Trans Employment

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.


rachel crowl appleton winter
Photo  © Rachel Crowl


Wow, it’s snowing again, for like the 18th time this week, feels like.

I have decided that there will be an exclamation point next to my little weather app until April, although at that point, of course, tornado season starts.

Making it through winters here is a little like making it home on the subway during rush hour: exhausting, but you really do feel like you’re made of sterner stuff than you thought.

This is the view from our front step.

Me @ Esprit & on the West Coast

For the very first time since the publication of My Husband Betty I’m going to be doing a conference & keynote talk on the West Coast – specifically, at Esprit, up in Port Angeles, WA. I’ll be there on May 17th & 18th, with one workshop on the 17th (on Trans Relationships) and one on the 18th (on sex), in addition to the keynote on the 18th. It’s supposed to be beautiful there, so I’m looking forward to that, but also, I’ve heard a lot about how fun this conference is over the years.

I would love to do something in/around Seattle while I’m there as well as in Portland, OR, if that’s possible, so if you’re at a school or bookstore or with an organization that brings in speakers, let me know! It’s a good time to book me to do something out there as I can discount any “piggybacked” events.

I am still also thinking about trying to be in San Francisco for my birthday which is earlier that week, so if you’re in the Bay Area, get in touch.

Two Tune Tuesday: Amanda Palmer

it doesn’t matter if you want it back / you’ve given it away

he’s already on the outskirts
i’m still pulling at his sweatshirt
he is says ‘fate is not a factor’
i’m in love with a reactor

i just can’t get enough of her lately (which is probably a sign that this winter has been way too long already.)

Violence & Bisexual People

Via FORGE and Loree Cook-Daniels:

The recently-released National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, 2010 Findings on Victimization by Sexual Orientation, held many surprises, not the least of which was that bisexual men and women are, overall, the most at risk. Here are some of those highlights, ordered to highlight highest rates:

Lifetime prevalence of rape (because of their definition of “rape,”
numbers were too small to report for gay and bi men, although heterosexual men reported a rate of 0.7%):
Bisexual women — 46.1%
Heterosexual women — 17.4%
Lesbian women — 13.1%

Lifetime prevalence of sexual violence other than rape:
Bisexual women — 74.9%
Bisexual men — 47.4%
Lesbians — 46.4%
Heterosexual women — 43.3%
Gay men — 40.2%
Heterosexual men — 20.8%

Lifetime prevalence of rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner:
Bisexual women — 61.1%
Lesbians — 43.8%
Bisexual men — 37.3%
Heterosexual women — 35.0%
Heterosexual men — 29.0%
Gay men — 26.0%

The full report (PDF) is available at

TED x Allyson Robinson

I suppose I can say “we knew her when” as Allyson was a member of our community forums for a long while.

To me, these are the standout pieces, but do go listen to the whole thing:

” In our society, and in all the groups and subgroups and sub-subgroups that comprise it, we treat inclusion as a good, a commodity. The work we do to secure this good for ourselves is conformity. It’s true, isn’t it? We perform a labor – we wear a particular kind of clothes, we speak in a particular way, we show interest in a particular set of things, we adhere to the norms of a particular group – and we’re rewarded by that group with included status. When we do the work of conforming, it’s like we’re buying inclusion; when we require others to conform in order to be included, we sell it. Are you with me? This takes place in a particularly transparent way among children and youth in traditional educational settings — think cliques — but we all do it. Our methods just become more sophisticated and more subtle as we mature.

And so we create a market, where buyers and sellers of inclusion come together to trade and the forces of supply and demand affect costs. In the social inclusion marketplace, a person’s ability to gain entry into a group is limited by the price she’s able and willing to pay, the norms she can and will adhere to. For some, those whose natural inclinations and disposition line up with the group’s norms, it’s literally a small price to pay. They receive the good of inclusion, and their need for belongingness is met, simply by virtue of who they are, like a privilege. But what of everyone else?”

and this:

” … we teach the natural conformers that norming others into submission and sameness is an ethical practice that brings about a common good. In fact, we teach that homogeneity is a common good, contrary to our message of respect for diversity and difference. We instruct non-conformers in the internalization of oppression, and everyone else to become oppressors themselves … “

And I’m so pleased to see her doing this kind of work, and doing it so well.

I Certainly Hope So

“Do you think I’ve gone round the bend?”
“I’m afraid so. You’re mad, bonkers, completely off your head. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.”

Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland