Vol. 4 | Issue 4B Photo: Justin Monroe | www.JustinMonroe.com
Floridaâ€™s Premiere GLBT Entertainment Magazine | www.WhatsHappeningMag.com
PUBLISHER’S NOTE 2010: The Future Is Right Now!
WORLD ACCORDING TO WANZIE Wisdom by Wanzie
SPUNK by Fidel Santiago
NOH8 by Kristofer Reynolds
TALES FROM THE DARK SIDE by Alicia Markstone
EDGE OF FITNESS by Tony Edge
SASSY ADVICE by Sassy Devine
THIS LITTLE PIGGY by Kiernan Kelly
CALENDAR New Year’s Minx
HOROSCOPES by Auset Gypsy
STRAIGHTGIRL IN A GAY WORLD by Karen Brown
Our mission at What’s Happening Magazine is to create a publication that unites the Florida GLBT community. By becoming a voice in the community, we will create opportunity and security for gay and gay friendly businesses. PUBLISHERS AguasGarciaGroup, LLC Contributors: Wanzie, Gidget Galore, Karen Brown, Tony Edge, Danielle Hunter, Sassy Devine, Auset Gypsy & Kiernan Kelly
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FEBRUARY Edition is JANUARY 15, 2010. FEBRUARY Mid Month insert deadline is JANUARY 31, 2009.
W.H.O.’s Out&About Sassy Devine Brought The House Down On NYE Doing An Amazing Ode To HELLO DOLLY!
Sue Bee, Alex & Danny Vega All Cling Together For A Group Hug.
Adorable Guys Abound In Historic GAYbor City In Tampa!
F L O R I D A
Andy Howard & Friends Party The Night Away In The Majestic @ REVOLUTION NIGHTCLUB.
Hysterical Joey Brooks Entertains The Crowd In Ybor City @ THE HONEYPOT!
Otown Celeb Sam Singhaus With The Talented & Lovely Marcy.
The HOT Men Were Out In Force @ STEAM FRIDAYs In Tampa!
You Can Always Have A Great Time With Hutch & Friends @ MATTY’S ON THE DRIVE.
THE MIX’s Wonderful New Owners On The Scene In Wilton Manors! Congrats!
P i c t u res by: Danny G., Daddy Snaps & The Fabulous Mark & Carr i e .
Hunk-Bear Bartender Keeps The Men Well Served @ THE RAMROD!
CENTRAL FLORIDA TRANSGENDERED TEEN DISCRIMINATED y now, you've probably heard or seen something about Zikerria Bellamy, a teenager in Orlando, Florida. Like most teenagers, she was trying to get a summer job to make some extra money. She applied for a job at a McDonald's restaurant, but the way in which she was treated by managers is what is drawing attention to her story. Why, you might ask? Zikerria is transgender. I met with Michael Silverman, the executive director of the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund (TLDEF).
WHM: What is the TLDEF, and what does your organization do? MS: We are a non-profit law office working for transgender equal rights, and we do litigation, public policy work, direct legal services, and all kinds advocacy around transgender issues. WHM: You are currently representing Zikerria. Tell us about why she contacted the TLDEF. MS: Zikerria is a seventeen year old transgender woman, and in July she applied for a job on McDonald's website. Like any other teenager, she wanted to work to make some extra money. She was called in for an interview, and when she went in for that interview the first manager realized she was transgender. All of a sudden, he wasn't interested in interviewing her, and he told her,“This isn't going to happen.” He realized she was transgender when he asked her to fill out the optional gender demographic information which asked for sex, male or female. Zikerria was nervous and didn't know what to do, and filled out “male” on the application, though she was dressed in female clothing, as she always is. The manager then told her she was not going to be interviewed.
WHM: Was this an isolated incident with the first manager? MS: No. Zikerria is not one to just give up easily, so she called back and spoke with a different manager, who said that he didn't know anything about her application, but that she should come in to set up an interview. Her mom drove her there again, and the manager came out to meet with her. He began to laugh at her when he saw
BY LOCAL MCDONALD’S - WE’RE NOT LOVIN’ IT! her, telling her that he didn't have time for this, and sent her away.
WHM: A big part of this story is the audio recording that was left as a voicemail by one of the McDonald's managers. What was said in the message? MS: Later that same day, the first manager called and left a voicemail using anti-gay and anti-transgender slurs to tell her that McDonald's doesn't hire “her kind.” It was very soon after that when Zikerria contacted us seeking assistance. HERE IS THE TRANSCRIPTION OF THAT MESSAGE:
interview by DAVID N. JUSTICE
WHM: How does Zikerria's story compare to other transgender discrimination issues? MS: In my fifteen years of practice, I have never heard of anything this graphic, vile, and awful, and that alone is saying something because I have heard and seen lots of terrible and awful things dealing with discrimination issues at my job. Let's not forget, however, that Zikerria's case is not unique. 47% of transgendered people report being fired from a job, or denied a job or a promotion because of who they are. The rate of discrimination in the transgender community is through the roof. WHM: So, what is the solution? MS: I think the real solution here is going to involve ways to ensure that this doesn't happen to people again. McDonald's is an American and global icon, and a leader in corporate policy making. They need to step up to the plate and amend their employment policies. Right now at McDonald's, you can't fire someone because of their religion or race, but when it comes to them being transgender, you bet you can fire them, and there is nothing in their policies that says otherwise. What happened to Zikerria doesn't violate any of McDonald's policies despite all of the self-serving statements that McDonald's has made about how it doesn't tolerate discrimination.
“You went to (indistinguishable) McDonald's today. It doesn't matter how many times you go down there. You will not get hired. We do not hire faggots. You lied to me. You told me you was [sic] a woman and then you lied to me. You told me you were seventeen. I can't believe you, you're a lying brother (indistinguishable). How could you ever lie to me? We will never…” [Message ends]
WHM: What are the legal implications of a WHM: Is it enough that McDonald's has fired the mansituation like this in Florida, ABOVE: Courageous young transand in the rest of the country? ager who left the voicemail gendered woman Zikerria message? MS: First, I think as shocking as the Bellamy stands up for her rights. MS: Absolutely not. First, the second substance of the voicemail message manager who laughted at Zikerria is, what people will find just as is still employed at the restaurant. shocking is that in 38 states it is perMore importantly, though, McDonald's corporate office has fectly legal to fire someone just because they are transgennot gotten involved in this at all, instead leaving it to the parder, and at the Federal level, as well. It doesn't matter how ticular restaurant to deal with this situation. That's like asking well you do your job. It doesn't matter how hard you're willthe “fox to guard the henhouse”. McDonald's has ing to work. If someone decides they don't want you working there just because of who you are, then they can fire you 400,000 employees, and it owes it to its transgender employees to ensure that they're offered the same protecand there is no legal redress. That is something that has to tions in the workplace that everyone else receives. change. Florida law does not explicitly protect either gay or transgendered people from discrimination. However, the Florida Commission On Human Relations has said OR HE ATEST N HIS ASE that the sex provisions of the Florida Civil Rights Acts can sometimes be used to provide protection to transgenRANSGENDER IGHTS ISIT dered people. It's very tenuous, and it's not where you would want the law to be if you're really looking to protect WWW RANSGENDER EGAL ORG transgendered people. We are certainly going to be doing our best to ensure that Zikerria's case is taken by the commission and that she is protected.
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