Susanmillers Blog

My life as a heterosexual crossdresser.

Long awaited P-Club update.

Well this is not my normal type of post about me going out as Susan but it is still about me and my life as Susan so I guess it counts. It has been a long wait but the State appellate court ruled this morning on our case against the P-Club for discrimination, You can read about it on Oregon Live. The court ruled in our favor and rejected all of the points Chris Penner used in his appeal.

For those new to my blog our group went to this bar every Friday for a couple years till the owner left 2 voice messages telling us not to come back because his bar was not a tranny bar. You can read about when this happened on my blog from that day here and there is a link on this page to Cassandra’s YouTube page where she actually plays the 2 voice messages he left explaining that his bar was not a tranny bar and that was why he didn’t want us back.

Now from this video we were contacted by an attorney named Beth Allen who wanted to talk to us and and 6 of us went to meet here, Cassandra and her wife Peggy, Cristine, Victoria, Chris and of course me. Beth was awesome and wanted to take our case so the 6 of us signed on with her. Well it was only a week or so later and BOLI (Oregon bureau of labor and industry) who actually deals with civil rights cases also contacted Cassandra and when they herd we had talked to an attorney said they couldn’t talk to us then. well a day later Beth called us and said that BOLI wanted to meet with us so the 6 of us agreed thinking we would be going in and trying to convince them what happened. well when we met with the 3 investigators from BOLI it was clear we didn’t have to convince them. they wanted to pursue this and use us as witnesses which is what happened. We didn’t actually file a law suit or complaint. BOLI investigated and found our rights had been violated and then Brad Avakian who is the commissioner of BOLI filed the complaint in his name on our behalf. Now Beth our attorney who was awesome got appointed to a judge position and had to give up our case so she found us a new attorney named Sue-Del McCulloch and she took over our case for us and she was Awesome.

Now this was a really interesting thing to be involved in and I am glad I stepped forward and got to take part in it. Funny thing is 7 years ago I was working up the courage just to go out and now I have testified in a court hearing and been interviewed on TV as Susan.

Thanks for reading

Sue-Del McCulloch

September 23, 2015 Posted by | P-Club, transgender | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Awesome Wednesday night meeting with our Attorney

Well it has been an awesome afternoon and evening. It started about 4 when Cassandra sent out a text that the Judge had issued his decision in our case against the P-Club and Chris Penner for discriminating against our group by kicking us out of his club. Our Attorney Sue-Del McCulloch wanted to meet with us at Fox & Hound tonight and tell us what she could. Now I had not planned on going out tonight but there was no way I was going to miss this. I actually started getting ready as soon as I got the text.

I got to Fox & Hound by 6:15 and Cassandra, Chris, Kim and Victoria were already there. I guess we were all excited to hear what Sue-Del had to say even though she wouldn’t be here till 7:30 to 8 pm. Well it wasn’t long and Kelly, Christine, Mellissa and Sarah showed up. Actually tonight was Sarah’s first night out with the group as she just joined our group a couple days ago. It was awesome to meet her and such an exciting night to be out. Petra, Jan, Lynn and a few others even showed up, I think we had maybe 15 of us there by 7.

We were all waiting for Sue-Del and we knew it was good news as she had told Cassandra that much. Well Sue-Del showed up about 8 and we all couldn’t wait. Now she couldn’t go into a lot of details as the Judge’s decision won’t be made public till Friday 8-30-2013 when it is released to the media which is also the reason this blog will be posted a little later than normal. It is kind of symbolic that the judge released his decision on our discrimination suit on the 50 year anniversary of the walk on Washington and the day Martin Luther King Jr. gave his speech “I have a dream”. Any way Sue-Del told us that the Judge supported found that Chris Penner had in fact discriminated against us and violated our rights under state law.

We are all thrilled with the verdict and actually very surprised at how fast all this has happened. I can remember when we sat together at the Rainbow room on July 11 2012 (thank god for my blog) and talked about if we should go and meet with Beth Allen our first attorney. She had seen the YouTube video Cassandra had posted of Chris Penner telling us not to come back because we were transgender. Here we are a little over 13 months later with a ruling in our favor. I think most of us thought it would take a year or so just to investigate and then a year or more to work its way through the system. Beth Allen started our case but as she was appointed to be a Judge in February she got us in touch with Sue-Del who agreed to take over our case and we as a group were truly blessed to have had two such incredible, supportive attorneys to help us we can never thank them enough.

