Many transgender people feel anxiety about either returning to their workplace following surgery, as well as entering a new workplace after their gender transition. Anxiety is completely natural, but you shouldn’t have to feel that way about being your true self. Here are some tips for entering the workplace after your gender transition.
If you stay in the same job throughout your transition, many trans people recommend being open and honest about your gender transition with your colleagues. When it comes to coming out to family, friends, and colleagues, it’s best to devise a plan ahead of time with the assistance of your therapist.
You should plan to come out to your colleagues before your physical transition becomes obvious, in order to prevent rumours or other damaging gossip spreading. Colleagues who would otherwise be supportive may still say or do something ignorant. Even though it’s not your responsibility to educate them you may find yourself in a position of having to explain certain aspects of your transition to colleagues. By being as honest and open about your transition as possible, you can stop the spread of any misunderstandings or rumours.
Before you transition you should look up your workplace’s nondiscrimination policy and make sure gender identity and expression are covered. If you’re part of a union, find out if there is an LGBT resource group within that union. You may also want to speak to your HR department. Unfortunately, discrimination in the workplace does happen and you can protect yourself by being aware of your rights, as well as any legal action you can take should you face discrimination in the workplace.
Once transgender people feel comfortable coming out in the workplace, the first course of action is to notify your superior. After this, you can write a letter to be circulated throughout the workplace to each coworker explaining that you are planning a gender transition, and acknowledging that it may be difficult for some of them. Work with your boss to circulate the letter at an appropriate time.
It is also wise to prepare ahead of time in case anyone at your work, including your boss, handles the news of your transition poorly. This may create an unsafe work environment for you, or potentially lead to issues regarding job security. It helps to put some money aside just in case.
Coming out as transgender in the workplace can be difficult, and sadly there are still many obstacles for transgender people in the workplace. It helps to have a strong support group through this time, including your therapist, friends, family members, and other trans or LGBT people who have been through a similar experience.
For more information regarding gender transitions, contact us here to book a free consultation or call us at 1-855-375-1122.