Female Public Transit Employees Reportedly Threatened With Termination For Expressing Concerns About Trans Colleague

Female employees at Denver’s Regional Transportation District (RTD) have reportedly been given an ultimatum: accept a male co-worker as a woman in the workplace, or be fired.

Reduxx spoke to a source with access to RTD employees who reports that William Senseman, a locomotive operator at RTD, has been granted access to all workplace spaces previously reserved for women — including bathrooms, showers, and locker rooms.

Now going by the name “Willow,” Senseman has also taken on she/her pronouns the other staff members are being required to comply with.

Senseman, May 2017 / FACEBOOK

The source wishes to remain anonymous due to concerns over professional repercussions for employees close to the situation at RTD, all of whom she claims have been barred from speaking to media under threat of termination.

Several female workers have reportedly expressed concerns over Senseman’s accommodations, with at least one bringing her complaint directly to management. Upon voicing her discomfort in sharing intimate spaces with a presumably intact man, the employee was told to keep quiet.

“The women at RTD are livid,” the source says. “One complained to supervisors and told them she didn’t feel safe with a man openly walking around women’s safe spaces … and was told she would be fired if she didn’t drop the matter.”

Other staff members were then told that anyone who refused to validate Senseman’s identity, raised concerns about his conduct, or shared information with other staff members or media about the matter would be fired.

“RTD announced that nobody can discuss the situation, either with other employees or the media and all employees MUST refer to the male employee as a woman and call him by his chosen name or risk being fired from their jobs.”

It is not believed that Senseman has undergone any “gender affirming” surgeries, and this may have factored into the complaints raised by female employees.

Discussion regarding Senseman’s transition and its impact on female RTD employees did begin to circulate on Facebook late last month, prompting upset from some women’s rights advocates concerned for the dignity and safety of the female staff.

Senseman, August 2020 / FACEBOOK

Senseman abruptly deactivated his personal Facebook account this week after some women took to the platform to leave comments beneath his posts telling him to “stay out” of the female employee spaces.

On December 22, around the same time discussion surrounding Senseman’s access to female spaces began to pick up, RTD re-issued its Equal Employment Opportunities Statement, which promises repercussions for employees found to have been “discriminatory” towards other staff members.

Reduxx reached out to RTD for comment on the allegations that female workers were being threatened with termination for raising concerns about Senseman, but did not receive a response.

The impact of gender ideology in Colorado has been extensive in recent years, with legislation and policies intended to “affirm” people’s chosen identity creeping through both the private and public sector.

A Coloradan wishing to change the sex reflected on their legal documents need only fill out a short form and pay a nominal filing fee. For adults, no medical documentation is required, and applicants simply self-declare that they are “truthfully” transgender or non-binary.

For minors, a medical declaration is required for legal changes, but “social transitioning” in Denver public schools can be done even against the wishes of parents or guardians.

UPDATE 1/3/23: RTD’s Senior Manager of Public Relations and Communications has now issued a response to Reduxx following our inquiry on the issues surrounding Senseman’s access to female staff spaces.

In her statement, Marta Sipeki did not address the allegations that female employees are being threatened with termination for voiding concerns about Senseman, and instead wrote that employees should report any concerns that they may have to the agency’s Employment Opportunity Office.

“RTD strives to create and maintain a community in which all people are treated fairly and with respect,” Sipeki says.

“RTD has a strong commitment to having a workplace and workforce that reflects the communities we serve. No person is unlawfully excluded from employment opportunities based on race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex or gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, genetic information, disability, service in the military, marital status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local laws and ordinances.” 

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Jennifer Sieland

Jennifer is a founding member of the Reduxx team, writing with a focus on crimes against women and sex-based rights advocacy. She is located in the American south where she is a passionate animal welfare advocate and avid coffee drinker.

Jennifer Sieland
Jennifer Sieland
Jennifer is a founding member of the Reduxx team, writing with a focus on crimes against women and sex-based rights advocacy. She is located in the American south where she is a passionate animal welfare advocate and avid coffee drinker.