In the City

Getting the First Job as a Transwoman

My transgender spouse interviewed, landed, and started her first job as a woman and her confidence has soared.

Michelle works in IT security and is extremely talented and eloquent but was super nervous interviewing for the first time as a woman. She was asked to interview as a result of a series of fortunate events and a lot of networking. After an initial telephone interview, she prepped for the in-person interview by researching the company and leaders but still felt a little uneasy about ‘passing’ with the hiring managers. To add, she was concerned about possible apprehensions about hiring a transwoman.

So we called in the reinforcements! We hired a professional from be Glammed to do Michelle’s makeup the morning of the interview. The woman was incredibly friendly and talented (MAC Cosmetics former employee). The service was expensive (about $200) but gave Michelle so much confidence in her appearance that it was worth it.  The makeup put a little extra bounce in her step.

The company offered her the job the following week.

My wife now works for an incredibly LGBTQ* friendly company with affirming benefits and a professional work environment. I could not be more happy or relieved that she has found a better fit for herself. At home, everything is more relaxed and our day-to-day life is less of a struggle.

Helping her land her new job was scary. As a man, we never felt insecure about her appearance or a company’s reaction to her but, now as a transwoman, all apprehensions were heightened. Our family’s future was on the line and our hard work/preparation paid off but, I know that this is not always the case for transpeople. I have read stories online of transmen and tranwomen being repeatedly denied employment or settling for un-affirming workplaces. I know we are lucky. I feel fortunate but I also feel a great deal of sadness for those in our position who struggle.

Those who have families to support without the means to do so.

Those who are capable but find employers unwilling.

Those who have doors slammed in their face because of who they are and not what they can do.

Those who are silent for fear of employers finding out.

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8 Comments

  1. That’s awesome! And yeah, a lot aren’t so lucky.

    My partner is fortunate to work for a company with lots of LGBT employees in a generally LGBT-friendly industry (tele-conferencing), so while she was worried as you’d expect, there wasn’t a serious risk of losing her job and already policy in place to make her transition easy. Hard to say what will happen if she ever loses the job, tho from my understanding tech industries are ahead of the curve compared to many.

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    1. Telecommuting is a wonderful option for people while they are transitioning. I am glad that she isn’t having to deal with transitioning in a physical workplace.

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    2. I should clarify that she *does* work in a physical workplace, just in the tele-conferencing industry. If there had been issues with her presentation, etc. working from home would have been an option, but luckily everyone’s been great.

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  2. What a beautiful story! We are So happy for Michelle and your family unit!
    May she grow in her confidence and know this family supports you all!
    Steve, Jodi, Jessica and our beautiful Daniel!

    Like

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