52 Things You Can Do for Transgender Equality
#9 Change the Policy of an Organization You Belong To
Achieving our goal of transgender equality requires activism at the local, state and national levels. While NCTE focuses on federal policies, we strongly support and encourage the vital work of grassroots activists. Each week during 2006, we will feature an idea for action that you can take at a local level. Some will be challenging, some will be simple; all are effective ideas and we will include links, resources and thoughts to help you get started. Some are things you can do on your own, while others are ideas for local groups to work on. We hope that you will take on projects that spark your interest and that meet a need in your community as we work together for equality for all people.
#9 Change the Policy of an Organization You Belong ToMany of us belong to organizationsneighborhood groups, professional associations, labor unions, hobby clubs and more. One way to further transgender equality is to add policies that protect people from discrimination based on gender identity and expression or make clear that transgender people are welcome in your group.
If the organization has an existing non-discrimination policy, propose that gender identity and expression be added to it. If the organization doesn't have a relevant policy, than put forward language that includes other categories as well.
Recently, Nick Gorton, Kevin Maxey, and Arlene Vernon helped make such a change. These three physicians are all members of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and submitted a resolution to change ACEP's Code of Ethics for Emergency Physicians. Their resolution was passed and the new ACEP Code of Ethics reads: "Emergency physicians should act fairly toward all persons who rely on the ED for unscheduled episodic care. They should respect and seek to understand people from many cultures and from diverse socioeconomic groups. Provision of emergency medical treatment should not be based on gender, age, race, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, real or perceived gender identity, or cultural background. No patient should ever be abused, demeaned, or given substandard care."
This could make a significant difference in the quality of care you receive if you need to visit an emergency department.