Archive for the ‘Steve Stanton’ Category

Here is the CNN Larry King Live transcript from last nights show. Steve Stanton announced on the show he will not sue the city of Largo. 

KING: We welcome to LARRY KING LIVE, Steve Stanton, the former city manager of Largo, Florida. He was fired last month after disclosing he was a transsexual and wanted to become a woman. With him is Karen Doering, she is senior counsel for the National Center for Lesbian Rights. She is the attorney for Steven Stanton.

How long has this feeling gone on, Steve? When did you first say, “I’m the wrong gender?”

STEVE STANTON, HUSBAND & FATHER FIRED AFTER 14 YEARS AS LARGO, FLORIDA CITY MANAGER: Yes, very earlier, since I was a child I can remember I wanted walk into the candy store in my sister’s shoes. It was a very profound knowledge that your body didn’t match your spirit.

KING: What’s the difference between that or wanting to be or being gay?

STANTON: Yes, it’s sexual identification. Orientation is very different from gender identification. So when you’re a transsexual, it feels like your body does not match your…

KING: You don’t belong?

STANTON: Yes, yes, yes, and it’s not synonymous with the sexual orientation at all.

KING: Yet you grew up hiding all of this. You got married and you had a son. What was marriage like?

STANTON: Marriage was good. I loved my wife. I got married because I wanted to have a lasting relationship. She’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me. We had a good marriage.

KING: Good boy, good son?

STANTON: Good son, a great son. My little son is named Travis and he and I are extremely close.

KING: How’s he dealing with all of this?

STANTON: He’s been dealing with it great. He’s been dealing with it great. His school took all of the right opportunities to make sure that he was able to continue on with class and has not missed a day.

KING: How did you tell your wife?

STANTON: Initially, it was difficult because you don’t think you would ever grow up wanting to change your gender. There those things that you think are permanent. And I realized I had to, it was a very difficult decision. I actually did it in an eight-page letter, in an eight-page letter and it was very difficult.

KING: Is it difficult, Karen, for a lesbian to understand this because you’re different, right? You don’t want to be a man?

KAREN DOERING, SENIOR COUNSEL, NATIONAL CENTER FOR LESBIAN RIGHTS: Correct, correct. You know sexual orientation is about who you’re attracted to whereas you know gender identity disorder, the medical condition that Steve and a number of others have, is where basically your internal sense of who you are, what your mind tells you is your proper gender is inconsistent with the physical anatomy you have.

KING: And yet you became city manager, successful city manager for 14 years. You earned $140,000 a year, right?

STANTON: Yes, yes.

KING: Why didn’t you just — since you loved your wife and loved your kid, why didn’t you just live it out?

STANTON: Yes, that’s been the thousand dollar question. Why now and how come you had to do this? I guess ultimately, you want to be authentic to yourself. You want to make sure that you’re going to be around for many years with your son. And I just wanted to be true to who I am. And I actually believed — I believed that the city of Largo would be able to accept this. Even though that sounds maybe…

KING: Have you started the process?

STANTON: Yes, I have, absolutely.

KING: By doing what?

STANTON: Well, the first process is electrolysis to remove the hair from your face. It’s an extremely painful process and then hormone therapy where you start changing the outside of your body. And the last phase is when you try to actually experience life in your true gender.

KING: When will that take place?

STANTON: That will take place in about 30 to 60 days; at the end of the May is when I’ll be going as Susan full-time.

KING: Is your wife going to stay married to you?

STANTON: No, we’ll be separating probably around June.

KING: You were fired. You were surprised.

STANTON: Yes, shocked.

KING: What was the vote?

STANTON: Five to two.

KING: The mayor voted?

STANTON: The mayor voted to support me as well as another commissioner.

KING: We contacted the mayor for the record. That’s Mayor Pat Girard of Largo. And she said the city had no comment on the dismissal.

STANTON: Yes, at this point that’s appropriate. And everybody is worried about being sued and that’s been a big concern. Everybody is always focusing on litigation these days.

KING: Are you going to sue?

DOERING: We advised Steve what his options were. We looked at the law and it’s very clear what the city of Largo did is illegal. You cannot fire somebody just because they announce that they’re going to transition from male to female. That’s absolutely clear that that’s what they did in the city of Largo.

