Thank you for helping Transgender Law Center meet and exceed our matching challenge in December! Over 280 generous donors gave close to $46,000. Because contributions were matched up to $31,000 you helped generate nearly $77,000 total to ensure Transgender Law Center can continue fighting injustice in 2015 alongside our courageous clients from coast to coast. On December 31st alone, you knocked our socks off – giving nearly $17,000 to push us past our challenge goal in the final hours of 2014. We are humbled by and grateful for your tremendous support.
Your gift will be worth double until December 31st! Your gift to Transgender Law Center will be matched dollar for dollar up to $31,000 thanks to challenge gifts from a collection of generous TLC donors.
It takes courageous and resilient clients like Tamara Lusardi, and supporters like you, to win lawsuits and combat oppression. Together we are able to take on formidable institutions…Even the U.S. Army.
Tamara transitioned on the job at a U.S. Army facility in Alabama. With a smirk, her supervisor continued to call Tamara “sir” and “he” – intentionally and insidiously mis-gendering and calling her by her birth name. Tamara was denied access to the same restroom used by all other female employees and suffered reprimand from her supervisor for using the women’s restroom when the single-user restroom was out of order. In partnership with Transgender Law Center, Tamara fought back.
Thanks to Tamara, and our generous supporters, Transgender Law Center secured another groundbreaking ruling for our community based on a landmark TLC victory from 2012, Macy v. Holder – which held that discrimination based on gender identity was unlawful under Title VII.
Relying on “the guiding principles of Title VII,” the U.S. Office of Special Counsel found that the Army’s treatment of Tamara was unlawful, humiliating, and constituted “discriminatory harassment.” They went on to conclude that the Army’s restriction of Tamara’s restroom use “intruded on [her] privacy, was inappropriate, and subjected [her] to significant discomfort and humiliation.” In response, the Army has agreed to provide training to employees and supervisors at her worksite to prevent others from experiencing what Tamara had to go through.
“I hope my case and this decision will help other transgender people feel safe enough to bring their full authentic selves to work… I am so grateful to Transgender Law Center that justice is finally being served” said Tamara.
“I was shocked that the education I’d worked so hard to obtain was being stripped away from me simply for using a bathroom consistent with my gender identity,” said Seamus Johnston, a transgender man attending the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania.
The University threatened to revoke Seamus’ access to men’s restrooms and locker rooms unless he showed a birth certificate or court order reflecting his male gender. As a result of the University’s campaign of persecution, Seamus lost his full scholarship, was arrested, criminally prosecuted, and expelled. “I was deeply stigmatized and humiliated by the University’s actions,” Seamus shared.
From coast to coast, our community is living more openly and authentically than ever before. However, even when people who don’t fit narrow gender stereotypes are comfortable being who we are, society often isn’t and we face harassment and discrimination.
That’s why I wanted to introduce you to our client, Seamus and invite your support of Transgender Law Center. Your year-end donation will be doubled thanks to generous matching grants and can help Transgender Law Center continue fighting injustice, alongside Seamus and other clients.
Transgender Law Center helped Seamus file a federal lawsuit, arguing that the University violated his rights under state and federal law and the Constitution’s guarantee of Equal Protection.
The fact is, well-established laws prohibit discrimination based on sex, including discrimination against transgender people—although schools, employers, and even courts sometimes fail to understand that. We argue nondiscrimination laws guarantee transgender students’ equal access to sex-specific spaces on the basis of their gender identity.
“Fighting alongside Transgender Law Center, I hope to ensure that all students, including transgender students, have a fair chance to fully participate and succeed in their school experience and can pursue their educational dreams,” stated Seamus.
I hope you share my admiration for Seamus and his vision for transgender students. If so, won’t you join us with your gift today? Your support can help Transgender Law Center continue fighting injustice from the courtroom to the classroom to the locker room.
What if your employer forced your mother to mis-gender you every day at work?
That’s what happened to our client Gabe Pelz, a transgender man who transitioned while working as a line cook at a small restaurant alongside his mother in rural Georgia.
The owners of the restaurant refused to refer to Gabe by his male name and pronouns and prohibited his coworkers from doing so (including his supportive mother). The restaurant effectively breached his privacy, revealed his transgender status to customers, and put Gabe at risk for further harassment and even violence.
After serving more than 14,000 transgender and gender non-conforming people and their families over the past 12 years, Transgender Law Center is still shocked and appalled by the discrimination and inhumanity our clients endure. But we can fight back.
By making your generous year-end gift today, you can help Transgender Law Center and our clients continue fighting tenaciously for change – creating employment discrimination protections for people like Gabe, and ensuring equal rights for transgender and gender non-conforming people nationwide.
In partnership with Gabe, we were able to achieve justice at his workplace. Gabe shared in his own words:
“My name had been legally changed for almost a year…But my bosses refused to call me by my correct name and pronouns. They even went as far as refusing to let my coworkers call me ‘Gabe’ and ‘he.’ Once Transgender Law Center spoke to them they changed their tune drastically. I’m now ‘Gabe’ and ‘he’ at work and it feels amazing to be recognized as the man I am.”