Messages to the Community

Statement in Support of Our Transgender and Gender-Nonconforming Community

A recent New York Times article reported on possible national policy revisions that would withdraw rights and protections for transgender people by strictly limiting how sex and gender identity is defined. Last week, the Department of Justice filed a brief in a Supreme Court case, arguing that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not prohibit discrimination against transgender workers. These moves are among the most concerning in a series of recent political actions that threaten the rights of transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals in our country.

As the university’s leadership, we want to take this moment to reaffirm that transgender and gender-nonconforming people are and will always be welcome, supported, and protected here as valued members of our student body, faculty, and staff. The New School strives to be a place of acceptance and inclusion and we welcome feedback about where we need to work harder to improve our systems, services, and culture. We uphold the principle that diversity is the strength of our university and our nation. We will stand firmly against any policy that would restrict the rights of individuals or groups based on their gender identification. This is as true for any policies, actions, or rhetoric that promote bias or discrimination against people based on their race, religion, citizenship, sexuality, or economic status.

New York City and State leaders have demonstrated their support for inclusive policies and protections for people who are transgender and gender-nonconforming. In New York City, two weeks ago, Mayor De Blasio signed legislation adding a third gender category to birth certificates issued by the City. In announcing the historic bill, the Mayor underscored that “Everyone has a right to their own identity. Everyone has a right to be themselves….To our transgender and gender non-binary neighbors, New York City sees you and has your back.”

In June, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced regulations to guarantee and expand health care protections for transgender New Yorkers. The Empire Justice Center produced this guide to understanding protections for transgender and gender-nonconforming people under the New York State Human Rights Law.

Additional resources and information for The New School community can be found on the LGBTQ web page that was the product of a group of faculty, staff, and students working together to build awareness and support. Anyone who is in need of extra support in relation to their gender or sexual identity is urged to reach out to Anyone who believes they have experienced bias, discrimination or harassment is urged to report it.

We will continue to promote an inclusive and supportive culture at The New School as we monitor pending policy changes in Washington.

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