Unity in the Community! DART vote unanimous: Adopt 'Unequivocal' Transgender Protections

Today June 22, 2010 DART entered the 21st century, pressured by state advocacy groups and the Dallas city Council to do so. DART finally agreed in a surprising unanimous vote to adopt a amendment to it's nondiscrimination policy protecting its transgender employees.

DART board members first voted to remove the wording that would have left open the interpretation of there nondiscrimination policy and to a standing ovation passed without debate resolution 950155.

Committee member William Tsao then proposed Resolution 950155 "It is the intention of the DART board to adopt language at DART that unequivocally prohibits discrimination against persons based upon their gender identity and gender expression."

I sat next to the transgender woman the state LGBT organizations had united so passionately to protect. In my mind I had envisioned a woman early in transition, perhaps someone DART supervisors would not clearly recognize as female.

I can be such a idiot. Robin is a beautiful fully transitioned rose in full bloom. I was bewildered that anyone could actually deny her the opportunity to live as the woman she is. I had to ask her, if now that the protections were in place would she feel free to transition on the job. Robin simply said, "I have been, I couldn't have done otherwise."

Robin did go on to say that "untill the LGBT community started petitioning DART to change it's nondiscrimination policy I had to put up with harassment from my supervisors" she went on "but now things have been different."

Pam Curry, her friend who brought her plight to our notice was close to tears, her voice quivering as she explained to the board, "my friend, my sister has been crying each time she called me in the past years because of the harassment at work. Maybe now she will be able to live in peace".

I was left amazed by this tiny beautiful woman who stoically braved oppression silently and patiently waiting for her LGBT family to rescue her. I was also in awe of our LGBT family. They send goose bumps down my back transgender back, I am so proud of each and everyone.

And Robin is too! She says THANK YOU!

Kelli Busey
June 22, 2010

Dallas Transgender Advocates comments to DART Board

Chairman Velasco, board members and General Council Simmons,

I stood before you a few months ago and praised you for your selfless dedication to DART, encouraged by your stated desire to transform DART into a corporation that would no longer persecute it's transgender employees.

I stand before you today angry, disillusioned but focused and empowered.

We ave worked these months in good faith petitioning your corporation to simply allow the human rights that are allowed by common decency to be extended to your employees.

In return for our efforts we initially saw a spark of hope in that DRT would amend it's nondiscrimination policy to protect it's most vulnerable, transgender people.

But as time went on DART began to assemble a nondiscrimination policy with proposed language that was vague and ambiguous strangely inviting an interpretation which would allow open discrimination against the people that DART purportedly desired to protect.

My worst fears were confirmed after Council Member Raymond Noah announced the nondiscrimination policy was crafted so DART could in fact openly discriminate against transgender people as it has done selectively against all other protected classes!

Mr. Raymond Noah t has been reveled in the past week that you in your capacity of Judge you misgendered and humiliated a transgender OFFICER of the law, Diana J. Powe repeatedly during a seven year post transitional period. Your intentionally misgendered her while she was n the witness stand and making a production of correcting your self, insueing her humiliation.

As a young transgender woman I made some mistakes which cost me a night in jail. I was repeatably embarrassed by jail employees and guards who striped me to the bare essentials of clothing and continually paraded visitors and staff past my cell to embarrass and humiliate me. And you did the same thing to a officer of the law who's served a seven year sentence imprisonment by her belief your indiscretions were of less importance than her commitment to her job.

Mr Noah I beleive this example of transmisoyony and homophobia is just the tip of the iceberg since you were the one who inserted the changes that would have allowed DART to discriminate at will.

General counsel Hyattye Simmons, you earn a six figure income yet you took it yourself to direct your legal team to influence a family court judge so she would vacate a ruling finding a transgender woman legaly female. I know you deny any involvement in that and I am calling you a lie. The judge would never have done that with out your interference.

I suggest you should be fired and your six figure income be used to support the minor increase to your insurance plan that would allow for the funding of sexual reassignment surgeries for your transgender employees and benefits for your partnered gay and lesbian employees.

This goes out to all the transgender girls who like myself were rejected by friends and family. If you make the same mistakes I did and end up in a cell, demand respect and common decency and nothing less from your jailers.

This goes out to all te transgender police officers who unselfishly endure harassment and disbasement from judges while performing your duties, You do not have to accept this mistreatment anymore! Demand respect and dignity and nothing less.

This goes out to Robin a fellow driver. God bless you girl. You have endured this inhumanity silently and anonymously trusting in our LGBT community to rescue you because you were held incarcerated by a system so institutionalized with bigotry to do otherwise would have cost you your job.

I beleive DART will amend it's nondiscrimination policy as we have asked, maybe not from a feeling of obligation but protectionism.

And if they do Robin from this day forward your suffering from this oppression is over and you will be free to live your life with arms wide open.