A Victory for Transgender Rights:
Governor Andrew Cuomo Announces New Regulations to Protect Transgender New Yorkers from Discrimination at Pride Agenda Fall Dinner
Pride Agenda’s Founding Leaders Also Honored with Douglas W. Jones Award
New York, NY, October 22, 2015 – last night, at the Empire State Pride Agenda’s 25th anniversary Fall Dinner, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced new regulations to protect transgender New Yorkers from discrimination in basic needs including housing, employment, credit, education, and public accommodations.
“After years of tireless advocacy, we’ve won a tremendous victory for transgender civil rights with Governor Cuomo’s announcement tonight,” said Nathan Schaefer, Executive Director of the Empire State Pride Agenda.
Pride Agenda Board Co-Chairs Norman C. Simon and Melissa Sklarz also praised the Governor’s announcement, noting “This victory will only quicken our stride as Pride Agenda keeps moving toward winning full equality and justice for LGBT New Yorkers.”
The Governor will instruct state agencies and introduce regulations to prohibit harassment and discrimination on the basis of gender identity, transgender status, and gender dysphoria in the areas of public and private housing, employment, credit, education and public accommodations. These regulations will carry the full force of law as the New York State Division of Human Rights has statutory authority under Executive Law 2995 to promulgate regulations interpreting the Human Rights Law.
The announcement comes in the wake of the State Senate’s repeated failure to pass the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA), which would expressly add “gender identity or expression” to the existing Human Rights Law. The State Assembly passed GENDA for the eighth time on June 2nd in a bipartisan 88-45 vote. The new regulations require that the definition of “sex” and “disability” discrimination in the Human Rights Law include gender identity, gender expression, and gender dysphoria.
“Thanks to the hard work of the Pride Agenda, our coalition partners, and countless transgender leaders, we have achieved this milestone for transgender civil rights. We look forward to working with the Administration to quickly implement these regulations so transgender New Yorkers are protected from discrimination—a basic civil right that is long overdue. We also recognize and express deep appreciation and gratitude to Senator Daniel Squadron and Assembly Member Richard Gottfried for their longstanding leadership championing of GENDA in the state legislature,” added Schaefer.
GREEN CASE UPDATE: We are waiting for the DA's office to let us know when a grand jury will be convened to indict the man who killed Lateisha Green. Once he is indicted they will arrest him and he will be arraigned which is when he will enter a plea and the Judge will make a decision on whether to free him on bail pending trial or to put him in jail to await trial. Normally the DA would indict right away but they need to dig up the evidence and witnesses from 2009 when the first trial took place. My understanding is that the delay is due to that problem. Once a person is indicted, you have to have a trial within a relatively short time so I think the DA doesn't want to start the clock running on the time limits for having a trial until they have all their evidence in hand and have located all the witnesses from the first trial.
Links to News Items:
TGA Pride Tour 2014 kicked off this past Sunday with our first Pride march of the season in sunny, sunny Buffalo!
We made it to Buffalo with the float intact though we almost lost the re-engineered church pew now known as the “Bench of Broken Dreams”, when we hit a bumpy patch on the thruway somewhere between Rochester and Batavia. The bench, before painting, looked a little like this:
We had dreams of giving the pew new life as a joyous piece of “float furniture” we hoped would look something like this:
.... or this:
But what we ended up with was this:
A bench with a bad case of “psychedelic measles”
Apart from the pew problem, we made it to Buffalo safe and sound and after some not so hilarious GPS directed errors, we eventually found the staging area at the museum on Elmwood Avenue about 30 minutes behind schedule. Waiting for us at the staging area was a very relieved squadron of trans-folk from Spectrum led by Michelle Wolf. They brought a ton of decorations and banners and whatnot and were beginning to wonder if they were going to have anything to decorate.
A lot of our prep time was spent following directions from officials trying to sort out who was supposed to be where. Not every driver there was as professionally competent at backing up a truck with an attached trailer as was our fearless truckers, Brooke B. and the irrepressible TJ.
With all the help we had from the Spectrum pit crew and some Rochester folks along with our contingent from the ‘Cuse, we were able to finish the float prep with time to spare. There were only two snags. The majority of the Rochester crew from GVGV and T*AGR were reported missing in action, lost somewhere between Rochester and Elmwood Avenue.
