He's hired. She's fired. Same worker.
Transgender woman sues Georgia officials
By GREG BLUESTEIN
Associated Press Writer
A former state employee claimed Tuesday in a federal lawsuit that top Georgia legislative officials fired her because she said she would come to work dressed as a female as she prepared for a sex-change procedure to transform from man to woman. (Wouldn’t you have loved to be in that copy editor’s meeting…”should it be ‘he said he would come to work,’ since she was a he at the time, or should it be present-tense she?”)
Vandy Beth Glenn (nice name…really…it’s not easy not hard enough to be transgendered, you have to choose three first names?) said Tuesday she was illegally fired from her job as a legislative editor (Really? An editor? Anyone else see the irony?) for the Georgia General Assembly after she told her boss she was going to live as a woman full time. (For the record, her boss was fine if she would just do it part time, like on the weekends at his house…)
She said Legislative Counsel Sewell Brumby (Really, Sewell Brumby? Could you make up these names?) fired her because the gender transition would make her colleagues feel uncomfortable and would be seen as "immoral" by Georgia legislators. The lawsuit also claims House Speaker Glenn Richardson, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Senate President Pro-Tem Eric Johnson were in on the act. (I’m not sure what “act” they were “in on”, but I believe it involved Vandy, a donkey, a lacrosse stick and petroleum jelly)
"It's been devastating. I never thought this would happen, for one thing. And not from a public sector job," said Glenn, a transgender woman formerly known as Glenn Morrison. "This is about the right of everybody to be treated equally with respect." (No, this is about hacking up your privates being a little bit ‘oogey’ for most folks to comprehend)
"I think the lawsuit is without merit," said Brumby, who declined to discuss the case further. Richardson declined to comment. Other Georgia House and Senate staffers did not immediately return calls seeking comment.
Glenn was hired in 2005 as a legislative editor, charged with proofreading the hundreds of measures and proposals filed each year for grammar and spelling errors. The same year she was diagnosed with gender identity disorder, a condition defined by strong feelings of discomfort with a person's sex at birth and identification with the opposite gender.
For about a year, she continued to come to work as a man by day and dressed as a woman at home at night (kind of like a werewolf or Manimal). But in October 2006 Glenn told her supervisor she planned to undergo a gender transition to become a female. Physicians had advised her to start dressing as a female throughout the transition to help her adapt (plus, she could start building a bithcin’ wardrobe).
She decided on Halloween to dress as a woman for the first time at work, but it didn't go over very well. (Ah, the best laid plans…) She said in the lawsuit she was sent home immediately when she showed up at the Capitol wearing a skirt, tights and black boots (She was followed home immediately by three senators, the governor, a donkey and a Lacrosse player). Two other employees, both dressed in costumes, were not sent home, according to the filing.
Glenn, though, still seemed determined to undergo the change. In June 2007 she told her office she was continuing with the gender change, and gave her supervisors pamphlets on how to handle the transition and a photo album with several pictures of Glenn dressed as a woman. (Just curious, has anyone ever known pamphlets to be an effective tool for anything?)
Her supervisors confronted her a few months later. Brumby called her into a meeting in October 2007 and asked whether she was undergoing the transition, according to the filings.
When she confirmed, she said Brumby told her it would be viewed as immoral and said it couldn't "happen appropriately" in the workplace. She was fired and given 10 minutes to clean out her desk. (She was asked to leave behind the pamphlets and photo album)
The lawsuit, filed by gay and transgender civil rights group Lambda Legal, claims that the firing violated the Constitution's equal protection clause. It seeks legal fees and asks that Glenn's job be reinstated. Glenn said she is now undergoing the sex change, but would not say if she's had surgery. (My guess is she just tucks and tapes)
"Public employees cannot be terminated merely because her employers don't approve of who she is," said Cole Thaler, Glenn's attorney. (It’s not about who she is, it’s about what he/she/it is, duh)
Glenn said she knows the lawsuit could result in a bruising legal fight, but she's weighed the consequences.
"It has to be done. Someone has to do it," she said. "And I seem to have been elected." (No, it doesn’t. No they don’t. And no, you haven’t.)
(Clearly, this is a self-motivated person not afraid to ‘do something’. I say give her a pair of scissors, a bottle of vodka, and a video camera. We can watch the beautiful transformation unfold on CSPAN)