D.C. Mayor Calls for Trans Job Training Program


Vincent Gray, mayor of the District of Columbia, has given the go ahead for a ground breaking program specifically aimed at job training and placement for transgender members of the D.C. community.

Gray announced that he would direct the city’s Department of Employment Services to begin this program at a meeting with members of the trans community on August 4.

From the Washington Blade:

“The Department of Employment Services will run a pilot of their transitional employment program targeting members of the transgender community,” said Jeffrey Richardson, director of the Mayor’s Office of GLBT Affairs, who attended the meeting.  ”The program includes six weeks of training coupled with subsidized paid employment,” he said.

Richardson was referring to an existing program that trains city residents for jobs and reimburses employers participating in the program for part of the salary of the employee accepted in the program.

A blog post from the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance, a group that was also present at the meeting, gives us more of an insight into Mayor Gray’s plans which, they say, include:

1. Expanded diversity programs for D.C. government employees with a focus on LGBT and specifically transgender cultural competency. The D.C. Department of Human Resources (DHR) together with the Office of Human Rights (OHR), and other agencies will work together to develop appropriate training materials for District government employees. This will be completed by October 1.

2. The Department of Employment Services will begin a pilot employment program for transgender community members that will offer six weeks training and subsidized paid employment .

Alongside this, the Department of Human Resources will also explore a policy similar to the federal Schedule A which gives agencies authority to make non-competitive appointments of persons with disabilities so as to encourage trans employment opportunities.

The meeting was facilitated by the actions of transgender activist Jeri Hughes, who submitted proposals ahead of time on how she thinks D.C. can best combat the chronic unemployment rate of its trans citizens, and particularly trans women. She charges that, contrary to the D.C. Human Rights Act which bans gender identity or sexual orientation discrimination in employment related decision making, trans women are still being denied entry-level positions based not on their skills but on their gender identity.

Hughes is quoted in the Washington Blade as saying that while the trans community didn’t get everything that they asked for — for instance no agreement on a transgender coordinator to oversee these changes — she is grateful to Gray for the steps he has taken.

Gray has agreed to a follow-up meeting in just under a months time to discuss progress made and what more can be done.

Related Reading:
TSA Agrees to Trans Sensitivity Training
Police Warn Potential Pattern in DC Trans Shootings
GLAAD Scores TV Networks on LGBT Inclusion

Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution License, with thanks to Sweet One.


Glenn M.
Glenn Meyer6 years ago

Cutting spending on, so called, entitlements is ineffective for addressing the deficit. Cutting programs that support the low and middle class will further strain both who don’t even receive lower prices as a result of the U.S. job losses and create a disconnect that will end in another financial collapse. The justification for attacking government benefits as opposed to raising taxes is the creation of jobs. But where?

Corporations have over-powered our government which now believes that out-sourcing and off-shoring of U.S. jobs is inevitable and necessary with expectations that the middle class should fall on their swords. It is the underlying cause of the financial collapse and borders on national security with the loss of our middle class tax base. Yet, this nation does nothing, not even demand it be restricted by whatever method. International businesses are doing the UN-AMERICAN activity of destroying U.S. salaries, U.S. businesses that hire in the U.S., and as an end result, destroying the U.S. marketplace while still demanding BUSINESS ENTITLEMENTS and protections for themselves.

Infrastructure spending and tax breaks will not replace enough jobs to keep up with the hemorrhaging loss of U.S. jobs from out-sourcing over seas. Neither party will do anything about it unless we begin grass roots efforts to protest out-sourcing and off-shoring of U.S. jobs. If nothing is done we will deserve what we get and it will get a lot worse before it gets better

Lene Jacinta Martinussen
Martha Jacinta6 years ago

Very nice article!!

K s Goh
KS Goh6 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Josephine T.
Josephine T6 years ago

Lilithe M., I would say that society needs a bloody huge shove to do so, but then I'm not so subtle as some would prefer.

Mary L.
Mary L6 years ago

To the objectors, if you read the information it seems to me it is more a question of training supervisors than trans men and women. There are also a lot of young trans people who have never had a job.

As the spouse of a transwoman I can tell you that proving you weren't hired because your trans is impossible. "We found a candidate who better suited our qualifications" will be on the letter you receive three months later. That's if you receive anything at all.

My love was jobless for four years before finally finding a place that walked their talk.

So to all who object, do you know anyone who is trans? Have you witnessed the struggles that a 30 - 40 - or 50 year old has faced when they finally can't bear to live a lie anymore? If you answer no, then you don't know what you are talking about.

As to "discriminatory" there are job programs for young people only, why aren't you hollering about that? There are job programs for seniors, why not raise a fuss about that?

Hmmm, could it be your Freudian slip is showing your prejudice?

Lilithe Magdalene

Kris J, Josephine T, and DH C (awww I miss Derp!) have it right. The rest who are opposed to this measure, your cis, straight privilege is showing in a not so pretty way, as Kris has already pointed out - you have no idea the discrimination and intimidation trans folk go through.

Empress, you in particular could begin to understand that the bulk of trans people know they are different as early as 2 years old. So a group of school kids are so much more capable of understanding the transition than most closed -minded adults. Trans people do want to be treated like anyone else - but until that is a reality, society needs a little shove to do so.

Brenda L.
Brenda Louise6 years ago

Well, it can be said that the States who have anti-discrimanatory laws against Gays and Trans folk on their books, won't stop the discrimanatory practice of not hiring Gays or Trans people, but at least the laws define that it's against the law for employers to do it. What has to stop is the stereotype of Trans or Gay people being perverts. The media must be made responsible for all the slurrs, negative connotations, and comical remarks it uses to describe Trans or Gay people. We need to be seen and perceived as responsible law abiding human beings worthy of employment.

Andrew Carvin6 years ago

Sharon A. "Maybe a program that teaches supervisors that a worker's performance is more important than their personal sexual identity."

Yes. I would actually add a little more though...

A program that teaches supervisors that a worker's performance is more important than their personal sexual identity, skin color, attractiveness, clothes, etc.

With as much as we know about visual discrimination, face-to-face interviews should be made illegal as they give far more advantage to attractive people than those that are less attractive even when the attractive people in question are less qualified.

Unless, the job directly requires good looks for the performance of the job, phone interviews are all that should be done.

None of this wear a business suit to work in a call center crap.

timothy m.
timothy m6 years ago

Gee, I thought the GLBT community wasn't looking for SPECIAL rights...

Tami Kennedy
Tami Kennedy6 years ago

I'll have to say the trans community was lucky for a bit of support. I don't think they have a unique issue with disproportionate employment opportunities. As seen by Bloomberg's donation of personal money to support a New York City training program targeting the populations with much higher unemployment than the national or local levels. Any training is a welcome gift that shouldn't be taken lightly in this weak job market.