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She built the small town’s fire department from scratch. They fired her after she came out.

Rachel Mosby
Rachel MosbyPhoto: screenshot

When Rachel Mosby arrived in Byron, Georgia, the small town didn’t have a fire department. She spent years building a first responders unit after being hired as the town’s fire marshal.

Within ten years, Mosby had built the department into a respectable force, training firefighters, establishing a headquarters, and securing equipment and funding. But Mosby did it all before announcing that she is transgender.

Related: 20 years ago, this legal case set the stage for the Supreme Court’s upcoming ruling on trans rights

Within months, Mosby says, she was fired. Now she’s suing the local government, alleging discrimination “based on her sex, gender identity, and notions of sex stereotyping.”

“They didn’t want somebody like me in that position, or any position with the city,” Mosby told the Associated Press.

She alleges that she was reprimanded for not wearing a uniform the first day she wore a skirt to work; she previously wore a suit and tie. City officials continued to use male pronouns to refer to her.

After she fired a reserve firefighter for calling her a slur to her face, the subordinate appealed and the city reinstated him. Shortly after, the city council changed the personnel policy to eliminate appeals by department heads.

Within weeks she was fired.

Questions over whether or not sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination claims can be covered under laws preventing discrimination based on sex are currently under consideration by the Supreme Court. The verdicts in three cases involving LGBTQ discrimination claims are expected soon.

 

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