The state of Wisconsin has begun to ‘detransition’ the gender of trans employees. Under new guidelines, the state now requires its employees to provide intrusive and onerous evidence of their professed gender. The state has not released the new policy publicly.
One of the first victims of the discriminatory policy was Dr. Cary Gabriel Costello, a professor of sociology who studies race, class, gender, and sexuality at the University of Wisconsin. In addition to his work as a sociologist, Dr. Costello is also a vocal advocate for the rights of transgender and intersex individuals. “We were being detransitioned by the state, though I’d legally transitioned nearly a decade ago, and my wife started her transition in the 1990s,” he wrote in a blog post Monday.
In order to register with a preferred identity, Dr Costello and other employees must follow three requirements.
First, they must register with the Employee Trust Fund, the body that administers benefits to state employees. This effectively establishes a centralized database of all trans state employees in Wisconsin.
Second, they must provide “proof of identity,” such as a driver’s license, which is standard in other states as well.
Third – and less standard – they must produce “proof of gender.” Fulfilling this requirement is costly, time consuming, and in many instances, constitutes an invasion of privacy by demanding intimate details of medical history.
The policy shift seems only to erect a convoluted bureaucratic web to make the lives of trans people more difficult.
Under its current governor, Scott Walker, Wisconsin has consistently fought against the rights of gender and sexual minorities. Most recently, Wisconsin reinstated a ban on “procedures, services, and supplies related to surgery and sex hormones associated with gender reassignment” for state employees.