Now we all realize that this is not over as Chris Penner will almost for sure appeal the decision and we all expected this and in a way I think in a way we are excited about him appealing it. We look at it this way, several years back I think in 2007 the state of Oregon past a law protecting transgender people from discrimination. Actually the law basically says that transgender people have the rights of the gender they present as. Now we all know that laws can be passed but it can always be challenged in court. Well this law has and it stood up which is great for all transgender people and not just in Oregon as many States and cities have passed similar laws and now there has been a Judge that upheld it. Now this was an administrative hearing and Judge so having it go on to the State appeals court and getting them to support the law and uphold transgender rights would be huge. We really have a long road ahead and I think it will be at least 2 to 5 more years to go through the appeals process. The best thing is that this will send a message to all businesses that if they do discriminate against Transgender people they will be held accountable and will face huge legal action.

I am truly proud to be a part of this and such a wonderful group here in Oregon. There were 13 of us that were able to step up and make a stand and many more in our group that for one reason or another were unable to but were always there supporting us, it truly was a team effort and I hope all of the members are proud of this wonderful group or should I say family of people.

I really want to Thank the following people and let them know how much they have helped us and what an impact they have made on our lives and all transgender people.

Beth Allen our first Attorney

Sue-Del McCulough our current attorney

Brad Avakian the commissioner of BOLI

Chet Nakada the hearing presenter for BOLI

Jen also a hearing presenter from BOLI

You all are awesome people.

Couple more links Here is an video interview and story.

Well Friday night I will once again be out with my friends and we will be celebrating so it will be an awesome night. I am really looking forward to it as I am sure many others in our group will be as it will be our first chance to talk after this is made public and release to the media. None of us know what the future holds for us but I know for me this experience will be one of the highlights of my life.

August 30, 2013 Posted by | Fox & Hound, P-Club | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

2 days of BOLI hearing on P-Club

Well the time has finally come for our hearing on the P-Club. It seems like it has been a long time in getting here but it really has been fast. Now I was scheduled to testify on Wednesday morning so today, Tuesday I had gone to Starbucks but I texted Peggy and Cassandra o see if they wanted to get together after they testified as they were at BOLI now. Well they were running late and still hadn’t testified so Peggy said I should come down to and meet them for lunch. Now I really wanted to be there so I jumped at the chance. By the way this is a picture of me in the waiting room where the witnesses waited.

I got there just before noon and found where they were, Amy was also there by now as she was testifying today also. Well they broke for lunch and we went to the little café in the building to get something to eat. Sue-Del our attorney and Chet who is handling the case for BOLI came down to talk to us. Now Chet was telling how the afternoon would go, Cassandra would be first, than Peggy followed by Amy and then he looked at me and had a confused look. I just smiled and said I was here for lunch and moral support and that I was testifying tomorrow morning. He thought for a moment and then said things were going faster than he thought and asked if I would be there the rest of the day as they might be able to get me in today. Now I had not thought about testifying today but I liked the idea as I knew I would be thinking about it tonight and have a hard time sleeping so if they could get me in today I was all for it.

After lunch we went to a different room to wait and Cassandra went into the hearing room. While we waited Roxy and Kelly showed up as they were also scheduled for today. There were 13 of us who were testifying and they had 5 today and 8 of us on Wednesday so it would make it more even if we did 6 and 7. It also turned out to be good to have several of us there as we talked about everything except for the hearing which kept our minds off it and helped keep us calm.

One by one we got called in. As this was filed as a Commissioners Complaint he was actually the plaintiff and we are all just witnesses so we can only be in the hearing room while we testify. It was really amazing how fast the time past as we had friends to talk with. I watched Peggy go in, Than Amy, Roxy and finally Kelly knowing I was next. It was almost 4:30 and I wasn’t sure if they would get to me as this was suppose to end at 5 but they did call me up. Sue-Del said that if they started with me they would finish instead of making me come back in the morning.

