woman who was denied a job opportunity at the Library of
Congress testified Tuesday in the U.S. district court in
Washington, D.C. A Library of Congress official had
initially offered the position of terrorism
research analyst to 52-year-old Diane Schroer, who
was considered a star applicant. But in December 2004,
the day after Schroer told her prospective boss
she was making the transition to become a woman, the
job offer was rescinded, according to TheWashington Post.
Schroer, who was
then known as David, had retired from the Army
as a special forces commander. Before that she had been
director of a classified organization formed
to track and target international terrorists
following the attacks of September 11; she regularly
briefed Vice President Dick Cheney and other top federal
"[E]very day, I
wish the phone rang and they said, 'We made a
mistake,'" she said at the trial on Tuesday.
Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit in 2005 on Schroer's
behalf. She still wants the job as well as damages, which
are legally capped at $300,000.
The suit is based
on the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which the Library of
Congress argues does not protect Schroer because the act
does not protect transgender people from
discrimination on the basis of gender identity. The
U.S. Justice Department is representing the Library of
Schroer's once-prospective supervisor, said she worried
the transition would distract her from her work. However,
Schroer said her transition has helped her focus even
more. According to her testimony, Schroer started a
consulting firm and has contracts with several federal
agencies including the U.S. Coast Guard and the
Department of Defense.
since my transition, things have been a lot clearer,"
Schroer said. "It feels like a big distraction has been
removed from my life." (The Advocate)