Stephens’ lawyers argued her firing was a clear example of discrimination because of her sex, and the 6th Circuit agreed.
“The unrefuted facts show that the Funeral Home fired Stephens because she refused to abide by her employer’s stereotypical conception of her sex,” the court wrote in a 49-page decision.
“Discrimination against employees, either because of their failure to conform to sex stereotypes or their transgender and transitioning status, is illegal under Title VII,” the court said. “It is analytically impossible to fire an employee based on that employee’s status as a transgender person without being motivated, at least in part, by the employee’s sex.”
Stephens told Vox last year she hoped her lawsuit would encourage others to “always strive to be who you are” regardless of the case’s outcome.
“Deep down you know who you are and don’t let anyone else tell you any different,” she said. “Hold your head high and keep marching forward. It will get better.”
I hate that these things have to be fights. I hate that people who’ve already gone through so much stress and trauma couldn’t even feel safe in a job, a job that had nothing to do with their gender identity or sexuality. Life is hard enough, everything is an unending automated phone tree of bullshit, why does it give people pleasure to fuck around with the lives of those who are already at risk?