Employment Challenges As Transgender
One of the biggest obstacles to being transgender can be finding gainful employment. Likewise, it can be difficult to maintain one’s employment, once you do decide to transition from male to female. Maletofemaletransition.com has put together five employment challenges that exist for those that are transgender.
1. Fear for one’s career prospects.
Many transgender individuals fear that coming out will hurt their career prospects. This can add a daily stressor to one’s life. Due to the poor economic climate, many already fear for their jobs. Being concerned that you will be fired due to coming out can be a difficult challenge. Consult your company’s policies and local employment laws to determine if being transgender is protected under anti-discriminatory regulations.
2. Telling one’s boss and colleagues.
You’re accepted that you’re transgender and have been transitioning outside of the workplace. You’ve now determined that you will do so at work too. It can be challenging to figure out when you will do so and who you will let know. You may want to consult with your human resources department to ask for assistance. If you’re close with colleagues, you may begin telling them individually. Finally, having a supportive boss on your side during your transition would be extremely beneficial.
3. Handling inquiring from others.
As you begin to transition at the workplace, you’ll likely face questions from others. Individuals will want to know when this started, how did you know, what they should expect, and of course, have you physically transitioned? It is not your responsibility to answer each and every one of their questions. You can explain what you are and aren’t comfortable answering. You might be the first transgender person in their life and a natural curiosity will develop. Again, you determine what you share with them.
4. Lack of policies or laws that prohibit discrimination.
Unfortunately, some countries and many employers do not have policies and/or laws that prohibit discrimination against those who are transgender. This doesn’t mean that you’ll face discrimination; it just means that you may not have policies and/or laws to utilize, if it does occur. Speak to your human resources department and suggest creating the appropriate policies. Connect it to creating a safe environment for everyone in the workplace. As well, network with a local LGBT rights group and determine their connections within politics. Use this resource towards pushing forward with anti-discrimination legislation.
5. Locating trans positive employers.
The beauty of the internet is that there’s an abundance of information available about trans positive employers. Do a search and see those that have policies that support anti oppressive environments. As well, search for employers that have received recognition for creating transgender positive spaces. Yes, there’s still spaces that may not feel welcoming towards you, but there’s also many companies that are very much in support of creating safe spaces for all. Finally, the best resource is through word of mouth. Connect with a transgender network to discover where they work and see if they’re hiring.
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