Antonia D'orsay

What if... Reloaded

Filed By Antonia D'orsay | February 26, 2010 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: Creating Change conference, Dallas, DART, Identity, Legal issues, LGBT, License, trans portrayals, Transawareness, transphobia

Not too long ago I wrote about the situation with the Dallas Trans gal who had her gender marker changed.

There have been been developments and some additional information.

To start with, she's post op, and it was after her surgery that they did this to her.

She's not an activist. She's just a gal trying to live her life. Trying to fit in, get along, do what she can to be herself.

She gained the court order in 2006.  So she's four years post op.

She started transition in 2003.   The local activist who got the word out, Pamela Curry, has this to say:

Curry alleges that since the longtime employee began to transition from male to female in 2003, DART supervisors have told her she couldn't have long hair, couldn't wear skirts to work and couldn't use women's restrooms on the job. Lyons, the DART spokesman, has declined to comment on those allegations.

The judge is being somewhat evasive:

Contacted this week, Judge Cherry said she hadn't read the Voice's Feb. 19 article about the case and wasn't immediately familiar with it because she presides over thousands of cases each year.

Cherry, a Democrat who's considered an LGBT ally, received Stonewall Democrats' Pink Pump Award last year for her support of the group.

After being provided with the case number, Cherry looked it up and said that for unknown reasons it's still pending. Therefore, Cherry said she couldn't comment.

Pressure is being brought to bear on DART by activists and bloggers.

Because what we have here is, as I noted last time, an employer deciding for others what an employee's sex is going to be.

Thank you, to all of you, who are helping to make sure this situation is changed. Because if it can happen once, it will happen again.

And the next time, it could be you.


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The additional information clarifies this case a great deal. :-(

If a judge doesn't have the right to change a gender marker upon being presented with the proper documentation (which was DART attorney's argument), then who does? There have been hundreds if not thousands of gender marker changes in Texas... isn't that a precedent? And why does DART give a damn why this woman changed her gender marker enough to spend public money to fight it? It's a horrible human rights abuse, a disgusting precedent and I go back to your original premise that that Judge Cherry might be a gay ally but is no trans ally. That kind of trans ally we don't need.

You'll find the relevant legislation and case law DART is quoting in this summary of the case.

One of the consequences of this situation is that Trans people can be and legally speaking should be prevented from voting in Texas, due to their mis-matched ID.

Whether someone post-op in Texas can get their ID changed is a bit of a crap-shoot. It depends on who you're dealing with, and how they interpret the law.

In Littleton vs Prange, the court stated that such a change was not a "correction", but deliberately did not go so far as to state that the BC shouldn't be changed. Just that they'd ignore it if it was, for the purposes of marriage.

The process is that a judge makes an order, and then the registrar changes the BC on the basis of that order. Or doesn't, if they don't feel like it, thereby requiring an expensive court case to enforce the order. One not guaranteed to succeed, based on the Littleton case.

And that's wrong. If there's a judge's order, that order should be enforced, period.

For an administrative clerk, in any capacity, to ignore a ruling of the court would indicate that clerk was an activist clerk and could, seemingly, take the law into their own hands in any given situation... and if one clerk can do it, then another one can... and another... and another...

A court order/judicial ruling should be it. Period. That order should be upheld unless a higher court issues a stay pending review of that order. If that hasn't happened, a clerk has absolutely no business interpreting the law as they see fit.

Pamela Curry | February 27, 2010 1:41 AM

Actually Zoe a mis-matched ID gender marker will not block you from voting in Texas. All you have to present in order to vote is a VALID voter registration card, even last years expired card is acceptable.

I have served Dallas County Elections as a clerk, alternate judge, substitute Judge since 2001, and as an early voting clerk. And since 2006 as the Election judge for every election in my home precinct.

We do not have a photo ID "also" requirement, the exception if it is the first time voting in a federal election in that county. Your school or employee photo ID with your name on it is also acceptable "PHOTO" ID for voting in Texas. The reason being is your employer is supposed to have already vetted that you are indeed you when they hired you. Of course drivers license and Texas ID cards even expired ones are also acceptable. Even an out of state ID is acceptable, sometimes people move here register to vote and don't get a new DL or ID till the old one expires, technically illegal. The poll worker is not the ID police!

All we the election judges are supposed to look at, is: does the name and address match. The gender marker on the Texas voter registration card is OPTIONAL. You can leave it blank when you register.

