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Thread: Advice for Transitioning and Employment

  1. #1
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    Advice for Transitioning and Employment

    I am on the cusp of transitioning. I know that I can't stay in my present job and do that. I'm beginning to look for another job but if I start that new job in male mode I'll be back in the same place I am now; having to transition from male to female in front of everybody. I would like to start my new job as female. However, I am only in the beginning stages of getting my ID and other papers switched over to my new female identity. I am wondering, is it possible I could fill out applications or send in resumes with my female persona and attend the interview en femme? I could tell them in the interview that I am in the process of transitioning and am working on getting my personal paperwork in order. I would definitely make sure it was all clear up front so that citizenship and tax documents were all in order and everything was being done legally. I just don't want to start the new job as a male and then they all watch me start coming in dressed like a woman. What advice or insight do y?all have?

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    Employers are legally not allowed to discriminate based on gender and in some states, based on gender expression. I'm sure they will feel very uneasy to be dragged into this conversation. I think the easiest is to come dressed female, professional attire, and introduce yourself with your chosen name and pronouns. I assume you don't pass completely so that would send enough of the message that your likely a transgender woman. You don't need to come out or share your transition planning with everyone. You can give heads up to HR if hired, that your in the process of changing your name.
    With saying all that - you can do a lot of transitioning under the radar at your current job. You can be on HRT and be stealth, do electrolysis (much easier before social transitioning), voice therapy, etc.
    Last edited by Katya@; 08-14-2021 at 12:12 AM.

  3. #3
    Little Mrs. Snarky! Nadine Spirit's Avatar
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    What your post really made me think of is that even after I started presenting as me at work, changes continued happening. It wasn't as though I chose one day to come in to work as me and nothing else changed. My appearance has continued to shift over the years as hormones, electro, surgeries, voice therapy, etc have helped mold this new version of me. No matter what, imo, people are going to be able to observe changes in you during your transition. And your transition will not just be a date on a calendar, it will take years.

    I super agree with Katya as well on what you can do under the radar.

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    Thank y'all for the advice. This is a process I?m so scared of but feel I have to do this. I will begin transitioning under the radar at my current job. One thing I am nervous about is breast growth and when I will need to begin wearing a bra to make sure my breasts develop a visually pleasing shape. If that needs comes at 4 months or so then that is when I will have to jump ship. My current employer and coworkers will NEVER accept me transitioning. I know that federal law requires they treat me respectfully, but they will find ways around that and I don?t want to leave and be subject to a bad reference, i.e. they would convey that they would not hire me again.

    I figure, if I start out as Natalie at a new job, I?m sure they will perceive changes that I experience them. So I will just be a woman that undergoes some changes as time goes on. Whereas, where I work now, it will not just be a woman that goes through changes, but the guy that they once knew is now a woman and also, she is experiencing all these changes. Perhaps I?m way overthinking this. I?m just afraid that the changes, for the people where I currently work, will be too much and I will experience a good bit of blowback.

    Also, I am looking for employment at businesses that are transgender friendly and hoping that will help a good bit. I?d love to get a job with Torrid corporate and be able to work from home and continue living in NC. That's just a dream for now, though.

  5. #5
    Member Charla's Avatar
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    Depends on the industry. For background, I’ve been in my industry for 39 years, and have been a hiring manager for 36 of those years. I’m in a technical area and before I left my prior company, I saw 1 person transition (MTF) on the job. Our company had gone through a lot of diversity training and it was clear from the discussions during training that there was a lot of support to the LGBTQ+ community, especially among younger employees. As a result, this person was well accepted and is thriving.

    If you have an in with Torrid and have something to offer them that adds value, I’d work first to get hired on my own merits and then get a sense of the corporate culture. Once you get the lay of the land, so to speak, start discussion on transitioning. I shop Torrid so I think they’ll be accepting, but check to be sure.

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    Natalie,
    Couple comments. Regarding the bra. I had well developed chest from going to gym for decades when started on HRT. 4-5 months in, the muscles got softer and breasts were growing. Without a bra, it was painful to run, and even go quickly down the stairs. However, I bought bras that criss cross behind my back and don't protrude through my shirt. It wasn't hard at all to hide a bra, until I decided to stop hiding .
    I think what you should worry about is to have a job with good medical plan to cover HRT (those labs are very expensive) and good paycheck to cover things like electrolysis, potentially voice therapy, etc. Trust me, besides many years it takes to fully transition, it is not a cheap endeavor. So if you can't get a well paying job with good benefits, and your current one does provide it all, think hard before leaving.

