public multi-use bathrooms.

To her credit, Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, said she did not believe it was necessary to address bathroom situations in the legislation. I agree with her. As someone who has worked with many employers, large and small, each situation is quite different. Bathroom situations cannot be handled by hard and fast rules, because employers in different part of the country and in different industrial sectors are subject to different cultural environments. There are many different types of surgical operations that are called "sex reassignment surgery," and particularly in the case of FTMs, very few opt for phalloplasty because of its notoriously poor results. Also, each building has a different situation depending on the number of multi-use bathrooms available. It is not a solution to make every transsexual or transgender person use a single-use lockable bathroom, because that segregates the transgender person, singles them out for different treatment, and can constitute a failure to respect their gender identity. Conversely, some trans people may want to use a single-use bathroom, in the first 3 months or so of their transition, because it makes them feel more comfortable.

This is a complicated decision mediated by many factors, and in my book on the subject of transgender workplace diversity, I devote dozens of pages to suggest the types of solutions that might work in different settings. How are you going to put that into a bill? One size does not fit all.

But it's pretty obvious that bathroom restrictions are not being considered because of any rational concern about the real practicalities faced by transgender people. If that were the case, provisions on this subject would have been in the bill when it was first introduced in 2006. They thought carefully about the dressing room issue, and came up with a solution that is workable and protects everyone's privacy. They left out the bathroom issue because, frankly, it doesn't belong in the bill. Regulations could easily be issued later by the Labor Department that could address some of the complexities.

No, these bathroom restrictions are not being considered on any rational basis. They're being considered to assuage the irrational fears that Congressmembers are feeling. Rather than educating themselves by calling experts on the subject who have dealt with these issues over and over and over again, rather than having even a single witness at the hearings who could speak to the issues, they are making up stuff. They are making up stuff based on their nameless, wordless fears and anxieties that have no relation to actual reality because none of them have even seen a work transition in operation. Even in Hollywood, when they write a script, they call in people who've done it to ask them what it's really like. Not in DC, apparently.

Interestingly, Keisling slipped another issue into the mix. She said that "most of the issues being discussed are more technical in nature, such as who pays for attorneys' fees, how to notify an employer when someone is transitioning to another gender, and blocking plaintiffs from recovering damages under two different statutes."

How to notify an employer when someone is transitioning to another gender? This could be as innocuous as noting that one ought to mention something to one's employer before transitioning, or it could be as onerous as imposing some sort of doctor's note that contains certain magic language. I'm glad Ms. Keisling is there keeping them honest, but I know the pressures to which one is subjected in Washington, and it doesn't pay to make enemies by opposing the powers-that-be too loudly.

As an outsider, let me just say right here and now: I will be opposed to any provisions that impose any undue burden on transsexual or transgender people, who are already going through a difficult enough process as it is. I don't know what you're thinking of coming up with, Chairman Miller, but I do not need permission to live my life as a transsexual or transgender person.

Trans people have existed since time immemorial, as noted in books such as Leslie Feinberg's Transgender Warriors, long before any sort of medical or surgical intervention existed. While some trans people choose to take advantage of medical help in transitioning from one gender to another, others do not. I believe that it is their right not to do so. I do not believe the government has the right to tell them to do so, or face negative consequences. In fact, our constitution guarantees a right to make private decisions without government interference. That right to privacy means that one has the right to live one's life as one sees fit, without the government overseeing and approving.

I have written a recent law review article on this very subject, which is coming out shortly in the Touro Journal of Race, Gender and Ethnicity. Its central thesis is that there is a right to gender autonomy -- a right of self-determination of one's gender, free from state control, and the right to self-identify as that gender, free from state contradiction.

I know there are many, both on the right and on the left, who will assert that no such right exists. But our Supreme Court has struck down laws outlawing gay relationships that make gay sex into a crime. They said it violated the right to privacy. They said no to the government claim that gay relationships are immoral. The Court agreed that the government has an interest in outlawing immoral conduct, but said that the government must show that the law is rationally related to its interest. Making sodomy illegal was not rationally related to the state's interest in morality. Is a doctor's note requirement in order for me to transition rationally related to some government interest? I don't think so.

Now, I do not know what kinds of restrictions Chairman Miller is thinking of putting on the right to transition. We are left to wonder from these vague hints that are coming out. I don't know if there's a doctor's note required, or a note from your mom, or some form that has to be filled out. I'm not against the idea that an employee should tell his or her employer before the public event of gender transition. I want to make sure the law works for both employers and employees. But I am against anything that is going to be demeaning to transsexual or transgender people. I await these developments with great interest.