Any piece of official government mail or a utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or any other government document showing your name and address are also acceptable in Texas. And of course a US passport, birth certificate (or other legally permissible document "designating birth in the US" i.e. some baptismal certs meet this requirement not all), US citizenship papers. And lastly any other form of ID presented by the Secretary of State's office.

All that being said you only need present one of the above items, be on the poll list (must be registered 30 days prior to the election) to qualify to vote in Texas.

If you experience difficulty voting contact the local election office immediately, exercise your right to vote. Do not allow someone to turn you away if you know your registered and not otherwise legally unable to vote (i.e. not currently on paper).

If all else fails demand a provisional ballot, that will force the would be bigot to do even more work! If any poll worker or judge makes disparaging comments about you, before you leave the polling location request an Election Judge Complaint form. If the Judge made the remark ask to speak with the alternate judge and request they initiate the judges removal. In all Joint and non-partisan elections one is a (D) the other is an (R), voter turnout for that political division in the last gubernatorial election determines which position they hold judge or alternate.

Dallas County Elections can be reached at 214-819-6300

I'll pass that on. I know two transitioners who have had some difficulties here. One born in Ohio so unable to get her BC changed.

Sue Lefkowitz | February 27, 2010 10:31 AM

Not knowing anything more than I read here, I wonder if someone at DART had a personal vendetta against her. I worked for a city government and wore long hair, some women's clothing,make-up, and carried a purse in a state with no protections. Some clients thought I was male, some female. I got away with this for many reasons, but I had to make sure I had no enemies and all my reviews were always current. Go figure. I'm sure this doesn't help

Sue,

I said the same thing in the original "What If..." thread earlier in the week, and was roundly excoriated for addressing such an opinion... that the situation, as stated, absolutely must be systemic, and I shouldn't talk about things I don't know about, like the routine discrimination against trans persons.

But, gee, your comment has been here for over four hours now, without a single negative response or suggestion that you didn't know what you were talking about so it appears that the only person to be jumped on for making such commentary is... me.

Wow. What a surprise.

Antonia, I guess that you just are not popular enough. Maybe you have enemies. But you are informative so keep it coming. I enjoy reading your stuff and I get a lot of information.
I don't often respond or ask questions of posts on trans related issues anymore. I get the overwhelming sense that I really shouldn't speak or at least make sure that my asbestos underpants are back from the cleaners.

Eric, take if from a person who has been tagged as a "hot-head" and an "obnoxious loose cannon." Once you get tagged as a person who excels in negative comments, your remarks get read first to see if you have gone off on another rant. It makes you an instant target. I suggest you invest in a Kevlar keyboard. It's helped me.

Pamela Curry | February 27, 2010 9:37 PM

@Eric
10:30am this morning I was preparing to attend my annually required election judge training. The Saturday before elections (Texas Primary Tue. March 2nd) in Texas are very busy days for election judges. We have to complete paperwork, attend training, pick up supplies. And complete an hour or so's more work at home. Before the morning of the election. Since you apparently enjoy getting beat up, I'll get back to you in a moment.

@Sue
Eric made a bet in the previous "What if" and welshed on the bet. When I informed him his assumption was totally without any merit. This is based solely and completely on bible "narrow" belt views in the HR dept of a public transit authority. There are absolutely no personal past relationships involved whatsoever. Operators of buses normally have no interaction with HR beyond the hiring which in this case was with the prior transit authority and in 19 days will be 25 years ago.

Again I will remind peoples that print media is precious real estate. Every little detail of a total of six years of disparaging treatment can not be printed, nor should it. That would be like playing Texas Hold'em where even the hole cards are dealt face up. Very high probability you'd never win any more than the blinds.

What Eric refuses to acknowledge is this is not being made public by the individual. It is a personal friend with no relationship beyond just friends, with detailed first hand knowledge. Who btw has in her possession copies of sealed court documents. The Dallas Voice is not a fly by night publication, it is a very long time respected GLBT news publication of North Texas. The original article acknowledged that I had made copies of these documents to them. The Dallas Voice is not in the habit of making claims it can not substantiate, it is a very professionally run publication. Such publications check and verify sources before they print.

OK, back to @Eric;
Sorry having considered the possibilities I'm just not feeling the love for a BDSM experience with you. Reading your other prior comments reminds me of the experience Barney Frank had when a dining room table attempted to shout him down last fall, pointless!