Congress to Hold First Ever Hearing on Trans Issues

Today is America’s first Congressional Hearing on transgender issues. The hearing, “An Examination of Discrimination Against Transgender Americans in the Workplace,” is scheduled for Thursday, June 26, 2008 at 10:30 am in room 2175 of Rayburn House Office Building. Congressman Rob Andrews (D-NJ) called the hearing as Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) subcommittee of the Committee on Education and Labor. Witnesses have not yet been announced.

“I am really proud of the role that NCTE played in getting us to this historical day. This is not only an opportunity to be truly heard by our fellow Americans, it will help to build the foundation for significant changes in federal laws protecting transgender people from discrimination,” notes Mara Keisling, Executive Director of NCTE.

Committee hearings are open to the public and you are welcome to attend in person if you are in the area, but please be aware that space is limited. Some hearings are broadcast on CSPAN and streamed live through their internet site. You can stay up-to-date by checking NCTE’s blog.

WATCH:  If you would like to watch the first Congressional Hearing on transgender issues, you may be able to watch it through the committee’s live webcast at…eam_070124.asx

One Reply to “Congress to Hold First Ever Hearing on Trans Issues”

  1. I began watching the hearing after the break, and saw what was the last hour and a half or so. Initially I was discouraged by Rep. Miller’s line of questioning regarding the morality of legislation protecting people who are transgender. As I watched more I had a growing sense of optimism that this committee hearing would be fruitful. The closing comments made by Rep. Miller about a similar issue that the House voted on yesterday in regards to the ADA and seeing transgender protection in the future was exciting. And it may not happen this year, but it seems it will happen in my lifetime.

    I heard discussion about the use of language in legislation that made some good points about the importance of language. It sounded like the Committee was willing to work with NCTE and the HRC about education. I didn’t hear a definition of transgender. I bring this up for the purposes of inclusion. Seeing as how different agencies have different requirements for designating sex changes, how does a person get the transgender designation? Here in NY, I needed $10, a letter from my psychiatrist, and a trip to the DMV to have my license changed. I called my local SSA and asked them about having my sex designation changed. The woman stated I would need a letter from a medical professional stating I had surgery to alter my genitals. I asked her what if I didn’t have that surgery or couldn’t have it? She didn’t have an answer for that and I’m waiting for a phone call back. Will it be possible for people who are non-operative transgenders to be included? That would be exciting…

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