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Dr. Weiss, it is with great disappointment I read of the continuing slurs against transgender people on the part of Barney Frank--though by this time, how could anyone be truly surprised, not only by Frank, but by the intentional conflation in the discourse around the bathroom issue. As you declare:

It is not a solution to make every transsexual or transgender person use a single-use lockable bathroom, because that segregates the transgender person, singles them out for different treatment, and can constitute a failure to respect their gender identity.

With respect, how can anyone understand jargon such as this which, as Rebecca Juro in a recent piece, is unable to see the difference between those who intend to proceed to surgery and those who do not, and those who do and those who do not.

I appreciate your use of both terms, but there seems, as in the cite above, a tendency to submit to the transgender orthodoxy. This is not ideological, this concern has serious ramifications: at what point, if any, do post-surgical transsexual people, having publicly transitioned gender--and had surgery--cease to be subject to the same legislation that bars, as Frank points out

people who present themselves as one sex but have the physical characteristics of the other sex, what rules govern what happens in locker rooms, showers, etc

Transsexual people, post surgery, do not "present themselves as one sex but have the physical characteristics of the other sex" and to insist, using only one conceptual category, or demand for political coalition we be treated as if we were, to surrender what we have worked our lives for, is hardly what I'd call justice.

In some ways, pointing to the physicality of this, Frank seems to grasp the essence, unlike some who demand subservience to a political ideology, miss.

Sex and gender are not the same.

Transsexual people, for all the political correctness that demands, somehow the opposite, do not "present themselves as one sex but have the physical characteristics of the other sex."

We have the model of gay and lesbian people dividing the community to get the political gains they feel they are entitled to, regardless of the damage done to the rest of us, why must we sacrifice our lives to a notion of coalition no one else subscribes to?

Jessica, just a couple of points.

Sex and Gender are not the same, as you noted. Concordantly, there are some people who cross the sex line but do not cross the gender line. That is, they are post surgical individuals who still live in the gender roles and expressions of their birth.

They are indeed transsexuals, as well -- you do not have the authority or power or privilege to determine for them what they are not when they have already had that done, and your opinion on their status is meaningless and irrelevant.

Secondly, post surgical trans folk, transsexual and otherwise (for not only transsexuals receive or seek surgical intervention), are always affected by the law as such, since the law will always see them according to whatever odd purposes it sets forth.

If the law is discriminatory, it will affect them. If the law is not, it will affect them.

Socially, they may have no issues, but in terms of legal aspects, they will always be affected by such to different degrees. As a point, some post corrected transsexuals are always legally the opposite since they cannot correct birth certificate or passport, even post surgery, and therefore, legally, will always have that incorrect aspect over them under the law.

I hope this helped without upsetting you too much, as the points are more important than the politcal differences.

Its not often, and certainly not usual, for self-identified trans people to personalize their comments in the way you have, Toni, though other often do; however, it doesn't enhance the quality of anyone's argument.

It you wish to address my ideas and arguments, please do--many seem to prefer to do other things.

I did address the substance of your post, Jessica.

Specifically, the points you raised re:

1 - "Transsexual people, post surgery, do not "present themselves as one sex but have the physical characteristics of the other sex"..."

(which is incorrect, since some post corrected transsexual people do, which is what I was addressing and supporting with related notes on the potential subject of who determines such)

and

2 - "... at what point, if any, do post-surgical transsexual people, having publicly transitioned gender--and had surgery--cease to be subject to the same legislation... "

(to which the answer is never, regardless of this particular law passing or not.)

The only point at which I personalized the issue (as I was, notably, not referring to myself) was when I used your as an examplar of a wider general point that the particulars of who is and who is not a transsexual is not subject to the opinions of persons who are not responsible for having made the particular diagnosis.

So it really wasn't personal, which is why I noted at the end that I would hope you would see that it wasn't personal, and overlook our respective philosophical differences.


Jessica:

Dr. Weiss actually talked about that when she said,

"There are many different types of surgical operations that are called "sex reassignment surgery," and particularly in the case of FTMs, very few opt for phalloplasty because of its notoriously poor results."

*Sometimes* a post-op transsexual person *does* still have physical characteristics of their birth-sex.