  7. #7
    Little Mrs. Snarky! Nadine Spirit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by southerngirl View Post
    One thing I am nervous about is breast growth and when I will need to begin wearing a bra to make sure my breasts develop a visually pleasing shape.
    Yeah, that's not how it works. Your breasts will develop how they will develop regardless of what bra you wear, or not wear. Some say bras prevent normal development actually, as it they can stop ligaments from forming and that is what causes sagging. I don't know, but my wife's breasts are great and she rarely wears a bra. For me, I love my bras and have worn them since before I even developed breasts. Point being, you don't need to wear a bra for your breasts to develop properly and a bra in no way will help your breasts develop into a pleasing shape.

  8. #8
    Reality Check Krisi's Avatar
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    I am not a lawyer and legal advice you get on a crossdressing forum is worth exactly what you pay for it but:

    If you fill out an application as a female when you are not legally a female, this would give an employer the right to terminate you in the future for providing false information on your application.

    You might find it better to contact the companies you are applying to and explain your situation to them and follow their suggestions. Get this in writing if possible.
    Krisi

  9. #9
    Silver Member Devi SM's Avatar
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    I agree with every single comment so far but have just one question and a comment about it"

    Why you're so sure in your current job they will not accept you?

    I ask because in these more than 3 years I have livi g a full life as me, I had had so many surprises on how supportive some people can be when I come out. I start working for federal temporary work last year, in the middle of pandemic, I present as a woman all the time, my voice wasn't yet what is today, I hadn't legally change my name and gender yet. They gave me a badge ID with my male name and had some trouble with some people on the street with my legal name (I was an enumerator for Census) I could work even overtime and never Har real problems with anybody. Today I'm on the process of bein hired full time as a federal employee for them again Ina better more flexibly schedule, better pay and full benefits.

    My point is that I learned that our nightmares, with which I lost sleep so many times in the past, never happened and people is changing for better so don't assure the future.

    If I were you, as someone said, take your cha.ce in your current job, they can't fire you for being a transperson and at the same time keep looking for a job ways saying the truth. Blame covid19 for not being able to fully do your changes....that's very true....

    Mho.

    Devi
    Instagram @devisanm, Facebook Devi San Martin
    HRT 04302018 Full time 03/2019
    Electrolysis on face started 08/2019, down there for SRS 06/2021
    Orchiectomy 06/03/2020
    Legal name and gender marker changed 10/26/2020

  10. #10
    Silver Member Sometimes Steffi's Avatar
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    It's interesting that you mention Torrid.

    A coupe of years ago, I was out of work and looking for something to do. I kind of knew a manager at a Dress Barn and she kind of encouraged me to apply for a job. So, I did. Dress Barn, Ann Taylor and Lane Bryant were all owned by the same company (Ascenia). I applied online. One of the really cool things that the application allowed you to put in your legal name and your preferred name, which I did. I was called into a Lane Bryant and interviewed in full girl mode, dressed professionally as I would be if I worked there. Short story. I got offered the job. I asked my (unaccepting) wife it I could take the job. She said something along the line of as long as you can afford a divorce lawyer.

    Mostly I say this because you seem to have some useful experience in retail.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by Sometimes Steffi; 10-09-2021 at 09:56 AM.
    Hi, I'm Steffi and I'm a crossdresser... And I accept and celebrate both sides of me. Or, maybe I'm gender fluid.

  11. #11
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    Again, thank you all for you advice. I have found it very informative and y?all are answering a lot of my questions. As far as work goes, I think they will give me a hard time for several reasons. This is the mountains of North Carolina. They are extremely conservative and religious. When I got my ears pieced they made comments about it and left messages in my office for a few weeks. I just figure it will be a lot worse than that when I come out. Also, the field I work in is very male dominated. Too, people here are frequently making negative comments about the LGBTQ community and liberals. Interestingly, though, we hired a lesbian (hope that is ok to say it like that) recently and they seem to like her very much. I am just fearful that they will ostracize me and make work a severe challenge as they give me the cold shoulder and/or make judgmental or derogatory remarks. Perhaps they will be more accepting than I anticipate, though. I am sure I will begin the transition there over the next few months. I do wonder how much they will notice bodily and personality changes.

    As for breast development? I always understood that when girls wore a bra through puberty it shaped their breasts so that the nipple would face forward instead of downward. Am I understanding correctly that wearing a bra during breast development won't have any real effect on that?

