The Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations (PCHR) has enacted regulations that expand legal protections for transgender and gender nonconforming youth. The regulations create affirmative obligations for institutions serving youth to ensure that their environments are free of discrimination.
The legislation requiring these regulations was introduced by Councilmember Helen Gym (At-Large) and passed by City Council in 2019 in conjunction with two other bills designed to promote dignity, safety, and inclusion in the City of Philadelphia.
The regulations also:
- Require that all institutions serving youth use the name and pronouns that correspond to a youth’s identity.
- Require institutions to take reasonable steps to prevent and promptly correct any derogatory or offensive langue used in communication with or in reference to a transgender or gender nonconforming youth.
- Ensure privacy and confidentiality of the transgender or gender nonconforming youth’s identity.
- Require institutions provide access to restrooms, locker rooms, and dressing rooms that correspond to a transgender or gender nonconforming youth’s identity.
- Require institutions post a written policy of non-discrimination and conduct regular training to prevent, identify, and respond to bullying, harassment, and discrimination against transgender and gender nonconforming youth.
“I am extremely proud of this work because these regulations demonstrate the City of Philadelphia’s commitment to ensuring supportive and inclusive environments for all children,” said Kia Ghee, Executive Director for Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations. “At a time when constitutional protections feel less certain, these regulations build upon the antidiscrimination protections provided in the Fair Practices Ordinance and emphasize the City’s commitment to protecting children and youth who are much more likely to be subject to unlawful harassment in school and other institutional settings.”
“With the disturbing and increasing amount of anti-trans legislation that targets trans youth, these reforms represent welcome, needed progress and are just one of the many reasons that Philadelphia is consistently recognized as one of the most LGBTQ-friendly cities in the country,” said Celena Morrison, Executive Director of the Office of LGBT Affairs. “We will continue to support our trans and gender nonconforming communities in every possible way.”
“Our City is deeply committed to ensuring all trans and non-binary youth thrive, flourish, and feel valued,” said Councilmember Helen Gym. “These protections were informed and championed by Philadelphia’s young people themselves. By centering their voices, we are shaping a more just, accessible, and welcoming city for all. In the absence of federal and state protections, and especially amidst increasing and vile attacks against trans youth, these reforms prove that Philadelphia will always stand with our trans and non-binary communities and advance bold policies to protect them.”
PCHR is Philadelphia’s official civil rights agency ensuring equal rights and opportunities for all. The agency investigates complaints of discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition), sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, marital status, source of income, familial status, genetic information and domestic or sexual violence victim status. If you believe that you have been subjected to unlawful discrimination or have any questions, please contact PCHR at 215-686-4670 or visit the website.