Equally distressing was the failure of anyone to bring bubble juice so that we could fire up the Bubbletron 5000, the latest in bubble making machinery, this unit included a cutting edge remote control system, turbo-fans, leather seats and 6 cup-holders. Our fans were much disappointed. It turns out that those charged with guarding the Bubbletron 5000 at a secure facility somewhere in the Finger Lakes region decided to take her out for a trial run and in so doing, exhausted our initial bubble juice supply. The Spectrum folks brought just about everything imaginable that could be used to decorate a float but they were fresh out of bubble juice. The Bubbletron will not make its debut until CNY Pride later this month.
We managed to push on without the bubbles and about a third of the way down Elmwood Avenue, we located the lost Rochestarians, none the worse for the wear and tear. In a scene right out of the Grapes of Wrath, we helped our sister hobos hop onto the float freight train style.
Leslie Larrabee, my good friend and grandmother to the entire trans community in Syracuse, attended her first pride parade. With cane in hand and her pacemaker fully charged, she made the trip with us all the way to Buffalo, endured a long day in the sun waving to her legions of fans along the parade route and then braved the Buffalo Metro system to get to the canal side party where she survived the throngs and rampaging fabulousness. It was a bit touch and go when her fans rushed the float and nearly high-fived her to death.
fell off the float, L-R Pam, Anita, Rob, Dylan and Brooke
It was a beautiful day for a parade and I can’t think of a better group of people to enjoy it with than our friends in Rochester and Buffalo. When we work together, there is NOTHING we can’t do, except perhaps to remember the bubble juice….
For those of you who missed it, don’t worry, there are pride marches in Rochester, Erie and Syracuse (and maybe Oswego) in addition to the Peurto Rican Parade and a Rally in Nassau County being staged by our friends in the Long Island Transgender Advocacy Coalition. It's not too late to go to a pride march, festival, parade or rally and hang out with your TG friends and allies from one end of I-90 to the other.
In case you need more convincing:
Top Ten Reasons Why You Should Go To A Pride March:
10. You will see great hair cuts like this:
9. You will meet this guy:
8. People will rush towards you like you are a Beatle and its 1964:
7. You will meet a girl like this during the parade and then meet her again on a metro train where she will be very drunk and very friendly as she asks to see your post operative chest and questions you as to what your genitalia looks like, and like my fiancé Rob, you will answer her because … educate, educate, educate!
6. You will meet this person and in the process, learn the true meaning of “freedom”.
5. You will learn that you are part of a community that is best described by the words: “endlessly cool”.
4. You may get asked out by these guys:
3. You might see Dylan and Ashh arguing over whose turn it is to wear the rainbow mohawk wig.
2. You will learn that top ten lists are too long and that any decent list would stop at 2 because riding in this baby and celebrating who we are would be a way better use of your time:
SEE YOU IN SYRACUSE ON JUNE 21ST!!
For those attending a TGA-CNY social in Syracuse, this is your destination:
The Transgender Alliance, the home of the Upstate New York Transgender Community, is a one-stop-shop social networking site for all transgender persons and groups located in and around Upstate New York and beyond. Here you can find and join any of the participating transgender social and support groups located in upstate New York and its environs that are listed below. Even if you are not from this area you are welcome to join us. Simply sign up for your free membership in the Transgender Alliance and you will have access to all the tools you need to find and stay in contact with all of your friends across the state and to keep on top of all the many meetings, socials and events staged by 13 different TG groups. If you would like your group to become part of the Alliance, just send your request to ThePhntm (site admin).
|Albany||The Northeast Gender Alliance and theSchenectady Gender Alternative (TNGA/SGA)|
The Buffalo Belles
Transcouples of Western New York
|Syracuse||Transgender Alliance of Central New York (TGCNY)|
|Binghamton||Southern Tier Gender Alliance|
Our mission is simple, to end the social isolation which plagues so many people blessed with the gift of being transgender; to build connections between our fragmented groups and organizations so that we can find strength through unity and to share our love, abilities, talents and resources for the good of all.
Look around this site, we are none of us alone.
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