Friday, February 23, 2007

It Has Been a Long Day

I was at the Legislative Office Building all day waiting to testify, I was there from 9:30 and I left at 3:30 and I finally got to testify around two in the afternoon. Listening to all the people who are not transgender speak in favor of the bill and after my testimony I felt empowered, like maybe I am what I am doing might make a difference. Here is my testimony:

An Act Concerning Discrimination: SB1044

Honorable chairmen, senators and representatives, my name is Diana and I would like to urge you to vote in favor of this bill.

I have lived for most of my life in fear that I would be found out. I lived in fear of losing my job, because at work I am not out and I fear of being harassed or fired if anyone found out. I will not live in fear any more and that is why I am here today because I feel so strongly that this bill must be passed. I am a Transsexual and that is why I am willing to testify here today and to take the risk of going public.

As a transsexual and a director of a support group I have seen the effect of discrimination. I know of transsexuals that have gotten fired at work when they revealed their intentions to transition and change their gender. I know crossdressers who are afraid that if they are found out at work that they crossdress that they would be fired or harassed. I know individuals who are transsexuals and they have been refused renewal of their lease, they then they found it very difficult for find a new apartment. I have a friend who is a Female to Male Transsexual and he says that when he was a lesbian he was protected from discrimination, but now that he is a transsexual he is no longer protected. This is not right!

We do not want any quotas or any special rights. All we want is to be able to live our lives, to earn a living, to raise our family. We just want to be treated as equals.

I am not naïve enough to think that this bill will do away with discrimination, but it will make an employer, a businessperson or a landlord think twice before they fire or refuse service or refuse to rent to a transgendered person. It will show that the state of Connecticut does not condone that type of behavior.

Please pass this bill, thank you.


Shel said...

You did good girl!

Lisa said...

Thank you Diana- thank you!