Trans at Work – soft launch

The next major initiative of We Happy Trans will be the Trans at Work project.

I and many others believe that the greatest issue facing trans people is employment. Whether it’s a young person who can’t find a safe form of employment, or an established professional who doesn’t come out in fear of losing their job, employment issues impact our confidence, security, income, relationships, power and place in society.  If the trans movement is going to move forward, it has to provide opportunities to the most vulnerable members of our community and empower our most capable leaders.

The Trans at Work project is comprised of five initiatives aimed at influencing mulitple aspects of employment. Our hope is that any small movement on any one of these fronts will be well worth the effort. There is more information in the video below.

This is a soft launch in order to consider additional initiatives, gauge interest and capacity, identify possible institutional partners, and eliminate redundancies where these efforts are already being successfully undertaken elsewhere. We are also looking to put together a team of volunteers for each of these initiatives, and 1-2 team leaders to coordinate their activities. Please contact me via jen @ if you’d like to participate.

Initiative #1: A submission driven video project a la the 7 Questions project, where we’ll invite trans people to submit videos or blogs about their experiences transitioning on the job, or seeking employment while trans. As with the 7Qs, it will focus on success stories, announcement examples, and recommended strategies.

Initiative #2: A resource center for employers with trans employees, containing sample HR policies, stories from other employers, best practices, etc.

Initiative #3: A trans honor roll for businesses and organizations that are supportive of trans employees.

Initiative #4: A professional network for trans people to share advice, job opportunities, stories, etc.

Initiative #5: We will seek to get one or more national companies to publicly encourage transgender applicants for entry level positions and to support those employees on the job.

Again, this is a soft launch, so please leave your ideas and comments below, or email me to volunteer. We hope to formally launch no later than early 2013.

Thank you.


26 comments for “Trans at Work – soft launch

  1. EC
    November 6, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    Quite frankly I don’t know were you get the energy, you go Girl!

  2. ec
    November 6, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    opps spelling, I should say “where” you get the energy

  3. Jayne Atkinson
    November 11, 2012 at 5:22 am

    I’d be happy to provide my story and nominate my employer

  4. Cindy Graham
    November 12, 2012 at 9:57 am

    I sent you an email. I would like to help with initiative #4. I think a professional network can be key to raising awareness with employers.

  5. Jenna Meyer
    November 13, 2012 at 7:37 am

    I went through a successful work transition with a company that is all boy toy related. I can share my story if you wish, I may beable to lend a hand with 2 and 4 also. It has been almost 9 years since I dropped the bomb on them and things have been stable but with caviats.

  6. Vanessa Sheridan
    November 15, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    Love what you’re doing–it’s a great thing. I’m the author of “The Complete Guide to Transgender in the Workplace,” the first full-length, hardcover book on this leading-edge topic ever released by a mainstream publisher. I work as a provider of professional transgender business services, including corporate consulting, policy/guideline development, speaking/presenting, and awareness/inclusion training. I have been involved in this field since 1991. I work nationally with organizations of all sizes, from Fortune 100 companies to nonprofits, helping them to become trans-inclusive. If I can be of assistance to you in this important effort, please let me know. My website is Thanks for taking on this project. It’s exciting to see good things happening for our community.

  7. B
    December 14, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    FYI Disneyland/World (not national employers exactly) are the largest single site employers in the country. The Florida parks employ around 50,000 people and have trans employees who they have accommodated well (many employees live in staff housing). Could be worth checking out.

  8. Brittany Lynn Roche
    January 10, 2013 at 8:24 am


    I am a Federal employee and transitioned on the job in November, 2009. My entire transition was detailed on my blog page and the New York Times also ran a very positive story on my transition in the workplace. I will post the links below in case you are interested.

    Thanks and good luck,


    My Blog Page:

    My Article in the New York Times:

  9. Jill Davidson
    January 12, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    I am in my third year of transition as an employee of Seattle Public Schools. I transitioned on the job and I work as a school psychologist in three elementary schools. I would nominate my employer. I’d be happy to participate.

    • Amy Dobrowolsky
      January 22, 2013 at 10:30 pm

      Hi Jill! I’m in Seattle, too. I suspect that a trans honor roll (#3) would have a lot of Seattle employers. I wonder if there would be any kind of utility in compiling something like that locally? Just thinking out loud…

  10. Finn
    January 14, 2013 at 11:49 am

    Great idea, love this initiative. Thanks for all the work you do.

  11. Clair Farley
    January 15, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    We would love to help you with this important work. The SF LGBT Center’s Trans* Employment Program has helped people get connected to over 500 jobs in the last five years, we believe that addressing economic issue is key to our movement. Please let us know how we can partner and share our resources to help this work go national. Learn more on our websites:

  12. Jessica Ferguson
    January 19, 2013 at 11:44 am

    This is an awesome idea… As someone who is transitioning on the job, I am very excited to see this project evolve and participate…

  13. Amy Dobrowolsky
    January 22, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    I am writing a narrative of my transition at work within the last year. I’d be happy to share this as well as recording something on video. Also, I am going to see if my HR person, with whom I worked closely to coordinate everything, would like to contribute some best practice documents, checklists, advice, etc. I can also lend my librarian talents to coordinating and organizing materials for initiatives #2 and #3.

