'My finances have gone down the toilet'
transgender finance jennifer chavez
Name: Jennifer Chavez
Age: 55
Hometown: Dallas, Ga.

I didn't start my transition until I was 51, because a lot of us are so terrified of doing it, and I came out at work at 52.

The work environment turned extremely hostile in the months after the transition, and two months after I had notified my employer of my decision, they terminated me.

I have 40 years of experience in auto sales and auto services, and I was the most experienced person at my job as an auto mechanic. My skills are in huge demand, so prior to my transition, getting a job was nothing.

After my transition, a huge segment of Atlanta in the auto service world knew about me, so I was blackballed from all the auto dealerships. I couldn't get a job to save my life. My finances have gone down the toilet.

I finally landed a job as a master technician with Pep Boys but have taken a pay cut of at least half. Even with a job, I'm sweating the next payment on my house -- I have had to borrow from friends and family to make some payments.

- Last updated February 25 2013 02:34 PM ET
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