I received the following comment from a reader and decided that the best course of action– BECAUSE WE DO NOT GIVE LEGAL ADVICE AT SEXNOTGENDER.COM– was to edit it slightly for clarity and open it up for a larger discussion.
It is, indeed, a FASCINATING legal question. I love it! Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any private information about similar situations.
NEED LEGAL ADVICE REGARDING ADA REQUEST FOR A REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION
I have a question that I hope someone could help me with. I’m on Social Security Disability because of major depression, anxiety disorder, and PTSD. I live in a state that with “gender identity” anti-discrimination laws.
Because of a history of PTSD caused in part by sexual molestation and abuse as a child, I know that having to share a restroom with a biological male would be traumatic for me. Indeed, even the thought of having to share a restroom with a male causes me distress. When I was a child, I was sexually assaulted in a bathroom by a male relative.
These are my questions:
(1.) Why is “gender identity” which essentially amounts to a psychological diagnosis more important than PTSD from sexual abuse which definitely is a psychological disorder? When one in six women have been victims of rape or sexual assault, common sense tells us that many of these women would have some degree of PTSD. Isn’t it true that mental illnesses including PTSD can fall under the Americans with Disabilities Act*? How can any state prove that one mental condition is more important than another?
(2.) Other than a letter from a therapist or psychiatrist, how does one go about proving “gender dysphoria”? People with a clear history of panic disorder and PTSD also have a documented psychiatric disorder.
(3.) Since I’m on Social Security Disability because of major depression, panic disorder, and PTSD, why couldn’t I type up an ADA Request for a Reasonable Accommodation stating that it would be traumatic for me to share a restroom with a male? I do have a disability and I’m seeing a psychiatrist.
I would very much appreciate advice on how to proceed with an ADA Request for Reasonable Accommodation. This is uncharted territory, and I want to handle this correctly.
* See 42 U.S.C. § 12211(b)(1) (1997); 29 U.S.C. § 706(8)(F)(i) (1997).