Jade

Waynesboro, VA

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My name is Jade. I am 32 years old and I’m from Waynesboro. I have two Shetland Sheepdogs and I enjoy playing video games. I used to be a commercial truck driver but grew tired of being away from home. Most recently, I worked as a yard driver. Over the last year, however, I experienced discrimination from coworkers and one of my managers based on their perception of my sexual orientation/gender identity and I was ultimately fired.

 

I am a transgender woman, but I was not out at work. I went to work every day as a man and, as far as anyone else knew, I was one. I began working night shift and I made friends with a coworker who happened to be a lesbian. Even though we were friendly, and she could tell I was “family”, she didn’t know the details of my story. Eventually she was moved to day shift and I kept hearing about how terribly she was treated for being a lesbian. After nothing was done to remedy the situation, she eventually left. I was the next to be moved to day shift and I received the same treatment, I assume because people thought I was a gay man. It began with name calling and I filed complaints. The complaints resulted in retaliation from my harassers, one of whom was my site manager. They made every effort to make my job harder and to hinder my work performance. Eventually the name calling turned into sexual harassment and I complained again. I even recorded my site manager using slurs against me, which Human Resources and the regional manager refused to hear as evidence. Even when I reached out to the corporate office, nothing was done. Eventually, I suffered an injury on the job which was cited as the reason for my termination. I was told by others that my manager had been planning to fire me for a while and this was just a convenient excuse.

 

Recently, I’ve taken my case to a few different lawyers and have been told that they couldn’t help me because there are no protections for LGBT people in Virginia. I can’t believe that people can put someone else through such grief and its essentially consequence free. Nobody should go through what I went through. All I wanted to do was work and go through the day like everyone else. Instead, I went to work every day feeling as though I was in danger. I feel certain that it would have been worse had I been open about being trans. Virginia needs protections for LGBT people so that all of us can feel safe and so that what happened to me never happens again.

 

*Names have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.