The Right Person for the Job


Steven M. Cohen writes "From the Washington Post:

The job candidate interviewing to be a terrorism research analyst at the Library of Congress seemed to have exceptional qualifications: a 25-year Army veteran and former Special Forces commander who spent a career hunting terrorists and often personally briefed the vice president, defense secretary or Joint Chiefs of Staff on sensitive operations.

The interviews and salary talks went well for David Schroer. A job offer followed, and he accepted. Then the new employee brought up one last item: Once work began, the name would be Diane, not David."


I've known a few transgendered people. A little more than a dozen if I'm remembering correctly. I had quite a number of friends and acquaintances who came out / were out in high school and college, back when I lived in the Washington DC area, so I was sort of on the periphery of portions of the GLBTLMNOP community. All but one were male-to-female, at various points along their journeys: electrolysis, hormone therapy, beginning the legal identity-change paperwork, only a few who had had surgery yet.

The thing that just struck me now, thinking back, was how many of them were ex-military. More than a third; perhaps even half of them. I think some of them may have used military service as a way to bolster their masculinity. Immersing in testosterone to kind of force themselves to become comfortable in their (then) male bodies. One in particular that I remember worked for a government agency. Proudly displayed on her desk was a photo of (then) him in the cockpit of a fighter, receiving a medal from George Bush I.

This is the one of the clearest and worst examples of discrimination and hate in the workplace--it beggars the imagination. I am deeply embarassed that it is our national library at fault.

I tend to think of LOC as Mecca. This action does seem more suited to a very sandy theocratic monarchy than it does to the land of the free and the home of the brave. Diane is brave. I hope she wins her lawsuit big time, and that transfolk get to enjoy the same freedoms and protections as the rest of the US citizenry. Meanwhile, thank goodness she has a military pension to fall back on. Too bad about the thanks of a grateful nation.

I've known several transgender people who worked at Libraries - indeed I've been one myself. I don't know one who hasn't run into problems in employment due to their transgender histories - an unexpected expeience in this setting one might hope. But hope must bow to sad experience.

I've known of my people in every profession - including those who've chosen to serve this country in uniform. Some did so prior to transition, some did so afterwards (the latter friends having been natal males, but later serving as women) - one of whom is in her 60's and was called back to serve in the current Iraq conflict - one who was called back in the previous conflict - she was a fighter pilot who was shot down over Iraq and severely injured. But since she wasn't born a woman this was acceptable. The service reportedly paid a great deal for her facial reconstruction afterwards and kept things very quiet.

What's interesting to be is the need to assess their service as something other than, say those presumed to be born female - as indicative of a of some maleness needing to be controled and overcome - when some may have had that picture on their desk regardless of the circumstances of their birth.

It would be nice if one could just say this is an awfull action that those in this profession must speak and act against, rather than an analysis of those who've experienced discrimination. And certainly - an analysis of why people choose to discriminate would be most welcome and benefit more than just this one tribe.

"Harrassment and oppression is a small price to pay to live in the land of the free."
C. Montgomery Burns"

Don't they have women's toilets at the LOC?

Unless you are hiring someone to act in porn movies I think their gender really is not important. If their gender is not important, then their changing their gender can't be important.

I've never had the problem of feeling I had the wrong genitalia so I really can't fathom why this fellow felt he needs to change. I've never had a heart attack either, but I know those people need appropriate medical care too; so who am I to deny it to either group.

Let the guy have the job, so he has his penis cut off, BFD. I've had my head handed to me a few times it can't be much worse than that.

Seems a shame to give up the short lines at urinals though.

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