Aimee Stephens Wiki – Aimee Stephens Biography
Aimee Stephens, According to the SCOTUS opinion of the court document, Aimee Stephens worked at R. G. & G. R. Harris Funeral Homes in Garden City, Michigan. When she was hired around 2006, she was still living as a man. Two years into her time at the funeral home, she “began treatment for despair and loneliness,” according to the document.
Aimee Stephens Gender Dysphoria
Overtime, Stephens was diagnosed with gender dysphoria and her therapists recommended that she start living as a woman. It was four years later that she wrote a letter to her employer at the funeral home saying that she was going to fully transition to a female, including while she was working, and she would return from an upcoming vacation as a woman.
Aimee Stephens Fired
Before she left on the vacation, the Harris Funeral Home fired Stephens, saying, “this is not going to work out,” the document stated. She was fired in 2013.
The U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission sued on her behalf, according to the ACLU.
The ACLU reported that Stephens was studying to become a Baptist minister when she discovered fulfillment in the funeral industry, “helping people remember their loved ones at peace and received positive feedback from her employer and coworkers.” Over three decades Stephens spent 20 years working in the industry, living her life as a man.
According to the ACLU, by the time Stephens was a 5-years-old, she felt like she was a girl.
After Stephens was fired in 2013 she went into kidney failure, and the loss of her job meant that the illness was a huge financial burden. After years of dialysis, it was clear that Stephens need to transition again, this time to hospice care.
Aimee Stephens GoFundMe
A GoFundMe was started for Stephens toward the end of her life in 2019.
According to the GoFundMe page:
Being fired from her employer caused an immediate financial strain, leading her spouse Donna to take on several jobs. Friends and family have stepped in when they can, but years of lost income have taken a toll on their finances. Because of this, we are asking for assistance with Aimee’s future funeral costs and end-of-life care. This money will also be used to alleviate some of the financial burden Donna faces that comes with the loss of a loved one.
On May 12, 2020, Stephens died at the age of 59 after her years-long battle with kidney disease, according to NBC News.
Stephens is survived by a wife, Donna, and a daughter, Elizabeth.
Aimee Stephens in landmark SCOTUS Decision
In a landmark decision Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that people in the United States cannot be fired for being gay or transgender. The case had three different plaintiffs, Aimee Stephens, Don Zarda, and Gerald Bostock, all of whom were fired on the basis of their sexuality.
In SCOTUS’s ruling, they said, “An employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender violates Title VII,” which makes it “unlawful . . . for an employer to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual . . . because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.”
According to SCOTUS’s opinion on the historic decision, while the Civil Rights Act of 1964 may not have been written to include the LGTBQ community, “the limits of the drafters’ imaginations” are no reason to “ignore the law’s demands.” They wrote:
Today, we must decide whether an employer can fire someone simply for being homosexual or transgender. The answer is clear. An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex. Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids.
Those who adopted the Civil Rights Act might not have anticipated their work would lead to this particular result. Likely, they weren’t thinking about many of the Act’s consequences that have become apparent over the years, including its prohibition against discrimination on the basis of motherhood or its ban on the sexual harassment of male employees. But the limits of the drafters’ imagination supply no reason to ignore the law’s demands.