The Austin Chronicle

Qmmunity: The Fight for Queers’ Title VII Rights in SCOTUS’ hands

Plus GayCL returns and local stylists host benefit for Cheer Ups’ Maggie Lea

By Sarah Marloff, October 11, 2019, Columns

In Texas, Tuesday was just another day at the office – where you can get fired for being queer or trans – but the U.S. Supreme Court kicked off its fall term facing a life-altering decision for us queermos: Does the 1964 Civil Rights Act extend employment protections to the LGBTQmmunity under "sex"? Over the years, numerous U.S. Circuit Courts have ruled that Title VII does extend to queer and trans folks – and in 2015 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission decided we are federally protected. But three cases (Zarda v. Altitude Express, Bostock v. Clayton County, and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC) combined into one have put the decision into the hands of the conservative-controlled high court. To put it simply, SCOTUS will decide whether it's federally legal to fire someone for being trans or queer. For LGBTQ Texans, and queers who call the other 28 states lacking queer employment protections home, this decision carries a lot of weight regarding the future of our rights (why Equality Texas is urging us to push lawmakers for a "comprehensive nondiscrimination" bill like now). Unshockingly, the Trump administration has urged SCOTUS to backtrack the definition of sex as "biologically male or female" and "not include sexual orientation," according to The Washington Post, who called this "one of the most consequential issues of the term." 70 amicus briefs have been filed and the media outlet reports more than 200 of the largest employers "support the workers." The Williams Institute warns the combined cases could impact 4.1 million queer workers, noting that without federal protections many of us will be denied "any remedy at all" against workplace discrimination. And it's not like we just pack up and leave that crap at the office. The Institute reminds us: Discrimination seriously impacts many aspects of our lives, including our physical, financial, and emotional well-being. Cool.

2 To Do

GayCL 2019 Now in its ninth year, this babelicious, queer music showcase is back with v. special guests – all the way from Brooklyn – Sateen, a queer nu-disco duo that'll make you sweat glitter. Warm up with haunting goth-drag tunes from Vestite and hawt disco beats from No Nostalgia. Wrap it all up it in the prettiest bow you can find, cuz glam duo p1nkstar and Y2K are serving DJ sets in between and allll night long. Sat., Oct. 12, 9pm. Cheer Up Charlies, 900 Red River. $10.

Style Cut-a-Thon & Benefit for Maggie Lea Come get yer hairs trimmed, cut, or dyed at this fab fundraiser for Maggie, who's kicking some cancer ass – but damn y'all, that sh*t cost money, honey. Don't wanna cut? Come and donate anyway; plus, Austin Massage Company will be there offering 15-minute rubdowns! And trust me, the raffle prizes are HOT. Sun., Oct. 13, 12:30-4pm. Cheer Up Charlies, 900 Red River. $20 minimum for cut; color.

Q'd Up

Presidential Town Hall Watch Party Watch 2020 hopefuls discuss the LGBTQmmunity, but IRL with yer local HRC branch. Thu., Oct. 10, 5:30pm. Parlor & Yard, 601 W. Sixth. $10.

L&B Ladies Night Lesbutante & the Boss’ gal pal party. Second Fridays, 9pm. Sellers, 213 W. Fourth. Free.

Nite School Wish 'em a happy eighth birthday! Fri., Oct. 11, 9pm. Cheer Up Charlies, 900 Red River. $5.

Opening Reception: Ayla Erdener Q&A Celebrate with the artist herself. Sat., Oct. 12, 5-7pm. Dougherty Arts Center, 1110 Barton Springs Rd.

Pajama Jammy Jam A throwback party in yer comfy (or sexy) pants with DJ Alpha. Sat., Oct. 12, 9pm. The Iron Bear, 121 W. Eighth.

TGQ Social A hangout for everyone and anyone on the trans spectrum and allies, too. Sun., Oct. 13, 6-9pm. Butterfly Bar, 2307 Manor Rd.

High Priestess Comedy A backyard comedy show (hosted by Angelina Martin) with tarot readings, a photo booth, and full moon market! Sun., Oct. 13, 8pm. 7009 Langston Dr. $10.

Cha-Cha Chola Break a sweat with Chola Magnolia! Tue., Oct. 15, 6:30pm. Myo Massage, 4616 Triangle Ave. #407. $25.

The Rabble Live Show Live taping of the sex ed class you wish you had with FBC’d Nikki DaVaughn, activist Ash Hall, and Texas Freedom Network’s Carisa Lopez. Tue., Oct. 15, 6:30pm. The Riveter, 1145 W. Fifth. $10+.

Trans Feminisms Reading Group Discusses Che Gossett’s essay “Blackness and the Trouble of Trans Visibility.” Wed., Oct. 16, 6:30pm. BookWoman, 5501 N. Lamar Ste. 105-A.

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