On September 27, 2008, The Center OC, in collaboration with Transgender Economic Empowerment Project at the LA Gay and Lesbian Center, will offer the second in a series of Know Your Rights workshops to the transgender community in Orange County. This second workshop, entitled "Jobs 101," is intended to be a transperson's guide to employment. The workshop will run from 2:00 - 4:00 PM. Workshop participants can expect to come away with knowledge about preparing for the job they want, the process of legally changing one's name and gender, coming out at work, and their employee rights.
All workshops in this Know Your Rights series will be free, but participants must RSVP. Participants are invited to socialize with other community members at a free dinner after the workshop.
Some estimates place the unemployment rate in the transgender community as high as 70%, more than 10 times the national rate. Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) have stated that the lack of access to employment, as well as the social marginalization created through denial of employment, can lead to higher rates of physical and mental illnesses for transgender people.
The Center Orange County has been working to counteract some of the effects of workplace transphobia, one of the barriers to employment for people who are transgender. After receiving a grant from The California Endowment, The Center OC created The Transgender Health Program. One of the program's objectives is to provide Know Your Rights workshops to members of the Orange County transgender community. The focus of this upcoming workshop is employment. "We're hoping that people come away from Jobs 101 feeling like they have a
few more skills with which to navigate the work world," says Esther Wang, Program Coordinator.
While those working on The Transgender Health Program acknowledge that erasing the effects of transphobia in the workplace will take a lot more than a single workshop, their hope is that this series of Know Your Rights workshops will have a lasting collective effect. "We want these Know Your Rights workshops to inspire transgender people to take charge of their own physical and emotional well being, and to expect to be treated with dignity," says Ginger Hahn, Executive
Director of The Center OC.
In the coming months, The Center OC will continue to provide Know Your Rights workshops to the OC transgender community. For workshop location, to RSVP, or for further information, please contact Esther Wang at 714-534-0862 x105 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Bilerico Project will keep you updated as the event draws closer, and we'll also continue to post details additional workshops being offered.