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Elsewhere – Activist slams gender-neutral bathrooms at NYU

(U-WIRE) NEW YORK- Speaking at the Kimmel Center at New York University on Monday night about her experiences as a transgender in the workplace, transgender rights activist Margaret Stumpp said she opposes gender-neutral bathrooms such as those proposed by a committee of the university senate.

Stumpp, the chief information officer at a subsidiary company of Prudential Financial, was invited to speak by the Office of LGBT Student Services. In February 2002, she was the first of the company’s 60,000 employees to openly get a sex-change operation.

While NYU is still debating whether or not to install gender-neutral bathrooms for transgender students, Stumpp said she opposes them because they call attention to transgender people.

“You’re in a stall, the door is closed, so there’s no monkey business,” she said. “Transgendered people want to blend in and not be read.”

Stumpp discussed her transition at work and the challenges she faced, ranging from co-workers’ stares to the end of high-paying job offers, during the talk, entitled “Transgender People in the Workplace: Breaking Through the Glass Ceiling from Above.”

The senate will vote in April on whether to include gender-neutral bathrooms in new university buildings.

“It’s silly not to pass [the gender-neutral bathroom resolution],” said Pauline Park, co-chair of the New York Association for Gender Rights Advocacy. “I have the impression that people are freaking out when they shouldn’t be.”

April 1, 2005

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