I thought I’d share some of my experiences in my most recent adventure in working while openly transgender. As most of you probably have gathered, my husband and I work for an agency in the Department of Defense, and this year’s politics have not gone unfelt at my workplace.
I had to file a harassment claim against one of my supervisors, which those up the command chain decided did not rise to the level of harassment. This was in spite of overwhelming management support of me at the office level where it happened.
This is why I started looking for a job right after I got out of surgery in December. I will be leaving the highest paying job I have ever had. I am going to a similar job that over the long run will top out at less money overall.
I had entertained the idea of staying, but the supervisor I had made the harassment claim against is being promoted. I am the second person to file against her, the other being race based in nature. I don’t want to stay at a place that protects people that use their positions of power to harass others.
I knew I had made the right decision when today I was told a certain email had been a part of that harassment claim as evidence where my bottom surgery had been brought up in a stupid way by the supervisor I had filed the claim against.
This is all a part of working while transgender. I can accept all that because I have a good degree, and a resume that gets me in the door of many other places with little problem. This will not be the last time in my life this is going to come up. I don’t choose to hide that I am transgender. It’s going to come up again.
What I can’t accept is worrying that my husband will face backlash from my speaking out about being treated poorly. This terrible supervisor argued to get my husband on her team, and we’ve both been walking on eggshells in case she acts against him. That’s not a way to live. It’s overshadowed both our work lives for months now.
I really love working alongside my husband, but it’s relieving not to. I don’t ever have to worry about my being transgender being used against him in the work place if we don’t work in the same job.
This is really the crux of being openly trans in our culture. Sometimes the best paying job isn’t the one you keep, because the less paying job is more accepting. That’s not something you should have to deal with, but it’s a reality in 2018.
I am very grateful that I have the opportunity to just hop to a different job. Not all transgender folks have those kinds of resources or options.
This is probably one of the larger reasons there been few posts recently. It’s a lot of energy to deal with all that, and it eats into everything else. I am confident over the next few months things will be getting back on track.