Trans People Take on Transit in NYC

In a case that wound its way all the way to the New York State Supreme Court, a transwoman won the right to sue NYC’s transit authority when she was verbally harassed by an employee.

It’s nice to know that at least in some places, transit authorities are being held accountable for the environments they create.

Read more here: http://www.housingworks.org/news-press/detail/ny-state-supreme-court-rules-transgender-discrimination-suit-against-n/#permalink

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Posted in trans rights

RAGE in the news!

The Philadelphia Inquirer is telling the story of RAGE! Please read the article and leave a supportive comment on the philly.com site! Go team!

Posted in trans rights

SEPTA Meeting Action Report Back

Thanks to all of you who helped us draft the Bill of Rights, who signed it, and who showed up on the 15th or helped get other people to attend the SEPTA meeting with us, we had about 25 supporters who came out to hold signs in the audience and present the Bill of Rights to SEPTA.

At the meeting we unfurled a 6-foot long copy of the Bill of Rights and presented it to the SEPTA personnel and officials there before the start of their public Capital Budget Planning meeting. This was just an initial unveiling of the Bill of Rights to show SEPTA that we haven’t gone away on this issue and plan to continue to build support to pressure them to change the M/F gender sticker. We plan to bring the Bill of Rights to more elected officials and people in a position to pressure SEPTA to change their policies.

Here’s some of the news coverage we got:

KYW:

http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2010/12/15/group-says-gender-stickers-on-septa-passes-are-an-affront/

Fox 29 News:

http://www.myfoxphilly.com/dpp/news/local_news/septa-riders-group-declare-their-rights

More Pictures, taken by RAGE member Kaytee Riek:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/riekhavoc/sets/72157625479615051/detail/

We’ve also had great support so far from organizations and elected officials who’ve signed on to the Bill of Rights:

Babette Josephs, State Representative
Myra Taska, President, PFLAG
Nurit Shein, Executive Director, Mazzoni Center
Steve Duffy, Executive Director, Mountain Meadow
Elicia Gonzales, Executive Director, GALAEI
Kevin Burns, Executive Director, Action AIDS
Michael Hinson, Former Liason for LGBT Communities, City of Philadelphia COLOURS, Inc.
Megumi Kanada, Member, Hot Pot!
Gregory Walker, The Brothers’ Network
Sister Mary Scullion, Executive Director, Project HOME
Leila Fusfield, President, Peace Advocacy Network
Chris Liang, Queer Philadelphia Asians
Leo Watts, Coordinator, TMAN
Shayna Israel & Adrienne Williams, Co-Executive Directors, Elements Organization (Women of Color Conference)
Lawrence Frazier, The House of Blahnik
Chris Alston, President, Philadelphia Black Gay Pride
Marc Berman, Chair, Philadelphia Family Pride
Roberta Gallaway, Sanasis
Patricia Way, Women’s Program Fellow, American Friends Service Committee
Andrea Harrington & Lawrence Frazier, Community Advisory Managers, COLOURS, Inc.
Casey Cook, Executive Director, Bread and Roses Fund
Rev. Jeff Jordan, MCC Church
Carolyn Thomspon, Principal, CTThomspon Consulting
Denise Brown, Executive Director, Leeway Foundation

Thanks again for all your support, and stay tuned to this blog in the New Year to hear about our next steps!

Posted in trans rights

SEPTA RIDERS DECLARE RIGHTS; END TO DISCRIMINATORY GENDER STICKERS

PHILA, PA – Fed up with discriminatory policies and an unresponsive SEPTA administration, on Wednesday a group of angry transit riders hope to make transit history at SEPTA’s public meeting regarding the development of the Authority’s Fiscal Year 2012 Capital Budget. The group will bring with them their recently completed SEPTA Rider’s Bill of Rights, a document outlining the protections to which SEPTA riders are entitled to protect their gender identity. SEPTA officials will have the opportunity to sign the historic document, believed to be SEPTA’s first Rider’s Bill of Rights.

The event has been called for by Riders Against Gender Exclusion (RAGE), an organization that has been campaigning for the removal of gender stickers from SEPTA transpasses since May 2009.

