The U.S. House Education and Labor Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions has scheduled a hearing for June 26th on discrimination against transgender employees in the workplace. Early tomorrow, blenders, I’m taking flight to DC to cover the hearing for Pam’s House Blend.

My roundtrip airline ticket has been arranged by the Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA), and my housing has been arranged by the National Center For Transgender Equality (NCTE). Besides TAVA and NCTE, the Transgender Law Center (TLC) and some individuals within the transgender community also offered to contribute to financing this trip — I directed TLC and these individuals to coordinate donations for the trip with NCTE, as originally they were going to be the single organization to cover my trip related expenses.

My personal agenda issue of civil rights and protections for transgender people –as well as others for whom society deems as not conforming to societal gender norms — is shared by TAVA, NCTE, and TLC, as well as many, many individuals within the broader LGBT community, and of course within the more narrowly defined transgender community. Frankly, I’m very concerned about what the future will look like for transyouth, as well as for transgender adults who haven’t yet come out of the closet. These hearings really do need to be covered by someone from the transgender community that has a personal perspective — a personal stake — regarding transgender legislative issues. Apparently, TAVA, NCTE, and TLC, as well as a number of individual, trans identified folk feel strongly enough about this need for trans-positive coverage that they’re sponsoring my trip to DC.

I’m going to be sticking to the GLAAD, NLGJA, and Associated Press guidelines for covering transgender people — as well as for transgender terminology — as much as possible. I stick to these guidelines most of the time, actually, but am pointing this out for Blenders who want to know whether I’m referring to a person’s natal sex or to a person’s target sex when I use terms like transwoman or transman (always by target sex of the individual referenced, by the way), and for those who think I’m blurring gender lines in inappropriate or unacceptable ways in the choice of terms I use to refer to people of trans experience.

Anywho, I expect I’ll have a lot to write about from DC. I’m hoping to get in some interviews with DC based activists and “non-profiteers” this week too — my guess is that it’ll take me a few weeks to post all of the stories I gather during this trip.

~~~~~Update~~~~~

NCTE’s T-Equality Blog has been activated for the hearing. The first entry of the hearing related posts is here.

Autumn Sandeen

Autumn Sandeen

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