The transgender community in North Texas has been in the spotlight for the last week or so, thanks to the Fort Worth City Council’s vote last Tuesday, Nov. 10, to amend the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance to include protections for trans people.
I am pretty sure the council didn’t plan it this way, but the vote happened less than two weeks before the 2009 Transgender Day of Remembrance, the day set aside each year to remember and honor our trans brothers and sisters who have fallen victim to anti-trans violence.
North Texas went a year or two without having any big events planned for TDOR. That changed last year. And this year, there are several events planned to mark the day. Dallas Voice staff writer David Taffet listed the local events in last week’s issue.
Among the trans people who spoke during the public comment session held Nov. 10 before the FW council voted was Kelli Busey of Arlington. She invited all the council members to attend the TDOR event in Fort Worth, taking place at Texas Christian University at 7:30 p.m. Friday night at Carr Chapel, 2855 S. University Drive, Fort Worth. In an e-mail this morning Kelli told me she had contacted Mayor Mike Moncrief’s secretary, and the secretary said the event has been placed on the mayor’s calendar. I hope he attends.
There are a lot of other people that attended the council meeting who could stand to attend and perhaps get a better education on trans issues — I am talking about a majority of those who spoke against the amendment. As Kelli said: “The opponents of a yes vote more often than not prefaced their comments with statements that including transgender people in Fort Worth’s anti discrimination policy as contrary to their biblical teachings, a potential threat to their freedom to practice religion, a threat to the freedom of speech, an added burden to local business because of legal costs defending employment decisions, as undesirable to family communities and, and most erroneous and disingenuous of all, a threat to woman and children in public places.
“All of these perceived threats have been shown to be untrue in Dallas since it’s including in 2002 of transgender people in it’s anti discrimination policies and across the country in hundreds of inclusive cities.
“Why this invitation to you is so very important: I found disturbing the incorrect terminology used by both the council members and our opponents, to describe us as ‘Living a life Style Choice’ and that our mysterious decision was contrary to all they had been taught during their upbringing. These statements would lead one to believe that the Council is, by no fault of it’s own, ignorant about transgender people and that they believed we had a option as to our who we are. I assure you we do not.”