Stealth Trans in the Workplace

Spent this morning applying for jobs. Something that always gives me great unease. After my experience with Wal-Mart and their homphobic ways I have honestly been scared to try this again. Then again applying for a job is scary for pretty much anyone. Knowing they can mess with you once you work for them makes it harder. This is what Wal-Mart did.

Not to say the other companies would do such a thing. In fact a few of them I applied to had sections that talked about inclusive nature. This made me feel a lot better. But I can’t help worry about what will happen when I get there. I know there is a big if I even get the job included on that. lol. Maybe I should share the backstory of what happened to show where my timid nature about work came from.

I had to leave a job I really liked because they just weren’t able to give me the hours I needed. I was stepping out in to a personal business venture and needed specific time. They weren’t able to give me what I needed so I left them with a mutual happiness on both sides. It just didn’t work out.

I applied for Wal-Mart hoping they would be able to work with the hours I needed. They did so happily and welcomed me aboard. Seeing this was almost a decade ago times were a bit different. Their immediate concern was which bathroom I used. I understood their concerns even though it essentially treated me like a predator. We came to the agreement i would use the family restroom in the back of the store. I honestly had no problem with this. It wouldn’t give anything away about me and the family bathrooms always have extra space so you don’t feel so cramped.

Everything started off okay. I was given my job and the first day went real well. Then the second day hit and the family bathroom was locked at night. I didn’t need to go so badly and I managed to make it through the night without having to go. The following night not only was the bathroom locked but a bench was placed in front of it. Unable to contain myself a second night I excused myself to the ladies restroom. In and out real quick and right back to work. At least that is what I thought.

I was called in the office the next day by management for using the women’s restroom. I explained the situation and was told I was not to do that. While becoming more apprehensive about the work environment I went back to it stocking shelves. The family restroom was never unlocked during my shift again. I tried to manage but got in trouble again. Same thing and same warning. Another night I decided to be proper about the situation and actually went to my boss telling him I had to pee.

My boss walks with me to the back of the store and proceeds to hold the men’s room door open. He checks for anyone inside and waves me in once he feels it is clear. Horrified I stood there looking at him with his hands beckoning me to the restroom. I decided I could wait. I clearly had bigger issues at hand. I avoided going to the bathroom that day as well even though I could feel the pain in my bladder swelling.

The next day I was called in to the office by all the shift managers and been told I was seen using the women’s restroom again. I knew at this point that I had not and this was no longer a safe place for me. Trying to keep myself together I explained to them I had not used the restroom and was complying with their requests. After they filled their satisfaction of scolding me was finished I went back to work petrified to do anything.

Realizing I was about to collapse in tears and break down I counted down the time till I could log out for lunch. I couldn’t keep it up. It was clear this wasn’t going to be safe for me. Remembering they had already broken the verbal agreement my anger grew. In a last moment of control I went back to my locker to collect my things and walked out. They say the worse thing you could do is walk off your job with no notification. I couldn’t see any other option. Fear had taken me to the point of severe panic.

There are no buses after midnight. The walk home took hours but at least the roads were empty. Walking alone at night has proved dangerous before but the options were gone. I couldn’t stay at work and wait for the buses to start back. At least i can say I had plenty of time to myself to reflect and grow. You would be amazed how much one can think about when you have that much free time on your hands.

Was I proud I did it? Absolutely. There was no way I could maintain my health working in that environment. The sky was clear and the air was crisp. I remember because I could feel the tears chilling my face with the soft breeze. Did it scare me to not be working. You have no idea. I had no clue what my next move was. I just knew it had to be done.

Welcome to why I am scared of jobs. I have had good ones. But most of them were before I lived full time. Afterwards has lead to judgment, ridicule, and flat out harassment. So it is with deep trepidation that I sent out the new batch of applications today. I know a lot has changed since then but I also know prejudice in individuals (especially of those of power) reigns in large corporations to big to see what happens on the ground floor. Just like everyone else I have to work it out. I can’t not live.

I don’t want to leave this on a negative note. That was not my intent. I only wish to show the fear that is within all of us when it comes to what should be one of the simplest things to do. I am optimistic about finding work. Even if I am scared. I would love to have that kind of routine again. I just have to find a place that doesn’t see being Trans as anything other than something that is best left in my application and record. lol.


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