New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an executive order requiring all city agencies to ensure that everyone in NYC has access to bathrooms and locker rooms that align with their gender identity or expression. The executive order stipulates that no one will be required to show identification, medical documents, or any other documentation to verify their gender in order to use the facilities.
City agencies have three months to post this new policy, and will be required to provide training for city agency managers and front line staff who interface with the public.
As a transgender athlete who was denied access to a locker room in a public facility, I appreciate Mayor de Blasio’s effort to protect LGBTQ people in New York City. This policy will protect not only LGBTQ New Yorkers, but also all of the guests we have in our city. This makes NYC one of the most inclusive places for transgender athletes.
The key piece of this is the educational component. By requiring training for both supervisors and front line workers, we will ensure this will not be another posted policy that people ignore or forget. This will change the culture of our city services, including NYC Parks and Recreation facilities, which operates more than 800 athletic fields and nearly 1,000 playgrounds, 550 tennis courts, 66 public pools, 48 recreational facilities, 17 nature centers, 13 golf courses, and 14 miles of beaches in the five boroughs.
In the past six months, I have presented on LGBTQ Inclusion in NYC Recreation Spaces twice, to over 100 front line workers and managers. I applaud NYC Parks and Recreation for their proactive approach to incorporating this training in their inclusion summits and ongoing education, and look forward to seeing other city agencies get trained as well. Using the bathroom is a basic human need, and all people should be allowed to do so without jumping through hoops.
New York City’s public schools already has a policy that students must be allowed to use locker rooms or restrooms consistent with their gender identity.
CrossFit outed and disqualified Chloie Jonnson from competition because she was a transgender woman.
Last year, Chloie Jonnson registered to compete in the CrossFit Games, a contest aimed at determining the fittest man and woman. Chloie is a transgender woman, has been living as a woman since her teenage years, and registered as such.
Chloie was then anonymously outed to CrossFit as a transgender woman. The response of CrossFit was to invalidate her registration and state that all athletes must register and compete under their birth gender.
I helped to create this petition with GLAAD via MoveOn.Org to tell CrossFit to change its discriminatory policies for transgender athletes. With the work I do regarding policies and inclusion, I can say without a doubt that this is discrimination, plain and simple.
An organization cannot rightfully claim to “welcome trans* athletes with open arms” and then create conditions which prevent them from participating.
Check out the petition and please sign and share HERE.
On January 1, 2014, California Assembly Bill 1266 went into effect, allowing students to participate in athletics and sex-segregated activities in accordance to their gender identity.
This law prohibits public schools from discriminating on the basis of specified characteristics, including gender, gender identity, and gender expression, and specifies various statements of legislative intent and the policies of the state in that regard. Existing law requires that participation in a particular physical education activity or sport, if required of pupils of one sex, be available to pupils of each sex. This bill would require that a pupil be permitted to participate in sex-segregated school programs and activities, including athletic teams and competitions, and use facilities consistent with his or her gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on the pupil’s records.
This is a big step, but is being faced with harsh criticism by conservative folks who don’t think trans* people deserve basic human rights. I’m sure this will be a big news story in 2014, and a possible legal battle in the near future. Until then, you can read more about the new law here under California.