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%20email,%22%20Eli%20said.%20Instead,%20Eli%20said%20they%20had%20to%20%22write%20up%20something%20that%20either%20I%20could%20tell%20people%20face%20to%20face%20...%20individually%20or%20in%20a%20group.%20Or%20I%20was%20told%20the%20managers%20could%20do%20that.%20So%20it%20ended%20up%20being%20that%20one%20of%20the%20managers%20came%20out%20to%20people%20in%20small%20groups%20for%20me,%20which%20was%20not%20really%20my%20ideal%20way%20of%20doing%20it.%22%3C/p%3E%3Ch3%3EFrom%20allies%20to%20advocates%3C/h3%3E%3Cp%3ESituations%20like%20the%20one%20Eli%20described%20underscore%20the%20need%20for%20workplaces%20to%20do%20more%20to%20support%20trans%20people,%20advocates%20like%20Chien%20and%20Masure%20said.%3C/p%3E%3Cp%3ESupportive%20action%20could%20be%20as%20simple%20as%20asking%20employees%20to%20share%20their%20preferred%20pronouns.%20Eli%20said%20eventually%20employees%20started%20wearing%20nametags%20with%20their%20preferred%20pronouns%20at%20the%20Apple%20store%20where%20they%20worked.%3C/p%3E%3Cp%3EEven%20the%20way%20businesses%20handle%20internal%20forms%20can%20make%20a%20difference.%20Chien%20recalled%20her%20relief%20when%20she%20submitted%20a%20name-change%20form%20to%20AT%26amp%3BT's%20HR%20department.%20The%20form%20offered%20employees%20the%20option%20to%20select%20%22personal%20choice%22%20as%20a%20reason%20for%20a%20name%20change%20request%20--%20meaning%20they%20did%20not%20have%20to%20disclose%20information%20they%20may%20feel%20uncomfortable%20sharing.%20For%20Chien,%20that%20option%20on%20the%20form%20meant%20a%20%22complete%20shift%20of%20agency%20of%20who%20has%20the%20right%20to%20decide%20my%20future%20and%20my%20identity.%22%3C/p%3E%3Cdiv%3E%3Caside%3E%3Cfigure%3E%3Cdiv%3E%3Cpicture%3E%3Csource%3E%3Csource%3E%3Cdiv%20class=%22readableLargeImageContainer%22%3E%3Cimg%20src=%22data:image/gif%3Bbase64,R0lGODlhAQABAIAAAAAAAP///yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7%22%20alt=%22PHOTO:%20Ginger%20Chien%20speaks%20on%20stage%20at%20an%20Ignite%20Seattle%20event,%20a%20non-profit%20group%20centered%20on%20building%20community%20through%20sharing%20diverse%20stories%20and%20challenging%20ideas.%22%3E%3C/div%3E%3C/picture%3E%3C/div%3E%3Cfigcaption%3E%3Cdiv%3E%3Cdiv%3E%3Cdiv%3E%3Cimg%20src=%22https://s.abcnews.com/assets/dtci/icomoon/svg/camera.svg%22%20alt=%22Randy%20Stewart%22%3ERandy%20Stewart%3C/div%3E%3Cdiv%3E%3Cdiv%3EGinger%20Chien%20speaks%20on%20stage%20at%20an%20Ignite%20Seattle%20event,%20a%20non-profit%20group%20centered%20on...Read%20More%3C/div%3E%3C/div%3E%3C/div%3E%3C/div%3E%3C/figcaption%3E%3C/figure%3E%3C/aside%3E%3C/div%3E%3Cp%3EHealth%20care%20options%20to%20support%20trans%20people%20are%20also%20critical%20ways%20companies%20can%20help.%3C/p%3E%3Cp%3E%22Having%20health%20insurance%20that%20covers%20gender-affirming%20procedures%20is%20just%20something%20that%20is%20so%20hard%20to%20find,%22%20Eli%20said.%20For%20the%20trans%20community,%20insurance%20that%20covers%20%22big%20procedures,%20like%20bottom%20surgeries%20and%20top%20surgeries,%22%20is%20needed,%20Eli%20said.%3C/p%3E%3Cp%3E%22But%20...%20there's%20other%20procedures,%20like%20facial%20surgeries,%20that%20are%20not%20covered%20as%20often%20that%20are%20very%20important%20...