Task Force releases new resource for employers on trans inclusivity

Victoria Rodriguez-Roldan

Victoria Rodriguez-Roldan

The National LGBTQ Task Force and the District of Columbia’s Office of Human Rights today published “Valuing Transgender Applicants and Employees,” a “first-of-its-kind” resource to help eliminate discrimination against transgender and gender nonconforming individuals in the workplace.

The booklet offers in-depth “best practices” to help employers create “genuinely inclusive and welcoming” environments.

Victoria Rodriguez-Roldan, Trans/Gender Nonconforming Justice Project director for the Task Force, said in a press release, “Everyone, including transgender people, deserve a fair chance at a good paying job and the ability to provide for themselves and their families. Transgender people face formidable discrimination and harassment in the workplace. This new resource provides vital recommendations for employers and human resource specialists looking to ensure that transgender people are treated with dignity and respect in the workplace.”

Monica Palacio, director of the DC Office of Human Rights, noted that the District of Columbia  is “fortunate to have a strong law” protecting transgender people from employment discrimination. But most jurisdictions offer no such protections.

And even in places where protections are in place, Palacio said, “many times employers that want to create welcoming environments are unsure of how best to do that. We believe this best practices guide will be an important starting place for those employers that want to build transgender-inclusive workplaces.”

According to the 2011 National Transgender Discrimination Survey report, 90 percent of transgender people in the U.S. report experiencing harassment, discrimination and mistreatment in the workplace. In 2015, the DC Office of Human Rights report “Qualified and Transgender” showed that 48 percent of employers surveyed appeared to prefer at least one less-qualified applicant perceived as cisgender over a more-qualified applicant perceived as transgender.

Currently, 19 states and the District of Columbia have explicit workplace nondiscrimination protections based on gender identity and expression.

Go here to read the report.



—  Tammye Nash

Philadelphia to host Creating Change conference next year


The 29th Creating Change Conference will take place on Jan. 18-22, 2017 in Philadelphia, the National LGBTQ Task Force announced today (Thursday, March 31).

“For more than a quarter century, we’ve trained more than 40,000 activists and community leaders from across the country and elsewhere in the world,” said Russell Roybal, National LGBTQ Task Force deputy executive director. “Next year’s conference will be bigger and better. As we continue to advance and grow, we look forward to rolling out new changes and improvements. We encourage all who are able to attend to join us in Philadelphia!”

The changes presumably refer to the controversies during this year’s conference in Chicago.

A Jewish group had planned a Shabbat service on Friday night at Creating Change with guests from Jerusalem Open House, an LGBT community center in Jerusalem. After three people complained about the appearance of Israelis at Creating Change because of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, National LGBTQ Executive Director Rea Carey canceled the reception.

The planned reception was then re-instated, only for the service to be disrupted by protestors. You can read Dallas Voice’s story on the incident here.

Protesters also shut down a panel put together by the National Black Justice Coalition featuring cis men who are attracted to trans women. A trans woman who claimed one of the panelists was an abuser instigated the protest. That man doesn’t have any such charges pending against him, and he is about to file a suit for defamation.

After the incidents, Carey apologized and promised changes at future conferences.

For more information about the conference visit Creatingchange.org.

—  James Russell

Dallas LGBT Task Force celebrates Pride

Screen shot 2015-06-08 at 5.14.22 PMThe city of Dallas’ LGBT Task Force celebrates national Gay Pride Month beginning at noon Wednesday, June 10, when the Task Force chairman, Councilman Adam Medrano of District 2, presents a proclamation signed by Mayor Mike Rawlings in Room 6EN — the Flag Room — at City Hall.

Here’s a schedule of other Pride events taking place this month:

• June 10, 6 p.m.: LGBT Rainbow Book Club and discussion at the North Oak Cliff Branch Library, 302 W. 10th St. Refreshments will be served. Bring your favorite LGBT book. June is also LGBT Book Month, and the Dallas Library will be Tweeting a new book recommendation each day this month.

• June 13: Bahama Beach LGBT Day, 1895 Campfire Circle. Guests should indicate that they are attending for LGBT Day to receive reduced admission ($9, down from $15).

• June 20-21: Juneteenth Pool Party and Juneteenth Unity Barbecue, sponsored by United Black Ellument in collaboration with Dallas Southern Pride. Pool party, 5-10 p.m. June 20 at 3121 Ross Ave. Unity Barbecue, 2-7 p.m. June 21 at Stone Tables Pavilion, 650 E. Lawther Drive. For information visit UBEDallas.org/Juneteenth. The Unity picnic is also sponsored by Cosmopolitan Congregation of Dallas.

• June 26, 1-5 p.m.: Children’s Rainbow Crafts and Movie, at the Children’s Center at the J Erik Jonsson Central Library, with children and families invited to make fun rainbow crafts and relax with a family-friendly movie. Drop-in crafts start at 1 p.m., and the movie starts at 2 p.m.

• June 27, 4-7 p.m.: Rainbow Family Day at Dallas City Hall Plaza, 500 Marilla St., with activities for the whole family.

—  Tammye Nash

PHOTOS: Creating Change 2014 in Houston

Nona Hendryx performs Sunday at Creating Change in Houston. (Anna Waugh/Dallas Voice)

Nona Hendryx performs Sunday at Creating Change in Houston. (Anna Waugh/Dallas Voice)

 HOUSTON — Thousands of LGBT advocates departed from Houston Sunday as the 26th annual National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change came to a close.

The annual five-day conference set records for the amount of attendees and workshops in its first year in Houston. And the inspiration of the weekend was all around during the conference, from Houston Mayor Annise Parker’s welcome to trans actress Laverne Cox’s keynote speech and National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey’s State of the Movement address. (If you missed any of the speeches, you can watch them here.)

And, like any celebration in the LGBT community, it ended with a bang as bisexual singer Nona Hendryx rocked out on stage on Sunday after brunch.

More photos below.

—  Dallasvoice

Minn. pastor back in pulpit after gay report

PATRICK CONDON  |  Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS — A Lutheran pastor in Minneapolis who opposes homosexuals being allowed to lead congregations says he is attracted to men but says he’s not a hypocrite because he never acted on his urges.

The Rev. Tom Brock told The Associated Press on Monday, Aug. 2 that he has known for many years that he is attracted to men. He says he is still a virgin at age 57 and doesn’t consider himself gay because he hasn’t acted on his attraction.

Brock’s sexuality became an issue after a gay magazine reported on his membership in a support group for Christians battling same-sex attraction. Brock was put on leave while a task force at Hope Lutheran Church looked into the matter.

Hope Lutheran’s executive pastor says the task force found Brock credible, and he was back in the pulpit on Sunday.

—  John Wright