Well, in was a historic hearing. The Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee held a hearing today, entitled An Examination of Discrimination Against Transgender Americans in the Workplace

In the next few days I’ll be posting press releases from the press table, copies to or links to statements submitted for the hearing, as well as comments from attendees at the hearing. Hopefully I’ll have pictures and audio from some of those comments as well.

But, let me share some quick first impressions of the hearings.

– Col. Diane Schroer (Ret.) was an amazing witness. I don’t have words yet to express how impressed I was by her.

– Conversely, Glen Lavy of the conservative Christian Alliance Defence Fund was a surprisingly poor witness for the other side. I very much expected him to be much more articulate and prepared for what I considered obvious lines of questioning than he actually was. Subcommittee Chair Andrews really made Mr. Lavy look bad when he questioned him on how far the faith of coworkers should be accommodated in dealing with transgender people the workplace.

– Representatives Barney Frank (D-MA) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) gave incredible statements to the subcommittee. Particularly notable questioning of the seven hearing witnesses came from committee members/Representatives Payne, Linda Sanchez, and Chairman Andrews (all Democrats).

– Bathrooms are the opposition issue with gender identity and expression inclusive, federal employment legislation. I expected that to be an issue, but it’s really clear from the two opposition witnesses it’s going to be the main opposition point regarding any employment legislation that addresses gender identity and expression. Basically, I’m anticipating that there is going to come some standard response messaging to be generated by the non-profits addressing the issue, and/or changing the subject back to addressing the real issue of blatent discrimination against LGB & T people.

– Transgender people need to talk begin regularly talking to their own congresspeople about civil rights legislation that applies to gender identity and expression. Period. From talking to transactivists, LGBT activists, and ally activists at the hearing, communicating in person with one’s congressperson makes a lot of difference — the most supportive congresspeople on gender identity and expression are the ones who have had the most contact with transgender people.

As I said, much more later. Disecting this hearing is probably going to take me quite a few days of posts.

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Related:

* Landmark hearings on transgender discrimination begin

* Okay, We’ll Call Today A Sucktastic Dry Run

* Permanent Guest Barista Autumn On The Road This Week

Autumn Sandeen

Autumn Sandeen

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