"Transsexual people, post surgery, do not "present themselves as one sex but have the physical characteristics of the other sex"

Perhaps you are forgetting about FTMs, many of whom choose to forego the bottom surgery and therefore retain some "physical characteristics of the other sex".

Jessica, thank you for your thoughtful comments. I think your criticism of me is well-placed when you suggest that I agree with the "transgender orthodoxy." Yes, I subscribe to the notion that post-operative transsexuals, pre-operative transsexuals and non-operative transsexuals should be treated equally. I know we disagree about the wisdom of that position.

I do not agree with you when you say that "transsexual people, for all the political correctness that demands, somehow the opposite, do not 'present themselves as one sex but have the physical characteristics of the other sex.'" Transsexual people do present themselves as one sex when they have the physical characteristics of the other -- and that is when they are in a pre-surgery condition.

You question when post-surgery transsexual people should cease to be subject to legislation that bars people who present themselves as one sex but have the physical characteristics of the other. That seems obvious. To the extent that post-surgery transsexual people have their sex presentation (i.e., gender) and their sex in alignment, they would not be subject to any such ban. The suggested ban would only affect transsexual and transgender people who have not had their gender and their sex surgically aligned. So this would not harm you now, but it would have harmed you at the point when you were living as a female but not having had bottom surgery yet. I think it would have been wrong to discriminate against you then, and it would be wrong to discriminate against others now in that condition.

Even if you don't appreciate my comments--as most on this site don't--I certainly appreciate your appreciation, Dr. Weiss.

I'm well aware of the difference between those whose trajectory is surgery and those whose trajectory isn't. Equally, I'm aware of the status of those F2M who do not choose bottom surgery--it not being either inexpensive or reliable.

I am also aware of those who, for other reasons--financial, family, medical--are unable to transition.

In Ontario where I live, the provincial human rights commission has adopted a policy--not yet by statue in this jurisdiction--that those who present full time in their target gender/sex are entitled to use the gender segregated facilities that conform to their full time presentation.

I am reasonably happy with this--though would wish that, just as sexual orientation was adopted more than a decade ago, that gender identity, which would regularize this, would be legally declared.

As an adherent of the doctrine of social determinants of health I believe this is a necessary step in the ongoing healthy lives of those who endure the medical condition called transsexuality.

I wonder about the call for those who do not present full time to share this right under human rights law--that is, in accommodation, services and employment--and what it will do for those who do present full time. I hate this designation.

As I remember, Frank specifically mentioned those who presented one gender on day and another on another. This fluidity is certainly valued in transgressive communities, but I am less convinced it is elsewhere. This is one of the themes Julia Serano raises in her book, but didn't feel comfortable enough to raise in her recent GritTv interview discussed elsewhere on Bilerico. This is an important issue not considered important among those who lives are lived in these very communities; those of who do not, and seek to integrate in the larger society are, well, not appreciated by those who do.

I also really dislike the emphasis on identities, even to create an identity out of transsexuality. In this way I rather appreciate Frank's operationalizing this.

Identities are not very helpful.

Even categories seem less than perfect, though are significantly closer, in my opinion, than identities--or conditions reified into identities.

I will never understand the sexual panic that infests American society. For the years I was pre-surgery, I never had any trouble using the sex/gender-segregated facilities--public washrooms, basically--that I was entitled to.

The only situations I have ever heard of in Ontario concern those who transitioned in place as it was once termed. And the case of the pre-surgery woman who decided to use, or try to use, a women's gym.

I can only wonder at the fear that permeates America. Maybe those who struggle for the rights we discuss here might be better advised to focus on the conditions that cause this.

Maybe the very conditions that lead to the majority of those on the Remembering list to be women of colour--and poor--that is, class, race and gender, ought to be the focus.

I would like to clarify my position. I do not advocate that those who present part time should have a right to use the bathroom of their choice. Under the current ENDA language, employers would have the right to decide on bathroom usage. I think that is the right outcome, and I am concerned that language attempting to control employer discretion could result in major problems.

One of the most egregious cases in Ontario in recent years concerned a post surgery transsexual woman who worked for the international company Siemans. (No humour on this, please!)

Her employer required her to use a washroom far from her work site, far from those who felt threatened by her; it was in an uncomfortable and disagreeable location. I don't remember the details--except that the employer appeared to have the right to determine where this woman could pee. Human rights law, like most law--especially that which is not yet statutory--is always after the fact.

I, for one, do not believe this is just--which is why I believe the law in Canada and Ontario must be amended.

