Transgender Life

I don’t want this site to be solely about being transgender. From my experiences so far, it’s not even something I could write about every week – being in the closet is far more intense and frustrating and writeable. However, there are moments when things happen, unique to trans people. I’d like to share those moments with you, and let you into the mystery.

Gina's Trans Diary: On Finding Work

Gina's Trans Diary: On Finding Work

Gina's Trans Diary, 25.09.16: entry 6 On Finding Work

I won't pretend that coming out hasn't hurt me financially.

I used to be an EFL teacher, working abroad, and by the end of my career, I was a very well-qualified academic manager. In Edinburgh, I focused on my Masters, but when my MA was winding down this summer, I needed to start thinking about money.

I could have taken a year out, gone off to work in the Middle East, my reputation in my field was strong. I would return a year later with a scholarship to help me. That might have been my plan, if I hadn't come out as trans.

I've been out as pre-op trans, full-time, since April of this year. I get frustrated, looking for work, the rejection emails, saying you haven't even made the short-list for an interview. I wonder what the reasons are: is it just the intense amount of competition in Edinburgh? Or is it that I'm trans? I'm conscious that many of my former colleagues from the course are still struggling to find work and none of them are trans.

I never thought I'd return to the classroom. I tried avoiding using my voice, I haven't had voice therapy so my voice is still a man's voice. You need your voice in the EFL classroom, and all I could think of is what the students would think of their tall female teacher, with the deep male voice.

I did a week of admin work in one Edinburgh language school, basically temping, while in a staffroom next to the office were the teachers, and none of them had qualifications or experience like me.

I was finally given a chance by a very nice, very professional language school in the city, just as the summer season was ending. For one week, I taught two classes. I remember at one point in the lesson realizing the voice I was trying not to use was back to its full power, I hadn't used it like this since I came out full-time. The students didn't seem to care at all. The lessons went well enough. At the week's end I wished them luck and some of them told me they enjoyed the lessons. The work has now dried up but my confidence has returned. When the EFL scene picks up in Edinburgh in late spring next year, I will try to teach again.

In the meantime, I'm still looking for part-time work. It isn't easy. It's astonishing how difficult it is to find any kind of work. I have a friend doing an MA who got turned down for a waitressing post. I hear this kind of story quite often.

Well anyway, I felt like writing about this. Full-time education is expensive, and not having any kind of work is impossible in the long term. Being trans is easy; finding a job, having money, those things are what prey on your mind, whatever your gender identity.
Gina's Trans Diary: On Self-Pity and Bitterness
On Paranoia
 

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