Thursday, December 10, 2009

How Can We Contribute To Society If You Won't Hire Us?

This is a guest post from Monica of TransGriot

One of the things that's a recurring theme amongst transpeople no matter where we reside is job discrimination.

While some areas have tried to rectify the problem with local ordinances prohibiting such discrimination, there are wide swaths of the country in which we are not protected form the ignorance and bigotry of people when we seek employment and are subjected to outright disrespect when we do apply.
And too many times, it is transpeople of color who shoulder much of the trans discrimination burden, with the Zikerria Bellamy case in Florida only being the latest example of it.

If you peruse the TransGriot archives and the archives of other trans blogs you'll find various stories of transpeople being denied employment.

I followed the story of Izza Lopez back home who was hired by River Oaks Imaging, then had the job offer rescinded when the employer found out she was trans.

Rochelle Evans tells in her Dallas Voice interview of her attempts to find work being met with blatant discrimination in Fort Worth. That should hopefully lessen for her now that Fort Worth's anti-discrimination ordinance now covers trans people.

But the larger point is that as human beings trans people need food, clothing, shelter and health care. We have to have money to get that, and as people who wish to avoid entanglements with law enforcement for obvious reasons, we wish to get that cash through legitimate means.

So that leads me to pose this question once again. It's one the transgender community and our allies are impatiently waiting for an answer to from our lawmakers and the business community.

How can transpeople contribute to society if you won't hire us?