Why should a woman--we are all agreed, I hope, that a post transitioned, post surgical male to female transsexual person is a woman--be required, by law, to pee wherever her boss tells her.

Jessica wrote:

"Why should a woman--we are all agreed, I hope, that a post transitioned, post surgical male to female transsexual person is a woman..."

Jessica, this relates to something has really been bothering me lately, related to legal status of even post-op transsexuals...

The thing I am struggling with (set off mostly by a post by Antonia yesterday) is that it seems in many jurisdictions, even if you have had SRS and your records are aligned with your current, post-operative anatomical status, you are still not fully a legal female--you can still be declared a male if your status as a female is relevant to someone.

I think the cases I was led to by that thread were mainly in states that don't allow the birth records to be revised, but I wonder whether when it comes right down to it, even in states that will change records, you can still be judged to be male at any time. I base this on some of the case histories where the changes in records were called administrative ('clerical') rather than change in legal status ('judicial').

It seems to me that no matter what we do, we are allowed to be considered women only to the degree that it is convenient for the State, as Antonia said above. I hate this, and wish that there was some step you could take to just be a woman (if that is what we want, which as you point out, not everyone does), period, but that doesn't seem to exist...

This is an interesting point. I have just read something that confirms what I had thought--from watching Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, no less--regarding sex classification in American prisons.

Regardless of legal documentation, prison authorities determine which prison one is incarcerated in on the basis of genital configuration.

So, in the United Stated, regardless of what my documents say, I will be incarcerated in a women's prison.

Not that I intend to end up in one.

Another point: this has never seemed a point of contention, not to the same degree, in Canada as in the United States.

I seem to be coming back to the point I recently raised regarding backround stress and panic that seems to high, and rising, in the United States.

All the reports of deaths, not only of trans people, but also gay and lesbian people, people of colour--and all the intersections of these characteristics.

Maybe the more effective focus of all attention might be better spent on these backround stresses that lead to panic.

One of the leading thoughts--though never executed in action--while I worked both at Canadians for Equal Marriage and Egale Canada, was the notion of intersectionality, the notion that one can/must seek common cause, a true coalition.

I kinda don't think, from my own experience in Canada, or from what I read of the United States, including what I read on this and other sites, that, particularly for those who have had some measure of success--and more money that, say, the trans women who end up working on the streets--there is no real thought of addressing anything other than their own, immediate goal.

Which seems, as it was in Canada, marriage--and then, as it was in Canada, they will go home.

I had a feeling this would all boil down to "how much icky-trans acceptance can be bargained away while keeping the community placated." I have a feeling that this bill will be come little more than a limp piece of paper once it comes out of these kinds of meetings, and from there it'll be back to marriage, marriage, marriage.

Sorry. I'm a bit cynical about the whole ball o' wax anymore.

Okay....waiting for the more vociferous members of the LGB community to insist that Transgendered people aren't REALLY part of the community after all and if this is what's required to get ENDA passed, well those Transgendered persons are just awfully selfish to demand inclusion.

Head over to AmericaBlog and wait ten or fifteen minutes :D

Margaretpoa Margaretpoa | January 15, 2010 2:02 PM

No thanks. I stopped giving Aravosis traffic after his last bigoted rant.

And in all of this, not a single word on those who are Intersexed. Yeah, I'm Trans but Im IS as well. The issues Frank brought up? I have had to deal with them every day of my life and I'm tired of ignorant people thinking they know what's best for me.
Doc, give'em hell!

Sounds to me like Barney and friends are trying hard to find ways to dump us like last time. I would never pass the between the legs test for the "bathroom" test.

Cathy
Politics is a contact sport with no rules.

Angela Brightfeather | January 15, 2010 11:26 PM

Well, again, I told you so.
I just don't know why people don't understand that all this legal mumbo jumbo has to be boiled down to a much simpler thing, or we will be fighting with each other, half the Trans community trying to divorce the other half, ala HRC, so that some kind of ENDA gets passed.

The fact that outside of a few people who understand the issues as deeply as previously noted on this subject by lawyers, post ops and psychotherpists, if anyone thinks that members of Congress will understand anything that you say is pure nonsence. They, like Frank, will not even try. All they see is water closets or urinals and who should use one or the other. If anyone thinks that they will grasp the concepts being talked about here, that touch on subjects like, how transtioned is transitioned, then understand that they won't. You are just spinning your wheels and intellectualizing while also playing into the hands of thosw who would try their best to make our community turn against itself, into camps of pre or post op people.