%20in%20terms%20of%20safety%20out%20in%20public%20for%20people,%20especially%20trans%20feminine%20people%20and%20trans%20women,%22%20said%20Eli.%3C/p%3E%3Cp%3EFor%20Masure,%20a%20key%20component%20for%20inclusion%20is%20active%20support%20from%20a%20business'%20leadership.%3C/p%3E%3Cp%3E%22What%20I%20see%20the%20most%20is%20the%20lack%20of%20leadership%20involvement,%22%20Masure%20said.%20%22I%20see%20people%20working%20in%20companies%20where%20they%20are%20not%20respected%20...%20their%20pronouns%20are%20not%20respected%20...%20jokes%20are%20made%20during%20regular%20meetings.%22%20Masure%20said%20that%20leaders%20have%20to%20set%20examples%20by%20being%20examples%20of%20inclusivity.%3C/p%3E%3Cdiv%3E%3Cdiv%3E%3Cdiv%3E%3Ca%20href=%22https://abcnews.go.com/US/catastrophic-number-state-bills-target-transgender-youth-advocates/story?id=76138305%22%20target=%22_blank%22%3EMORE:%20'Catastrophic'%20number%20of%20state%20bills%20target%20transgender%20youth,%20advocates%20say%3C/a%3E%3C/div%3E%3C/div%3E%3C/div%3E%3Cp%3EAs%20trans%20people,%20%22we%20cannot%20only%20be%20the%20ones%20educating%20other%20people,%22%20Masure%20said.%20%22It%20gets%20exhausting.%22%3C/p%3E%3Cp%3ETrans%20advocates%20urge%20cisgender%20people%20to%20go%20beyond%20being%20allies%20and%20become%20advocates.%20That%20could%20mean%20asking%20a%20company%20to%20create%20gender%20nonspecific%20bathrooms%20or%20speaking%20up%20when%20a%20trans%20person%20is%20misgendered%20or%20harassed%20in%20any%20way.%3C/p%3E%3Cp%3E%22The%20outside%20world%20can%20feel%20like%20a%20really%20dangerous%20place,%20especially%20today%20with%20anti-trans%20and%20anti-Asian%22%20violence%20and%20threats,%20Chien%20said,%20referring%20to%20the%20recent%20spate%20of%20%3Ca%20href=%22https://abcnews.go.com/US/dozens-rallies-protesters-call-end-anti-asian-violence/story?id=76727278%22%20target=%22_blank%22%3Eanti-Asian%20crime%20in%20the%20U.S.%3C/a%3E%3C/p%3E%3Cp%3EShe%20said%20speaking%20out%20and%20advocating%20are%20important%20ways%20to%20create%20supportive%20workplaces%20for%20trans%20people.%3C/p%3E%3Cp%3E%22In%20the%20absence%20of%20language,%20there's%20an%20absence%20of%20possibility,%22%20Chien%20said.%3C/p%3E%3C/div%3E%3C/div%3E%3C/div%3E%3C/div%3E%3C/div%3E%3C/div%3E%3Cdiv%20id=%22background%22%3E%3Cdiv%20id=%22background_shading%22%3E%3C/div%3E%3C/div%3E%3C/div%3E%3Clink%20rel=%22stylesheet%22%20href=%22https://markups.kdanmobile.com/mymarkup/front/the_components/reformat/style.css%22%20type=%22text/css%22%3E%3C/body%3E

Summary | 17 Annotations
Ginger Chien said she was a "techie" from a young age."I was given all of the opportunities typically afforded to boys," she recalled. "I was given freedom to be loud, and to attract attention. And given all of the technology toys as well -- Legos, Tinker toys, erector sets."
2021/03/31 13:20
Exact statistics on trans people in tech are virtually nonexistent. Trans people face concerns over their safety, security and often, their very lives, by coming out. But there is a vibrant, engaged and increasingly vocal trans community made up of engineers, software developers, user interface designers and other tech professionals.
