by Lila MacLellan
Originally published: March 8, 2017
Last week, 53 American companies stood up for transgender rights by filing an amicus brief in support of Gavin Grimm, a trans high school student from Virginia who has taken on his school board over its bathroom access rules. Before Grimm’s case was turned down by the Supreme Court and sent back to a lower court, he won symbolic backing from some of the largest, most powerful companies in the US, including Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and Intel.
In the “friend of the court” filing, the corporations underlined their own inclusive workplace policies and pledged to protect all forms of gender expression. They embraced these policies out of respect for their trans employees, the companies said—and because “diversity and inclusion are good for business.” And they pointed out “that LGBT equality also makes them stronger in the global economy.”
There’s plenty of evidence to support that assertion, but trans advocates say there’s a long way to go before most companies provide a truly trans-friendly environment for workers. Despite passing references to trans rights in company anti-discrimination policies, the 9-to-5 remains an intimidating place for those who don’t identify as the gender they were assigned at birth, or don’t conform to one gender.