As always, Frank and others are looking for the bandage to put on the sore and in this case the sore has to deal with the bathroom and how many of the religious right are going to kick up their heels on this issue to make Dems look far to liberal before the mid terms. I am quite sure that Limbaugh is back there just waiting for this ENDA thing about bathrooms to break so he can perform his own form of castration on all of us.

As I see it, this is their feel up move to try and get us to start saying, "well, if there hasn't been an operation of some kind that is irreversable, then what do you want us to do? The next day a person could change their mind and show up demanding to use the other bathroom. That's just unacceptable. Even if it isn't against any laws." Phooey! Hogwash! Bull Sh..t!

What we need here is to turn it right back at them and tell them that if they don't want certain people in certan b athrooms, then pass a law against it or shut the hell up and let people work it out for themselves. Stop trying to create situations in your own mind that just don't happen enough for people to worry about it. Discrimination against someone to the point of their losing their jobs has nothing at all to do with where they want to take a crap or who is going to complain about it. Pass ENDA and if some holy roller wants to file a lawsuit about a post or pre op using the same bathroom as they do, let the employers decide what they are going to do, so long as they don't fire anyone for being being Transgender, no matter how you want to define it.

It's going to be either that way and we all stand together on this, or there is going to be some people who are Transgender, who are going to be more acceptable than other Transgender people and I'm very sorry, but that is absolutely not correct and not what we have been fighting for all these years.

That's what all this boils down to folks. Either the post op Trans people get on the right side of the track and go along with agreeing that if there is any question about who is using what, then a piece of paper showing that you have had something either cut of or added surgically, had better be handy or look for another place to "do your business". Our freedom to work should never boil down to what kind of Transgender person are we.

One of my best friends works for IBM, one of the best companies to work for if you are an LGBT person. A few years back, one of their religion zealots decided to sue IBM for allowing my friend to use the woman's restroom. She made a big deal about it and it even made the local print and visual media. Keep in mind, this was here is Georgia.

IBM stood fast with their decision and told the bigot that if she had a problem with my friend using a certain restroom, then she can just go to another one. In reality, my friend never used the same restroom the other person used.

The judge threw out the case because it didn't violate IBM's internal policy. They get to make the rules. The woman was fired a year later for unrelated issues.

Also, if anyone thinks that surgery is an automatic shield against discrimination, they are sadly diluting themselves. Some will still call you an abomination. As in an earlier post about Amanda Simpson, others will say you mutilated your body, so you're not really a woman. And others will think they know what sex chromosomes you have.

Stealth is no longer possible in the 21st Century, unless you live in a tiny town in the Yukon, you moved there after your surgery, you never used the internet, you don't have a Social Security number, you don't use banks, you don't have any credit score, you don't drive, you don't have a doctor and you don't have a lover. Yes, you can be stealth, if you become a hermit.

And for those thinking that using your first name only here on Bilerico is somehow keeping your identity safe, think again. Your computer has a specific fingerprint called an "IP address." A clever computer geek can back-trace an IP address to your server, and with some simple hacking, get all the billing info on you.

Bottom line is that those post-ops who think they no longer need the protection from ENDA (which is not going to affect people in Canada, hint, hint,) they are not facing the reality out there. Just ask the so-called "classic transsexuals" who can't get a job for being trans.

Margaretpoa Margaretpoa | January 16, 2010 9:09 AM

I've never understood the philosophy of accommodating the bigots by infringing on the rights of their targets. Isn't that what separate but equal was all about? Isn't that ultimately the reasoning behind don't ask, don't tell? Kudos to IBM for not knuckling under.

And as far as I'm concerned, the post op who then quietly blends in is selfish and a special kind of coward. I thoroughly appreciate the desire to just blend in to the general population and having been a victim of bashing and police harassment, doubly so but the fact is that blending in doesn't help anybody but yourself. I got more active post op, not less so.

Oh, and not using my last name has nothing to do with being trans. I'm "out" wherever I am. At my job, with my friends, obviously with my family. It may be okay for someone with a fairly common surname but my name is almost unique to my family members and I don't put it out there on blogs out of respect for them.

