Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Florida Employee Fired for Being Transgendered


City commissioners in Largo, Fla., voted Tuesday night to fire its longtime city administrator -- less than a week after it was disclosed the employee is embarking on sex reassignment. For 14 years Steven Stanton -- who now goes by Susan -- was an admired member of the Tampa Bay community's local government. Last week after a local newspaper acting on a tip began asking questions Stanton sat down with the St. Petersburg Times and divulged her status. In an interview at Largo City Hall, which also included Mayor Pat Gerard, Stanton told the paper she has begun receiving hormone therapy and counseling -- a requirement for transitioning. Stanton, who is married and the father of a teenaged son, said she had not intended to go public until later in the year when her son would be out of town and would not be subjected to the publicity. She said that plan changed when the Times began asking questions.

This dismissal is really outrageous and just goes to show that despite all the talk about progress in the area of gender and sexuality issues, things really haven't changed much. I'm reading Dr. Renee Richards' new book, "No Way Renee," right now and Stranton's situation is similar to Richards' in that they were both both fathers of young boys whom they sought to shield from the situation, and were both forced to "come out" by inquiring newspaper reporters. Let's hope Stanton follows Richards' footsteps and doesn't take this dismissal lying down. (365Gay)

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