The first thing: it’s obvious the commissioners went in with their minds made up ahead of time, & all of the people who waited hours to testify were wasting their time & their breath. & To hell with those commissioners for being so cynical, close-minded, & pig-headed about it: those are bureaucrats, pure & simple, who don’t have a conscience to examine.
Props of course to the Mayor Pat Gerard and Commissioner Rodney Woods for making the right decision. Mayor Gerard’s wish that there would be a day when LGBT employees felt safe working in Largo was heartfelt, and her point that that is not the case now was chilling.
That said: I found this round pretty damned encouraging, to be honest. In all the time I’ve been paying attention to trans politics (something like 5 years now), this has been the most unified response to an unfair, discriminatory firing. Hearing the various lesbians and gays and trans people of Florida speak at the hearings was absolutely inspiring and heart-breaking; hearing so many ministers of various religions – the Friends, of course, but also Unitarians & others – speak so plainly against discrimination against LGBT people actually made my night. A labor organizer, a minister that wasn’t one, and ordinary citizens all came & said “don’t do this.” And that was damned cool. The testimony of the objectors was far greater than the testimony of those who wanted him fired, and they were – by far – more articulate, more heartfelt, and came off as far more rational than the bitter people who spoke about wanting him fired.
Honestly, it’s good to see “my team” in such good shape, willing to wait in line for six hours to speak, and doing so in defense of trans people – even though, as more than one speaker pointed out, they don’t necessarily understand transness.
That, my friends, is progress.
Our thoughts are otherwise with Stanton, his wife, and family. & Mine, of course, are especially with his wife. You can find a bunch of video, photos, & news articles about the hearings & initial firing at The St. Petersburg Times site.