July 8, 2012
These are the wise words of Ilona Turner, Legal Director of the Transgender Law Center, from her 2007 law review article entitled Sex Stereotyping Per Se: Transgender Employees and Title VII (95 Cal. L. Rev. 561 (2007)). I must admit, I whole-heartedly agree.
Just as it is inaccurate to use “gender identity” as a replacement for sex, homosexuality and gender non-conformity–though both violations of heteronormative maxims[i]–are not the same. A person may be homosexual, but gender conforming. Or she may be gender non-conforming, but heterosexual. These characteristics often co-exist, but they are in no way causally related or interdependent. Among other differences, one is a private sexual preference that must be disclosed (see: the proverbial closet); the other manifests externally and is publicly observable.
Unfortunately, trans activists have taken a clumsy and consistently overbroad but underinclusive legal approach to addressing discrimination faced by gender non-conforming…
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