St. Louis transgender woman alleges discrimination at chess center

ST. LOUIS — A transgender woman has sued the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis, saying that the center fired her after she came to work dressed as a woman. She had previously presented as a man before.

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

Elaine Cao, 24, of St. Louis, filed a gender discrimination lawsuit in U.S. District Court here Monday, accusing a club director of firing her after she came to work in June 2016 presenting as a woman after previously presenting herself as a man in the job for about a year.

Cao said her job was to visit local schools to instruct students in chess.

“After presenting as female on June 25, 2016, my contract was terminated by Bill Thompson, scholastic director, for reasons I allege to be pretextual,” Cao said in her handwritten lawsuit, which she filed without legal representation. “I therefore allege discriminatory conduct in this termination.”

Cao didn’t go into details about the termination with the Post-Dispatch. Tony Rich, the club’s executive director, told the newspaper that the club wasn’t able to talk about the specifics but denied any allegation of discrimination.