Trans woman fights for the right to appear topless in public

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Transgender woman from Chicago Bea Sullivan-Knoff knows that according to the city’s law only men are allowed to go outside topless. And she considers it to be terribly unfair, so she launches a legal case against the city administration and the mayor personally. The lawsuit contends the law is discrimination as it “reinforces archaic stereotypes and overbroad generalizations of the impropriety of women’s breasts versus men’s breasts. While men, whether as performers or patrons, in Chicago’s hot and humid summers routinely remove clothing from their torsos, whether as artistic expressions or simply to cool off, women are prohibited from doing so due to the threat to venues’ liquor licenses.”

Bea is an artist, a performer, and in part her profession demands performing topless. She said: “Since most of this negative rhetoric centers on the specifics of trans bodies, and most times invasively so, I most often perform about the body, which often involves the presence of my nude body or partially nude body onstage, in an attempt to reclaim a part of myself too often taken from me.”

Her lawyer added: “Ms Sullivan-Knoff is a 23-year-old engaged in the very difficult task of making a living as a young performance artist, yet has been prevented from performing deeply personal pieces due to the City’s transphobic and blatantly sexist ordinance that should be an embarrassment to a modern city in the 21st century.” The city officials left the complaint without attention.

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