    The advice y?all are giving me is really alleviating a lot of my anxiety. Thank y'all for being there for me. I have not felt the liberty to bring these issues up in my transgender support group. For some reason I feel a lot more comfortable discussing this with y?all here.
    Hope your day is going well.

    Natalie

  12. #12
    Silver Member Devi SM's Avatar
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    Answering your questions regarding breast growth:

    I'm a B cup now, I think is thanks to some male tissue there before hormones. Breast is easy yo hide depending on how big they are of course. I notice a more naked evident growth around after the week eighth. So no ready to show it, most of thentime I would wear a sport bra without the pads. They really flatten your chest, more if wearing a relaxed tshirt.

    Today is more difficult to hide them but not impossible.

    Regarding nipples, mine grown in circle, thickness and pointing to the front. I think that's a genetic thing independent of the bra we use but that's my own experience, so now I have a big thick areola (tissue around nipple) niple is very thick and big (very sensitive) I posted about pain and discomfort on the first 6 months. Around year and a half we added progesterone. It helped to a more femenine shape and of course again I got the sensations of growth on the breast.

    Few weeks ago I started noticing a lump under one arm, my PCP send me for an ultrasound and results were the same breast tissue, no tumor or a related bad thing.
    Instagram @devisanm, Facebook Devi San Martin
    HRT 04302018 Full time 03/2019
    Electrolysis on face started 08/2019, down there for SRS 06/2021
    Orchiectomy 06/03/2020
    Legal name and gender marker changed 10/26/2020

  13. #13
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    Things are somewhat better out there these days, but it's still treacherous. Don't take what HR people and recruiters say as anything but mildly interesting. A company may have the most inclusive policies on the planet, even pro-active recruiting in the LGBT community, Pride participation, high HRC ratings, etc., but even if completely sincere, they are NOT the hiring managers, their managers, their peers, their staff or any of the others who will interview you, and rate, rank, compare, and talk about you (officially and not). There's a reason for the unemployment and underemployment among trans people.

    I had my company's nominal support in my last full time job, including the HR Inclusiveness Director, the head of HR, a Board Member, and others. The company participates in Pride in several cities every year and has decent trans healthcare coverage provisions. There are several gay (M & F) senior execs. Yet somehow when I came out, my department (which I headed) was eliminated a month or so later. The staff was dispersed, and when I arrived at my new spot, my position was eliminated. Naturally, it had NOTHING to do with gender ... I've only done contracting and consulting since then.

    Being trans materially differs in perceptions and acceptance. In fact, there are even a lot of LGB people who don't accept trans people. As I once read it: being trans is BEYOND queer.

    All of the out trans people I know personally, except one, lost jobs or have hit employment problems.

    Be very cautious.
    Lea

  14. #14
    Little Mrs. Snarky! Nadine Spirit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by southerngirl View Post
    As for breast development? I always understood that when girls wore a bra through puberty it shaped their breasts so that the nipple would face forward instead of downward. Am I understanding correctly that wearing a bra during breast development won't have any real effect on that?
    Apparently the "experts" on this topic are somewhat split. Some say bras will prevent sagging and others say bras actually cause more sagging. Many believe that whether your breasts will sag or not is dependent on the density of your breast tissue combined with the amount of fat in the breasts along with the overall size. In general, with smaller breasts, bras will not make a difference in sagging. The concerns become larger the larger your breasts get, lol.

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    Well, I have big updates! Several things have occurred and I'm so excited to get my transition underway.

    I came out to my kids and they were extremely accepting. So no I have begun to dress at home everyday now. I still have to present as male at work but that is only temporary.

    I joined Folx and my HRT will arrive on Tuesday. I can't believe this is actually happening.

    Another thing is that I applied for a position at Torrid HQ as my femme persona. I figure if I get an interview I'll just tell them what the deal is. If they want me to present as male until my paperwork goes through then I can be flexible.

    I starting meeting with a new counselor. It's a long story why I switched. She seems very good and I am so excited to have her as part of my support system.

    I'll keep y'all posted as my transition goes on. I'm really scared of what the estrogen and T-blockers might do. My research and instruction from the doctors has gotten me prepared. I hope they work like I've read about and imagined.

    Thank y'all for the love and support.

    Natalie

  16. #16
    Senior Member Maid_Marion's Avatar
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    Hi Southerngirl,

    That is great news! Wearing female clothes at home every day is good practice for wearing female clothes every work day.