Well I got in the room and I was really pretty calm which kind of surprised me but then I knew Sue-Del and Chet and I knew this was so really important and I think that is what I focused on. Now this is about the experience and not what was asked and said so it will be more general as my blog is about the experience of being Susan so I will not get into the specifics of my testimony. I will say that the defense had 11 parts of my blog that I knew they would question me on, wow when I started my blog I never really thought people would read it and I never in a million years thought it would be used in a hearing but here I am. My blog is not part of a court record. I was in the hearing room about an hour although it didn’t seem that long and I would say my cross examination was longer than my direct testimony which I kind of expected because of my blog. I never really got nervous or scared while I was in there. When I was done I went back to the waiting room and Cassandra, Peggy and Kelly were still there. The day was all over as far as the hearing and now I had the next day all free. You can read more about the other parts of the day not dealing with the hearing in my blog from that day.

Now later that evening Cassandra and I went to the Boiler Room to unwind and got talking. Cassandra said she was glad I had shown up as having a group of us there made it a lot easier and helped her stay calm, which was funny as I felt the same way so we talked about going tomorrow and just sitting with the girl’s testifying to help keep their minds off the hearing and relaxed till it was their turn. We agreed to be there by 10 am. Now I knew Jenifer would be there at 9 so I was going to make every effort to be there by then.

I got up Wednesday morning and got ready as fast as I could and still look good. I got a test from Cassandra as to who was first that day. Turns out we were both going to be there well before 10 am. Even with traffic I got there just before 9 and got to see Jennifer before she went in and wish her luck and I got to meet Jen who is helping Chet with the BOLI case. She is really excited about this case also.

I went down to the room they had for us to wait in and Jan & Lynn were already there so I got to talk to them. Cassandra showed up just a few minutes later so both of us were there way before 10 as I think we were both to excited about this case. Several of us had our laptops so we passed the time surfing the internet and watching videos. Wilma and Chris showed up so we had a good size group. Victoria and Cristine would arrive after lunch. At Lunch time I did leave to go have lunch with Stefia as I had planned this earlier in the week and it was great to see her again.

I got back about 2 and Cristine was in testifying so all that was left was Victoria. It really is amazing how fast the two days have gone by. BOLI actually wrapped up our side of the case by 3 so the other side went ahead and had some of their witnesses testify on Wednesday afternoon so the hearing was really going faster than we thought. Since we couldn’t go inside and listen and we were all done we left for the night and went to Fox & Hound which you can read in the blog from Wednesday.

On Thursday I had to go back to work but Cassandra went back down to the hearing even though she could not sit in when their side testified but she did get to sit in on the closing arguments and she said it was a wonderful experience and I can’t wait to hear all about it. The whole case was done by about Thursday afternoon even though they had scheduled it to go through Friday. There are still some procedural things that both sides need to do and then the Judge will make a decision but with the case load we figure we will not hear anything till the end of August so now it is just a matter of waiting. This case really has gone faster than we all expected.

It really was a truly awesome experience and I am really happy I decided to be a part of it as it is something I will remember all my life as this is one of those moments in your life that you can really say you did something to make a difference. Sometime you have to take a stand for what you feel is right no matter what. We all did that and we had such wonderful support from those who were not able to be public. It is so wonderful to have the State of Oregon not only on our side but stand up with us. It will be a long 3 months waiting but then we have been dealing with this for almost a year now so what is a little more time.

Thanks for reading

May 10, 2013 Posted by | Out and about as Susan | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Meeting with our attorney Sue-Del on Friday night 5-3-13

Well our attorney Sue-Del wanted to meet with as many of us as possible on Friday night before we went out to go over what we can expect during the hearing and what order we will be testifying in as some have limitations on when they are available. The meeting was at 6 pm at her office downtown so that would mean dealing with Friday night rush hour traffic. Again I had to rush to get ready as I wanted to leave home by 5 to give me time to get there.

I was on my drive and yes I was using my GPS to get me there, love my GPS. Well it told me there was a traffic delay on my route and that I wouldn’t arrive till 6:25 but it also said there was another route that was faster so I took that way and it was. I got to her office at 5:45, you have to love technology.

Well for the meeting it was just Cassandra, Victoria, Chris, Cristine and me that could make it as this meeting was only put together last night. I think we actually have 13 of use listed in the complaint and testifying.

Sue-Del went over how the hearing would work and what order we would testify in. I will be Wednesday morning May 8 so I have to be there by 9 am. It is just now really sinking in that I will be testifying in this case in just a few dats and yet I am at this point really calm about it. The hearing actually starts on Tuesday May 7. They hope to present our side on those two days. And then the next two days will be for the other side to present their case. In reality I think the point of this meeting was to make sure we were calm and give us support and confidence for the hearing coming up.

