NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) -New York City’s famed Stonewall Inn said it would pour Bud Light and Stella Artois beer down the drain this week to protest corporate donations by the brands’ owner to conservative lawmakers who have backed bills targeting transgender rights.
The Greenwich Village bar, considered the birthplace of the U.S. gay rights movement, said it would stop selling all alcoholic drinks made by the Anheuser-Busch brewer during June 25-27’s NYC Pride weekend.
According to data from Keep Your Pride, an LGBT+ campaign that monitors corporate donations, Anheuser-Busch has made 48 donations totaling $35,350 since 2015 to 29 lawmakers who have supported conservative bills on trans rights issues.
A spokesperson for Anheuser-Busch, the United States’ largest brewer, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation “our company and our brands are focused on making a positive and lasting impact when it comes to issues of equality.”
Stonewall Inn co-owner Stacy Lentz said the “pour out” protest would take place on Wednesday.
“You can’t turn your logo rainbow on social media, call yourself an ally, and then turn around and make donations that fuel hate,” Lentz said in a statement.
“There are really no excuses, and companies like Anheuser-Busch need to own up to what they’ve done,” she added.
The majority of the laws passed restrict trans children from competing in sports, while others ban medical care for trans youth and allow parents to opt their children out of LGBT+-related subjects in school.
Supporters of the laws have said they want to protect the rights of girls and women in schools’ sports and prevent young people from taking medical decisions they might later regret
The U.S. Department of Education has expanded Title IX protections to include discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
The move reverses Trump-era policy and stands against proposals in many states to bar transgender girls from school sports.
In a policy directive, the department said discrimination based on a student’s sexual orientation or gender identity will be treated as a violation of federal sex discrimination law. The decision is based on last year’s Supreme Court ruling protecting gay, lesbian and transgender people from discrimination in employment.
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said students “have the same rights and deserve the same protections” as worker
The Department of Education’s order comes as several states, including South Dakota, moved to limit transgender participation in sports.
Back in March, Gov. Kristi Noem signed two executive orders banning transgender women from competing in South Dakota sports programs. Noem signed the order after a bill limiting transgender participation in sports died in the legislature following a number of requested revisions from the governor’s office. Noem also launched a coalition called “Defend Title IX,” which she said was part of a broader effort to take on the issue at a national level.
Noem’s spokesperson Ian Fury issued the following statement to regarding the Department of Education’s announcement:
“Governor Noem will continue to defend Title IX from this outrageous overreach by the US Department of Education. As the Governor has long said, only girls should play girls’ sports. Title IX was passed to protect fairness for women. The federal government should enforce Title IX in a way that protects fairness for women’s sports, rather than misusing it in a way that undermines fairness.”
In June of 2020, the US Supreme Court handed down a ruling that barred employers from discriminating against queer and transgender employees This was the latest of many fights happening worldwide to introduce or strengthen legislation to protect the LGBTQ+ community in the workplace.
While this landmark ruling is a great step forward, the LGBTQ+ community – and the trans and gender-diverse community in particular – still frequently face discrimination in workplaces around the world.
Alex Hattingh, CPO at HR Software platform Employment Hero, shares how you can look out for the signs that employers are creating inclusive environments for everyone.
1. If you hear it, call it out
Trans and gender-diverse employees are almost twice as likely to hear sexist jokes about people of their gender, or to hear demeaning comments about people like themselves. From this, they are three times more likely to feel like they can’t talk about themselves or their life outside work. This is likely part of the reason why trans people frequently think about leaving their company. So if you hear something transphobic or offensive, call it out and make sure there are disciplinary measures in place.
Fostering diverse and inclusive workplaces opens your business up to invaluable diverse thinking. Diverse and inclusive workplaces can also make a significant impact beyond the office door, creating better professional lives for people from minority groups and driving change in society-wide inequalities.
2. Find out what your company does to help transgender people live authentically
When your employees were onboarding, did you offer them a chance to select their gender identity when they’re filling out their onboarding documents? In addition to ‘Male’ and ‘Female’ tick boxes, companies should include ‘Non-binary’ or ‘Prefer not to say’, so you can understand their gender identity before they start the job. For example, Employment Hero has gender selection options of ‘female’, ‘male’, ‘non-binary’ and ‘would prefer not to say’ as a standard inclusion on the paperless onboarding system.
3. Know your pronouns
Personal pronouns are the words we use to describe ourselves or others – ‘he’, ‘she’ or ‘they’. For a non-binary or gender neutral person, you should use the word ‘they’ in the place of ‘he’ or ‘she’. For a trans person remember to use the pronoun that aligns with the gender of which they identify. If you feel uncomfortable or unsure about what pronouns to use with someone, ask them.
