Inside the Supreme Court Discrimination Cases That Could Change LGBTQ Rights

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09/03/2019

On Oct. 8, the High Court is set to hear three landmark LGBTQ workplace-discrimination cases. They are as intensely personal as they are political. Until 2012, Aimee Stephens was, in her own words, “basically leading two different lives, one for work and one for home.” At work she dressed and presented as a cisgender man. Outside of work she dressed as, and could simply be, who she was: a woman. “In 2012, it came to a boiling point,” Stephens told The Daily Beast. “I didn’t know if I could go forward. I knew for sure I couldn’t go backwards, so where does that leave me? And if that’s all there was, what was the point? So, in November 2012 I considered taking my life and getting it over with. I stood in the backyard with a gun to my chest for an hour. But I came to the conclusion that I couldn’t do it—that I liked me too much. I made the choice to live. And it was shortly after that that I drafted the letter to my boss.” It was that letter that Stephens, 59, said led to her getting fired by her employer, R.G. and G.R. Harris Funeral Homes in Michigan, after six years of working as a funeral director. Stephens claims she was fired after she told her boss in the letter that she was transgender, and would henceforth be dressing according to the firm’s female dress code.

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