Sunday, February 21, 2016

Can my trans son have a real career?

One of the fears I mentioned in my very first post was would my kid be able to have a normal life with a decent career?  Now, don't get me wrong, my kids don't have to follow in my steps and be uber focused on work teetering on the edge of being a workaholic.   :-)  However, I fully expect both of my kids to have careers in which they have financial stability so they don't have a life of money stresses.
I personally want for my kids to have some sort of professional career where they experience personal fulfillment, enough money to be comfortable and the ability to move up the ranks if they so choose.  When TN told me he was transgender, my brain flooded with worries.  I mean, as it is, there still exists job discrimination issues due to people simply being homosexual.  If that happens, what the heck will happen when someone finds out that TN is transgender?  There are a few stories of transgender people having issues at work - like being told to dress like their biological gender.

Even with our plans to legally change TN's name and gender marker, a company will still be able to find out.  For example, many companies require background checks (and very invasive checks if you opt to work for various government contractors where they require high security clearance levels).  To run those background checks, you must note previous names used.  I'm not sure if previous genders would show up in those checks (for the security clearances, they probably do...), but just by the employer seeing TN's birth name (which is very much a "girl" name), they'll know something.

As I've mentioned in other posts, the way I deal with worries is by research and learning.  The more I know about something or the more I know how to fix something, the less I worry.   So I poured myself into research looking to find transgender folks who are adult professionals to find examples and reassure myself that TN wouldn't end up living in a van down by the river.  LOL!

Granted, I'm quite sure there are many professional transgender folks who are living incognito so it would be tough to find them and use them as examples.  Let me share some of the examples I did actually find which quelled some of my concerns.
  1. Kael McKenzie.  He was just recently sworn in as a judge in Canada.  Prior to that, he was a lawyer for many years.  And before going to law school, he was in the Canadian Forces.  
  2. Amanda Simpson.  She is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Operational  Energy.  Before that, she was the Executive Director of the U.S. Army Office of Energy Initiatives.   
  3. Kylar Broadus.  He's a lawyer, a professor of business law at Lincoln University of Missouri, a public speaker and an activist. 
  4. Martine Rothblatt.   She's an attorney and an entrepreneur.  She was responsible for launching several communications satellite companies.  Founded a medical biotechnology company, United Therapeutics.  Was ranked 24th in the list of the 200 highest paid CEO's in 2013.  And is working on robotic clones of humans
  5. Megan Wallent.  An executive who lead the internet division of Microsoft for Windows.
  6. Ben Barres. He's a neurobiologist who transitioned in his 40's.   He's a professor and was Chair of the Neurobiology Dept at the Stanford School of Medicine. 
  7. Alec Butler. He's a Canadian playwright and film producer
  8. Ian Harvie. Ian's a comedian who tours and also gets involved with TV shows and movies. 
  9. William Legault. He's a city councilor in Salem, MA as well as a journalist. 
  10. Tiq Milan. I saw him speak at a conference last year and was incredibly impressed. So well spoken and professional. He had the entire room on their feet at the end. Professional speaker, youth advocate, and a media strategist. 
  11. Dr. Halle Cheeseman.  She's a technology executive in Florida.  She has a PhD in Electrochemistry and holds a leadership role in her church.  
There are others - just men/women that I met at a conference living their normal lives. There's also my coworker who is a Trans man and a clinical social worker.  

There are many out there and you just have no clue they're Trans because they simply blend in. That's what I want for TN - to just blend in and be normal. Of course that's up to him the type of life he actually chooses.

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