Not sure what trans means?
Don't worry! We'll get there!
( Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender )
Someone who is not the gender that was assigned to them at birth.
Some examples of trans people!
Laura Jane Grace
Founder, lead signer of punk rock band Against Me!
White House appointee, Commission on White House Fellowships
Staff editor at People's Magazine, contributing editor to Marie Claire.
Pole vaulter, olympian.
Actress in Orange is the New Black.
Someone who is the gender that was assigned to them at birth.
"People who aren't trans"
some think of it as...
There is more to gender than what's captured by these two words
Hijra (South Asia)
People experience gender differently
These might clash with your expectations around gender
Respect their name
Respect their pronouns
Respect their choice of clothing
If there's one thing to remember...
Treat people as they ask to be treated
We're starting to see trans people being talked about in a positive way
Unfortunately, that's still the exception, not the rule
Liz: Next time Floyd brings home some corn pone tranny back to his apartment, all he’s gonna be thinking about is me, standing there in the snow, looking like the one who got away.
Carla: Ugh, I’m an old hag. I mean, look at her. Everything’s so tight and perky. Come on Carla, it’s not her fault. Just do what you always do, turn the other cheek and quietly spread the rumor that she’s a guy.
Dwight: His last girlfriend was a transvestite. I knew it right away. Adam’s apple like the prow of a ship. Thumbs like a lowland gorilla. Ha. But this one couldn’t see it or didn’t wanna see it.
"Transgendered advocacy has gone
"Claiming that this is civil-rights matter and encouraging surgical intervention is in reality to collaborate with and promote a mental disorder."
Adds an exception to the Human Rights Act for transgender people, so that they can be banned from washrooms, change rooms, shelters, and any other facility that corresponds to their gender.
Florida House Bill 583
Up to one year in jail for transgender people found using the washroom.
Texas House Bill 1748
Up to one year in jail for transgender people found using the washroom and $4,000 fine.
That informs how trans people are treated
It also informs how institutions regard the obstacles trans people face
mocked for being trans
hit or beaten up for being trans
turned down job for being trans
live on less than $15,000
avoided public washrooms
harassed by police
had negative ER experience
seriously considered suicide
Think about how the following might be different for a trans person
Taking a Walk Outside
Shopping for Clothes
Going to the Gym
Saving for a Car / RRSPs / etc.
Applying for a Job
Interacting with the Police
Living under these conditions has consequences
We're taught that discrimination is a people problem
With specific people acting hatefully
And that the underlying environment is inherently just
We're taught that the solution is addressing the bad apples
And equal treatment
Many workplace anti-discrimination policies are based on this understanding
Let's put that understanding aside for now
Apathy, not hate, is the greater problem
Hate accounts for isolated incidents
Indifference accounts for the every day
Let's go back a bit
Trans people have all of the same obstacles that cis people have in life
But trans people face an additional set of barriers because they're trans
turned down job for being trans
live on less than $15,000
cannot get transcripts with current name & gender
cannot get references
That's not the product of a few bad apples
This is far more widespread and ingrained
"Let's treat people the same"
Treating trans people the same as cis people, under policies that only take into account how cis people experience the world, leaves those barriers there
Equal treatment does not address these obstacles
When the definition of "equal" means "treated the same as cis people" in an environment where only the issues faced by cis people are considered
What we need is to address obstacles including those that might not be faced by cis people
Even once those barriers are gone, the person can remain disadvantaged by past discrimination
It takes change to make workplaces accessible
And a recognition that some people will push back when some practices are identified as discriminatory
They may regard these claims as frivolous and "not real discrimination"
It may not match their expectations of what discrimination looks like
And those who bring them up might be seen as a nuisance
We wouldn't be here if people believed identified cases of discrimination
The thing is that no one wakes up and says "I'll discriminate today"
Discrimination is often much more mundane
And is not packaged in clear-cut cases
Discriminatory practices can be inherited and will always have good excuses to back them
Inaction is what keeps them alive
At the end of the day, it's about the outcome not the intent
The intent will never be to discriminate
Diversity pays off
What We (Workplace) Can Do
as alternative to academic degrees
as alternative to references
use market rates
don't perpetuate disadvantaged earning history
representation in company literature
Allow for use of their names
Use health insurers that cover sex affirmation surgeries
Extend benefits to same-sex partners
Support initiatives like Trans*H4CK and Ladies Learning Code
Address sexism & brogrammer culture
Don't rely on harassment to be reported
You might not be a manager or your employer may already implements much of this. But one day you might find yourself in a different position.
When that happens, remember that your word will mean more than that of someone who experiences these challenges. You won't be seen as having a "vested interest." Please bear this in mind should you recognize these barriers in the future.
Dos & Don'ts
Use name/pronoun they ask you to use
Ask about genitals ("the surgery")
Disclose trans status without permission
Statistics on Trans People
Media Representation Examples
Comic on Discrimination
CouchDB Presentation Slide
Supporting Trans Family Members
Attempted suicide by trans youth ages 16-24 in last year
Drop in attempted suicide with supportive parents
You love them
You know their family loves them too
Love doesn't necessarily mean support
When it doesn't, it can hurt all that much more
All their parents would say they love them too
Coming out is hard and it's done because the relationship is valued
They're too young
They don't know what they want
Doctors prescribe to any child
They won't be happy
They're being selfish
It's because of their friends
Getting educated mitigates those fears
Young trans teens who went on to identify as trans adults
Young adults reported regret from transitioning as youths
Adults reported favourable outcome from transitioning
It means using the name and pronoun that are asked to be used
It means acceptance
not merely tolerance
It means listening when they say they were hurt
And not dismissing the consequences of their actions because that wasn't the intent
It means being there should the youth seek the help of support groups and counselors
This is about a baseline respect
It might mean seeing medical professionals to get on puberty blockers
Who aren't just prescribed to everyone
And are fully reversible
But it gives those who need them a chance at a better life
It means being happy when they're happy
Even if those decisions wouldn't be for you
If you're not their parent, it means sticking up for them when their parents drop the ball
It's hard, but if you don't, who will?
Youths don't all have the skills to find support on their own
Even if the youth weren't to turn out trans, none of these things would have harmed them
They would have been supported for who they were
That's all this is: acceptance
Statistic on Trans Adolescents
Suicidality Statistics on Trans Youth
95% Statistic for Positive Outcome of Transition
0% Statistic on Regret with Trans Youth
Trans 101 For the Workplace