This afternoon Kylar Broadus, founder of the Trans People of Color Coalition (TPOCC) became the first trans person ever to testify before the US Senate. Broadus's testimony was in support of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA. Watch his testimony here:
Broadus discussed the discriminiation he faced as a transgender man in his career.
In the early 1990s, Broadus worked for a major financial institution, although he didn’t disclose its name during the hearing. After announcing in 1995 he would undergo gender transitioning, Broadus said he was forced out of his role.
“At work, when I decided to actually transition, I had been there for a number of years, and I’m a workaholic, and it was disheartening to me that all this could be pulled out from under me because people weren’t comfortable with the person that I am,” Broadus said.
His written testimony details receiving harassing phone calls, receiving assignments after hours that were due early next morning and being forbidden from talking to certain people.
“I still sit here today with almost tears in my eyes,” Broadus said. “It’s devastating, it’s demoralizing and dehumanizing to be put in that position.”
Think Progress reports that Iowa Democratic Senator Tom Harkin expressed pride in the committee for inviting Broadus to speak.
ENDA has been the subject of many debates within the gay community since 2007, when a version of it that did not protect transgender people was introduced in the House, and has been stalled in Congress for decades.