Empowering the Transgender Tribe
New York Association for Gender Rights Advocacy (NYAGRA)
Empowering the Tribe
John Jay College
3 November 2011
I would like to begin by thanking Silvia Dapia and Raul Romero and their colleagues at John Jay College for organizing Empowering the Tribe and for inviting me to speak at this symposium. I’ve been asked to talk about transgender legal issues, and I would like to touch briefly on developments at the national level as well as at the local level in New York City and spend the bulk of my time looking at the current situation at the state level here in New York.
On the theme of ‘Empowering the Transgender Tribe, there is both good news and bad. At the national level, the good news is that the debate over inclusion of gender identity in the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) currently pending in Congress came to a definitive conclusion in favor of inclusion; the bad news is that the inclusive version of the bill has stalled. But it is worthwhile spending just a few minutes examining the course of events in 2007 when the great ENDA crisis erupted.