Transgender Man Sues New York City for Discrimination

by Stephanie Colombini | 06/03/2014 | 4:54pm

Transgender Man Sues New York City for Discrimination

24 year-old Bryan Ellicott filed a lawsuit against the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation today, alleging he was denied use of a public men's locker room last year.

Bryan Ellicott's legally a man.  He's undergone medical treatment and had his driver's license altered to reflect his gender identity.

But Ellicott alleges New York City Parks department employees denied him use of a men's locker room at a Staten Island public pool last year.  That's why he's filed a lawsuit against the city. 

Michael Silverman's with the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund.  He says evicting Ellicott from the locker room was a violation of the New York City Human Rights Law which began addressing transgender issues in 2003. 

"Everyone should have equal access to public facilities," he said.  "Transgender people cannot be treated as less-than-full citizens.  They cannot be denied the use of bathrooms and locker rooms just because of who they are."

A spokesman for the city's Law Department says they're not discussing the case until further review.

Ellicott's case applies to public accommodations.  But Nathan Schaefer with LGBT advocacy group Empire State Pride Agenda says transgender New Yorkers face discrimination in many areas like employment, housing, and credit.

"Transgender New Yorkers are misunderstood," he said.  "And I think there's prevalent 'transphobia' in our society that is really challenging."

Schaefer says 11 New York municipalities currently have laws protecting transgender rights.  He says statewide legislation is the next step for progress. 

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