From Linda Simpson to

March 7, 2007

I want to thank Mayor Gerard and Commissioner Rodney Woods for taking a progressive stand against bigotry and backward thinking by voting against the suspension of City Manager Stanton and speaking out in support. I also ask that Mayor Gerard and Commissioner Woods pass on my support to City Manager Stanton concerning both her transition and the unfortunate events concerning the council’s decision.


Commissioners Mary Gray Black, Andrew Guyette, Gigi Arntzen, Harriet Crozier and  Gay Gentry ought to be ashamed for their disgusting promotion of discrimination and  persecution of an individual because of a medical condition (Gender Identity Disorder). As public officials these commissioners should be dedicated to doing the right thing, defending civil rights, and upholding what is best for the City; standing behind a faithful city servant who has done a fine job for many years.  Instead they “lost confidence” because they do not understand Stanton’s affliction (and obviously took no steps to learn about it) and also succumbed to right wing religious bigotry.


From reading the  St. Petersburg Times news account of the meeting “Peggy Schaefer accompanied by 60 members of the First Baptist Church of Indian Rocks” also dictated the course of action to Commissioners Mary Gray Black, Andrew Guyette, Gigi Arntzen, Harriet Crozier and  Gay Gentry.  It would appear that Peggy and her church now determine who gets a job and who should be removed in the City of Largo. Just because they represent a church does not mean they represent the teaching of Christianity. Remember, the KKK persecuted and killed in the name of Jesus and the bible was once used to justify slavery.

You see, I too am a transgender individual who underwent gender reassignment 13 years ago in a small city in Wyoming. I was a public official at the time, a Police Detective for the city. In a such a conservative environment I had nothing but support from my co-workers, the Police Department, City Government and the community. They were more concerned about my performance than appearance. I remained until retirement without my condition ever being an issue – in conservative Wyoming.


Wyoming likes to tout the saying “Wyoming is what America was,” while they take pride in their motto: “the Equality State.”  Maybe Largo should change their motto form “City of  Progress” to “Largo, what America shouldn’t be.”


Linda A. Simpson


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