March 23, 2006

The Crimson Covers Trans Task Force

The Crimson had an article about the Trans Task Force today. The subtitle of the article was "Harvard's non-discrimination clause doesn't cover its transgendered students, faculty, and staff. Advocates are working to change that."

It is actually relatively fabulous (although it does say that TTF wrote Trannys Talk Back, which, if you look at quench archives, is proven untrue.)

Here are a couple of great quotes from the article:

“I can say the way this issue is being treated is as though its not a priority for the administration, and it’s a priority for us,” Feldstein says. “There are students right now who want to see that they’re not going to be discriminated against. They’re not gonna wait 20 years for caselaw for the univeristy to decide whether it’s O.K. to discriminate or not.”
Some other great quotes about trans harvard affiliates speaking anonymously (cough! cough! quench)
Some advocates say that the best spokespersons are those who are transgendered. The catch: until the environment is safer, those students do not feel comfortable coming forward. Of the students and faculty The Crimson identified as transgendered for this story, all preferred to speak anonymously to avoid repercussions.

“It’s a challenge that every movement like this has faced—in any sort of push for non discrimination, you start with a group that by definition isn’t protected. It makes it very difficult for that group to openly or vocally demand certain things,” says Thoreson.

Here is some more:
According to activists, the issue is bigger than it seems. The nondiscrimination code doesn’t only affect students. Although Harvard boasts about extending employee benefits to same-sex couples “long before the practice became commonplace in the region,” it continues to deny written protection against discrimination towards employees who identify as transgendered. As one of the largest employers in Massachusetts, Harvard’s non-discrimination policy potentially affects a large number of people.

“The current absence of such a statement carries its own strong–and very unfortunate–message and we want to see this remedied very soon,” says Robyn T. Ochs, a member of the executive Committee of the LGBT Faculty and Staff Group and a staff member in the Romance Languages and Literatures Department.

So, I hope people are getting geared up for the upcoming campaign.

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