In our day and age, a person’s workplace is generally thought of as being a safe, non-discriminatory environment. No matter your race, religion, body type, gender, marital status, or what have you, in this country, you are legally protected from intolerance and bigotry. Very recently, due to the passing of the Employment Non Discrimination Act – or better known as ENDA, sexual orientation was added to that list of characteristics that are safe from workplace prejudice and while this affects many people in a positive way, there is still one group that is completely left in the dust: a group that has perhaps faced more intolerance within the workplace than any other – Transgendered people. There are many different viewpoints and opinions that must be taken into account in order to understand the depth behind the ENDA bill, and the transgender inclusion within that bill. The controversy within this issue lies within a multitude of viewpoints: one particular group believes that gender variant persons should unquestionably be included in the bill; while other organizations argue that they are already included under existing laws, or should not be included, period. However, excluding the ‘T’ from the LGBT is somewhat like excluding some African-Americans from the Civil Rights Act, or leaving some men out of the “All men are created equal” portion of the constitution. It just doesn’t make sense.
Discrimination against sexual minorities is in no way or form a new idea. Throughout society’s existence, members of the LGBT community have battled oppression, faced intolerance, and dealt with immense prejudice, yet were forced to remain silent. However, a new era was marked by a chain of uprisings commonly known as the ‘Stonewall Riots’. These were a series of violent confrontations between police and gay rights activists in New York City. In response to the second raid in a