Susanmillers Blog

My life as a heterosexual crossdresser.

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

   

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