I've been unemployed more than employed since I began living as a woman in 1997.
I live in New Jersey, which has a strong anti-discrimination law that is inclusive of transgender people. But since the economy started tanking a few years ago I haven't been able to get hired anywhere -- even though I have a pretty good resume in retail management. I'll often get an interview, but never the job.
They don't come out and say 'we're not hiring trannies,' but sometimes they laugh in my face. In many cases, I'll submit a resume and get to the place, and they say we have nothing available. But then I'll still see ads online.
If that happens once or twice, you say 'who knows?' But once it happens 10 to 12 times in a row you say 'there's a pattern here.' And even when I have had jobs I would always be the last hired and first fired.
I have bills that have racked up -- somewhere in the $60,000 range -- so I get calls about them all the time.
I live with my mother. I don't have a situation where I'm on the street. A lot of my trans friends aren't so lucky.
As millions struggle with unemployment, the transgender community is being hit especially hard.