Job searching while in the closet

I’m in the 4% of the welding world. Skilled trades. I’m, well, physically female, I suppose, is the er.. best? way to put it. I’ve been on T for 2.5months and I don’t pass as a boy, and my legal name isn’t gender neutral. I’m also small, and look younger than I am.

People don’t take me seriously. I can weld. I can weld well. I’m certified. Which means I took the extremely stressful CWB tests that you have a million ways to fail and only one way to pass.

But the fucking sexual harassment and discrimination at interviews is outstandingly bad. It’s fucking driving me nuts.

I got turned down for a job because I’m “not physically capable”. So they’re discriminating against my size. They apparently missed the part on my resume where I said I did basically the same job, except with twice the physical labour, because for what they do, I had to make my own jigs, and weld vertical, this job: they have jigs and cranes to move the pieces. That would save me 2 hours a night, and a lot of physical stuff. At my first job, no, I had to chalk out the blueprint in actual size, make a “prototype”, cut up metal, make a jig, weld it to the wall, and then make that piece over and over, take it off the jig, stack it up.

This job, a crane would put the piece on the jig, I’d weld it in the flat position (easiest position), a crane would move it, etc. Lifting: 30lbs. Seriously? I can lift 30 fucking pounds.

And HR is the one doing the sexual harassment. I’ve been sexually harassed at school, by the welding inspector, at job interviews, at HR at job interviews, It fucking sucks.

I am so stressed out. I had to turn down 2 possible opportunites while waiting for them. Fuck. Then they fuck me over. It was so promising. The 2nd interview (why would they ask me for a second interview, after meeting me in person, and denying me the job, saying I’m too small and frail?) he asked “When is your start date?”

Fuck.

I’m so sick of this shit.

Of course, I keep the trans stuff to myself. I use my legal name. It’s on my CWA and CWB tickets/memberships. Being “female” (ha ha) in the trade is hard enough. Godknows what’ll happen if I say I’m trans. It’s not the employees that treat me badly. At my first job, I was one of the guys. At school, except for one guy, who caught hell, I was one of the guys. I got treated the same way. If I fucked equipment up, I got shit like everyone else, etc. I got a damn good letter of recommendation because I worked my fucking ass off and came from no experience, never even saw a welder before, to passing my CWB tests in both SMAW (stick) and GMAW (mig).

I’m qualified. I have the physical strength. But goddamn, I’m too fucking small.

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