According to a New York Times article that came out yesterday, it’s become a lot easier to transition in the workplace. I don’t disagree.
It’s nice to see the folks over at NYTimes spotlighting these kinds of hurdles that transpeople encounter in the working world. Plus, stories about positive culture change are warm, fuzzy things to hear.
At the same time, I would have liked to see them mention the troubles that Diane Schroer is having with the U.S. Library of Congress. Since Inclusive ENDA lost, protections for transpeople (much less the larger gender variant community) really don’t exist in the workplace – at least for those transfolk that don’t want to work at a gigantic corporation, like the Fortune 500 companies mentioned in the article. The Department of Justice attorneys working against Schroer’s case even get that:
The Library of Congress, represented by Justice Department attorneys, has argued that Schroer cannot sue because the Civil Rights Act does not protect transsexuals or prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity.
They’re not arguing that she doesn’t have a case. They’re not even arguing that she wasn’t discriminated again. Just that she, like all other gender non-conforming people, is not supported or protected in the eyes of the law. I’m the first to agree that any progress is great, but when an extremely qualified transwoman can have a job offer rescinded by our federal government purely for disclosing to her boss that she’s in the process of transitioning, I just don’t feel like it’s appropriate for the media to paint such a rosey picture.
Even more interesting is the the image (shown below) that accompanied the NYTimes article. It was… Offensive? Inappropriate? Sensationalizing? Attempting to prove that transpeople really can’t “fit in” and will be a distraction in the workplace?
Take your pick. I’d love to hear some readers’ thoughts on this. Maybe it’s just me and I’m feeling sensitive because I’ve had a rough week. What do you think of the article? Of the image above? Personally, although the HRC’s Corporate Responsibility Index has clearly made a dent, we have a long way to go.