Pitt Responds to Allegations of Trans Discrimination

The University of Pittsburgh has filed a motion to dismiss a complaints alleging discrimination against transgender students due to their restrictive bathroom policies.

The complaint was filed by Rainbow Alliance on behalf of students. It remains unclear if any faculty or staff member has filed a similar complaint.

“The complaint does not identify any actual instance of alleged discrimination or any actual alleged harm incurred by any member of the University community,” according to the university’s motion to dismiss.

Pitt spokesman John Fedele said the university does not discriminate against any of its students. He said his office would not comment on pending litigation.

Bullshit. Seriously. Pitt is requiring transmen to use women’s bathrooms and transwomen to use men’s bathrooms. The only way to comply with the policy and use the appropriate bathroom based on your grown-up gender identity is to change your gender on your birth certificate. Then, one might assume, you should carry your birth certificate in case the bathroom monitors stop you.

And none of this takes into account genderqueer students. Or faculty and staff.

Now, there’s a lot of debate as to the wisdom of filing a complaint – discussions are underway to develop a full-fledged transgender policy that would be University wide. While I understand it is not cutting edge, it would be a step in the right direction.

Does that trump the relief afforded by following the Human Relations Commission approach? Hard to say, but given that it remains unclear why the University suddenly changed gears on the policy in the first place … something is amiss.

Let’s be clear – the current policy DOES discriminate. For members of the Pitt community who were born in states where it is impossible to change their birth certificate (like Ohio) will never reach the threshold and continue to put themselves in harm’s way to use the bathroom.


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