  14. Lynda Frank
    January 26, 2013 at 10:56 am

    Fifty years as a man, husband, farther, breadwinner for five in a good social states, and for the last thirty years, Len for five days a week and Lynda for two. Works well both ways, I call myself “bi-gender”

  15. Jessica
    January 27, 2013 at 3:49 am

    I am actually seeking for a job in the greater Seattle, WA area; I am transgender but having problems coming out due to fear of losing of a job and now since I have no job, I fear to not get a job. I am actually thinking about coming out on my resume to see if a company would be okay from the get go. Does anyone have any comments on this; or does anyone know of any trans friendly companies in the greater Seattle, WA area?

    • Amy Dobrowolsky
      January 29, 2013 at 3:36 am

      Jessica! Hi!
      First and foremost, you are probably in one of the best cities/states to be trans and employed. Basically, in this town we are everywhere. :) A friend of mine is working on trans employment concerns locally and I may join forces with her shortly, so I personally will know more soon.

      For what it’s worth, trans employees are included in WA state’s anti-discrimination law. Seattle and the other large cities in western WA also have anti-discrimination language in their laws. You cannot be fired just for being trans. ( My transition at my job was flawless (uplifting, actually) and the previous 5 years as blatantly gender non-conforming were no problem at all either.

      In the meantime, PLEASE send me an email at: agent at nebcorp dot com. We can chat online or meet up and discuss your specific situation/questions further. Having done this recently, the bureaucratic hoops are still fresh in my head. Let me reiterate, contact me please. :) There is no reason for you to be stricken by fear… not in Seattle!

      • Melanie
        July 30, 2013 at 6:01 pm

        Hi Amy , I’ve been gradually transitioning for some time now and was employed for 18 years for a railroad company but was fired for what everyone would say was very wrong reason but I can’t prove descrimination. I currently live in the tri cities in eastern Wa and will hopefully moving to the west side of Wa near Everett and will be looking for employment. I was making a very good income with great benefits, but at this point I would just settle for a job I can live openly as a woman I was meant to be. My family and the few friends I have all say I am very passable and don’t look like a man at all but I need to work on my voice . My femme name is Melanie and I hope you contact me for some insight or advice I would greatly appreciate it. My cell # 509-989-1331 or email address is I hope to here from you soon . Thanks for listening, Melanie

  16. loni
    February 6, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    will be reading this as were i work anything less then manly is wrong.
    anything anti gay, trans, lesbian, etc is put down with glee.
    even the union is anti.
    sure they would abide by the law…but only in that. nothing else.

  17. Anne Blake
    March 2, 2013 at 2:23 am

    I just stumbled across I’m a civilian employee for the Department of Defense working thru the initial stages of transitioning at work. I’ve contacted my HR anonymously and they appear to be willing to support trans employees. However, the branch I work for has no experience on helping employees and their coworkers during transition. Thus, this would be a tremendous resource once these initiatives get underway. I wish I could volunteer to help. But, the best I could do is volunteer as a guinea pig. Since I haven’t started my transition yet, perhaps I could test certain aspects of these initiatives to see what works best and what may not work so well.

  18. Nicole Shounder
    March 17, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    I’d be happy to help however I can.

    Worked through the Pac North West in transiton to include WA Dept Corrections (Employed by, not a resident of, LOL)
    Hired initially by Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and UW Medical after transition.

    Hired By dept Navy Military Sealift Command (MSC)as a Medical Services Officer. Can be seen in:
    * The 9 min Recruiting Video. “This is MSC”
    * Mighty Ships TAKE 5 Robert E Peary episode.
    * Selected as the MSC Command Empolyee of the Year.
    * Recipent of the US Navy League National Award for the Able Seaman Oscar Chappell Award
    Vice President of DOD Fed GLOBE Can be seen on UTube speaking on behalf of DOD Fed GLOBE
    *Can be read about in a chapter of
    The Call of Nursing Voices from the Front Lines of Healthcare by William Patrick Ebook or soft bound at AMAZON

    I feel I have accomplished more as Nicole than as John.

  19. Leslie
    April 13, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    Please let me know if I can help. I’m in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area and have 30 years experience in radio broadcasting and might be able to help in a few different ways.

  20. Lindsey Deighton
    June 3, 2013 at 7:40 am

    I’m grateful to see resources here. I’m a full-time church musician living in the midwest. Pretty fearful at this point, and not seeing a whole lot of options. :(
    SoCal is an objective because of family, but no work history, etc…?
    Thanks for any thoughts.

  21. Ivana
    September 27, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    Employment has been the biggest issue in transitioning for me. Lately i have also been thinking about
    making a website, where transexuals and trans friendly employers would meet. So im glad to see that
    something is already cooking. Great work, you are doing. Thank you.
    The trans network idea is also a great thing.
    If you need help with web development or other software issues, ill be glad to help.

  22. Alix Mcneil
    March 11, 2016 at 11:53 am

    I am starting my transition. In therapy now, a physical on 4/5, hormones begin on 4/28 via Trullium Health here in Rochester NY. I want to relocate to the Seattle area where it’s friendly to me as a MtF person. Starting my research. How do I find an employer who is trans friendly and how do I find others like me to apartment share?

  23. Nicky ruiz
    July 27, 2016 at 12:26 am

    Need help with job that are Trans. Friendly. In Seattle. Wa

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