Sue-Del has been awesome and we are lucky to have her. I think Beth Allen chose us a good attorney to replace her when she was appointed to be a judge. We are really lucky to have met both these wonderful attorney’s as they both believe so much in this case. Now it is just getting ready for my appearance in the hearing. I will probably be thinking a lot about it over the next few days.

We left her office a little after 7 and headed over to Sweet Home to have a fun Friday night out which you can read about in my blog from that night.

May 10, 2013 Posted by | Out and about as Susan | , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Tuesday meeting with attorney 4-30-13

Well it was an interesting day for Susan; I had a meeting with Sue-del my attorney and also Chet the attorney from BOLI at the BOLI offices. Now these were individual interviews with them before our hearing which is set to start on May 7 2013. I am very nervous about this as I have only testified once before many years ago and then I was my male self. This time I will be testifying as Susan and for something so very important.

Well my appointment was at 4:30 so I really had to rush, I got off work a little early but still with rush hour traffic I had no time to waist. I got to the BOLI office right on time and went in and checked in, again a little intimidating when you are by yourself. As I waited Brad Avakian the Commissioner of BOLI was leaving and stopped and talked with me. Now this case is so important to him and BOLI that he filed the case in his name so in effect he is the complainant and I am one of the witnesses. It was nice to meet him though and did make me feel a little less nervous.

Well I finally got my turn and went into the conference room with Sue-Del and Chet. This meeting was to go over when I would testify, what to expect and I also found out that the other side is going to use several of my blog entries which I am not sure for what. Wow I never thought my blog would be used for something like this. The meeting lasted about an hour or so.

Now it is all so real as I realize that the hearing is going forward and I will be testifying in something that is so huge and really important. I never imagined that I would be involved in something like this and if you had asked me just two years ago I would have said I would never be in front of a judge as Susan and even now I still can’t believe that this is happening. I did feel better after the meeting as I have a better idea of what to expect and how things will work. I am actually looking forward to it I think as it will really be a new experience for Susan.

May 9, 2013 Posted by | Out and about as Susan | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Just a quick update tonight on what is going on with the P-Club

Well this is just a short blog tonight, for those of you who have been following my blog you all know we had an issue last June at the P-Club we had been going to for two years. In June the owner left a couple voice mails on Cassandra’s phone telling us not to come back as he did not want his bar thought of as a tranny bar. Any way we talked with an Attorney about this and from there it went to BOLI who investigated the complaint. They found that the owner did discriminate against our group and today they filed formal charges. Here are some links about it.

http://www.pqmonthly.com/boli-files-formal-discrimination-charges-against-portland-bar-owner/

http://www.kptv.com/story/20772220/formal-charges-filed-against-bar-in-transgender-complaint-case

I never thought this would go so fast as I figured it would take a year or more but it appears this is proceeding way faster than any of us thought. We have had many appointments with our Attorney and been interviewed by state investigators from BOLI and even had to do a deposition and now we are heading towards a hearing on this. These are things I never thought I would go through or do even in my male but even more scary as Susan. It really is a learning experience for me and our entire group.

To think that a few years back I was scared just to go out and be seen and now I am involved in something like this. A couple of us even did an interviews, one reporter wanted more information of T-Girls as she was not familiar with this term so 3 of us were featured in an article http://www.pqmonthly.com/the-sum-of-her-parts-t-girls-on-what-makes-them-whole/

It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.

January 29, 2013 Posted by | Out and about as Susan | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Monday evening downtown.

Well it is Monday night and we have a meeting with our attorney Bath Allen downtown at her office. Now the meeting was at 5:30 and it is always a question of how long it will take to get downtown during the evening rush hour. So I wanted to leave myself an hour so I got off work early to get ready. Well I was all ready and on my way by 4:20 and it turns out there was no traffic going the way I was so I was downtown by 4:45 and found a parking spot right out front of Beth’s office. I was paying for my parking when Amy walked up so we went in together and up to Bath’s office. We were the first two there so we waited in the office. Cassandra and Cristine also made it but Chris and Peggy couldn’t and of course Victoria is out of the country right now.

We met in her office and Victoria was on the phone with us while Beth gave us an update, BOLI has filed the complaint now and it looks like we will have our hearing in mid March so this is actually moving a lot faster than any of us thought. Beth went over how things would proceed and what we could expect and all our options now and going forward. This really is an interesting experience as I have never really been involved in something like this so I am learning some new things. We were at Beth’s office for over an hour.

