Saturday, March 24, 2007

Update! Transgendered City Manager Fired...

Steve Stanton, the Largo Florida city manager who was fired after it came out that he was planning to transition to a woman lost his appeal. In spite of the presence of hundreds of supporters, the City Commission voted 5-2 to terminate Stanton according to the St. Petersburg Times today.

One of the commissioners, Andy Guyette, according to another article was upset that Stanton allegedly went to some seminars at the National League of Cities as Susan. Guyette says he doesn't care that Stanton wants to be come a woman but that he "misrepresented himself on the City's dime" and has been "living a lie".

Guyette does have a point here, given the stereotypes many people have about transgendered individuals. But transgendered people who desire to transition, typically have to go through (or at least should go through) a standard protocol called the Harry Benjamin Standards of Care, which includes real life experience living as the desired gender, so in some sense what Stanton was doing made sense.

Another Headline in the St. Petersburg Times summed up the facts for many transgender people who decide to transition: "Change Sex? Lose Job."

Stanton may not have handled his situation in the best way, but my gut reaction to the charge that Stanton "was living a lie" is to ask could Stanton really have done things in a way to save his job? Somehow I think not. Not in Largo, and unfortunately not in many other places either, not yet.

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