Question: Jobs

Jacob asks…

I don’t find many posts about conflict in employment or the workplace on this site. I am a gender queer male, and while I am closeted against my will to my friends and family, which is constantly heartbreaking, my real struggles come from my employers.

I currently work at a company that is so bigoted they won’t even allow me to wear earrings-because I am technically a male. Thus makeup, fingernail polish, etc. is severely out of the question.

I’m trying to relocate to a friendlier town, but will more than likely be employed in the construction/manufacturing industry- a field where my true self exposed could lead to violence, or unemployment. I’m just curious how others have struggled, succeeded, or failed in obtaining and maintaining their jobs in our (sadly) rigid and hostile environment.

Please post your response in the comments below.

» Ask Genderfork «

Posted by on May 10th, 2013 at 08:00 am

Category: questions 5 comments »

5 Responses to “Question: Jobs”

  1. Rusty

    Hi Jacob. I’m so sorry you have to deal with all that.

    I’m female-bodied and genderqueer and worked for a corporation in a male-dominated job where I was constantly belittled for being female. I ended up walking out in a fit of rage when my boss started yelling at me. He was treating me like crap because he didn’t want a girl working in a garage, and he won. I had three bosses in that time, and one just didn’t train me and one assumed I wasn’t strong enough to lift tires and such. The other one just harassed me in subtle ways and passed pornography around to the guys I worked with.

    Sometimes I let comments slide, and sometimes I’d express myself calmly – for example, one time I was talking to someone about consent and not using the word ‘pussy’ or ‘whore’ as an insult, and they were more receptive than I expected.

    Sorry that’s not very uplifting, but I felt good about staying true to myself and dealing with verbal abuse for six months in order to learn about cars and have a job I knew I deserved. Some people just don’t know any better, and I really believe that them treating me badly was their problem and not mine.


  2. Mori

    I’m transmasculine and I’ve worked in manufacturing and home-improvement store retail and I didn’t have too many problems with the former but the customers at the latter drove me crazy with their insensitive, rude, and ignorant comments and assumptions about me based on my gender presentation. I was also sick of my manager blowing me off for training on power equipment when every other guy who asked was trained within the week. (After 2 months of that I finally located the one other guy in the whole store who could train me.) My coworkers though didn’t seem to care that I was male-presenting as long as I got my job done (one was even semi-educated on trans issues and asked me about my pronouns).

    I ended up moving out of the country…now I can’t really understand adults talking about me, and I work with young kids who don’t care either way. I dread ever going back to the U.S.


  3. Taylor

    To be blunt, you will probably have to change fields if you want to have a chance at having co-workers who treat you with respect.

    If construction/manufacturing is your only option then you should try to find a job a bigger corporation with non-discrimination policies, that should at least keep people from openly harassing you.


  4. Aubri

    In the US, it really seems to heavily depend on what state you’re in. If you’re lucky enough to live in a more liberal state (or somewhere that includes gender expression in their protected classes), it seems like things are much easier as a whole. That said, I think certain fields of work have less professional attitudes in general and that’s a huge problem.


  5. Anonymous

    I am on disability and the only job I could have is something in science, metaphysics, or creativity. Even those have their issues. The place that I get my disability through will probably help place me in a job one day… maybe… but even if they do, I cannot guarntee being treated well enough. I feel for you; my dad has to put up with stuff everyday, just because he’s nice and lets ppl live their lives.


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