Transgender financial struggles: 'How we get by'

These six people are transgender and unemployed, homeless, living on food stamps or facing piles of debt.

'One more obstacle to getting a job'

transgender finance chris down
  • Name: Chris Down
  • Age: 23
  • Hometown: New York City

I was seasonally working at Macy's, but that ended about a month ago.

I've probably applied to a hundred jobs. Because I've applied online, they don't really know I'm transgender. And my name, Chris, can go either way. But I can definitely say there have been moments in interviews when I feel like maybe people weren't being super open-minded and were unsure how to react.

I had one interview last week where I got the sense that maybe the interviewer wasn't really taking me seriously and was almost rushing me away and was kind of sarcastic.

Being transgender is something that never comes up in interviews, but it has an influence. It's not like I tell people, 'Hi, I'm Chris, I'm trans,' so it's hard because you feel like you kind of have to repress your core self a little bit.

I graduated from SUNY Oneonta in 2011 and moved to New York City about seven months ago. Just living here is so expensive, and even the job at Macy's wasn't paying the bills. Luckily my parents are very open-minded, so they didn't disown me and they've also been supporting me financially. I'm just hoping they don't cut me off.

  @blakeellis3 - Last updated February 25 2013 02:34 PM ET

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