There are certain topics that an organization should ensure are covered during the session. The session leader's judgment should be used to decide if changes in content, order or style are appropriate given the particular circumstances.
Statement of purpose of the meeting
Review Company EEO, harassment and Gender Transition policies and appropriate norms of employee conduct
Introduce concept of gender transition and advise what to expect
Advise where to obtain guidance or voice a complaint
Explanation of gender transition
- Early feelings of different gender, intensifying into maturity
- Unclear whether biological or social, possibly both
- Medical treatment requires concurrence of mental health professionals and physicians
- Transition often occurs years later because of shame and prejudice Three main prejudices to address:
serious mental illness
sign of criminal tendencies
indicator of promiscuity
Company's guidelines are a response to gender transition in the workplace, not an endorsement or position of any kind.
Information about employee in gender transition
- Include name and job title (reference to title reframes context from personal to business)
- Changes co-workers can expect to see
- New name and pronoun
- Gendered behavior
- Not much else
Facilities usage - As set forth in transition plan
Appropriate norms of conduct for co-workers
- Note that it is likely that co-workers will make mistakes with name and pronoun, especially at the beginning. Discuss appropriate response, what will be considered harassment rather than innocent mistakes, and organizational response to be expected.
- Address appropriate vs. inappropriate questions, what will be considered a breach of medical privacy, and expected organizational response.
- Give contact information for GTL who can be contacted to address concerns and questions.
- Note that concerns or complaints should be directed to the GTL, not to the employee in transition. Also give information for traditional grievance process.
[NOTE TO GTL: While co-workers should bring complaints or concerns to the GTL, the GTL should keep in mind that some matters may fall under other policies, such as sexual harassment.]
Hand out letter from employee in transition and letter expressing management support
Suggested group activity: Break them up into small groups of 5-7 people, and ask them to go around the circle and talk about their reaction to the information provided. Then ask them to write a question or concern on an index card without their name to be handed in to the session leader.
Q&A - session leader should address questions and concerns listed on the card that are not brought up in the Q&A
Next topic: what the letters from the employee in transition and management should look like.