Let’s not forget though that many states don’t offer employment protection for LGBQ people. So while STRAIGHT trans* people now have across-the-board protection due to a national law, it’s important to remember that our brothers and sisters (cis and trans alike) and genderqueer siblings who are of a non-heterosexual orientation are still at risk for employment discrimination in more than half of the states.
Eva Kraus, in her opinion piece from Bay Windows
I need a level playing field. If Massachusetts had already had a law on the books prohibiting employment discrimination against transgender people, I would not be forced to live in fear of never being able to work again. I would not be forced to use state resources to stay afloat. I would be supporting my family, and paying the state substantial income taxes.
But that’s not the case. As a 12-year veteran of the US military, as a Naval Officer and the former CEO of a finance company, I assure you that my capabilities remain undiminished. Like so many other transgender men and women, I am ready to work. I am ready to contribute. We just need the opportunity to do so.
It’s time to pass the Transgender Equal Rights Bill in Massachusetts.
[Last Friday, the White House Office of Personnel Management issued new guidelines for protecting and respecting transgender employees, including non-discrimination protections based on gender identity. The memo offers understanding and direction for creating an inclusive environment, particularly for those who may transition while employed. It was so well-done, that I wanted to post it in its entirety as a resource here, so the entire guidelines are after the cut.]
What are yr thoughts on outing yrself in a job interview?
I have a pretty legit, serious job interview tomorrow for a position I’m actually really excited about. It involves working with adolescents and I think that xxboy could be a strong point to discuss in terms of my experience with teenagers and my ability to relate to and communicate with them. However, it requires me talking openly about being trans in an interview with someone I’m meeting for the first time. I thought I’d play it by ear. Because chances are, being from Western Mass, the interviewer will know that me coming from Smith means I’m trans. And even if she doesn’t, a quick google of my name will easily land someone on this blog. So it’s not like a huge secret or something I plan on hiding forever. Just not sure if it is something I want to be an uber memorable part of the interview, which it might be if it catches her off-guard.
Okay, first of all, thank you so much for asking. I seriously applaud you and good lord you are the shining light of humanity I needed tonight.
Second, legally, he has rights. I don’t know much about the Canadian legal system, and the Trans law groups I know are U.S.-based, but I do know that Canadian law prohibits discrimination in employment against transsexuals and transgender individuals. Here’s what my research said:
All Canadian human rights laws probably also prohibit discrimination against pre-operative, transitioning and post-operative transsexual persons, though the protection is explicit only in the Northwest Territories, where “gender identity” is explicitly listed as a ground in the human rights act. In Manitoba, transsexual persons are likely protected by the Human Rights Code under the enumerated grounds “sex” or “gender-determined characteristics” or as an unenumerated ground “gender identity” under section 9(1)(a) of the Code. In addition, human rights commissions consider that sex discrimination includes discrimination based on transsexuality at the federal level and in Quebec, and discrimination based on transgenderism generally (including transsexuality) in British Columbia and Ontario.
Now obviously should he take it to court, the defendants at yr place of work will argue that he was fired because of his reaction. If they argue that not using his preferred name is not discrimination, that won’t stand, because I think it can easily be proven that it created an undue hostile work environment. Anyway, my point is, that he does have rights.
The workplace is political - I get that, so perhaps the best way to approach it would be to suggest that what went on could be bad for the company as Jeff does have the legal grounds to challenge their refusal to use his preferred name and pronouns and their decision to fire him. It is not a blatant judgment of their behavior, which will make them defensive, but will still call their actions into question. As a follow-up you could suggest diversity training that included issues of gender-variance (this is more and more common and workplaces).
Hope I have helped. If anyone knows more about Canadian employment laws or has more thoughts on this, please comment. Here is a place where we actually have the opportunity to help change things!
Thanks again for writing in