Why we hide

A new study has found that 65% of trans people have had to hide their identity at work. That’s an increase from 52% five years ago. Despite it being illegal, one in three UK employers say they wouldn’t hire somebody who is trans.

This is why things like the Gender Recognition Act are necessary. By enabling us to change our birth certificate, we can avoid being discriminated against at the very first stage of looking for work; with some employers requesting birth certificates as proof of eligibility to work (even though birth certificates are not ID documents), having the wrong gender marker can mean no interview, let alone a job.

But of course, discrimination doesn’t end with the application form. Many trans people experience aggression and discrimination from clients, customers or colleagues.

For most of us, things aren’t so overt. But many trans people find that freelance clients don’t commission them any more, or that they’re treated differently in the workplace.

Writing in Stylist, Eve Livingston tells some people’s stories.

And even when trans people secure employment, their experience continues to be shaped by their trans identity: a quarter of all respondents reported being socially excluded by colleagues, while three-quarters said their workplace does not offer information on trans issues or gender neutralfacilities. And 27% reported being deadnamed – addressed by the name they were assigned at birth despite having changed it to better match their identity.

One of the horrible things about anti-trans activism is that it reverses victim and offender. We’re not a danger to cisgender people, but many cisgender people are a danger to us.