September 5, 2013 at 4:19 pm EDT | by Chris Johnson
ENDA witness to lead the Task Force’s trans project
Kylar Broadus, founder of the Trans People of Color Coalition, has been tapped to lead the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force's trans project (Blade file photo by Michael Key).

Kylar Broadus, the first trans person testify before the Senate on ENDA, has been tapped to lead the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force’s trans project (Blade file photo by Michael Key).

The first-ever transgender person to testify before the U.S. Senate on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act has been tapped by the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force to become head of its transgender initiative.

Kylar Broadus, a transgender man who founded the Missouri-based Trans People of Color Coalition, was named head of the Task Force’s Transgender Civil Rights Project, which provides strategy assistance for groups working to enact pro-trans policy and laws.

“I am extremely honored and excited to be working at the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force given its history in general as a progressive organization but particularly the leadership it has provided in the transgender movement,” Broadus said. “I intend to build off this great work and continue to make the Task Force a key player in the transgender movement.”

According to a bio provided by the Task Force, Broadus has engaged in his career as an activist, writer, lawyer, professor, lobbyist and public speaker. As a lawyer, Broadus had a focus on LGBT law — with a particular focus on transgender rights. He’s now serving as faculty at Lincoln University in Missouri.

Shannon Minter, legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, had high praise for Broadus upon the news that he’d lead trans issues at the Task Force.

“Throughout his career, Kylar has continually developed cutting edge strategies to protect transgender people, worked to raise the visibility and leadership of transgender people of color, and demonstrated unfailing collegiality and collaboration,” Minter said. “He is a great leader, and I look forward to working with him closely in his new role at the Task Force.”

Last year, Broadus became the first openly transgender person to testify before the Senate on ENDA during a hearing that was set up Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee Chair Tom Harkin (D-Iowa). At the time, he recalled the discrimination that he faced at a major financial institution when he announced that he would transition in 1995.

“At work, when I decided to actually transition, I had been there for a number of years, and I’m a workaholic, and it was disheartening to me that all this could be pulled out from under me because people weren’t comfortable with the person that I am,” Broadus said at time.

His written testimony details receiving harassing phone calls, receiving assignments after hours that were due early the next morning and being forbidden from talking to certain people.

During his testimony, Broadus called on Congress to pass ENDA to put into place federal workplace non-discrimination protections.

“I think it’s extremely important that this bill be passed to protect workers like me,” Broadus said at the time. “There are many cases that I hear everyday, and people call me everyday with these cases around the country because I’m also an attorney that practices and deals with people that suffer employment discrimination.”

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

1 Comment
  • Thank you Kylar Broadus, for your tireless work for the LGBT community. I am a 67-year-old transwoman (SRS in 2002) and it is due to people like you, that we have the protections we do. It saddens me that you had a bad experience at work when you transitioned. I was very fortunate that I was totally accepted and supported in the company where I worked when I transitioned.

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