Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA) requires their monthly transit passes to be marked with a sticker: “F” for female passengers or “M” for male passengers. In theory, these stickers prevent people from sharing their passes with their friends or family. In practice, they are discriminatory.
Transit drivers have to determine the gender of the passenger before allowing them to board. This has resulted in a lot of confusion as passengers are interrogated about their gender presentation in front of a busload of commuters. Failure to look like the gender marked on your card can bar you from riding. In the recession, this means that transgender and gender non-conforming people can be paying twice as much to ride public transportation.
No other major metropolitan areas in the US use gender markers on their monthly passes. SEPTA’s Citizen Advisory Committee unanimously voted to remove the stickers. Equality Advocates Pennsylvania, a statewide LGBT group, has filed a complaint with the Philadelphia Human Relations Commission to no avail. SEPTA’s management seems to be ignoring this important issue.
Tell the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority that gender-identity discrimination is hurtful. Public transportation is for everyone, regardless of your gender presentation.
Photo Credit: Buswizard
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