It can be distressing for a person who is trans to be called by the name they used prior to transitioning or by incorrect pronouns. Make sure when you’re talking to or about a trans person you remember to use their identified name.
Sometimes, mistakes will happen. If yourself or one of your employees do slip up, offer a private and professional apology and remember for the future. Increasingly, more companies are including gendered pronouns as standard for all staff on email signatures. This is a positive and inclusive way to support trans and gender-diverse way in being addressed by their correct pronouns.
4. Create a culture of allyship
In the workplace, allies can be leaders, managers or employees who acknowledge, respect and value differences. Being an effective and authentic ally means more than one single act of solidarity. It means taking the long road to understanding and empathising with the various inequalities minority groups experience.
Displaying allyship can include standing up against discriminatory behaviour when you see it, challenging microaggressions, and explaining sensitive topics to non-diverse employees so the individual doesn’t have to. The burden on individuals from minority groups, such as the trans and gender diverse community, to talk to their identity time and time again can be exhausting.
Whilst it’s great to get to know your trans and gender-diverse employees better, don’t spotlight or ask frequent questions about their identity or experience, even if it’s in a positive light.
5. Remember your inclusive terms
Here’s a glossary, to help you use language that is professional AND inclusive:
Transitioning is the process of a person beginning to live as another gender.
An individual’s gender identity describes their personal conception of themselves as male, female or non-binary.
The term cisgender refers to a person whose sense of gender identity corresponds with their birth sex.
Folx is an alternative spelling to the word “folks”. The term can be used to indicate inclusion of different groups, and is a good alternative to “guys” or “ladies and gentlemen” when speaking.
An Indiana school district’s policy requiring teachers to use students’ names and pronouns consistent with their gender identities is a key piece to bolstering transgender youths’ physical and mental health, physicians tell a federal court.
A landmark 2018 study in the Journal of Adolescent Health found that transgender youth who could use accurate names and pronouns experienced 71% fewer symptoms of severe depression, a 34% drop in reported suicidal thoughts and a 65% decrease in suicide attempts, the brief tells the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana in an amicus brief it filed with several other organizations.
The brief supports the Brownsburg Community School Corp. (BCSC) in a lawsuit challenging its policy requiring school employees to refer to students by names and pronouns they or their parents list in the “PowerSchool” database. A music and orchestra teacher in the district, John Kluge, refused to follow the policy and resigned. He then sued BCSC and is asking the court for an accommodation that would allow him to refuse to use the name listed in PowerSchool and instead only use last names because of his religious beliefs.
The AMA and others ask the court to not let the lawsuit continue, telling the judges that Kluge’s proposed accommodation would make transgender students feel stigmatized and singled out for differential treatment, harming their well-being.
“In light of the significant challenges that transgender youth face, school communities such as BCSC must prioritize policies that respect and protect the rights of students, including policies that require respect for the names and pronouns that match a student’s gender identity,” the brief says.
The AMA filed the brief in the case—Kluge v. Brownsburg Community School Corp.—along with the American Academy of Pediatrics and its Indiana chapter; the National Association of Social Workers and its Indiana chapter; and Indiana Youth Group Inc., a nonprofit that promotes LGBTQ+ youth safety and healthy development. The AMA also took part in an amicus brief in a similar case in Ohio, Meriwether v. Hartop.
Learn about physicians’ support for a congressional bill to end discrimination against LGBTQ+ Americans.
The AMA and other amici tell the court they are committed to helping ensure transgender children have access to full educational opportunities and that their mental and physical wellbeing are protected. Their brief explains the challenges for transgender youth and the importance of affirming their gender identity.
Academic and medical research has shown transgender youth—which includes more than 100,000 U.S. teenagers—encounter “severe discrimination” in the school environment. Citing data from a number of studies, the brief tells the court surveys of transgender students and youth show that:
The students also were 1.66 times likelier to be bullied at schools, says the survey research cited in the brief.
Research shows these numbers go down when transgender children receive support in their gender identity. For example, the Journal of Adolescent Health study and others show that the levels of depression become similar to other youth.
A growing number of education and mental health professionals—including the amici, the National Education Association, the Council on Social Work Education and the American Psychological Association—believe schools should allow transgender students to be referred to by gender-affirming names and pronouns.
“The empirical data and expert consensus support defendant BCSC’s requirement that teachers respect students’ names and pronouns,” the brief concludes. An accommodation for Kluge “would deprive transgender students of a secure and supportive educational environment that increases the opportunity for physical and emotional wellbeing and academic success.”
The AMA Advisory Committee on LGBTQ Issues highlights LGBTQ news and topics related to patients and physicians.