How Being Queer Affects the Job Hunt
Dec 19, 2019 · 3 min read

by James Tinkler

Looking for a new job is never an easy task. You spend hours online filling out application after application and taking those personality surveys that every company has a version of and even then, you might not even get an email back saying, “We aren’t interested.” It’s tough.

But the struggle only gets worse as member of the LGBTQ+ community — especially if you are trans or nonbinary. Depending on the state you live in, there may or may not be laws in place stacked against you. Being openly trans especially in a state like Florida can really restrict job opportunities especially if you are someone like me who is pre-transition and pre-name change. Being honest about my preferred name and pronouns on applications can make it harder to obtain a job because it makes it easier for business to decide to pass on me in a nondiscriminatory way. If I out myself as trans during an interview they can still choose not to hire me based off just that alone but in some states that would be breaking the law. Unfortunately for most of this is not something we can really afford to put time and money into fighting.

So, for me, the easiest option for finding a job is the hardest one for me mentally and emotionally. I must fill out applications using my dead name. I use a resume with the wrong name that uses the wrong pronouns. When I am lucky enough to get an interview, I must do what many of us within the trans and nonbinary community hate most, which is to dress as a gender I do not identify with. It makes me uncomfortable, but it is something that I must suffer through in the hopes of being able to obtain yet another low paying job that does not value my time or me as a person.

This is a struggle that doesn’t ever seem to end. Even when I eventually find a new job, coming out can be dangerous. I could still easily be fired. It would be against the law but how is a broke young queer person supposed to fight against the system that was built to destroy them? It is still an upward fight for equality in America today.

Trans and nonbinary individuals all over the country are forced to skip meals or medication or even live on the streets simply they can not afford to live. Why can’t they afford to live? Because of how hard it is to be hired as an openly trans individual within the United States. This is just another reason why it is so important that we vote in the upcoming 2020 election. Change might not be immediate, but by voting we can make sure that our country starts heading in the right direction again. If you need to register to vote or need help learning how please visit for more information and to get started. Voting is one of the most important rights we have, and it is by voting that we can make change to better all people. Your vote does matter especially if you are between 18 to 25. The boomers want you to think your vote doesn’t matter. Show them wrong by kicking Trump out of office in 2020.

About the Author:

James Tinkler is a 21 year old college student living in Central Florida. He is a gay trans masc person, and he uses he/him pronouns. James is a psychology major and a humanities minor. He wants to be a therapist one day and help trans kids access medical care, and he loves Harry Potter, Bad Suns, and LGBTQ activism. He was Vice President of the LGBTQ group on his campus for a year, and will continue to keep activism close to his heart in everything he does.

Matthew’s Place is a program of the Matthew Shepard Foundation| Words by & for LGBTQ+ youth | #EraseHate | Want to submit for our publication? Email

Written by is a program of the Matthew Shepard Foundation| Words by & for LGBTQ+ youth | #EraseHate | Want to submit? Email

Matthew’s Place is a program of the Matthew Shepard Foundation| Words by & for LGBTQ+ youth | #EraseHate | Want to submit for our publication? Email

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