Today, Mayor Tishaura O. Jones signed Executive Order #77, establishing new practices in key City departments to be more inclusive of diverse gender identities. In a roundtable discussion with LGBTQIA+ community leaders, Mayor Jones listened to how the anti-transgender laws passed by the Missouri legislature—and around the country—have made them feel unsafe and unwelcome for simply existing.
“In St. Louis, everyone deserves to thrive, regardless of their gender identity or expression,” said Mayor Tishaura O. Jones. “I’ve heard from trans youth and their families who feel like hateful attacks from Jefferson City Republicans will force them to leave our state. This order sends the message that St. Louis will fight to protect our trans community in the face of bigotry.”
The Executive Order enacts more inclusive practices in four main categories to protect trans St. Louisans, including:
Increasing access to information both about gender-affirming care and about how to access gender-affirming care; Providing more supportive and safe opportunities for trans youth to participate in sports in the City of St. Louis’ recreation centers; Further ensuring that the functions of City government are supportive and inclusive of transgender residents and the City’s workforce; and Mitigating the economic harm of the recent state legislation by identifying ways to further accommodate transgender individuals and their families through development and business opportunities.
“All of our children in St. Louis deserve to know that there are still elected leaders out here fighting for them,” said Susan Halla, President of TransParent. “I am grateful to Mayor Jones for instituting these important changes in the face of recent attacks on trans youth from the Missouri legislature. For our trans youth, please know that you are seen and you are loved for who you are.”
Nearly 500 anti-transgender bills have been introduced nationwide this year, targeting schools and libraries, medical providers, school sports leagues and more to prevent them from implementing inclusive practices. Missouri legislators filed 48 different pieces of legislation, the second highest number of anti-trans bills in the country. The two bills passed by the Missouri legislature implement bans on gender affirming healthcare for trans-identifying minors and a prohibition on trans athletes playing sports that match their gender identity.
St. Louis’ non-discrimination ordinance forbids discrimination in housing, employment, or public accommodations based on gender identity and expression. Any St. Louis resident who feels they have faced gender identity-based discrimination is encouraged to file a claim with the Civil Rights Enforcement Agency (CREA) online or at (314) 622-3301.