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What’s mundane in California is not mundane elsewhere

Commentary: Trans Progressive

Poster map United States of America with state namesThe mundane in California includes a lot. What’s mundane here isn’t mundane everywhere.

On Facebook I’ve used the term “trans-genda” and the hashtag #transgenda; I’ve used it to list mundane things I do on many days. Such as, I listed out my trans-genda to my Facebook friends on one day this past week as:

• Dentist appointment

• Walk Rwby (pronounced Ruby) the dog

• Pick up roommate from the airport

• Pay attention to, and feed Kitty Bon-Bon when she demands attention or feeding

• Clean the bathroom

I didn’t get to clean the bathroom that day, having the chore pushed to the next day, due to handling other unplanned mundane tasks that included some shopping. It also included going out for dinner, getting a sandwich and tater tots at a local barbecue restaurant.

The point of the “joke” I’ve posted on multiple occasions to social media is that I’m a whole person with a life that’s whole and full of mundane things that a lot of us do, and not a one-dimensional caricature of a life that social conservatives and some others seem to perceive our transgender lives to be.

Even though I’m retired and no longer have to worry about gainful employment to afford the financial costs of my life, as many of my peers do, I do have to be concerned about housing – about having a roof over my head. And, I need to be concerned about public accommodation, which includes the ability to access full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, privileges or services in all business establishments and public entities of every kind whatsoever.

Public accommodations is often boiled down to access to what bathrooms one uses, but put in simple context, it’s also about being able to buy a sandwich and a cup of coffee at a restaurant without being harassed or discriminated against; it’s about being able to receive a government issued license without being told by the clerk that he or she has a government approved religious objection to providing that government service.

We who live in California live in a state where its employment, housing and public accommodation antidiscrimination protections, based on marital status, sexual orientation and gender identity, are mundanely protected by law.

When trans man Rose Trevis went to Hawleywood’s Barber Shop & Shaving Parlor in 2016 and was denied a haircut because they perceived Rose as female and they stated they only served men, it was news. In the end the barbershop settled out of court and changed their business practice, and it can be said they pretty much changed it because California law clearly prohibited it.

It was news because what the barbershop did didn’t stick to the established, mundane rules.

Many states’ laws don’t protect against employment, housing and public accommodation discrimination. What many municipalities have done in response is pass citywide laws protecting against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. It’s been shown to be good for business.

Charlotte, N.C. tried to follow this model. The legislature of North Carolina – in a state with very gerrymandered districting that favors socially conservative Republicans – passed HB2, which functionally repealed the Charlotte ordinance and a lot more. Ostensively, HB2 was passed on the argument that people using bathrooms that didn’t align with the gender marker on their birth certificates were dangerous and violated women’s privacy in restrooms and locker rooms, and so a birth certificate provision was specifically included in HB2.

After economic losses in the state, and the loss of prestige, such as the NCAA and NBA pulling sports events from the state, the North Carolina legislature “repealed” HB2. It was bad for business.

It’s not mundane for an LGBT community member in North Carolina to be assured they can access full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, privileges or services in all business establishments and public entities of every kind whatsoever.



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Posted by on Apr 13, 2017. Filed under Bottom Highlights, Latest Issue, Trans Progressive. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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