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Organization helps transgender men and women with job placement

Contrast Adjusted Photo: Flazingo Photos / CC BY-SA 2.0

Transgender men and women, often, struggle to find jobs. That’s according to a study, from D.C.’s Office of Human Rights.

“I’ve been unemployed since May of last year,” said CJ Fowler who is a transgender man. He is currently living in a shelter.

“I haven’t been a trans man for a very long time, because I was afraid to come out to my family,” said Fowler. “When I transitioned, I went in full throttle. I cut my hair and I feel so much better about myself.

“In D.C. there is a 55 percent unemployment rate among black trans adults and that’s due heavily to employment discrimination,” said Jessica Raven, who is the Executive Director of Collective Action for Safe Spaces (CASS).

Through a partnership with the Restaurant Opportunity Center, she’s connecting Fowler and others with jobs in our area.

“We’re working with our bars to make those opportunities available to people who are experiencing high rates of unemployment,” said Raven.

Fowler and Cassandra Gatewood, recently found jobs through CASS. They’re looking forward to paving the way for others.

“This job will open a lot of doors. This job will be such an inspiration, because I can prove to a lot of trans women of color, that you can be who you want to be. You can have a job,” said Gatewood.

The program is in the pilot phase. It officially starts later this month.

It’s already helping at least five transgender men and women.

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