Welcome back! It’s been a bit longer than I expected since I last posted.
I started a new job this week and it seems to be going really well. I won’t go into the details of the job itself but in this post I’d like to discuss something that most people who are not trans don’t have to face.
Initially I was really worried about the new job because they requested that on my first day of work I bring photo ID to photo copy and keep on file.
Now usually for most people photo ID is nothing big and there would be no reason that a legitimate request to present such documentation would cause any anxiety. However, I got a big lump in my throat, my chest tightened and my stomach got a nauseating feeling. Why? Because my gender/sex designation listed on my Ontario drivers Licence still had an F on it for Female where the sex/gender is listed. I was really freaking out and frustrated that I hadn’t gone sooner to ask my doctor for a letter. I called my girlfriend and talked to her and searched fervently online for some kind of photo ID loop hole that would allow me to refused to show it. I couldn’t find anything about anyone needing to show it for a job but neither did I I find anything saying that I could refuse to show it. I know as a Canadian citizen that I am not required to have photo ID but I was not sure if an employer could refuse to hire me because I didn’t have any. I didn’t see why I would need it but then again I really wanted this job. After about an hour I calmed down began to look at it more logically and realized that if they were a company that would discriminate against me for being trans that it would not be a place I would WANT to work at anyway.
So, when I went in for orientation I had to explain to the person guiding me through the paper work, that I was transitioning and that my ID said female but I was transitioning to male. She was not at all taken back. When I asked her if they had a policy regarding which sex/gender to circle/check on the paperwork she was unsure of the logistics and company policy surrounding the dreaded (by me and many other trans people) “male” or “female” questions. She also assured me that I would not be fired for being trans but that she would look into the legal aspect and let me know what to put on the paper work.
Photo ID is a major concern for many people because not everyone has photo ID. It is especially troublesome for trans people when their ID is marked with the opposite gender than the one they want. And even more troublesome for people who don’t want to fit into the gender binary.
Everything seemed to work out for me in the end but not every trans person has an easy time with employers. This was the first time I’ve ever had to tell an employer. My last job didn’t ask for ID or anything just my SIN number and I was accepted as male right away. The funny thing with this story was that the week before I had JUST received the letter from my doctor to have the sex designation changed. However, it takes 4 weeks to get the ID back with the information on it.
For people unaware how changing your gender/sex designation on you Ontario drivers licence, it is actually really easy. For the information on how to get it changed see the MTO website here:
That’s all for this week!