After we left Beth’s office Cassandra, Cristine, Amy and I went to Fox & Hound for dinner and of course to talk. Veronica was in town so she joined us for dinner which was nice and gave us a chance to talk and catch up on what was new. We are trying to talk her into meeting us in Las Vegas for Diva Las Vegas this year. It was a fun evening and went by so fast and soon it was time for me to go home.

January 15, 2013 Posted by | Fox & Hound | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Reflecting on the week at Starbucks.

Wow it has been an interesting couple days for Susan. I am out for the night at Starbucks and have a lot to write about. If your read my blog and I hope you do you know our group the Rose City T-Girls were asked not to come back to the P-Club back in June and 6 of us filed a complaint with BOLI in Oregon over this in early August based on gender discrimination as the sole reason we were asked not to come back was because we are transgender. Now these investigations usually take 6 months to a year to complete but we found out yesterday afternoon that BOLI had finished and after interviewing members of our group, current and past employees of the P-Club and some customers that came forward BOLI found that Chris Penner the owner of the P-Club had indeed discriminated against us based on Gender identity.

Now I was at work when text messages started flying in our group. Amy way I got a phone call and answered it thinking it might be from our Attorney’s office, well it wasn’t it was from Kaitlyn Bolduc from KPTV 12 the local fox station and she wanted to ask me some questions which was hard as I was at work she also wanted to interview me for TV. Now this sounded fun and scary at the same time but I agreed to meet her at Fox & Hound at 6:30. I then contacted Cassandra and told her so she could be there also if she wanted. She contacted the others in the complaint so we could all be there. Turns out KOIN news also contacted and wanted to interview us at 5:30 which there was no way I could make that, Cassandra, Cristine and Victoria did make it for that one though. Me I had to work to 5 so Susan was in speed mode and luckily this week I was working close to home. I got home about 5:10 and did the fastest transformation into Susan I have ever done. As I was walking out the door at 5:50, 40 minutes to go from my male self to Susan.

On the drive downtown I got caught in traffic which gave me time to think and start to worry. Not about being on TV but the fact I got ready so fast and now I was going to be interviewed on TV where everyone would see me, god I hope my makeup looks good. I got downtown Portland by 6:15 and Cassandra, Cristine, Chris, Victoria and Beth Allen our awesome attorney were already there since they had been there for the first interviews. We all talked about what this all means for the 6 of us, the group, and transgender people in general. Now that we have the finding that he discriminated against us hopefully other businesses we realize that you can’t discriminate against someone based on gender identity. This is what we wanted and with the news coverage the word is getting out so we are all happy.

Well right at 6:30 Kaitlyn Bolduc showed up with her camera man and we went outside to talk with her and be interviewed. Now mind you ever since I talked with her I had been thinking of the questions she would ask and how I would answer them as I was going to be all ready and come across really awesome on TV. I had good answers for every question I thought she might ask. We talked with her and she told us she would ask us each some questions and just to relaxed and answer how we felt which helped put me at ease. I was the first one she interviewed and I was ready for the questions. The camera was rolling and the first question she asked was please state your name you use and spell it. And a panic came over me as all I could think about was my god don’t give your male name. Susan miller came out of my mouth and then my fear turned to, oh god don’t misspell your name. Funny how when a camera is rolling on you the things you think about. My interview was probably a minute or less, she had 5 questions, the same for each of us and in the end my interview on TV was maybe 10 to 15 seconds. So that is my 15 seconds of fame. I had even practiced my feminine voice all the way down there and on camera although it wasn’t my normal voice it was closer to my male voice then the voice I had practiced.

Now I wonder if anyone will recognize me as I am sure people who know me in my male life had to have seen it. In that short time will they be able to recognize me. I have watched it on TV and several times on line (here is the link) and I must say I think it would be hard for someone to put it to together in that short of a clip as I really didn’t look that much like my male self which is good the other thing is wow the camera is not that flattering as the camera man zoomed in right on my face which really showed me not in such a feminine look. I need a little distance on film. Guess Susan being a movie star is out of the question. Although towards the end of the interview he did get a close up shot of my feet, wow I am glad I re did my toenail polish last week as my feet looked awesome.

