H. (androgy8) wrote in postqueer,

Work Experiences

I thought of this question as a result of the controversy in some other posts, but this question is pretty individualistic and thus I don't think will ignite controversy.

There seemed to be some different opinions on how gender identity or being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or trans affected one's ability to get or keep a job. My own proclivity is to be believe that individuals have different experiences depending on several factors: to name a few, the type of industry, the part of the country, the individual's position, and a manager's attitude towards such issues.

This is just background for the question, which is: What part of the country do you work in, what industry, and has your sexuality, gender expression, or gender identity ever been an issue in your workplace? What I'm curious to get out of this question is to hear a wide array of experiences -- hopefully more positive than negative.

I'll start. I've been on disability for a couple of years (unrelated to sexuality or gender). Before then I worked in San Francisco in the computer industry, as a developer and quality assurance engineer at a well known & public software company. I didn't see any prejudice against promoting or not promoting individuals because of their sexuality. Maybe because it is San Francisco, maybe because it was the computer industry where knowledge is key, but it was really a non-issue.

On the other hand, I witnessed a couple of lunchtime conversations about trans individuals at other companies, with a lot of nervous laughing around the table. If there were transfolk where I worked (for seven plus years) I didn't know about it. I would like to think that any trans individuals would be treated fairly, but can't say with certainity that they would have been. I had several different managers while I worked at this company, and most of them were very conscious about equal treatment for all individuals (regardless of sexuality, religion, race, gender, country of origin,age, marital status, etc.). A couple of managers didn't seem as conscious about these issues; one of them revealed certain prejudices one day at lunch, which is very unusual where I worked. It's interesting to note that he was demoted shortly afterwards. (Not the only reason, I'm sure, but one of them.)

That's my experience. Sometimes I've wondered if it's typical, or if the whole sexuality thing not being an issue is particular to San Francisco. And I've wondered what it would be like to transition in an environment that seems friendly (like the company I worked for) but may not be as friendly as it seems during the transition process.

What I would ask is that comments to this post relate your experience or the experience of people you know and refrain from judging any other individuals. I would like everyone to feel comfortable relating their experiences, good or bad, without fear of being judged. This is not the place to mention that your best friend's neighor's brother who is [insert identity here] would have a job if [blah blah], unless you know this person and his experiences shed light on sexuality or gender identity relations in the workplace.


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