On Transgender Day of Remembrance, Senator Brad Hoylman Renews Pledge to Repeal 'Walking While Trans' Ban

NEW YORK --On this Transgender Day of Remembrance, State Senator Brad Hoylman (Manhattan-D/WFP), sponsor of legislation to repeal the so-called ‘Walking While Trans’ Ban (S.2253/A.654), renewed his call for the passage of the bill, which now has 36 cosponsors in the New York State Senate. The legislation would repeal section 240.37 of the Penal Law, a loitering offense  that has been enforced in an arbitrary and discriminatory fashion by targeting women from marginalized groups -- particularly transgender women of color.

Senator Hoylman said: “It is 2020 and transgender people are still marginalized, stigmatized and targeted every day in the United States. The Transgender Day of Remembrance is a solemn occasion to stop and remember our transgender peers -- most of whom were Black and Latinx -- who have been taken from us by violent prejudice. This year, we’ve lost at least 37 members of the trans community to violence, including Dustin Parker, Lexi, Layla Sanchez, Nina Pop, Tony McDade, Dior Ova, Angel Unique and far too many more. This is an increase from the 25 trans siblings we lost in 2019, but as the Human Rights Campaign notes, these numbers are almost certainly an undercount of the transgender and gender non-conforming people killed in the United States, due to incomplete or inaccurate data.

While we hope to see a reversal of the Trump Administration’s transphobic policies once President-Elect Biden takes office, states must continue to set the example in the fight for transgender rights. With the largest Democratic State Senate majority in a generation, passing new legislation to advance trans dignity and equality will be among my highest priorities. Thanks to the hard work of many advocates across the state, we’ve got enough co-sponsors in each house of the Legislature to repeal the Walking While Trans ban—a passage I look forward to next year.“

In 2021, Senator Brad Hoylman will be one of only two openly-LGBTQ members of the New York State Senate. In addition to sponsoring the repeal of the ‘Walking While Trans’ Ban, Senator Hoylman sponsored the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, which was signed into law in 2019 and expanded New York’s anti-discrimination laws to include the categories of gender identity and expression.

Further protections for transgender New Yorkers supported by Senator Hoylman include:

  • The Gender Recognition Act to make it easier to change gender markers on government ID documents, including non-binary gender options.
  • Requirements for school districts to establish policies to ensure that transgender students are treated fairly.
  • Ensuring that everyone who needs it has free and easy access to life-saving PrEP.
  • Prohibiting Family Court decisions like child custody and visitation rights from being made based on the fact that one of the parents is transgender.
  • Protecting the dignity of transgender elders by enacting the LGBT Long-Term Care Facility Resident’s Bill of Rights.