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Thread: Optimist or Fool

  1. #1
    Aspiring Member elizabethamy's Avatar
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    Optimist or Fool

    I am always an optimist -- when people say they support me or they like me or they like the job I'm doing, I believe them. I just never feel in a position to condemn others, so when they are telling me it's fine then sharpening their knives, I am the last person to figure it out. Of course I lost not my whole job, but the fun part of it and the part that makes it pay more than shit, last week, no warning, from the very boss who had said all the gooey platitudes about how much he admired my courage in working up to a full transition that I expected to implement this fall.

    Now I can't afford it, can't afford to keep my son in his fancy college, wife hates it and wants this to be proof that obviously I just have to stop transitioning .... my happy place at work is now somewhere I don't want to set foot but my home is not a welcoming place either.

    I'm effectively homeless, spiritually though not yet physically.

    Trusting people will just **** you over. You have no one but yourself. Everyone else thinks you are an idiot and a fool to try to change from male to female. They hate you and they will lie about it until they get you to the point where you are so vulnerable you can't cope with what they are doing to you.

    Today, only a week after being humiliatingly fired in public on the first day of classes for no reason, I am threatened by the boss of further pay cuts if I don't act all enthusiastic and positive about my new role.

    I want to make these people pay. Does anyone sue and win or is it just a way to prolong your own suffering?

    asking not for a friend but for myself.

    elizabethamy

    p.s. I have an army of therapists and the MD just doubled the estradiol dose so Im covered on that front.

  2. #2
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    Hi elizabethamy,
    It was a bit difficult to understand your situation. Just wanted to make sure I understood it. It appears that you were fired as a teacher/instructor in public, and then were transferred to some office position within you organization with a pay cut? I am not sure if it is a public employer like a school district. I am certainly not able to advice on a legal matter and it will be best to consult with an appropriate attorney. Either way, any litigation is likely to be a prolonged one and in the meantime, will add to more suffering regardless of the eventual outcome. If there isn't much you can do about this employer according to the attorney, then it probably best to look for more friendly job. It sounds like, there isn't much left here - they took the part of the job you like, and cut the pay...
    Take good care of yourself first and foremost!
    Hugs!
    Katya

  3. #3
    Gold Member Lana Mae's Avatar
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    I would be searching for a good attorney and another less toxic job! Just my $0.02! Hugs Lana Mae
    Life is worth living!
    "Foxy lady! You look so good!!" Jimi Hendrix

  4. #4
    Isn't Life Grand? AllieSF's Avatar
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    If you think that you have a good case against your employer, then contact a good labor attorney, one with experience to review it with them.

    A quick question. Did they fire you or demote you to a lower position? I cant really tell from your post. I.e. Do you still work for the same overall employer?

    Good luck.

  5. #5
    Member Mirya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elizabethamy View Post
    I want to make these people pay. Does anyone sue and win or is it just a way to prolong your own suffering?
    I don't think there is anything you can do. You live in Indiana, and there are no laws in that state to prohibit employment discrimination based on gender identity. It is perfectly within their legal rights to demote or fire you, simply for coming out as transgender. Sorry.

  6. #6
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    I want to make these people pay. Does anyone sue and win ...
    I doubt that vengeance will help you feel better about things. And sure, people win lawsuits.

    ... or is it just a way to prolong your own suffering?
    It just may make it worse. Far worse.

    A favorite quote: “I don’t love money or the law enough to sue someone.” There’s a lot to think about in that line.
    I am older than I once was,
    And younger than I'll be. ...
    After changes upon changes
    We are more or less the same;
    After changes we are more or less the same.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Laura912's Avatar
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    Not only a bitter life’s lesson for you, but maybe others who are wondering about coming out at work will take heed. I am sorry you are getting a double whammy.

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    Can your union help you? Any applicable federal laws?

  9. #9
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    Indiana is an "at will" employment state (as is my state.) They can fire you for almost any reason, or no reason. You would have an extraordinary burden of proof in court even if there is a gender identity protection. I know a number of TS in my area who have been screwed over this way, even with gender identity protection recognized by law. A lawyer could advise you if it is feasible to sue or not, but it is very unlikely you could win.

