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‘You Have To Think Of The Children’ – Trans Workers Still Face Discrimination

‘You have to think of the children’ – Trans workers still face discrimination

A high school teacher claims that she was no longer offered work at the school where she taught because she “came out” as a transgender woman.

Blaise Harris told the smh.com.au that she had not been asked to work at Cessnock High School in New South Wales since she told them she was transitioning.

School teacher Blaise Harris.

‘You have to think of the children’

The head teacher told her “it might be a problem” and that “The kids can be nasty”.

Following those comments, there were no more offers of work.

When Ms Harris complained to the education department, she says a senior manager told her, “I don’t have a problem with what the school did at all. You have to think of the children.”

“I don’t see how me having boobs and wearing a dress to work because that’s how I want to be, I don’t see how that negatively impacts on anyone else’s life,” Ms Harris told the smh.com.au.

Trans discrimination is unlawful

Miles Heffernan, Litigation Director at Discrimination Claims, says it’s unlawful to discriminate against a worker based on their gender identity.

“You cannot treat trans workers differently, or less favourably than other employees,” he said.

“The trans community is particularly visible, and for some, confronting, particularly as a person transitions from one gender to another in an open way.

“If someone identifies as a certain gender, it’s not for employers or co-workers to question it –  if Charlene becomes Dave, then from that point forward, he’s Dave – it’s not hard.

Study finds trans discrimination still common

According to a study by La Trobe University, many transgender employees report they had lost their jobs, particularly if they had transitioned in the workplace.

Brenda Appleton, from Transgender Victoria, told the smh.com.au that it’s still difficult for trans people to come out at work.

“I have many friends who have been discriminated against in the workplace and they don’t complain because they fear if they take action against their employers it will mark them as a trouble-maker for the rest of their working life,” she said.


If you have experienced discrimination based on your gender identity, you may be entitled to compensation.

Please call our team at Discrimination Claims today on 1300 853 837.

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