    Marion

  17. #17
    Gold Member bridget thronton's Avatar
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    Best of luck with your job application at Torrid - look forward to hearing your interview experience
    Last edited by bridget thronton; 08-23-2021 at 01:27 AM.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Angela1954's Avatar
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    Good luck. I wish I could dress fully femme at my job; the best I can do is wear my denim jeggings. I?m going to start wearing nail polish soon so that?s another step.

  19. #19
    Little Mrs. Snarky! Nadine Spirit's Avatar
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    Yay! I hope everything goes great for you!

  20. #20
    Aspiring Member MarieTS's Avatar
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    Those worried about hiring/employment read and then re-read LeaP's post. Use sound judgment and don't misrationalize any protected status you think you may enjoy. Not to fill you with paranoia, but understand that if someone wants to get you bad enough they eventually will. Don't provide them a target with marginal performance or arrogance. Be a competent team player. Remember, "discrimination" is not easily proven.
    Marie

  21. #21
    Member NicoleRenee's Avatar
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    I think people are going to think whatever they are going to, no matter how you do it. You show up male first and then transition, they will have their opinions. You show up as a new you, they will know you are trans and form those same opinions.

    My take is...I work in a male dominant work site. They all knew me as my male self. I have gone to full time transition since February and that has allowed them to know that Nicole was Robert and have accepted me more. I would suggest you work into it slowly, transition slowly so people get to know who the base person is. They are going to form their own opinions no matter what.

  22. #22
    Member Jessicajane's Avatar
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    All of the out trans people I know personally, except one, lost jobs or have hit employment problems.

    Be very cautious.[/QUOTE]

    I’m sorry for your bad experiences but I have to say that it does not mean it’s everyone’s experience…
    Of course caution is always advisable but let’s not crush hope in the process..

    I am the main sales for the company I work for…I am the one that goes out to clients places of work …represents my company and sells the service we offer… it’s is a super male dominated industry and basically I’m the face of my company in the market place…

    I would have bet my mortgage on not getting support to transition at work..and I would have lost.

    My company had no trans policy… HR is the remit of let’s say at best, an uncompromising manager and yes it has worked out for me.

    I started to transition and met some resistance in hair length etc initially.. but just kept my head down and worked hard….after a while I started to wear more feminine professional attire … nothing was said…

    Eventually a client asked the boys in a job if I was a woman and I realised I had to tackle the issue…
    My manager didn’t want to talk about it but I told him it needed dealing with and he accepted…
    His opening comment was ok so let’s talk about Adelaide’s worst kept secret… by the end of the meeting I was working going forward as Jess…
    That was approx 8 months ago and it’s gone amazingly well with absolutely no impact on sales…

    So it can work out xx
    Last edited by Jessicajane; 10-08-2021 at 05:35 PM.

  23. #23
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    Congratulations on your success.
    Lea

  24. #24
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    I just marked 6 months on a job where I was hired as trans. Yes, my manager pointed me to the men's restroom when I came 100% presenting as female on the day of the interview and asked where the restroom is. He didn't mean anything bad. Of course, I went to women's room. And yet I was hired. I later learned he is the only and most conservative person is. Yet, from day 1 he and others treat me as a woman and always use She/Her (I also give option for people to use they/them).

    I also extended my 6 month contract again with my old company yesterday where I work extensively with outside customers. This the company where I came out as transgender and left for my new job. They asked me to work as a contractor. We started as a six month contract and they just extended it. They had so many chances to kick me out and didn't. I am the only open trans employee there.

    Both companies I work for are multinational corporations. One has no outward LGBTQ support. Another only started talking about it after I was hired 6 months ago.

    On October 21, is the International Pronouns Day. I suggested and volunteered in both companies to create a presentation on why and how to setup and use Pronouns in email signature and Zoom. Both agreed to distribute it on October 21.

    I'm yet to hear anything negative from coworkers or customers. All see my She/They Pronouns in the signature and on Zoom call. Everyone is extremely grateful of the work I do and value me for that.

    Lea - add one more person to the list you know.
    Last edited by Katya@; 10-08-2021 at 08:07 PM.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Maid_Marion's Avatar
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    It will be a much different employment world post pandemic. Many of the older workers have taken the opportunity to retire or switch jobs.
    These are usually the ones most likely to have issues with folks that are different, but now they are no longer in a position to do much about it.
    It is obvious that the most desired workers, the young new hires with "potential," aren't bothered the slightest by folks who are "different."

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