Wednesday, August 20, 2014

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As part of NYC Pride Week 2014, NY1 examines some of the issues facing the city's transgender community.

Pride Week 2014: SI Transgender Man Suing Parks Department for Discrimination

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TWC News: Pride Week 2014: SI Transgender Man Suing Parks Department for Discrimination
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As NY1's coverage of Pride Week continues, the channel turns to Staten Island, where one transgender man is suing the Department of Parks and Recreation for discrimination. NY1's Amanda Farinacci filed the following report.

For 24-year-old Bryan Ellicott, transitioning was something he always knew he'd do.

"I was always one of the guys, even before I decided that this is what I want, that I wanted to transition," he said.

The native Staten Islander began transitioning just three years ago, when he began taking the hormones that made his voice deeper and hair grow on his face.

He gets testosterone shots every two weeks, using doctors off Staten Island, where he feels he's less likely to run into someone he knows.

He's currently raising money for the many medical procedures that will help him transition, though he admits he will never really be done.

He said his transition has been both mental and physical, and he's relied heavily on a support system of friends who accept him for who he is.

"It's not the easiest thing to walk around the streets and being transgender and who knows and who has a problem with it, because I can experience things like what happened at the pool any moment of any time of the day," he said.

What happened at the Lyons Pool last summer earned headlines recently as Bryan brought a discrimination lawsuit against the city Department of Parks and Recreation. He said he was hoping to take a swim when he said pool employees would not allow him to use the men's locker room. The Department of Parks and Recreation has not commented on the suit.

"I don't belong in the female locker room," Ellicott said. "I don't look female, and I just, I was hurt."

Bryan said his experience at the Lyons Pool has made him anxious about using public bathrooms.

"Bathrooms and changing rooms and, I found a pair of jeans that maybe I want to buy, OK, if I go into the male locker room, am I going to have a situation like I did at the pool?" Ellicott said. "So it's just a constant trigger and a constant thing that shouldn't be."

To help Bryan pay for his transition, go to his fundraising page at gofundme.org/qoa20 to make a donation.

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