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* Gender identity is one's internal sense of being male or female.

* This differs from sexual orientation, which refers to whom one is sexually attracted.

* Transsexuals (male to female or female to male) feel their gender identity is opposite from their birth sex.

* Transsexuals must live as the other gender for one year, before undergoing gender reassignment surgery (GRS)

* Transsexuals are "pre-op": meaning before GRS, or "post-op": meaning they have completed GRS

* The term "transgender" represents transsexuals, crossdressers (those who appear
part-time as the other gender), intersexed, femme appearing men and masculine appearing women (gender variant).




* Transsexuals undergo "transition" to the opposite sex, and this is a gradual process which includes "coming out" at their place of employment

* When transsexuals announce their transition in employment, they are frequently subject to termination, reassignment, demotion or harassment

* If an employer discovers that a person is a crossdresser, they are also subject to discrimination

* Because most transgender persons appear "different", they are also subject to hate crimes and violence

* Transgender persons are also subject to discrimination in health services, public accommodation and housing.




Status-based discrimination is inherently unfair, whether it is due to race, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation or gender identity.



Legal Protection

* Since 1977, courts throughout the United States have denied transgender persons the right to bring claims of sex or gender discrimination under federal or state statutes.

* Many cities have recently passed ordinances protecting gender identity. These include:

Denver, Tucson, New York, Tacoma, Boulder, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago and Dallas.


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NMGAIN 11-18-02