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by Karen Hawkins

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Trans activist and TransGenesis founder Lorrainne Sade Baskerville has settled her discrimination complaint against the DuSable Museum of African-American History.

Details of the settlement were not released, with the parties revealing only that TransGenesis will hold a fundraiser at the museum June 15, 2002.

Baskerville had filed a complaint against the DuSable, 740 E. 56th Place, with the Chicago Commission on Human Relations after she was unable to rent space there for a TransGenesis fundraiser. After making a reservation and putting down a deposit for a room, she was notified that none of the dates she requested were available, and her money was returned. She had claimed that the museum cancelled her reservation because it didn't want to rent to a transgender group.

The museum has denied any wrongdoing, saying in a statement, "The DuSable Museum stands firmly against discrimination of any kind.

"The Museum has never sought or intended to exclude anyone from renting our facilities but is happy to bring this matter to an end and move forward in a spirit of cooperation," said Clarence S. Wilson, Jr., attorney for the museum. "As an organization that is dedicated to collecting and documenting the history and culture of Africans and Americans of African descent, the DuSable Museum understands the damage caused by discrimination and are committed to equal treatment for all."

Baskerville said she was relieved by the decision. "We are overjoyed with this settlement and happy that the DuSable stands with us in our commitment to end discrimination," she said. "Transgender individuals still face pervasive discrimination in employment, access to services and facilities, and other fundamental aspects of daily life. All Chicagoans deserve equal treatment under the law, and we will continue working to make this basic principle of equality a reality for all transgender individuals."

TransGenesis was represented by Lambda Legal Defense Fund attorney Heather Sawyer. "Discrimination based on individuals' failure to fit stereotypical notions of gender identity is unlawful sex discrimination, plain and simple. This must be recognized and stopped throughout our society," Sawyer said.

GCC honors Baskerville

TransGenesis founder Lorrainne Sade Baskerville will receive the Derrick Hicks Award from the Greater Chicago Committee at its Bayard Rustin Awards in June. Baskerville, a Gay and Lesbian Hall of Famer, is being honored "for her direction and constant fight in ensuring that the transgender community receives the services that are needed ... in the battle against HIV/AIDS," GCC said.

In 1997, Baskerville received the first Georgia Black Award for service to the trans community from GCC.

Cook County Clerk of Circuit Court Dorothy Brown will serve as the keynote speaker. The ceremony is Friday, June 29 at the DuSable Museum, 740 E. 56th Place. Call ( 773 ) 287-3263.

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