So what we did was we laid out the options for Steve, and had real heart to heart about what litigation really looks like. It’ll probably go on for years. And we talked about some other possibilities. And then we left it up to him to decide whether or not he wants to sue the city of Largo. KING: You have decided yet?

STANTON: Absolutely. I decided the first night.

KING: You’re going to sue?

STANTON: Of course not.

KING: Not sue?

STANTON: Of course not.

KING: Have you have gotten any other offers?

STANTON: Offers to sue?

KING: To be city manager somewhere else?

STANTON: Well, yes, I have some interviews scheduled. But the city of Largo has been great to me, 17 years. It is a city of progress. Other than the commissioners who were just inundated with a lot of negative email, the community was extremely embracing. I was not surprised but reaffirmed how supportive they were with me.

KING: We were told you were going to make an announcement tonight of some kind?

STANTON: Yes, I think everybody thought we were going to sue because that’s typical of what…

KING: So the announcement is you are not going to sue.

STANTON: We are not going to sue. Absolutely not.

KING: That’s the announcement?

STANTON: Well, because I think that there’s a time for healing as opposed to the decisive process of litigation. I always said from the first time that I really wanted to educate. I wanted to educate, to make people understand that just because you’re transsexual doesn’t mean you cannot lead, doesn’t mean you can’t be a productive person. I think I can do that better as an advocate.

KING: As a lawyer, would you have had a good suit?

DOERING: Absolutely. I think he had a very strong suit and we’ve actually brought and won cases for transsexual people who were fired in the workplace in Florida. We talked about that with Steve. We talked about the options.

But from the beginning, and one of the things I admire most about Steve, is he said I just want to make sure that nobody else has to go through this. He knew he was in a very high-profile job. He knew that, you know, it would make the news when he announced he was transitioning. And he hoped and believed that the city of Largo would do the right thing and he would be able to transition and keep his job. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen but he wants to educate. He wants to help people understand this medical condition, transsexualism, under what it is, and understand that these are human beings. It could be you or me or somebody’s kid.

KING: How did you tell the city?

STANTON: How did I tell the city?

KING: How did you do it? Did you go before the city council?

STANTON: Yes, we had an opportunity to make an appeal. We did that. We brought…

KING: I mean how did you tell them you were transsexual?

STANTON: Well, I didn’t really tell them. I was “outed” — quote, unquote by a local newspaper, who said we’re running the story whether you tell your community or not. And that was unpleasant. That was kind of devastating actually.

KING: So tonight you officially tell them you’re not going to sue.

STANTON: Absolutely, yes. When I told them the night of the process that — I specifically said suing the city would be like suing my own mom and it would have been. Largo’s been too good to me.

KING: Did your co-workers know? Who knew about it other than your wife?

STANTON: Well, when I first started to get very close to the point of which I would be bringing this in the workplace, I brought in four or five people that were occupationally trained to ensure some confidentiality, to talk very frankly of what the impact of this decision would be in their operation. And so about five people from the city.

KING: We’ll be right back with Steve Stanton and Karen Doering. Don’t go away.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A constant professional.

Mayor Gerard?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have not communicated well.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Vice Mayor Krocher (ph)?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, consider stepping down.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Commissioner Arson (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I have lost confidence.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Commissioner Black?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I hope we can move forward in this city with a greater understanding.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Commissioner Woods?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But he’s lost his standing as a leader.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Commissioner Gentry (ph)?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I no longer can trust his judgment.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Commissioner Guyette (ph)?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Motion carries 5-2.

In an effort for the city manager to be put on administrative leave, I believe…


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: …we do need to appoint an interim city manager.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: His record has been outstanding. And if it was not then you would have never given him a pay raise in September.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But I question the performance and that has been my issue since day one with the city. And there are so many examples here, I can’t cite all of them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I’ve dealt with city managers and other managers all the time and his is one of the best performances I have seen. He has served this city well.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Steven doesn’t exist any longer and Susan basically is brand new. No social security number. No elementary school. No high school. No college. We are talking about a phlegm.


KING: We’re back with Steve Stanton and his attorney, Karen Doering. One commissioner was reported as saying, “I do feel he was the integrity, nor the trust, nor the respect nor the confidence to continue.” Any response to that?

