Stanton Hearings

I’m watching the live feed of the Largo City Council hearings, starting at 8:30 PM, where citizens are getting a chance to speak up about the firing of Steve Stanton.

(12:05 AM) Dammit dammit dammit. Steve Stanton has lost the job.

(Read below the break for the whole night’s blogging & commentary.)

(11:54 PM) & They’ve heard everyone, & are making the motion. Six hours of testimony: this is what government looks like.

(11:51 PM) A transgender woman explains why Stanton wasn’t upfront about his transition from the get-go, & talks a little about violence & discrimination against trans people, including a local case.

(11:31 PM) One minister who says Stanton’s transition is going to damage all of Tampa Bay. Someone needs to tell him Stanton isn’t going to become a hurricane. & Props to all the local trans people who are speaking up.

(11:27 PM) Another transgender veteran talking about trying to be who society wanted “him” to be.

(11:11 PM) They’re getting speaker group K set up, & I’m starting to wonder exactly when they’re going to break.

(11:04 PM) If this guy didn’t depress me so much, I’d find him funny. He started off with how much he loves his lesbian sister – to convince us all he knows what-for – but within minutes he’s talking about delusions & yes, pedophiles.

(10:54 PM) A transgender veteran, now.

(10:51 PM) & The very next person calls Jesus a hippie & points out the separation of Church & State. She waited 6 hours to speak.

(10:48 PM) A Baptist minister just said it’s all the fault of the online LGBT community, and is now quoting Deuteronomy.

(10:42 PM) A guy who seemed quite sane & kept his argument based on Stanton’s performance just went off on mental illness, a cure, & bestiality, pretty much all in one breath. Bonehead. I was actually starting to buy his previous argument till he came out as an ignoramus.

(10:30 PM) So this schmo is saying that Stanton’s attempt at coming up with an on-the-job transition was misuse of Government resources?! But apparently Stanton did some major office cleaning & fired some senior people in government. Hooboy.

(10:26 PM) An African-American gay man speaks up about the history of discrimination, who admits he doesn’t know about trans, but he can see it as discrimination. He’s now reading the vote of confidence for Bayard Rustin as the organizer of the ’63 March on Washington. Damn, this is beautiful.

(10:19 PM) Another trans woman, talking about how hard it is to work a lot of things out before transition.

(10:10 PM) A small business owner who’s got a start-up in Largo, who also happens to be Hispanic, arguing that good managers aren’t necessarily nice guys, & that unless we start firing people for other major life events – like giving birth – this is ridiculous. & He quotes Shakespeare, “Even the devil can quote the Bible for his own devices.” From The Merchant of Venice.

(10:06 PM) Woohoo! A local trans woman who is a former employee of the City of Largo. I missed your name, but that rocked & took major guts. Thanks.

(10:03 PM) A lesbian who came out later in life on the issues of deceit, trying to fit in the way you’re supposed to, & not being made that way.

(10:01 PM) An overexcited, rhetorically dramatic union leader just spoke up that the labor people who sided with the religious community that wants Stanton fired have been co-opted. References to Nazis included. Oy.

(9:53 PM) Another man who got up & said something about Stanton lying & being deceitful, but he never really clarified what he was talking about. I hope he knows what ‘slander’ is.

(9:48 PM) &, Another recess.

(9:45 PM) A guy is explaining there were other charges brought against Stanton, & that this has nothing to do with him being trans. He also explained that he was happy The St. Petersburg Times explained what LGBT meant, & applauded people for standing up for what they believe in, even if he doesn’t agree with them. He sounds to me like a “liberal media” conspiracy theorist, and is accusing The Times, & Stanton, of playing “the race card,” but in this case, “the transgender card.”

(9:42 PM) Found a new live feed:

(9:37 PM) A Largo citizen who doesn’t like that the hearings were open to anyone who wasn’t from Largo, who thinks most people think Stanton is a weirdo, that outsiders are trying to make Largo a “weirdo town” … but the live feed just got cut off.

(9:36 PM) An older vet who I think was against but I’m not sure anyone understood what he was trying to say.

(9:31 PM) A young transman, now, & a doctor before him, who tried to provide the medical explanation of transness.

(9:20 PM) This is great stuff, folks. The majority of citizens getting up to speak are in favor of Stanton keeping the job.

There is a youth leader speaking right now that is shaming them hardcore, but with class.

*fingers crossed*

(8:30 PM) So far, most of them are in favor of Stanton getting the job back. Nadine Smith of Equality Florida is speaking now; she’s the one who got arrested at the last protest.