Tuesday, April 04, 2006

In class today, a few students mentioned that their research papers cover the issue of transgender in employment law. I think it is really interesting to not only read about what transgenders go through psychologically, but also how the rest of society reacts to their physical changes. The article, Law Prohibits 'transgender' Discrimination, mentions the story of Teena Brandon and her violent end after being discovered as a woman living/pretending to be a man. It is a clear reflection of how many people view those who are transgender.
"The term "transgender" encompasses a wide range of sexual behaviors,
including cross-dressers, drag queens, transsexuals (those seeking sex change
operations), and even "she-males," hybrids who choose to go only halfway through
a sex change operation. They remain partially female and partially male in their

I do not know what experiences each of us have with transgender people, but personally I do know one person who now lives as a woman, sex change and all. I have a very liberal background and I believe this person is a female now, yet this is my personal belief and is not meant to sway others in believing as I do. What is important to me concerns how employers view transgenders. The article states that "three counties, twenty cities, and the state of Minnesota" prohibit transgender discrimination.

Groups such as High Risk Project Society stress the importance that transgenders do not want to be judged by the patriarchal views of what is male and female. Their own identity is determined by self aculization. In 1993 an International Bill of Gender Rights suggested the following:
"The individual's sense of self is not determined by chromosomal sex,
genitalia, assigned birth sex, or initial gender role. ... It is fundamental
that individuals have the right to define, and to redefine as their lives
unfold, their own gender identity, without regard to chromosomal sex, genitalia,
assigned birth sex, or initial gender role," said the document.

The "bill of rights" also demands that transgenders be free from
psychiatric diagnosis or treatment based on their chosen gender identities, and
it calls for the right of transgenders to marry and to adopt children.

The importance in employment is that these transgender people want the same rights afforded to any other person in a work environment.
How do you feel?
  • Would you considering transgenders deserving of equal protection in employment opportunities?
  • Should legislation be adopted federally so that transgenders can be covered by Title VII?


Blogger A. Das said...

I think that transgender people are definitely deserving of equal protection in employment opportunities. When an occupation has no gender boundaries associated with it, I do not see any reason why being transgender should have any consequence upon one's employment. However, the line has to be drawn somewhere. For example, I'm not sure if I want a male-to-female transgender person working at an all girls summer camp. Perhaps this is just my own personal biases coming out or maybe this is a reasonable stance. Nevertheless, I still stand that transgender people are deserving of equal rights/protections and should be included in Title VII.

I will say, though, that I am somewhat uncomfortable with the idea of allowing transgender people to adopt. I feel that the child should have some say in this. But I'd like to hear what everyone else has to say about this.


1:42 PM  

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