STANTON: Yes, and that was a perspective that a few people had. I think people don’t understand the courage and conviction it took to stand up and really discuss something extremely personal like this and knowing the public reaction that was going to follow.

DOERING: One of the things we know from the medical experts who deal with transsexualism all the time and at the National Center for Lesbian Rights, we deal with people transitioning in the workplace all the time and this is the kind of reaction that is absolutely normal and human. When you tell somebody, you share a deep part of yourself. Hey, I’m transsexual. The initial reaction is how can I not have known that? How can I trust you now? You kept this from me. And that is a very human reaction.

KING: What was the plan you said had?

DOERING: Well, Steve had come up with a great plan. It’s the kind of plan that we recommend for anyone who’s transitioning in the workplace. You tell a human resources person. You tell your immediate supervisor. As the city manager, the closest thing he has to an immediate supervisor is the mayor. You bring in some of the key leaders in the organization. You set up training so that — and you plan how you’re going to announce this to folks so that you can do the education, so that yes, there’s going to be a speed bump. This is going to be shocking to people. But there are ways when it’s done properly, when it’s handled properly, it can absolutely be done well. People transition in the workplace all the time and are very, very successful.

KING: What is it like, Steve, to live in a body that’s wrong for you? Day to day, wasn’t it?

STANTON: Yes, it’s something, when I discussed with other transsexuals, it’s a situation when you wake up, it’s the first thing you think about when you wake up and the last thing you think about when you go to bed at night. It feels like that there’s something profoundly wrong with who you know you are and who you portray to be.

KING: And you want to be your wife?

STANTON: No, I want to be who I am. I don’t want to be my wife. I want to be who I am and I want to be an authentic person and I want to be somebody who can be productive. And I think I can still do that. And I can still be an extremely effective city manager.

KUDLOW: Do you expect your son to call you Dad?

STANTON: I expect my son to call my anything he’s comfortable calling me. What I do expect and I have received is his love and support. KING: Are you scared?

STANTON: I’m terrified. This is going to be a very substantial challenge. Having my reputation smeared by so many people that really thought because I’m a transsexual that I’m not able to do my job and all of the things that people sort of came up with and justified, their decisions has been devastating. So I’m very…

KING: Are you scared of the surgery?

STANTON: No, not at all.



KING: That’s what I meant.

STANTON: Yes, the surgery, no. The surgery is not — a lot of folks don’t have the surgery. My intention is to do so. But right now I need to get my life…

KING: A lot don’t have the surgery. They just, what, wear female clothing?

STANTON: Well, they live who they are.

KING: They’re hiding?

STANTON: I wouldn’t say you’re hiding but I don’t think your genitalia really defines your personality and who you are as a whole person.

DOERING: Yes. And the surgery is for a lot of people is cost prohibitive. Almost every insurance company out there puts this specific prohibition in there that they do not cover sexual reassignment surgery. And so, this is a medical condition. It’s the only accepted medical protocol but it’s not covered by insurance and not everyone has $20,000 or $30,000.

KING: What specialist does the surgery and what code of surgery?

DOERING: Well, there are many…

KING: Plastic surgeons?

DOERING: Well, there are medical standards of care and different — depending on which surgical procedure, if it’s, you know, a chest reconstruction of some sort, depending on whether it’s a male to female or female to male, then that would probably be some sort of plastic surgeon.

KING: Isn’t female to male harder?

DOERING: Female to male…

KING: Surgery.

DOERING: The bottom surgery for them is more difficult, yes.

KING: Do you know where you’re going to have it done already, Steve?

STANTON: I have no idea. It’s almost irrelevant at this point. It really is. That was a big focus. That’s the sensational aspect of this story, the sex change, what is he going to wear, when is she going to be…

KING: That’s because people think about that.

STANTON: Yes, they do. And it shows a lack of education. And that’s why I think litigation in this situation is not nearly as important as education. And I think — I had a very unique opportunity having a national stage now to communicated in ways that people don’t.

KING: Do you want to be a city manager again?

STANTON: Oh, absolutely. I was extremely good at it. I was extremely good at being a city manager. I enjoyed the city of Largo and had a lot of friends in the city. And that’s been the biggest adjustment that so many people…

KING: Do you want to stay in Florida?

