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  •  The Nikki Araguz story is in my backyard (11+ / 0-)

    I live and work in Wharton, Texas, where Thomas Araguz was a firefighter.  Several of his relatives work at the same place as me.  I don't have any first hand knowledge about the case, but being in a small town, I can tell you that the rumors are flying fast and furious.

    There was a court hearing today on the restraining order requested by Thomas Araguz's parents and ex-wife.  I haven't heard the news of the outcome yet, but I know it was a media circus.  All the Houston news stations were here covering the proceedings.

    Interestingly, I know Nikki's attorney, Phyllis Frye.  I was in law school at the University of Houston at the same time she was.  She was transitioning at the time and was quite the lightning rod for controversy.  I still remember the disgust and outright hatred that was displayed to her, simply because of who she was.  I was telling my daughter today about how strange it was.  

    Here I was a naive, young person who had never lived in a town of over 20,000 people and who never even met an openly gay person, much less a transgender person.  I don't believe I had ever even heard of transgender before that time.  However, it was clear to me that Phyllis was a human being who deserved respect and fair treatment, no matter how unusual her personal life seemed to me.  I was appalled at the way she was treated by supposedly open-minded and liberal people at the law school.  I was telling my daughter that I'm not sure why it was so clear to me that the way she was being treated was so wrong, as I had no prior experience with the situation.

    The most egregious thing I knew of that Phyllis had to deal with (besides having her own personally designated restroom because neither the men or women wanted her in their restrooms) was something that occured with the campus Christian Legal Association.  This was a recognized school organization that was allowed to use campus resources for meetings, etc.  As a result, they were not allowed to discriminate in membership.  Phyllis started going to their meetings.  They didn't like that.  So they started posting meeting dates and times that were wrong as a decoy.  Then they would use word of mouth to let people know when and where the real meeting was.  I was happy to hear that Phyllis usually still managed to find out the real date and time and make it to the meetings anyway.  My daughter was flabbergasted when I told her that story.  She said "oh, mom, that's just so wrong!"

    Anyway, with all the media circus going on in this area, there has been so much misinformation and downright hate.  I am saddened to see that the public seems to be almost as ignorant and misinformed about transgender people today as they were 30 years ago when I was in law school.

    Thanks for continuing to fight the good fight rserven.

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