  10. #10
    Aspiring Member elizabethamy's Avatar
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    Thanks, everyone, for your thoughts. Just to clarify I am a "senior lecturer" at a university and, until last week, director of a popular, admired academic program. The directorship, and the extra pay that came with it, was taken away. I'm still employed but paid less and made much less visible. I have consulted an attorney. There is no state law that can help specifically re gender identity, but there may be labor practices that were violated, and internally, the university does have gender identity protections, so there's that. There's also the fact that no one is stupid enough to say out loud or in writing that they are demoting someone because they don't want to be around that transgender stuff.

    What's frightening is the impulse to turn back from transition, toe the line, cut the hair, all that. That's of course what they want - to intimidate, if not me, then anyone else who might see the example of a successful person successfully and publicly transitioning and then think it's safe here. Given my age (wrong side of 60) I'll probably stay here, defiantly transition, seek mediation to get my extra $ or some portion of it back, and just focus on self-care.

    But I'm still meditating. Meanwhile, I'm somewhat distracted by having my marriage seemingly end last night. It's all connected of course. Thanks for all the good wishes; I'll update this when I know more.

    elizabethamy

    p.s. I recommend hefty doses of estrogen for the mental health part. That seems to be working !

  11. #11
    Member Mirya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elizabethamy View Post
    What's frightening is the impulse to turn back from transition, toe the line, cut the hair, all that. That's of course what they want - to intimidate, if not me, then anyone else who might see the example of a successful person successfully and publicly transitioning and then think it's safe here. Given my age (wrong side of 60) I'll probably stay here, defiantly transition, seek mediation to get my extra $ or some portion of it back, and just focus on self-care.
    Your persistent drive to transition, despite setbacks such as these, will be evidence to yourself that this is something that you absolutely need to do - regardless of the obstacles put in your way.

  12. #12
    Aspiring Member Jeri Ann's Avatar
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    This is a great example of a need verses a want.
    Last edited by Rianna Humble; 08-30-2018 at 11:53 PM.

  13. #13
    Aspiring Member elizabethamy's Avatar
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    A need sounds so grim, but can I say that DESPITE getting demoted and having my very long marriage seem to have come to an abrupt end just yesterday, I have been so relieved and so happy today and tonight -- because I could finally know, on a visceral level, that this transition that I always feared would be thwarted, is now real, and no one but me can stop it, and I know I don't want it stopped. I can hardly recall a tougher two weeks in my life, yet I find myself exhilarated and full of hope, knowing that I can now be who I am and was always meant to be.

  14. #14
    Aspiring Member elizabethamy's Avatar
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    And of course, no one in their right mind would admit that transphobia is the (or even a) reason. But none of the reasons given to me make any sense -- to me, to others who know my story, and even to others who don't yet know that I'm trans. Everyone is baffled. Which I think tells me the real answer. (and yes, i've had job troubles before when i was to all appearances a cis white heterosexual male).

    But the stress of toeing the line, for all minorities, can be unbearable, and if you doubt it, ask a black person how they behave in the office around their white colleagues and bosses, and if you're a good enough friend, you can see for yourself how they relax and are completely different outside the office, knowing that if they brought some of their "realness" to work they would pay dearly. (I used to be the only white guy in an all-black office and I saw and learned plenty; don't have similar background with other minorities but I bet some version of it holds true.)

    when the decision about my demotion came down, I really thought: this is how it works, cave in, shut up, cut your hair. But I've gone in a different direction, not making a big public stink out of it but trying quietly to find a resolution that works for me, and recommitting to full speed ahead on the transition. I'm in a good place right now because it's really happening. I cried with joy at my therapist's office today, first time ever...thanks to all of you for your thoughtfulness and support!

    e. a.
    Last edited by Rianna Humble; 08-30-2018 at 11:58 PM. Reason: Reference to deleted post no longer makes sense

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    Stay strong Elizabethamy!

  16. #16
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    Elizabethamy,

    Take one day at a time; develop a plan to move forward; and stay strong as Katya said!

  17. #17
    Aspiring Member OCCarly's Avatar
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    Would you rather have things the other way around?

    I still have my law practice, most of my clients, my wife and my friends, but —

    I’ve already lost one FFS date due to a long running sinus infection that two courses of antibiotics couldn’t kill and I am about to lose a second, and —

    This past week my endo cut off my hormones entirely because she said my levels were too high and now she has restored them at half my former dosage.

