Tuesday, June 24, 2008

My response to Legislator Jenkins' apology

Hi Ken,

If it were not for the facts that the bill to amend the county human rights law to explicitly protect transgender people has not moved since 2005, and Legislators Spreckman (chair), Pinto, Alvarado and yourself are all on the Generational, Cultural and Ethnic Diversity Committee together with the bill sponsor, Lois Bronz, that is holding this up, I wouldn't have been particularly offended by your participation in the drag show at the Polish Center in Yonkers yesterday.

I saw your apology on News 12 at 5:05 PM today, and while I do appreciate your apology, I really, really would like to see the bill move and get passed eight years after George Latimer and Andrea Stewart-Cousins promised action on this amendment (right after the third public hearing on the origiunal Human Rights law in 1999).

I can discuss this with you at length on a Tuesday or a Friday, and would like to make an appoint ment to do so.

Here is the text of the 2005 bill (I can't send an attachment in this form, sorry) as I originally drafted it for Legislator Bronz:


A LOCAL LAW to Amend Chapter 700 of the Laws of Westchester County to make technical amendments in the definition of Gender as provided therein and to change the erroneous term “limited liability corporation” to “limited liability company” wheresoever in said chapter such term appears.

BE IT ENACTED by the County Board of the County of Westchester as follows:

Section 1. Section 700.02.9. of the Laws of Westchester County is hereby amended to read as follows:

Sec. 700.02. Definitions.
. . .
9. Gender means (a) the [biological] _physiological and psychological_ characteristics of being male or female, _and (b) gender identity, self image, appearance, behavior or expression, whether or not such) gender identity, self image, appearance, behavior or expression is different from that traditionally associated with the legal sex assigned to that person at birth._
Section 2. Wheresoever the term “limited liability corporation” appears in Chapter 700 of the Laws of Westchester County, such term shall be, and hereby is, changed to “limited liability company.”

Section 3. This local law shall take effect thirty (30) days after its enactment.

NOTE: the bracketed [ ] word is deleted, and material set off between underscore characters "_" is added.

Thanks, Ken, I really do have great respect for you - but this is a situation where you experience "cissexual privilege" and I don't. (It's analogous to "white privilege," something I have come to understand from friends of color.)

I hope you understand my point of view and will be a leader in the process to get this bill passed.

Joann Prinzivalli, State Director,
New York Transgender Rights Organization

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