STANTON: Probably but not necessarily. You know City managers, we tend to be nomadic. So I’ll go where I feel comfortable.

KING: Have you received a lot of support?

STANTON: I’ve received extreme support. We have people sending food to the house and flowers. There was an interfaith rally in the city of Saint Petersburg. Absolutely. I was not prepared for the emotional outpouring that so many people gave us the last three weeks. It’s been superior.

KING: Where is it all going to go, Karen? Do you think we’ll ever have a society that totally accepts this?

DOERING: I think we will. Again, I think it takes time. This is a new concept that society doesn’t understand very well. And I think by Steve, you know, taking the stand because he was such a public figure and sharing his story, it helps people understand transsexualism. It helps them understand that this is just another medical process. And once he transitions and starts living as Susan, people will realize that he’s the same person he’s always been. And Susan Stanton will be absolutely every bit as good city manager as Steve Stanton.

KING: You’re going to be Susan?


KING: Why did you pick Susan?

STANTON: I didn’t, my mom did.

KING: What does she think of this?

STANTON: Well, she died but she would have been proud. She would have been proud.

KING: So she knew all about this?

STANTON: She did not know about it.

KING: Then how did she pick Susan?

STANTON: Because I asked her when I was about 7, “Mom, what would my name have been if I was a girl?” And she told me the name Susan. And it just exploded in my head. That was the identification of who I was.

KING: May I be the first to welcome you, Susan?

STANTON: Thank you.

KING: He’s still Steve. He will be Susan.

Thank you, Karen.

DOERING: Thank you.

KING: Steve Stanton, the former city manager of Largo, Florida; Karen Doering, his attorney, the senior counsel for the National Center for Lesbian Rights. And again, Steve announcing tonight, he will not — repeat, not sue the city of Largo.

Read Full Post »

Instead of appearing live on CNN, Largo city manager Steve Stanton fired after revealing his sex change plans has taped a segment for the network.A spokeswoman for a nonprofit group representing him says the segment featuring former Steve Stanton and his lawyer is scheduled to air at 9 tonight on “Larry King Live.” But it’s not yet clear why Stanton was bumped off last night’s show.

Stanton was to discuss if he planned to sue the suburban city to get his job back. He initially said taking Largo to court would be like “suing my mother.” But since the City Commission’s two votes to fire him, Stanton has been recruited to join a national ight for transsexual employment rights. Stanton and his attorney declined to comment on their legal plans before the CNN broadcast aired. The city is expecting a lawsuit.

Stanton is married and has a teenage son. He’s in the process of legally changing his name to Susan.

Read Full Post »

The Steve Stanton firing debacle hit the CNN airwaves this evening on the Paula Zahn Now show. CLICK HERE to read the story.

Read Full Post »

Daniel had caller after caller today say what Stanton wants to do is immoral. Again and again Daniel asked people to explain what’s immoral about it. Not one caller could give a coherent explanation of why it’s immoral. Some of these idiots insist on trying to throw the liberal word out there, like this is a liberal thing. Then they can’t say coherently what’s liberal about it or even explain what liberal is.

A lot of the people keep saying the bible says this, the bible says that. Why do THEY, care about what he does to HIS body? It’s not affecting them and it’s none of their business. So what if it says in the bible (and it doesn’t) that what Stanton wants to do is wrong. Well that’s an issue between him and his God, not him, his God, and YOU. It’s not a concern of anyone else except those two entities. If there is a God and Stanton does something that’s not allowed, well then he’ll have to answer to his God. He doesn’t need to answer to YOU. You don’t have to answer for his decisions, so why do these religious fanatics think it’s their duty to inform everyone else what’s right and what’s wrong? It’s between that person’s God and them, it’s not a threesome.

Next, this country is governed by the laws we (humans) established. Some are based on religion, but in the end, the laws are established by humans. When a person breaks the law, the human law is what we look at to determine if they’re to be punished or not. God, (if there is one) will ultimately determine if a biblical law was broken and send that person to heaven or hell, you/we do not decide that. These religions fanatics are attempting to enforce biblical laws above and beyond our human laws. Who are they to decide this? They’re called religious fanatics. They want to force their religious laws on people who may or may not believe in them. Hey, maybe I worship a different God. Maybe I don’t worship a God at all. That’s none of your business. A sex change may be wrong in your opinion, it doesn’t mean it’s wrong in my opinion. If you don’t want freedom of religion, or freedom to not believe in a God at all, then you must be un-American as the religious fanatics like to say.

