How New York Is Discriminating Against Transgender People

And what you can do to help.

GENDA

Kira Karabedian at #LITransMarch

The day before national marriage equality was passed, New York said no to basic human rights for transgender people.

For 8 years GENDA, the Gender Employment Non-Discrimination Act, has passed the assembly without ever reaching the floor of the state senate once!

While Nassau County, second most populated area outside of New York City, has no protections. Long Island Transgender Advocacy Coalition had it’s second march the other Sunday to demand human rights for trans New Yorkers after a victory in North Hempstead.

Please call the majority leader, Senator John Flanagan (631) 361-2154 to #PassGENDANow if you can’t make it to today’s demonstration at his Long Island office.

As Sylvia Rivera said we’re not going to put up with this.


Below are stories of struggle from those marchers.

GENDA

Christian Saravia (middle)


“I go by Chris … I’m transgender. And they’re like, ‘Oh, so you’re really a girl.’ So the whole time we were crying they were laughing they told us they’re, ‘going to take random things on the floor and charge you for them.’ They keep saying [her.] My friend defended me. ‘That’s another night in jail’ and I started crying more. They put me in a [female] holding cell.” (On facing Nassau County police brutality)

GENDA

Joanne Borden (second from left)

She visits the Nassau County legislator literally every meeting open to the public for 5 years to advocate for basic civil rights for transgender people. She is a World War II veteran. She fought the Nazis and can still be denied food at a restaurant.

GENDA

Rose Cosenza (second from left)

“I tried to run away. I was terrified shit-less [to be put into a male prison.]” “‘It’s Rose.’ And he said, ‘oh, it’s a common fucking name. Why don’t you just saying [it] out loud.’ Because it’s embarrassing for the both of us. He was just not listening at all.” “He tackled me [into the pavement.] The skin was like, a mess. They kept misgendering me. They put me in a male prision, they forced me to remove my bra … when they were taking it away they called it a ‘man bra’ or a ‘bro’ or something.” (By officers in the building next to the march)

GENDA

Blair Symbol

This is my girlfriend. She was on her way to a party to meet up with me. She never showed because the entire night she was being hunted by a man with a knife. Her phone was dead, when she knocked on the neighbor’s door for help they wouldn’t answer. Until one did, she was quick to close the door and call the cops. When they came, she was shaking and crying but they treated her like a criminal.

 

GENDA

Nocturne

“When I was in the 6th grade I realized I was a trans guy. I came out to my middle school teacher and she was very cruel to me … she would go to her desk and pull out and dictionary and she would tell me in front of my classmates that I’m not a guy, I’m a tomboy. I said to her, ‘no, I’m a boy.’ And she would to harass me … continue to harass me … the final definition, ‘a girl who thinks she’s a boy.’ For a few years a lot of the students would refer to me as ‘heshe’ and ‘it.’ When I was bullied … I would go to the teacher and tell her, ‘they’re calling me [a] heshe.’ Then her remark was, ‘well maybe stop telling them you’re a boy and they’ll leave you alone.”

GENDA

Sofia Miller

“I lost my job in January 2012. In June 2013 I was working on a political campaign. Then I started working in sales. But these were temporary jobs. Every time I had the opportunity to …interviewing with different companies and with different school districts, even though I have the qualification, I was always given an excuse. For example, the interview went very well, they felt I didn’t have enough leadership experience, despite 9 [to 11] years of administrative experience. Other school districts have told me I wasn’t what they’re ‘looking for.’ When I asked they did not give me a specific reason whatsoever. There were times I was interviewing outside of education, they said, ‘even though you’re a match to work well alongside other people who are here, you’re way too overqualified.’ And I questioned that. Because I’ve never heard of someone refusing a candidate who’s willing to work for lower pay. I’ve had people tell me even though we though you’d be a perfect match, you don’t fit the mold that would do well in this position. Usually that was in retail stores. I have no idea what they meant, if I would be an embarrassment to them. I always ask them, ‘why not?’ And they never give me a direct answer. I had two phone interviews. Both of them went great, they said, ‘even though your interview went very well we feel like you’re not qualified.’ It’s almost 3 and a half years.

I’m a certified [history] teacher. I have experience teaching math [for 8 years] and science [for 11 years] and the department chairperson for 7 years. I have served as a receptionist until I was released due to daily harassment from a co-worker. I worked for a couple political campaigns, networking community groups, I’ve taught seminars for 3 to 4 years, I’ve trained people in different organization. So I have different skills that can be applied to different industries.

It’s very hard to prove discrimination in job hunting. I was asking a counselor at unemployment. They told me, “there’s certain catchphrases … but the people doing the interview know what phrases to avoid [for a lawsuit.]”

 Liberation cannot wait another year. We cannot wait for another trans woman to get brutally raped in a male prison or shelter.

#OccupyWeedStreet & transgender activist. Founder of Trans Port. I'm addicted to science and narrative. Opinionated based on observation and reason. #LITAC

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