Trans Ohioans Are Asking for Basic Human Dignity

Stacie Ray knows firsthand how dangerous it can be to have ID documents that don’t reflect who she is, especially when they out you as transgender to other people.

For instance, in 2016 Stacie attended a new job orientation along with 10 other new employees, and they were all required to present their birth certificates. When a human resources staffer called Stacie up in front of all the other new employees and examined her documents, the staffer said, “Why doesn’t your gender match?” That’s because while Stacie is a woman, she was assigned male at birth, and her Ohio birth certificate still says she’s male. Ohio is one of just three states, plus Puerto Rico, that refuse to update the gender marker on birth certificates, at any time, for any reason.

The consequences for Stacie were severe: She was outed to her co-workers as transgender and they started calling her “the freak of the company.” Another female co-worker told Stacie that if she ever encountered Stacie in the women’s room, she would “beat [her] ass.” The intense shunning and harassment led Stacie to quit that job just two weeks later.

The following year, Stacie was working as a truck driver and sought a higher paying job that required a hazardous materials endorsement for her commercial driver’s license. That endorsement in turn required a background check from the Transportation Safety Administration . At the first appointment for getting the background check, Stacie gave the TSA both her Ohio driver’s license, which correctly showed her as female, and her Ohio birth certificate, which still said male. The TSA not only told her it wouldn’t do the background check because of the discrepancy in the gender markers on her Ohio documents, but it also outed her as transgender to others in the waiting area.

Humiliated and in tears, Stacie drove directly to the Ohio Board of Health, Office of Vital Statistics, which handles birth certificates, explained what she had just been through, and asked for a corrected birth certificate. They said, “We will never change it.”

Stacie, however, has had enough.

Last week, she and three other courageous transgender people born in Ohio sued the state over its intransigence around updating birth certificates. The ACLU, ACLU of Ohio, and Lambda Legal, which have brought the case together, argue that the state’s policy violates individuals’ equal protection, privacy, and free speech rights. But at its core, Ohio’s policy refuses to treat Ohioans with basic human dignity. That’s all Stacie and the other plaintiffs are seeking, and it’s what they deserve.

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Dr. Timothy Leary

If you are not happy being what you are, you are not going to be happy being what you are not.

Anonymous

"What's in a name?" The play write wrote in his historic monologue. With that digression competed, how is the persons life effected if he continues to keep the M on his licence? Will not everyone look at the person to make the distinction for themselves? If so, what value is lost?
In terms of the legal action, "...filed a lawsuit challenging Ohio’s refusal to correct the gender marker on birth certificates for transgender people, for any reason, at any time." Most states don't change longstanding government documents for anything less than physicians verified surgery completed. This allows to record of individual to be maintained in the strictest fashion, with minimum entanglement in day to day activities.
As far as the, "The lawsuit states that the Ohio government has violated the equal protection, due process, and free speech rights...". There is no loss of protection from these individuals based on what they state their gender is on a certain day. If anything, this individual lied on a federal form, a punishable offense. furthermore, no one is keeping these individuals, from speaking out against these laws.

Chutney

This is a situation that the only people who will ever be able to understand are those of us who have been here. Transgender woman and men are born with a well documented medical condition resulting in a physical mismatch between their bodies sex and their gender identity. Gender identity is a function of the brain and not related to the contents of the individual's underwear.

If only the folks of the far right would pay attention to what the medical and mental health professionals are saying, rather than dismissing anything they're not able to comprehend.

Anonymous

Your BIRTH certificate shows what gender you were born (and also what you still are). They may need to know for medical reasons.

Heidi

Take away the hormones of a transgender, and your have what you started with, sans some body parts. What a joke to change a birth certificate. You can't re-write history......unless you're communist.

Anonymous

Sorry society is real so we have no time to play in your pretend fantasy life. Do as you wish but there are only two biological genders of humans. The rest of us are not obligated to play along in your pretend world.

Jacob Nash

I have been doing this work long enough to know that WE can change hearrs and minds if we are given the chance. To those who say biology and chromosomes are the determining factor in who people are and those can not be changed, let me ask you if you have ever met an individual who is intersex (meaning they could possibly have been born with both a penis and a vagina or a penis and ovaries) or someone who was born with female genitalia but has male chromosomes. You think that everyone is just born textbook male and female because that's what was taught up until now. If the reality is that people are not simply born textbook penis and vagina; but also a mix; and we also know from researching DNA that there are more chromosomes than xx and xy then why is it so far reaching to think that transgender people exist? If you are still with me, think of it this way... ladies God forbid something happens and you end up having breast cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, cervical cancer and you have to have them all removed. Your doctor then put you on synthetic estrogen because your body no longer can produce it naturally. Then you find out you are allergic to the synthetic estrogen. Because you do not have estrogen in your body the testosterone would start taking over. Because the testosterone starts taking over you start to develop characteristics such as facial hair, muscle mass, your voice starts to deepen, you may start getting chest hair and other masculine features. So then my question to you ladies would be would you then be men? More than likely you would say no! But your secondary sex characteristics that would say you are female are no longer there you have no estrogen, you have no breasts and you are showing male characteristics, but your internal sense of who you are as a woman is still present. Men I have not forgotten about you: so what if you ended up having prostate cancer and testicular cancer and you had to have them removed and for those of you old enough to remember John Wayne Bobbitt and his angry wife Loretta she cut off his penis and we know things happened to people's penises all the time so it's not out of the realm of possibility. So your doctor put you on the synthetic testosterone YouTube are allergic so then your body rejects it so now there is very little testosterone in your body so your estrogen start searching. So if that starts happening then you start developing breast tissue, you would lose your facial hair but would happen over a period of time, your skin would get softer you would lose your muscle mass it would turn into fat, the hair on your chest and back would gradually go away if you shaved it. So the same question is post to you men, would you then be a woman? More than likely you would say no. Because again your internal sense of who you are as a man is more prominent. So you're gender identity as men and women if we look at this scenario and was strictly talking about the binaries hear of men and women are more prominent because if we just take away the things we look at that people often say are determining factors that make us men and women no longer are at play.

It is nobody's business what other people have between their legs whether you are transgender, whether you are cisgender, that is a determining factor for individuals and who they decide to share it with. Whom we choose to share that with is our business nobody else's, it is not an employer's business it is not a stranger's business it is nobody else's business! Documents were created as a source of a census that is it and it really should not matter nor does it really matter how somebody identifies. We have used it as a sword to divide long enough!

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