Lost in Transition

By Jason Lee

While few in the LGBT community would be surprised to learn that in this day and age transgender individuals still face intense, pervasive discrimination in the employment context, the statistics are still nothing short of astounding.  A recent national survey of almost 6,500 transgender individuals found that nearly half of respondents had experienced an adverse employment action — denial of a job, denial of a promotion, or termination of employment — as a result of their transgender status and/or gender nonconformity.  Fifty percent reported harassment by someone at work, forty-five percent stated that co-workers had referred to them using incorrect gender pronouns “repeatedly and on purpose,” and fifty-seven percent confessed that they delayed their gender transition in order to avoid discriminatory actions and workplace abuse.  It is little wonder that many in the transgender community feel that they have no choice but to suffer through this type of hostility, as transgender employees who lose their job due to workplace bias are six times as likely as the general United States population to be living on a household income under $10,000 per year, and four times as likely to have experienced homelessness as transgender individuals who did not lose a job due to workplace bias.

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