Have you read the Virginia Human Rights Act? In 2020 it expanded safeguards to include unlawful discrimination in employment because of sexual orientation and gender identity in addition to other characteristics. HB2155 expands upon illegal discriminatory practices to include workplace harassment. It includes physical, verbal, pictorial, auditory or visual, whether in person or by transmittal and includes “any conduct that is humiliating or degrading and whether the conduct reflects stereotypes about individuals in the protected class”. A single incident may constitute workplace harassment. This bill has passed the House and is now in the Senate.

Here is an example of what will become more common in the future.

Tom, an executive at a large banking complex, goes into his HR office on Monday and declares that he, upon reflection, is gender fluid. He therefore needs to have copies of any HR directives that apply to females in particular, such as dress code, childbirth and lactation policies. He informs them that because his identity is fluid, he will be called Tommie and his pronoun is now ze. Also, because ze does not know how ze will choose to present zeself on any given day, ze reserves the right to follow any dress code that is otherwise gender-specific, and to frequent any part of the building reserved for male or female employees.

Ze requests new business cards that include ze’s preferred pronoun and a statement that ze will require the honorific of Mx. Tommie strongly suggests that the entire organization be made aware of this change to prevent ze from encountering any illegal discrimination and/or subjecting ze to a hostile workplace environment. Ze also advises that the female restrooms need to have urinals installed to meet ze’s needs. In the first week of being “out”, ze lodges a complaint with HR because, upon entering the women’s bathroom, one person hastily exited and another rolled her eyes. These were reported as hostile acts, along with the three times coworkers slipped up and used the pronoun him when referencing ze. Tommie put HR on notice that if this type of action continues, ze will cease employment due to the harassment and will sue for a career’s worth of lost wages, plus pain and suffering.

Welcome to the Brave New Progressive World, where people are people, comrades, parents, siblings, and folks, but no longer men, women, mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters. A giant step for Personkind!