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I have posted numerous times about how the state of New York constantly throws the transgender community under the bus. However, some local progress was made several weeks ago, as Syracuse passed an ordinance prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

From the Syracuse Post-Standard:

Syracuse, N.Y. — The Syracuse Common Council…passed a local law extending civil rights to all people regardless of “gender expression.”

Councilors voted 7 to 1 to approve a law that prohibits discrimination based on a person’s “actual or perceived sex, or their gender identity or expression.”

Fourth District Councilor Khalid Bey cast the only no vote. Councilor-at-Large Helen Hudson was absent.

The measure amends the city’s existing Fair Practices Law, which was passed in 1990 to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation.

This was followed by the mayor, Stephanie Miner, signing the ordinance into law.

Only one city council member, Khalid Bey, voted against this, and he seemed to use the same old bathroom rhetoric, but thankfully, the other members didn’t listen.

This is an extremely personal moment for me, as I lived in Syracuse for a year after I graduated flunked out of Ramapo College. It was a very tumultuous time in my life, for some reason I don’t really understand, I was living as a gay male in the city (I would not come out until just over a year after I came out), and was active in many activities with Syracuse University’s LG”BT” community. I will always remember how it was all either cisgender gay male or cisgender lesbian, and nothing else among many social circles and the only time I had ever seen any transgender people was when a middle aged guitarist had performed at a social night at the LGBT center. I look upon that time in my life with a certain amount of disdain, due to the fact that, even though I was accepted as a “gay male”, I felt like I couldn’t be who I truly was.

Though I will unlikely to ever live in Syracuse again, it makes me happy to know that now, everywhere where I have ever lived now has gender identity protections. I grew up and went to college in New Jersey (passed 2007 statewide), went to boarding school in Connecticut (passed 2011 statewide), lived in Syracuse (now passed) and have resided in Pittsburgh (passed 1999 on city level, 2009 on county level), and now reside in Philadelphia (passed 2002 on city and county level).

-Jordan Gwendolyn Davis



Categories: Transgender Issues