After the interview we talked more with Kaitlyn Bolduc about the case and about Chris Penner. She had some information we had not heard yet and Beth Allen our awesome Attorney explained what happens now. Beth Allen is really awesome and if you live in the Portland area and need an Attorney I would highly recommend her.

Well after this was all over we went back inside Fox & Hound and had dinner and talked more about the complaint, most of us had not read it at this point as it all happened so fast which also made the interview a little hard as Kaitlyn asked questions about the finding that had not read yet. Well it was a little after 9 when we left Fox & Hound, most of the girls went over to CC Slaughters but I headed home as I had not even planned on being out plus to be honest I wanted to get home so I could watch the 10 o’clock news, after all I am blonde and didn’t think to set up to record the 10 o’clock news even though I was going downtown to be interviewed for it. My blonde moment.

Well after being out last night I was thinking of staying home tonight but Stefia contacted me to see if I would be at Starbucks and since she was going to meet me if I went out plus I needed to write my blog from last night and what girl would pass up a chance to go out here I am at Starbucks tonight. Stefia got here about 7:20 and we had a nice chat. It is funny how as Susan I love to sit around and talk and Stefia is nice to chat with. She caught me up on what she has been doing and also some of the people we both know. It was a fun time but as always good things must end and she had to leave a little after 8 so that gave me time to write my blog.

This week will be a busy week for Susan as I have already been out 2 days and will be out with my friends tomorrow night for are normal Friday night out as a group. This week we will be at Sweethome as the group seems to like this place and I think it is turning into our regular Friday night place which is good as it makes a lot of the girls feel more comfortable going out to a place that is familiar. And then of Course Saturday being the second Saturday of the month will be our monthly outing to Harvey’s Comedy Club. We already have 16 that have said they were going so we should have an awesome night as always. Any way I will of course blog about these nights also.

Thanks for reading.

Kaitlyn Bolduc

October 11, 2012 Posted by | Fox & Hound, Starbucks | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Interesting Wednesday afternoon for Susan at an Attorney’s office

Well Wednesday July 25th 2012 was a really interesting Wednesday for Susan and for reasons you will read I had to put off making this blog. First I will start with a little background. As you all know from reading my blog our group was asked not to come back to the P-Club by the owner Chris Penner, he actually called Cassandra and left two different voice mails for her about it. Well so all the group could hear what he said she posted it on her YouTube page. Well she also sent the link to this page to the State Attorney Generals office along with a couple local attorneys never really thinking anything about it.

Well one of the attorney’s Beth Allen contacted Cassandra and wanted her to call her and talk to her about it which Cassandra did; she got a free half our phone interview. From this interview Beth Allen believed the Chris Penner violated the law as well as our right under discrimination laws and offered to represent us on contingency. She wanted to meet with Cassandra and a few others that were there on a regular basis. Cassandra said she would talk to a few that were there every week and get back to her. Any way Cassandra met with me, Victoria, Chris and Cristine on Wednesday July 11 at the Rainbow Room to get our opinions and to talk about if we should go forward or not and what kind of issues we might have. We all talked for over an hour and most of the discussion was on reasons we shouldn’t and what might happen or go wrong, mainly being outed for us and possibly members of the group as our group is the main concern. After all the discussion the group came to the conclusion what Chris Penner did was wrong and to keep this from happening at other places we may wish to go we needed to at least meet with Beth Allen and talk with her face to face and get our questions answered so Cassandra set up a meeting with the 5 of us and her on August 1 at her office. Mind you we still had not said yes or no we just had questions that needed being answered and all of us were in total agreement.

Now Beth Allen contacted the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries also known as BOLI to get some information on this and how to proceed. BOLI is the state agency who investigates among other things civil rights violations. Now normally how it works is you file a complaint with BOLI and they investigate, if they find that you have a valid complaint they will file the complaint for the persons making the claim in that persons name. Any way from the information they got from Beth’s questions and the YouTube video they contacted Beth Allen and asked to meet with her and the 5 of us on Wednesday July 25th at 3 pm so Beth contacted Cassandra and asked to move our meeting up one week. So this is how we got to my interesting Wednesday afternoon, going downtown Portland in at 2 pm as Susan to meet with an Attorney and a representative for BOLI.

