5

Background

I'm a French transgender female who started her transition a few months ago. For now, only my friends and family know about my status. I'm not legally a female and I still look and sound like a man.

However, I want to change jobs and thus have began to send my résumé right and left but gendered as masculine. I did so because I didn't want to be a victim of discrimination.

The situation

A recruiter phoned me and we have agreed on an interview date. They called me "Sir" during the phone conversation (which is logical, since I wrote on my résumé that I'm male).

The thing is: I don't want to be mis-gendered anymore, and think that it's not worth to work for someone who wouldn't respect this.

Question

Should I keep with the masculine pronouns until signing my contract or should I tell them upfront during the interview?

I'm aware that this kind of question has already been answered here, but my question differs in the sense that she has NOT initiated any contact before, while I DID. The recruitment process has already begun and they already started to call me "Sir", whereas in the other question, no contact has been made. This question is "how to fix" while the other is "how not to break". Also, I'm not in the UK, so those laws do not apply.

  • 1
    I don't see a fundamental difference unless you're not in the UK, in my own country no one would give you a job unless you kept quiet about it. But if you were transgender in the other direction, no one would care since we have a recognised third gender.. – Kilisi Feb 2 '17 at 9:46
  • 5
    (1) Are you legally female? (2) If the answer to (1) is yes, update your resume, then resend it to the recruiter. (3) If the answer to (1) is no, keep quiet until your legal status is changed. In other words, go by your local law. – scaaahu Feb 2 '17 at 9:56
  • 1
    @scaaahu That could be an answer if expanded on. – Z. Cochrane Feb 2 '17 at 13:50
  • 2
    I think anyone who does not have an inkling as to the intricacies of gender disorders, and the social/psychological implications should refrain from comments such as @rath posted. – NZKshatriya Feb 2 '17 at 15:10
  • 3
    @rath: I read it as she wanted to avoid the transphobia, not the misogyny. @ Trucy: Best of luck :) – AllTheKingsHorses Feb 2 '17 at 16:17
8

However, I want to change jobs and thus have began to send my résumé right and left but gendered in masculine. I did so because I didn't want to be a victim of discrimination.

Depending on your locale, that may have been a well intentioned call, but it could potentially come to fire back at you.

The thing is: I don't want to be mis-gendered anymore, and think that it's not worth to work for someone who wouldn't respect this.

Then you should clarify as quickly and early as possible, best directly at the interview (remember, try to be nice, they have no way of knowing they misgender you).

If you tell them only after signing the contract, you run serious risk of having just signed a contract working for someone who now hates you. I know, it's not supposed to be like that but in reality there are many people left who harbor resentment and disgust against transgender individuals. So if you spring it on them after signing a contract, there's a real chance you'll be stuck for a while being mistreated at a job where people now hate you.

  • I updated my question to take the locale into account (France). Do you think it could fire back at me? This is the only thing that I don't fully get in your answer. And even if you don't know, how could it fire back at me? – Trucy Feb 2 '17 at 10:16
  • @Trucy In some circles and some cities, people can be very petty and vindictive, and some people are really really bigoted against transgender people. Telling anyone at all at any point may just cause some employers to not just not hire (or fire) you, but also to have a winge about you to their friends / contacts to that effect. Especially when you're dealing with a smaller town or niche industry. – Magisch Feb 2 '17 at 10:41
  • Reality is, there's more bigotry left in the business world than it outwardly appears, and coming out as transgender can easily be a severely career limiting move in any smaller industry or city. – Magisch Feb 2 '17 at 10:42
  • 2
    @Magisch Being driven into depression because you are not able to be yourself is also a career limiting move. And not only limiting that. – skymningen Feb 2 '17 at 10:43
  • 2
    @Trucy In that case, write female on your resume, introduce yourself as female, and point out you want female pronouns if someone misgenders you. If you're unafraid of walking from a job because they're unsupportive, just be upfront about it. Supportive employers will understand and honor your wishes. – Magisch Feb 2 '17 at 13:56
7

You best chance is telling them as soon as you have the first direct (phone or on site interview) contact. If they are not fine with it, then you don't want to work for them, so spare both of you additional pain and effort.

I know it might be hard in the country you live in, but I would also try to stop sending out resumes as a male. If you don't feel male and don't want to be treated male, please do not treat yourself as male in the first place. It makes things harder on people (like me) who have no idea how you feel but strife to treat you right and respectful and it most likely makes things harder on yourself. (I am not transgender, but I have also traits that I had to learn to embrace to be able to be happy.) You can use your chosen name, but you would also have to mention your legal name (which probably is the name all your records, references and other documents use).

Of course you have a decision to take. You don't want to be mis-gendered and you don't want to be discriminated. Some people might discriminate you either way, not only because of your gender or being transgender, but maybe because of other reasons. But being mis-gendered is definitely the point you can choose and do something about. The right people won't discriminate you for it, the others are not the right people to surround yourself with.

  • 1
    I updated my résumé to female just as of yesterday, in order to avoid further confusion. And I also intend to keep my legal name, as I like it (and makes things easier for everybody). Great last paragraph :) – Trucy Feb 2 '17 at 10:27
2

If I am the hiring manager, and during the interview you present as male (female), then on your first day you present as female (male), then I might not know who you are. Then after confirming your identity, you are the same person who I interviewed and you can do the work, so get to work. If you wait a day/week/month/year, doesn't matter as you are doing the work. Jobs are about getting work done, not having a gender.
Various regions/cultures/religions/people/countries have various feelings and discriminations. I wish you well in finding an acceptable solution for you.

  • 1
    Your answer has a very good point: if I only refered to me as a female, things could be going sideways, as they would expect someone with a female body and might prepare papers for "Ms. Trucy", while my legal name is "Mr. Trucy" – Trucy Feb 2 '17 at 16:07
  • 2
    But that shouldn't be a big deal. If someone gets hired whose name is Pat, or Robin, or some other names, and the person filling out the forms has never seen them, they could easily tick the wrong box on a form, and that can be fixed. – gnasher729 Feb 2 '17 at 23:06

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.