Commend Transgender Inclusive Transit Authority Reform

Target: Southeast Pennsylvania Transit Authority Chairman, Pat T. Deon, Sr.

Goal: Commend SEPTA for removing gender identification stickers from transit passes

The Southeast Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA) recently implemented changes to its fares and monthly transit cards. One change, after more than six years of activists’ wrangling with SEPTA leaders, will finally protect the rights of transgender and gender variant passengers. Beginning in 2013, SETPA cards will no longer include a “M” or “F” gender identification sticker.

As the TransGriot blog reports, the story behind this policy change began in 2007 when “[Philadelphia] activist Charlene Arcila was told she couldn’t use her transpass because of a gender sticker that didn’t match her presentation.” Arcila then “filed a successful complaint with the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations,” which ignited years of activism “coordinated by a group called Riders Against Gender Exclusion (RAGE).” Despite SETPA’s claims that the existing gender stickers “were in place… to prevent opposite gender spouses from using the same pass,” the stickers actually set “the stage for the harassment of trans and gender variant SEPTA passengers” such as Arcila.

This victory for the rights of trans and gender variant Americans ensures equal access to public services and freedom from harassment based upon gender presentation. Sign this petition commending SEPTA for finally removing gender identification stickers from its transit passes and urge them to continue implementing LGBT-inclusive policies.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Chairman Pat T. Deon, Sr.,

As Chairman of America’s sixth-largest regional public transportation system, you are charged with ensuring equal access to an essential public asset. After six years of debate, the Southeast Pennsylvania Transit Authority finally removed the “M” and “F” gender identification stickers from its passes. This modest but significant policy change protects transgender and gender variant SEPTA passengers from discrimination and harassment based upon their appearance.

Although the gender stickers “were in place… to prevent opposite gender spouses from using the same pass,” the stickers actually set “the stage for the harassment of trans and gender variant SEPTA passengers” such as Charlene Arcila. Arcila is credited for launching a challenge to the previous policy following an incident in 2007 where she “was told she couldn’t use her transpass because of a gender sticker that didn’t match her presentation.”

We the undersigned commend you for finally implementing a trans-inclusive policy that protects your transit riders from potential discrimination. We urge you to continue developing your policies to promote LGBT-inclusive opportunities looking ahead.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: The Port of Authority, via Wikimedia

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One Comment

  1. Sheila Dillon GGma Sheila says:

    In this case, better late than never.

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