He was fired in 1985 for dressing female off the job, and discussing his proposed operation.
In 1991, Belinda, now post-operative, and with the assistance of the American Civil Liberties Union, sued the city but lost on the ground that, as a known transsexual, she would not be able to command the respect of co-workers and inmates.
However, on appeal the next year, the ruling went in her favor in that ‘transsexualism’ is a handicap under the Florida Human Rights Act. She was awarded reinstatement, back pay and legal costs.
She died in a freak boating accident off the Florida coast.
- "Transsexual wins rights lawsuit, returns to work as a prison guard: Jacksonville woman used to be a man". The News, Feb 15, 1993.
- "Transssexual jail guard wins fight for job". Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Feb 15, 1993.
- Joanna McNamara. Employment Discrimination and the Transsexual. www.willamette.edu/~rrunkel/gwr/mcnamara.. Also at: www.genderadvocates.org/links/McNamara.html.
- Belinda Joelle Smith vs City of Jacksonville Correctional Institute. International Conference on Transgender Law and Employment Policy, Inc., 1993. www.liberatinglaw.com/media//DIR_13185/DIR_20940/FRYE15-A9Proc2.pdf.