Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Transgender mayor's clothes spur complaint

Silverton Mayor Stu Rasmussen's clothing choices are at the center of a formal complaint filed Friday with the city council president.

His appearance at a recent youth leadership training event spurred the complaint, filed by Silverton Together Director Brenda Sturdevant. She said the mayor's attire was in violation of the city council dress code.

Sturdevant said Rasmussen's attire, "high heels, a very short skirt and some sort of halter top revealing much of his bosom, shoulders and back," was inappropriate.

"This puts Silverton Together in a position that will be difficult to defend when we have sent our youth home on various occasions to change into something more appropriate," she said. "I expect our public leaders to follow the same guidelines that we have for our youth."

Rasmussen, deemed the nation's first openly transgender mayor, is a member of Silverton Together's Board of Directors and was invited to speak with the youths, ages 12-17.

Rasmussen said he was surprised by the complaint and initially thought it was a hoax. But when a retraction did not follow, he opted to write a rebuttal.

He noted the description of Silverton Together's annual "Celebration of Cultures" and its goal to raise awareness of diversity.

"It is surprising and disappointing that an organization chartered to promote diversity and cultural understanding would take a public position of intolerance," Rasmussen said.


1 comment:

The Doc said...

This is an interesting case - and I have to say I actually agree with the complaint. It's clear, if you read some of the actual complaint in context, that they are not actually bothered by him being transgendered, or in any way with his personal appearance per-say.
It's the mini-skirts, and low cut tops which would be borderline inappropriate for any mayor.
I fear that this will also blow up as a "they're infringing on my rights" arguments... when really they're just saying "I think that you're just wearing stuff which is too revealing".