Getting a job after the changes
Date: Tue, 27 Aug 1996

Question: Does anyone know wether or not companies do background checks that would turn up the fact that one used to be male.

Maybe conditions are slightly different in the US than here in the Netherlands, But after having applied for more than 300 jobs within the latest five months, Having been at more than fifty job interview, having been selected for about ten positions by head-hunter companies anbd finally been offered three different positions, my experince is as follows:

Only two companies asked for references to former employers. In about hundred application I refered to former emplyers without being asked for it. As far as I know, none of them have actually contacted my former employers. Only four or five companies said that they would inquire medical information on me in case the selection should go further. Those were one government institution and some big, private companies. Only in one case I have the suspicion that there concern for my health had to do with my Transexuality. In all other cases it was a standard procedure.

I have been applying for all kind of jobs within the software business, except for first-line sales. Also when applying for a job should you put down female, if you are living full time, if you haven't yet had the op? My impresion is that it doesn't matter so if you feel more comfortable introducing yourself as a female (you probably do), then write female or, if you are afraid you might get read at the interview, maybe write that you are transsexual. That's what I'd done because

A) They will know it anyway

B) It doesn't make sense to apply for a job in a transphobic company. Sometimes, when applying for jobs or memberships of housing communities and such, I have just stated "Female" or, if I had to apply by phone (my voice is not passible, at least not when speaking in a foreign language) stated "Male", and then been open about it at the interview. Because I thought that people might have some very biased ideas about what a TS is so my chances is better if I just tell them face-to-face so that they can see that after all I have two legs and two arms like themselves. Here in the Netherlands almost everybody has reasonable knowledge about the issue so it generally isn't necesary, but if you live in an area with less openness maybe you should consider the safe approach. Other actions. Generally, I'd say the rule of thumb is don't volunteer extraneous or personal information, but don't lie about it either. I agree. However, if you feel that they might have some questions that they don't ask because they find the issue difficult, maybe its a good idea to volunteer with some information. I have tried out both openness and less openness, and unfortunately I can't say which works better. So maybe you should just do what will make the interview more comfortable for yourself.

May I ask: How desperate are you to get a (new) job ? If you can afford to be choosy, I would say (based on my own experience) that it is very important for yourself to know that the colleages will accept you andtreat you proberly.

But it's always proper to tell a potential employer that a question is none of his business when it is not. The fact that you were once male is such a question IMHO. It is none of his business. I wonder how an employer would react if I told him that this is none if his business. But if you realy feel that a question is way too indiscreete, it might be better to say so instead of making up some not-so-reliable cover story. Also depends how good an actor you are. (This also relates to my previous comment).

As far a job applications, that's a real subjective damned if you do, damn if you don't, question. Personally, I'd be inclined to leave it blank. If I had to fill it in, I'd probably go to what I have on my identification (like a drivers license). Some organisations find it important that such information is formally correct. This applies at least to central government institutions and probably also UN branches. In my experience, head-hunter companies who work on behalf of middle-size private companies generally find it. OK that you fill in the forms in a way so that they become informative, and that formal correctness is no concern.

Helene, Hi My name is Beverley. I had the operation in 1977. Both prior to and post surgery I never considered it anyone's business but my own that I am anything other than female. There are certain circumstances where I will give my background, going for a job is not one of them. I In New Zealand, where I live, there are laws around sexual discrimination. Unfortunately, tg do not as yet come under the banner, female do. We have the privilage of being able to change the gender in our birth certificates thereby claiming rights under the Human Rights Act as female. Therefore any employer who sacks a post op tv can and no doubt, will be sued. Hope to hear from you Beverley

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