When a person robs a bank, they’re brought to court and charged with whatever human law says robbery is illegal. We don’t bring them to court, look at the bible and say Mr. Robber, you are hereby charged with the crime of (insert chapter & verse) from the bible. According to the bible, your punishment is… That’s not how our society works. The religious fanatics need to be more concerned about what THEY are doing right and wrong and whether or not it will get THEM to heaven or hell. They need not be concerned about what EVERYONE ELSE is doing and whether or not all the rest of us are breaking their laws, from their bible, from their God.

Read Full Post »

Daniel and many, many callers today talked about the Largo City Council’s embarrassment that is the Steve Stanton firing. Despite nationwide and local outcry and a most likely very costly discrimination lawsuit as a result, the cowards of Largo fired Stanton anyway. Daniel Ruth had this to say on the issue on today’s show.

Daniel called them gutless and thinks Stanton has a pretty solid case of sex discrimination against the city of Largo. He also said the City Council discriminated against Steve Stanton, who just until a couple of weeks ago, was doing a good job and was highly rated as the City Manager. He’s basically being fired because he’s undergoing a surgical procedure. He doesn’t know how you morally justify what the City Council did last night. If he was an able, competent City Manager as Steve Stanton, why will he not be able and competent as Susan Stanton? Daniel called the City Council Vagina Vigilantes. He said he thinks the city will wind up paying a dear price for their ignorance. He also said he doesn’t think God cares what Steve Stanton does.

  • David in Tampa said he was disappointed but not surprised. He blamed the decision on uneducated, evil, bible waving individuals.
  • Brent in Bradenton asked the question where does morality come from? What is your moral compass? He said it comes down to the way we were made. He said what Stanton is doing is a result of a corruption of the mind. He talked about Stanton making a decision to go against the way he’s been made. He then when on to say what Stanton wants to do goes against the holy standard of God. Daniel asked how he knew that, Brent couldn’t give a specific word for word biblical reference that said changing one’s gender was “immoral” as he called it.Brent said it was immoral to change one’s appearance. Daniel said what about a breast change, ear piercing, or nose job? Apparently to Brent, that’s immoral too.
  • Paul in Marco Island called and said if Brent wants to say changing one’s appearance is immoral, then cutting one’s nails, hair, or shaving a beard must also be immoral.
  • Bo in Tampa said what about circumcision, is that immoral? He also said why do men have nipples, did God make a mistake when creating man? He said it’s a real shame and a real testament to our society right now and the lack of enlightenment in society. He said he feels sorry for Stanton.

Read Full Post »

Thanks to the Dr. Jillian T. Weiss Blog, I was given a heads-up that the Stanton hearing will have live blog coverage on the St Pete Times (tampabay.com site). Or you can watch the video at Fox News using this link. So if you can’t be there and want to know what the outcome is, surf on over there to find out. Or watch your local news, I’m sure they’ll be all over this story.

Read Full Post »

On 19 March 2007, Steve Stanton’s attorney submitted a reply to Largo City Council resolution No. 1924. The resolution put into motion the procedures to fire Stanton. The case is still ongoing and thanks to the Dr. Jillian T. Weiss Blog, we now have a copy of the reply given to the City Council. You can read the reply here. As the Weiss blog points out, the four main points of the reply are:

  1. Terminating An Experienced, Effective and Highly Skilled City Manager Does Not Serve the Best Interests of Largo Residents
  2. The City Should Base Employment Decisions On Objective Performance Criteria And Comply With Its Own Non-Discrimination Policies
  3. Mr. Stanton Followed Professional Guidelines For Disclosing His Transgender Status To His Employer
  4. Transitioning Permits Transgender People To Live Healthy, Productive Lives

I’m not knowledgeable on the topic of Transgender issues, I just don’t like to see people being discriminated against as a result of their race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. So if you want to read more on the law of it all, surf on over to the Jillian T. Weiss Blog.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »