As the semester has come to an end and I’ve completed my finals (three confirmed A grades and likely two more), I’ve begun job hunting. In this kind of market, job hunting is difficult already. Factor in that I’m trans, and it’s not looking good.
Trans people are twice as likely as cis folks to be unemployed, even more so if the trans person is of color, and there’s a number of reasons for this. First, a number of us are very visibly trans, either androgynous or outright clearly a mixing of both sexes (like the trans woman in the picture to the left). This creates problems as we are judged purely on the basis of our physical appearance. Now, trans folk aren’t the only ones judged on our appearance, of course. Those of us who are larger are viewed as lazy, and attractive people are more likely to get hired than those who are average.
Additionally, with background checks, those of us who have changed our names are forced to reveal our old names. This essentially outs us, unless our names were generic enough. As such, we are often not even chosen for interviews, unless we get lucky or chose to work in fields where being queer is accepted (such as my work with the crisis center or the youth center).
I don’t know what we can do about it, but there it is. I’ll keep job hunting, and hopefully with time, transphobia will abate. It’s not likely to happen in our lifetimes, but we can make steps now to create a better world for future generations.
I’ll be back on Friday. Have a good week everyone!