    I console myself by reminding myself that a law school friend once called me the toughest s.o.b. ever to walk into the place — because I clawed my way back up after almost flunking out—twice.

    Gender transition is very hard, but it is the process of becoming who we always knew ourselves to be. We cannot give up on ourselves, especially after others have failed us.

    You can do this and you will, and there will be days when people will tell you that you are beautiful and your heart will sing with the sheer joy of being yourself.

    Hugs, Carly
    Carries a spray bottle of "pink fog" around with her in her purse at all times.

  18. #18
    I am my Fantasy Female docrobbysherry's Avatar
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    "When life gives u lemons make lemonade!"

    It sounds like that's what you're doing, Liz! And, I think it's a good thing you're letting the "suing" thing go. That's a nitemare where usually the only winners r the lawyers!
    U can't keep doing the same things over and over and expect to enjoy life to the max. When u try new things, even if they r out of your comfort zone, u may experience new excitement and growth that u never expected.

    Challenge yourself and pursue your passions! When your life clock runs out, you'll have few or NO REGRETS!

  19. #19
    happy to be her Sarah Charles's Avatar
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    You are facing some significant challenges and I hope your optimism, self-confidence and whatever support you can gather about you will pull you through. My thought is while the state may not have the protections overall, Universities normally have their own policies and procedures. In order to attract staff and faculty from across the world those standards may be more liberal than those at the state level. Be sure you check those H.R. policies to see if you can find relief there that isn't available elsewhere. Good Luck.
    Sarah
    Being transgender isn't a lifestyle choice. How you deal with it is.
    http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001872677630

  20. #20
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    Optimist or fool? Better courageous, strong and determined

    Thank you for sharing your story. It is a testament of how one should persevere with her dreams. Transitioning is far from easy and there are significant bumps along the way that will let us think twice (in fact many more times) about what we are doing and what we are leaving behind. Some of us would have to pay a hefty price to live our lifelong dream. Some of us (me in particular) are not as courageous as you are. I envy your courage and determination. I wish I could be like you to gather the courage to embark in such a beautiful but treacherous journey. Best of luck and keep us posted. You have many sisters (or cowardly wannabe sisters like me) rooting for you.

    best

    Carolina

  21. #21
    . Aprilrain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mirya View Post
    Your persistent drive to transition, despite setbacks such as these, will be evidence to yourself that this is something that you absolutely need to do - regardless of the obstacles put in your way.
    This.

    UGH, I'm getting tired of writing posts only to have this site glitch and lose it all right before I post!!! its happened twice today!

    Suffice it to say, what I was going to say is, We all have our own journeys each as unique as us but there do seem to be some pretty typical "milestones" along the way.
    Many are exciting and wonderful like starting HRT or waking up to a successful outcome from surgery! (OK, so maybe you won't know right away but you get my point)
    Still many others...just suck. But they aren't unusual. I'm afraid your situation plays out everyday, in heartbreaking fashion, for Transpeople around the globe. I do not reflect often enough on how lucky I am to be born in a place and time where I could do what I have done without being killed or worse! That's pretty freaking revolutionary!
    But still that does little to quell the pain when your processing the fact that everything you knew and loved is crumbling before your eyes. I've seen it played out so many times. Many words of support, few if any actions of support. In my opinion, you are lucky if they show their true colors early, leaving you with no doubt about their feelings for you. getting gut punched hurts bad but at least its one and done. It is the worst cruelty to have the people you thought you could trust, who you thought loved you dismiss the very core of your soul as insanity. It's disheartening when people you thought you knew suddenly behave as if you might steal the silver or worse that you are some kind of pervert who's lost "HIS" marbles!
    Its YOUR life no one else, be you but be cautious! In hindsight 80% of the people I came out to weren't relevant in my life but the greater fact remains that seven years on I'm STILL dealing with the fall out from freeing myself from the vampire like tentacles that the word "family" now means to me. It's sad and left me bitter, some days I just want to... go. But, who am I kidding?! I'm far too curious to cut it short! I could save myself from a whole lot of awful but what if I miss something... wonderful?
    Last edited by Aprilrain; 09-16-2018 at 03:41 PM.

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