Transgender People Fight for Civil Rights, Public Understanding
Despite progress, discrimination still a problem for those whose gender identity doesn't match anatomical sex
December 19, 2011
"On Dec. 6 in Georgia, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of a transgender woman who was fired from her state job in 2007 after telling her boss she planned to transition from male to female. In the court's ruling, Judge Rosemary Barkett wrote: 'An individual cannot be punished because of his or her perceived gender non-conformity...'
"Also this year, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Wisconsin ruled it unconstitutional to deny transgender prison inmates hormone therapy and Connecticut and Massachusetts became the 15th and 16th states to protect transgender people from discrimination.
"'I think it has been a good year,' said M. Dru Levasseur, transgender rights attorney for the national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender legal rights group Lambda Legal. 'I think the key thing — and it's very similar to the change that happened in the movement with gay and lesbian people — is that many people thought, "Oh that's a choice, that's a lifestyle." When people come to understand that this is who someone is, I think that's when they can really take it into their hearts.'"
Read more in the Chicago Tribune.