CNN ran this article on trans people and employment and economics a few days ago and it occurred to me that perhaps this is new news to some people. It’s a known problem within the trans universe, although of course I know plenty of well-employed, well paid trans people as well – at universities, of course, but also at Google and Twitter, and there are quite a few like Babs Siperstein (in the video) who decided to go their own way and so not worry about discrimination from a manager or boss.
But as with all things the intersectional issues are huge: education, previous employment, the visibility of a job; ethnicity, race, language skills; support from family, faith community, and work — all of these aspects of a trans person’s existence are highly variable. So much can be the luck of the draw; I don’t think it’s a coincidence that so many trans people are in tech because there is so much more of an emphasis on being excruciatingly smart and capable in very demanding and specific ways; someone, for instance, who has had a life in sales is not going to be as likely to keep a job — although of course a good salesperson shouldn’t have to rely on gender normativity to be able to sell a product.
(I do, as ever, feel the need to point out that it’s pretty cool that CNN is covering issues like this, and not in the “shocking expose” bullshit kind of way.)
Thoughts? If you’ve got a story to tell, feel free. Also, if you need a job or have a job, post those here too.