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Simplify and Make Fair Transgender Discrimination Employment Law

Comment 3rd July 2010

Existing legislation to protect transgender staff from discrimination in the workplace relies on intrusive medical criteria and enforced commitment to one permanent gender.

Replace all of this with the simple right to present as one's chosen gender at any time without fear of discrimination, with no medical requirements.

Dress code at work when presenting as either gender would be the same as for any non-transgender employee presenting as that gender.

Why does this matter?

The transgendered and gay communities are separate, and have differing key issues; this is something that is widely misunderstood.

Being transgender in its modern sense does not mean that one necessarily wishes to undergo surgery, nor even that one necessarily desires to make an unvarying and permanent change to the gender in which one presents. It merely means that transgender individuals feel the need to diverge from traditional stereotypical behaviour assciated with one's birth gender. Consider this description in Wikipedia

A minority of transgender people do need to undergo physical changes to match their psychological gender, but that is an entirely separate issue from discrimination in employment, except that they may need employment leave for medical procedures.

Current employment legislation forces a transgender person wishing to present as other than their birth gender to declare and medically justify a complete change from one gender to the other, exemplifying that old-fashioned black-and-white logic.

As with everything else in life, nothing is black and white, and such constraints are artificial: mere social constructions with no objective justification.

Staff who have not yet decided whether to commit to permanent gender transition or who do not wish to commit to gender transition or whose transgender status is discovered by an employer can suffer discrimination and even dismissal without explicit protection under law. This is surely a violation of their human rights.

This suggested simplification removes the need for medical justification and pointless paperwork.

Let us free one more oppressed minority from discrimination while simultaneously simpifying the law and cutting red tape.




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