Now this was going to be a fast day as I got off work at 12 and it takes me ½ hour to get home and I need ½ hour to get back downtown Portland to Beth Allen’s office and that is if there is no traffic issues which left little time to get ready so I laid all my stuff out the night before. Turns out traffic was light and I was home by 12:30 and all ready to leave by 1:15 which I think is a personal record for Susan getting ready, shower, shave, makeup, cloths, jewelry and nails and I still looked pretty. Well I drove downtown and only hit a little traffic but easily made it. There is a parking garage about a block away. Now walking downtown on a nice warm day is really nice and there were so many people out. I met Chris out front of the office building about 1:45 and could see Cassandra and Cristine walk up the street so we waited for them and all went inside together. Pretty good timing so far. When the elevator opened we found Victoria who had parked in the garage under the building riding up so all 5 of us went up together. Peggy Cassandra’s wife was already in the office waiting for us.

We met with Beth Allen and her law clerk for about an hour and got to ask all kinds of questions and she told us a little about BOLI and how they wanted to proceed. Our biggest question about privacy for our group members and possibilities of being outed in public were answered and Beth assured us that was not an issue. Only those willing to be involved in the case and giving their names would be involved and the rest of the group would not be involved at all. With our questions answered we were all feeling better about this. Now it was almost 3 and we were already to meet with the representative of BOLI and answer their questions.

Now it was not one representative from BOLI but 4, an Administrator and 3 investigators so now the 6 of us were in an office with Beth Allen, her law clerk and 4 state officials from BOLI. Now to the funny part, they really didn’t have a lot of questions for us but rather told us what they wanted to do. Seems they have already started checking into Chris Penner and the P-Club. Turns out the Commissioner of BOLI feels pretty strong about this case, so much so that he wants to file the complaint in his name, he would be the plaintiff and we would be secondary, basically witnesses. Turns out the voice mail he left where he singled out us as tyranny’s they feel is incredibly strong evidence. They are actually ready to start the process all they need is a few of us which is different then what we thought. They are coming to us.

Anyway we talked with them for over an hour and a half again asking a lot of the same questions we asked Beth as I said our group is the main concern and we want to protect it above all else. Again they told us the same thing; it would only be those who were willing to be witnesses and be involved in the case, everyone else in the group would not be involved in any way.

Now mind you the goal we all have is to tell Chris Penner and any other business out there that they cannot discriminate against transgender people, be it transsexuals, t-girls, or crossdressers. Now we realize BOLI can and will probably place a fine on him as in anything you get people’s attention when you hit them in the pocket book. We are not out to bankrupt him or put him out of business as we really do like the employee’s there as they treated us so great for the two years we went there. But like I said this type of action against transgender people cannot be tolerated so we all decided as a group we should go forward. With that all that was left were to sign onto the complaint.

Now Victoria and Cristine are full time and have legally changed their name so they were the first to Sign. Chris who is a supporter of the transgender community and most of those who know him know this also signed. Cassandra also signed, she is not out publicly as far as both sides of her. I also signed but asked that my male name be left out unless absolutely necessary as I still have kept both sides separate. Now I know that even doing it this way there is a good chance I could be outed but I feel this is worth it as discrimination is wrong in any sense and I guess I am ready to stand up.

None of us knows what will happen but we are sure that there will be media coverage as these types of cases get played up in the news plus in a way that is the point. If this does not get out to the public so they know that they cannot discriminate then this is all for nothing as I said that is our goal. For Transgender people to be able to go where they want, work where they want and not be afraid of being discriminated against.

We also agreed to have Beth Allen represent us in this as our attorney which she is doing totally on contingency. It will cost us nothing. She feels that BOLI along with fines will probably ask for attorney fees to be paid, but even so she is taking this on realizing she may get nothing off of the case. That is how strong she feels about this. Turns out she does a lot of GBLT cases in Oregon and is a big supporter of this cause. From talking to her and meeting her I would highly recommend Beth Allen if you need an attorney.

It was about 4:45 when we were all done. The people from BOLI thanked us and said they would be in touch with Beth to help write the complaint and keep us up to date on the case. Seems this is the first of this type of case in Oregon. Hard to believe that just 4 or 5 years ago I was too scared to really go out of my house and now I am involved in something this big. I am still a little scared about the future and being outed but not nearly as much as I would have thought.

Well from here we all went over to Fox & Hound which I already blogged about.

This was a little longer than my normal blog but felt it needed to be to make sure I got it just right. Thanks for reading and of course I will update as I can.

August 8, 2012 Posted by | T-girl | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

   

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