During his show Sunday night, TransFM founder and host Ethan St. Pierre received a call-in from International Foundation for Gender Education (IFGE) Executive Director Denise LeClair, who revealed for the first time what the current language regarding transgender workers and bathroom usage currently being considered by the Congress may mean in a practical, everyday sense.
Among the key points:
* Employers will not be permitted to force a transgender employee to use a bathroom that is opposite of their gender identity, but they also will not be obligated to allow that employee to use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity, as long as (currently undefined) reasonable accommodations are made. In other words, employers will be allowed to segregate transgender employees and create the modern equivalent of "Whites Only" and "Negro" bathroom facilities specifically intended to exclude Transgender-Americans from the rest of the workforce.
* These rules may only be applied to transsexual employees who are currently transitioning, and those who have already completed the transition process will not be affected. What we don't yet know here is what will be the requirements to be considered as fully transitioned. There is concern that if Sexual Reassignment Surgery (SRS) is required in order to be considered fully transitioned this will create a situation where those who are healthy enough and can afford SRS will enjoy at least some protections in the workplace, while those transpeople who cannot afford SRS, don't want it, or are not eligible candidates for SRS for medical or other reasons will continue to be denied full civil rights as Americans in perpetuity.
Right now, this is really all we know and it should be pointed out that none of this is carved in stone, all of it is negotiable and probably is being negotiated right now in Congress. This is just a read on what they're currently talking about.
For more of my take on this, check out my new podcast, #13.