Why Is It So Hard For Transgender Americans To Find Work?

Nearly a third of trans people live below the poverty line.

Transgender people face discrimination on a daily basis for simply being who they are—discrimination that can make it impossible to find or keep a job.

A new Bustle video is exploring the unemployment epidemic among trans people, and revealing some unnerving statistics along the way.

While the U.S. unemployment rate is currently at 5%, for trans people that number leaps to 15%—with 29% living in poverty.

lala zannell
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Lala Zannell of the Anti-Violence Project says that, while trans employees often experience discrimination on the job, many can’t even get hired in the first place.

“Sometimes their documentation doesn’t match who they are,” she explains. “People think, ’Oh, just get it changed.’ Some states don’t allow you to do that.”

trans ballet
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The film also explores the lives of two trans women who strive to fit in with others in their chosen careers: Dari, a ballet dancer who struggles with that industry’s strict gender rules, and Jacie, a chef who says she’s faced transphobia in almost every restaurant she’s worked in.

It’s no surprise, then, that 90% of trans workers report on-the-job discrimination: Jacie shares a horrific story of being beaten unconscious by coworkers at an office Christmas party.

Watch this compelling clip below.
 

 

Adam Salandra is a writer, performer and host in Los Angeles. When he's not covering the latest in pop culture, you can find him playing with his French Bulldog puppy or hovering over the table of food at any social gathering.
@adamsalandra