WHAT: A protest of SEPTA’s failure to eliminate gender stickers from transit passes.

WHEN: 11:30 am, Wednesday December 15, 2010.

WHERE: SEPTA Board Room, Mezzanine Level, 1234 Market Street, Philadelphia PA

WHO: Riders Against Gender Exclusion (RAGE) and allies.

WHY: To demand that SEPTA administrators remove all gender stickers and other gender
identifiers from SEPTA transit passes.

Posted in trans rights

RAGE’s Rider’s Bill of Rights

Last month, hard-working RAGE members drafted a bill of rights explaining how riders of all genders should be treated on the subject of gender expression. After that, we worked with some of our community partners to finalize the language, and this document is the result of all our hard work. Would you like to sign the bill of rights? Email Max at nogenderstickers_at_gmail.com!

Rage’s Bill of Rights

We, the people who rely on the South-Eastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA) for our transportation to our jobs, schools, homes and shelters, and to receive health care and other essential services, are entitled to certain rights and fair treatment that respect our identities and protect our dignity.

In the current system SEPTA riders are routinely labeled and questioned in regards to their gender when purchasing and using SEPTA passes.  This is a violation of our rights, privacy, and safety. We have the right to non-disclosure and non-interrogation.

Specifically,

  • We have a right to an anti-discrimination policy that matches Philadelphia’s Home Rule Charter, which includes gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, etc.
  • We have the right to gender self-determination and respect for our identities, we have the right not to feel forced into the categories of male or female;
  • We have the right to customer service that doesn’t make us uncomfortable.  We have the right to interact with SEPTA employees and other fare vendors who have been trained to be sensitive to gender-identity issues and fair treatment.
  • We have the right to not have to endure any additional gender-related discomfort or difficulty with our pass sticker, even when the passes are distributed through employers or third-party agencies. For example, customers whose passes are purchased through employers, recovery houses, insurance programs, etc. should not have to use a pass with their legal gender.
  • We have the right to refrain from disclosing our gender to SEPTA employees or having our gender questioned in front of other passengers;
  • We have the right to move through every mode of transit without disclosing our gender, in the way that most of us[1] are currently allowed to pass through a subway turnstile;
  • We have the right to use our working passes or fare cards no matter what gender sticker or color they have or don’t have. Gender stickers or fare card colors should have no bearing on the validity of the pass;
  • We have the right to a transportation system that does not increase our risk of experiencing violence, we have the right to safety;
  • We have the right to changes that prioritize our safety and dignity over cosmetic changes to SEPTA.  Gender stickers and color-coding of fare cards should be discontinued before another dollar is spent on changing names of rail lines, branding campaigns, etc.
  • We have a right to transparency, a clear timeline, and to a new system. SEPTA has been dishonest and unreliable about their plans for implementing a new system and eliminating the gender stickers.
  • We have the right to put our dollars towards a system that does not discriminate against us, the customers.  We have the right to hold SEPTA accountable when we do not receive the treatment that we deserve.

We ask those that support us in advocating for the recognition of these rights by SEPTA to sign their name in show of solidarity as we take further action to change SEPTA’s policies and practices as they relate to gender.

We recognize that gender-based discrimination is just one area that needs to be addressed by SEPTA, we stand with those who are fighting for fair treatment in regards to their age, ability, economic status or other aspects of their identity that deserve respect.


[1] Those of us using wheelchairs, bringing bicycles or strollers, and/or using reduced fare cards don’t have even this luxury.

Posted in trans rights | 1 Comment

Internet Beats Non-Internet; Ugh

We’re now the proud owners of phillyrage.org.

The folks that we purchased the domain name from had a better system for collecting information about our gender(s) than our publicly funded transit system does – they offered us a totally smart “no response” option. Is this really that hard to figure out?

Posted in philadelphia, ridiculous, septa, trans rights

Thanks, Citypaper!

RAGE was given an honorable mention by Citypaper on their 2010 list of Activist/Watchdog groups in their 2nd Annual Big Visionaries issue. We hope Joe Casey’s reading!

Posted in local media, philadelphia, trans rights