Senate Hears from First Transgender Witness on Employment Non-Discrimination Act
Washington, D.C. – June 13, 2012 – Yesterday, history was made when the Senate heard testimony from a transgender witness for the first time. In a hearing dedicated to highlighting workplace discrimination experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, Kylar Broadus, an African American transgender man, recounted how he was harassed while working at a major financial institution and emphasized the importance of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). Broadus is the Founder of the Trans People of Color Coalition (TPOCC), a national social justice organization that promotes the interests of trans people of color as well as a Board Member and former Board Chair of the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), a national civil rights organization dedicated to empowering Black LGBT people.
“There are many more people like me that are not employed as a result of just being who they are,” said Broadus during his testimony. “It’s extremely important that this bill be passed to protect workers like me.”
It is still legal in 29 states to discriminate based on sexual orientation and in 37 states to do so based on gender identity and expression. According to the Williams Institute, “17 percent reported being fired because of their sexual orientation, 13 percent reported being denied a promotion of receiving a negative job evaluation, and 20 percent reported being harassed verbally or in writing on the job” because they are gay or transgender. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) would extend employment protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
“To have a trans person of color shed light on the challenges faced by transgender Americans who simply want the same chance at earning a living and providing for themselves was monumental,” says Sharon Lettman-Hicks, NBJC Executive Director and CEO. “This was a historic moment in the Senate and for our nation as a whole.”
The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is a civil rights organization dedicated to empowering Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. NBJC’s mission is to eradicate racism and homophobia.
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