Many Transgender persons are part of the LBG Community; many of us are not. My Journey of bringing Body to harmony with Spirit has nothing to do with "sexuality". Listening to the continuous debate of ENDA and persons like myself "holding it up"......is infuriating. Leave it out of the mix! Let ENDA pass with out the whipping child! Then my GLB Brethren, remember those who take the backlash from every movement of your progress.

May You be Blessed,
Estelle

Patricia Harlow Patricia Harlow | January 16, 2010 10:39 AM

Ahh, classic in-fighting between pre and post-op transsexuals. I just don't get it. It seems to me that some people have tried so very hard to distance themselves from the term 'trans' that they have forgotten where they came from and ultimately who they are. Surgery or not, you will always be Transsexual.

"at what point, if any, do post-surgical transsexual people, having publicly transitioned gender--and had surgery--cease to be subject to the same legislation that bars, as Frank points out" -- The answer is never. Once a transsexual, always a transsexual. If you have passed all the tests and surgeries you need to have to confirm and present your own identity and 'pass' without question to the public then quite frankly this will be a non-issue for you, assuming you continue to hide in stealth.

I agree with an above poster in that "the post op who then quietly blends in is selfish and a special kind of coward." You serve no good towards the greater trans community if your whole purpose was to transition into a passing state and then quietly disappear into the dichotomy of gender roles. I can't knock you for it, it's a rough world; but do not trample the rest of the trans community or throw us under the bus to satiate your own self-loathing. Myself, I will continue to be Out and Proud and continue fighting for my rights. I may identify female and I may look female, but beyond that I am Transsexual.

That being said, ENDA cannot be allowed to be watered down. The bologna being introduced now clearly caters to the irrational fears brought forth by the religious right. Bathrooms are a complete non-issue at a place of Employment. Last time I checked nobody ever disrobed in our bathrooms. I can understand the discomfort associated with locker rooms, but really, until the general population is better aware/educated on trans issues there is no way to stem this discomfort (another reason stealth does not help your peers). In this sense it should be up to the employer to set best practice. Me, I hate all locker rooms and am uncomfortable of all the other people in them, so maybe it's mutual discomfort and thus also a non-issue. The shower stalls at my workplace (Apple) are also single -stall, so there is no issue there. This is just my employer, however. They have done a wonderful job at being fully trans-inclusive and lead the way for others to follow.

ENDA is supposed to be about employment, not the design of the building.

Is this the wheels of the bus I see coming? Are we again going to be thrown under it? Sure smells that way from where I sit.

It really upsets me that they think that just because we dress like woman and go through all the trouble of getting are gender changed on are ID that we want to hang out in bathrooms locker rooms and jack off. For 1 i'm not into females and even if I was I wouldn't go into a locker room or a female bathroom to jack off. If we don't fight for are rights we will never have any rights. It took me a long time to be comfy in my own skin. Yes it is a scary thing to go out into public and you wonder how well do I pass can I use a womans bathroom without getting arrested. It is hard enough to try and get gender marker changed on an id or any legal doc. I think we want to live as how we feel and be accepted as the sex we feel we should of been born. Thease people have no clue what it is like to be transgender or transsexual. Life would of been so much esier if we was born female but we wernt so we have to deal with the issue. I have lost a ton of friends my family doesn't accept me as a female and some jerk is going to have issues with bathrooms

When it is necessary for me to use a restroom, I "Must" use one! No choice! Yes, We can expect We will again be used as a bargaining chip! Yes,We can expect to again be thrown under the Bus! The Garbage truck will be right behind to run us over also!

WHat a shame to have an ENDA debate based on the "bathroom" issue. A red herring if ever there was.

But as regrettable, if not more so, to have ENDA focused, positioned as a "Trans" issue. So many gay folk, never identified as "trans" in any way, have been subject to employment discrimination for being perceived as too butch or too fem, or just too queer. It is such a shame that alliances across the spectrum of gender and orientation have failed to work effectively and allow this whole ENDA effort to languish, to deteriorate into a big bathroom discussion about who can relieve themselves and now, according to Congressman Frank, where will we allow these freaky changeling folk to take their clothes off. The discussion should have been focused on how to keep people able to perform their work related, assigned duties from being subject to the whims of employers that perceive gender in any threatening manner and forcing folks that may seem "different " from them into the streets and onto the inadequate world of government services.

Notice I never mentioned transition, or wehter someone had genitals at all. In most work place scenarios they just don't come in as appropraite

We have an instance of an employer demanding to see a photo of a person's gentialia. Seems that should be proscibed and penalized. No, I did not say penilized.