transgender rights

65 petitions

This petition won 3 days ago

Petition to indiana university of Pennsylvania, IUP , IUP Academic Integrity Board, Center for Community Growth Indiana PA, IUP Department of Religious Studies, IUP Office of Social Equity, IUP Department of Women's and Gender Studies, IUP Department of Sustainability Studies, IUP College of Humanities and Social Sciences, The Universalist Church of America, The Artists Hand Gallery, The Trevor project, Paula Stone Williams, IUP Department of Disability Access and Advising, Disabled in Action, National LGBTQ Task Force, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Conservation International, black lives matter, Alliance for Justice, Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)

#STANDWITHDOWNIE, IUP professor wrongfully accused of prohibiting free speech

Dr. Alison Downie is a professor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and is a part of the Religious Studies Department.  Dr. Downie has a PhD in Systematic Theology and a concentration in Christian Feminist Theology. Dr. Downie was lecturing in RLST 480: Sin, Self, and Salvation, a class about Christian notions of sin and salvation and how they have been defined.  She showed a 15 min TED video by former minister Paula Stone Williams -- who talked about her experience coming out as a trans woman and how her world changed after she became the woman she was meant to be.  The professor also lectured on the wage gap, male privilege, and mansplaining. After the video and lecture were over, Dr. Downie opened the floor for discussion. She first opened discussion to the women to speak and have their voices heard without interruption.  There was a two minute silent pause, and at that point, Lake Ingle started talking. When Ingle spoke, he made highly offensive remarks about the experiences of women and people who are transgender. While he tried to back his info with what he believed were facts saying there were only two genders, which was not relevant at all to the conversation, he continued to disrespectfully reference these groups.  Dr. Downie asked him to be civil. Three of his fellow classmates called him out on making them feel unsafe in the classroom. An eyewitness, who remains anonymous, noted that Lake was completely disrespectful in regards to Dr. Downie's authority, and to the concerns of his fellow classmates.  Ingle accused Dr. Downie of trying to stifle his dissent.  Dr. Downie asked him to leave, and proceeded to cite him for disrespectful behavior and making the class an unsafe environment for other students. Afterwards, Ingle met with Dr. Downie to go over the citations, and refused to agree with the disrespectful conduct according to his own words in a Facebook post he later deleted per suggestion of his lawyer.  He maintains his freedom of speech was denied. However several students reiterate and reaffirm that Dr. Downie cited him for disrespectful conduct and making the classroom environment unsafe. It needs to be said that every professor at IUP includes a statement in the syllabus stating that, if a student is disrespectful to the professor or the other students in the class, they can be removed from the class.  By not switching out of a class, a student agrees to the terms and conditions of the syllabus.  If Lake Ingle was unhappy with the terms and conditions of the syllabus as described by Dr. Alison Downie, he should not have taken the class.  Dr. Downie specifically stated in her syllabus that a respectful atmosphere is needed in any classroom for those in the class to learn.  She also stated that some of the topics may be difficult and uncomfortable to talk about, but that is the nature of upper level classes. There is currently a petition on demanding Dr. Downie be fired.  This is the reason I am writing this petition.  Dr. Downie operated well within the rights of her classroom, and only asked for the respect of her student.  She should not be fired for exercising her right, need, and duty, to keep her classroom a safe and respectful environment for her students.  Lake Ingle has made multiple statements to different forms of media, all stating that his freedom of speech was infringed upon.  I am here to bring light to the situation.  Dr. Downie did not take away anyone's freedom of speech.  She only asked for respect in her classroom.  If Dr. Downie is fired for this issue, IUP would lose a wonderful professor, who is obviously passionate about her job and her field of study.  She also serves as a communal support for the Religious Studies department. If she is fired, not only will academic freedom be infringed upon, but a valued member of the IUP faculty will be lost. 

Macey LeBlanc
421 supporters
Started 2 weeks ago

Petition to John Kasich, Ohio State Senate, Ohio Governor, President of the United States, United States Supreme Court, U.S. Senate, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, U.S. House of Representatives, Tim Ryan, Marcia Fudge, Joyce Beatty, Pat Tiberi, Michael Turner, Brad Wenstrup, Steve Chabot, Steve Stivers, Dave Joyce, Bill Johnson, Bob Latta, Jim Renacci, Joseph Uecker, Bob Gibbs, Edna Brown, Bob Peterson, Capri Cafaro, Stephen Slesnick, Keith Faber, Wes Retherford, Bill Coley, Warren Davidson

Including Transgender Americans' Sex and Gender

  My name is Oliver Mitchell. I'm a 21-year-old, transgender American citizen. Like everyone, I have been seeing doctors all my life. I have filled out countless medical forms that asked if I was male or female. I have been working since I could drive, like most Americans. I do my taxes, I fill out surveys, I leave reviews, I meet new people, like everyone else. Over and over, I am asked about my sex. Don't get me wrong, it's relevant, it matters. Yet, more often than not the question states: What is your gender? What does someone like me answer? All transgender, nonbinary, and questioning people, what do we say? Legally, genetically, physically, anatomically, I am female. There's no question there. I have two X chromosomes. I'm given away on my birth certificate and driver's license, tax and medical forms. But it asked for gender. My gender is male. I'm beginning my transition. I've known on the surface for years and deeper than that all my life. I'm one of the boys. I should be able to say male when the question asks "What is your gender?" Right? The truth is, I don't know. I have to ask. And when I ask, do you know what I am told? I'm told to put female, despite the fact that it asks for my gender. If anyone is unsure, let's look these up. Google them with me. The very first definition of "Gender" reads: "The state of being male or female (typically used with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones)." I repeat. "Typically used with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones". My hair is short, I bite my nails, I wear boxers, I climb trees, I build things, I like working on cars, I wear men's clothes. Doesn't that make me a man by definition? "Sex" is defined as: "Either of the two main categories (male and female) into which humans and many other living things are divided on the basis of their reproductive functions." This tells me I'm female. I'm confused. Are you? When they ask for my gender, the answer is male. But when I'm in the doctor's office, wanting to talk about birth control or a referral to an OB/GYN, they'd send me home, even though I told them the truth. If you want to know my sex, then ask for that. There is so much more to this issue, but I don't want to overwhelm you. To begin, forms need to be required to ask for sex and gender, accordingly. To avoid the dilemma so many of us face of not knowing what to write. To escape the embarrassment of asking the receptionist or help desk what our answer should be, and the humiliation of checking the box that we've tried so hard to prove we don't fit inside. Medical forms, if not all questionnaires, need to ask for both gender identity and sex. This provides medical professionals with an accurate history of every patient. It opens doors to help others understand why this visually male, legally male, patient is asking about a hysterectomy. Why is this woman blushing and stuttering before she finally asks about a regular prostate exam? Why is he rejecting his testicular exam? Why is she rejecting her mammogram? Whether you support transgender rights, we all live in a world where transgender people exist. Would you deny a genetic male their rights to prevent testicular cancer? Or a genetic female a regular, lifesaving, mammogram? Our bodies have the same medical problems yours do, but many of our doctors and insurance providers are blind to them. Help create a healthier America.

Oliver Mitchell
583 supporters