Today on Transgender Day of Remembrance, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the Governor's Office of Employee Relations has released the first-ever Gender Identity Toolkit to all state agencies. The toolkit will serve as a key training resource for all state employees to ensure transgender and gender non-conforming New Yorkers receive non-discriminatory, high quality services when interacting with or while being employed by the State. The toolkit was first outlined by the Governor in his State of the State in 2020.
Additionally, in recognition of Transgender Day of Remembrance and to honor the transgender people who have been lost to hate violence this year, landmarks across the state will be illuminated this evening in colors of the transgender flag -- pink, white and light blue. These include:
"Our state is the birthplace of the LGBTQ rights movement and as we observe Transgender Day of Remembrance and remember those we have lost to violence, we are doubling down on our commitment to protecting and expanding the rights of transgender and gender non-conforming New Yorkers," Governor Cuomo said. "Transgender and gender non-conforming people still face discrimination every day, making it all the more critical to ensure New York's state workforce has the tools, resources and understanding necessary to ensure New York always upholds the principles of dignity, respect and inclusivity."
The Gender Identity Toolkit provides a primer that will help define frequently used terms and acronyms; important information for supervisory and human resources staff; guidelines for providing appropriate customer service to transgender and gender non-conforming customers; guidance on the correct use of names and pronouns; best practices for the proper conduct and language in the workplace, relevant laws, policies, and regulatory activities; and transition planning guidance for transgender and gender non-conforming employees.
Under the Governor's leadership, State agencies have strengthened nondiscrimination policies and education for transgender New Yorkers. The Office of Mental Health recently implemented the Gender Identity and Gender Expression Nondiscrimination Policy and Protocols, a new policy to help ensure better care and treatment outcomes for transgender and non-binary patients . The implementation of this policy is part of a multifaceted approach OMH is taking to advance cultural competence, improve communication, and provide equitable patient-centered care to diverse patient populations. This month, the Division of Human Rights completed a statewide GENDA Know Your Rights tour to educate New Yorkers about their rights and responsibilities for the transgender community. Earlier this year, the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance implemented a new policy to strengthen cultural competency and nondiscrimination for shelters providing services to transgender and gender non-conforming people experiencing homelessness.
Throughout his time in office, Governor Cuomo has been a national leader in championing LGBTQ rights and has fought back against the federal government's ongoing attacks against the LGBTQ community, including the military's ban of transgender soldiers and the rollback of healthcare protections for LGBTQ people. Earlier this year, Governor Cuomo signed legalized gestational surrogacy into law, helping LGBTQ couples and couples struggling with infertility grow their families. Last year, Governor Cuomo signed into law the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, legislation banning the deplorable practice of conversion therapy, and the overdue gay and trans panic defense ban. Under Governor Cuomo, New York became the first large state in the nation to enact marriage equality after the Governor signed into law the Marriage Equality Act. Earlier this year at the Human Rights Campaign Greater New York Gala in February, Governor Cuomo announced his support for repealing the "Walking While Trans" statute, under which transgender women have been disproportionately policed for innocent and lawful conduct. This past August, the Governor announced the dedication of East River State Park in Brooklyn for the late LGBTQ civil rights activist Marsha P. Johnson, the first State park in New York to honor a LGBTQ person and transgender woman of color.
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