Transgender Equality in New York State GENDA 2014

New York State has been stonewalling the legislation called GENDA (Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act) to the Transgender Equality movement in the State Senate since 2003. Assemblymember (D) Richard Gottfried, and New York State Senator (D) Tom Duane first introduced it in Albany in 2003. Sen. Tom Duane retired in 2012, and Senator Daniel Squadron took it on in 2013, as the leas sponsor.

 

Every year it has been put through the State Assembly and than left alone by the New York State Senate.  Last year we were the closest we may ever be but still the bill never made it too the floor. In fact the week leading up too the final week of session a State Senator named Diane Savino from Staten Island (my home borough) decided instead of pushing for this legislation too attack someone else. I called her out this year, and she was rather unprofessional toward my call too action, she decided too call me out in this press

 

Current Governor Andrew Cuomo who was on board for Marriage Equality in 2011 and has received lost of praise for supporting the ability for same-sex couples has not been as vocal of a supporter of the Trans* protections. However I believe that if he wants to be governor for another term and his aspirations of being the Next President of the United States as is rumored he does need to get on board her.

 

GENDA is an important piece for the community for many reasons, but we need our non-trans* or cisgendered[1] friends and family to support us and fight for us. This legislation would prohibit discrimination because of a person’s gender identity or expression. Many of trans* [2]  pre op, post op and non op are fired, when their employers find out they are trans* are fired, when they find out they are trans* or plan to take time off to have surgery or been thru surgery already. Trans* people and gender non-conforming[3] people are denied equal treatment in public accommodations. They are asked to leave restaurants, hotels, stores, medical facilities and educational institutions and much more.

 

GENDA when it is finally passed it would change the statutory language to make it clear that all New Yorkers across the state that one should not be subject to discrimination under the conditions of gender identity or expression in the human rights law. The same law that protects discrimination against race, religion etc would now cover gender identity and gender expression.

 

Other places across the country has similar protections in place they include states like Minnesota, New Mexico and Rhode Island, 54 cities across the country has GENDA like provisions such as Ann Arbor, Baltimore, Boulder, Pittsburgh, San Franciso, and Seattle.

 

This is no longer a back burner issue for New York State this needs to be a NOW issue. Those supporters of Marriage Equality in 2011 need to be carrying this issue to the front for 2014, its not okay to just be okay with Marriage Equality you need to be on board with it all.

 

You can do something to help this as a trans* person or as an ally cisgendered person. If your trans* tell your story open up about your personal transition process.  If you are a cisgendered ally talk about your trans* friends, ask them questions, take an interest in their transitions if they are comfortable with it. Ask questions! 

Look at websites like Empire State Pride Agenda , Transgender Legal Defense Fund or any other organization like them to get involved for the fight for GENDA in 2014. I am always here to talk about and answer question email me ellicottbryan@gmail.com 

 

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[1] Cisgendered- a person whose gender identity and expression matches the gender typically associated with their biological sex. For example: a female who identifies as a woman.

[2] Trans*- an umbrella term to refer to all people who deviate from their assigned gender at birth or the binary gender system. This includes transsexuals, cross-dressers, genderqueers, drag kings, drag queens, two-spirit people, and others. Some transgender people feel they exist not within one of the two standard gender categories, but rather somewhere between, beyond or outside of those two genders.

 

[3] gender non-conforming – A term for individuals whose gender expression is different from societal expectations related to gender. – See more at:

 

 

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One comment on “Transgender Equality in New York State GENDA 2014

  1. abramovichm says:

    Since the passage of marriage equality, it makes all the sense to pass GENDA. Andrew Lanza can drop off a cliff!!

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