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"I do recall that at a very early age I was asking for toys and friends and clothes ... to play with some of the girls in the neighborhood," she said.With those questions, came anxiety. As the only American-born son in her family, she said that in Chinese culture, "there are certain expectations of sons.""I did not feel safe uncovering my gender identity. In fact, in early years it didn't even have a name. There was no way for me to even express the idea that I might want to be a girl because there were no words for it other than words that convey mental illness and illegal behavior," she said.
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That led to many years of living a "submarined" life, Chien said. She found success as an engineer, working right out of college for a defense contractor, but living an inauthentic life took a toll."I was afraid of losing the marriage that I had and the daughter that we had and my professional reputation once my career was established," she said."There was always something to worry about," Chien said. She said she became "unhappy, sullen and unproductive" at work.
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Violence and stigma against trans people make many of them wary about coming out in public. Adding to anti-trans sentiment, state legislators have filed a record number of bills this year that would impact the rights of transgender people, according to the Human Rights Campaign.
2021/03/31 13:20
Emma Best is a queer and nonbinary journalist, "leakivist," publisher and sometimes analyst. As a "leakivist," Best uses their tech prowess as a form of activism and has made leaked data accessible to media and other journalists.Best said anonymity makes it easier for trans people and gender nonconforming individuals to "get their foot in the door" in the tech space, especially with "the prevalence of remote working."But, Best said, more trans, queer and nonbinary people are also more active in tech because they are being more visible and "refusing to yield their space."
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"Tech is a place where your performance is really easy to quantify," she said. "I think it creates room for people who may be different in some way, but are also able to apply some of those arcane skills to ... tech."
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"I think that people in the tech industry tend to have sometimes more eclectic backgrounds ... there's a lot of different kinds of types of people coming together," Eli, 26, who asked their last name withheld for privacy reasons, told ABC News. Eli worked for several years in Apple retail.
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Masure worked for years as a user experience designer, but now consults with companies on how to foster inclusive environments for transgender people."I was born as a girl, and I lived my life as a woman for 36 years. And I only came out four years ago," Masure, who was born in France, told ABC News."I didn't see any trans people around me, the only ones were in the media ... mostly trans women, and they were made fun of," Masure said.
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Masure became more empowered to embrace their authentic self, albeit with some consequences."I was working in tech at the time, and I had to advocate for myself, and I lost some clients being a freelancer," Masure said.That "led me to realize there was a need for the tech community to train around inclusion. ... [The] usage of pronouns and putting them into our names in email signatures, on LinkedIn, is helping not only the trans community, but also everyone to be more inclusive," said Masure.
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The service is much-needed as even the most well-intentioned companies can make missteps."I recognized that I was trans a couple years into working for Apple. And then I came out while I was there and started to medically and socially transition," Eli said.
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"I wanted to just come out through email," Eli said. Instead, Eli said they had to "write up something that either I could tell people face to face ... individually or in a group. Or I was told the managers could do that. So it ended up being that one of the managers came out to people in small groups for me, which was not really my ideal way of doing it."
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Even the way businesses handle internal forms can make a difference. Chien recalled her relief when she submitted a name-change form to AT&T's HR department. The form offered employees the option to select "personal choice" as a reason for a name change request -- meaning they did not have to disclose information they may feel uncomfortable sharing. For Chien, that option on the form meant a "complete shift of agency of who has the right to decide my future and my identity."
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Health care options to support trans people are also critical ways companies can help."Having health insurance that covers gender-affirming procedures is just something that is so hard to find," Eli said. For the trans community, insurance that covers "big procedures, like bottom surgeries and top surgeries," is needed, Eli said."But ... there's other procedures, like facial surgeries, that are not covered as often that are very important ... in terms of safety out in public for people, especially trans feminine people and trans women," said Eli.
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"What I see the most is the lack of leadership involvement," Masure said. "I see people working in companies where they are not respected ... their pronouns are not respected ... jokes are made during regular meetings." Masure said that leaders have to set examples by being examples of inclusivity.
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As trans people, "we cannot only be the ones educating other people," Masure said. "It gets exhausting."
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"The outside world can feel like a really dangerous place, especially today with anti-trans and anti-Asian" violence and threats, Chien said, referring to the recent spate of anti-Asian crime in the U.S.She said speaking out and advocating are important ways to create supportive workplaces for trans people."In the absence of language, there's an absence of possibility," Chien said.
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