The Gay Alliance commends you for supporting your transitioning employee or teacher and for creating inclusive and welcoming spaces for everyone. Studies have shown that employees experience an increase in productivity, commitment and loyalty when they are able to bring their authentic selves to work. Our suggestions for a successful transition are as follows:
Initial Meeting: The Gay Alliance recommends scheduling an initial consultation meeting with our trained staff, the transitioning employee, HR manager, work team leader, school principal and any other mangers or leaders who you feel should be notified and involved in the planning. At this meeting we will discuss: the current climate at your company or school around diversity issues, our recommendations regarding staff trainings (content and timing), guidelines for creating an inclusive workplace or school and suggestions for notifying clients or parents. There will also be ample time to discuss any questions or concerns.
Leadership Training: Following the initial meeting we recommend scheduling a Gay Alliance training for the leadership team. This training will focus on: understanding trans identities, respectful language, modeling respectful behavior as team leaders, looking at current policies and best practices and tips for answering questions and addressing concerns from staff, parents and students.
Work Team Training: Following the leadership training we recommend scheduling a Gay Alliance training or several trainings for all co-workers who will come in regular contact with the transitioning employee or teacher. This training will focus on: understanding trans identities, respectful language, expectations as staff, helping to create a welcoming environment and answering questions and addressing concerns.
Optional Educational Meeting for Parents: Following the training of teachers and school staff, we recommend offering an informational meeting to any parents who might be interested in attending. This session is an opportunity for parents to learn more about transgender identities and related school polices. Parents will also be given ample time to ask questions or share concerns.
At the Gay Alliance we have found that when companies and school districts take the time to train their staff on transgender identities and inclusive workplaces and when they offer education and support to clients, parents, students, etc., an employee’s transition will go significantly smoother for all involved. The vast majority of individuals who we have been to our trainings expressed a desire to behave in a way that is respectful and affirming; they simply need the tools and the language to be able to do that.
Feedback from a Transitioning Employee/Teacher in Rochester Following our Trainings:
“I want to thank you all for the help, preparation and support you gave my new employer and myself, for me to start my new employment in my new life. Everything went great, seamless and virtually flawless. My first week back at work could not have gone any better. The support, being treated and viewed as “me the person” was outstanding. My career is now where I want it to be working in the industry I like most and working with other good people in a comfortable atmosphere. I am so happy that I have transitioned successfully with support from family, friends and now my career.”
Feedback from our Transitioning Employee/Teacher Training (Sept. 2016):
“I learned how to speak to a person transitioning in a respectful manner. Was always afraid of saying something wrong and/or hurting feelings. Great presenters! This should be presented at schools! Great job at training!”
“I thought the whole presentation was outstanding.”
“LOVED IT! I wish they would teach this training in schools!”
“Sense of humor and supportive of making mistakes. It was excellent.”
“This was very informational, all businesses as well as schools should provide this program to their staff and/or students.”
“Honest, open communication. This was a fantastic presentation.”
100% of the participants from this training rated both the presentation and our trainers “very good” to “excellent.”