Barista Magazine

FEB-MAR 2019

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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ployees know how to report both customer and coworker harass- ment, and that multiple avenues for reporting are available—for instance, if a manager harasses you, you need to have someone else to report it to other than that manager. An easy way to clearly communicate those expectations to customers is a sign that asks them to use gender-neutral pronouns (like they/them) unless they specifically know baristas' correct pronouns. TRAINING AND EDUCATION Ernie emphasizes that if managers and owners aren't yet edu- cated on trans issues when an employee announces transition, they should make sure to take the time to educate themselves rather than relying on the transitioning employee to teach them. If coworkers show resistance, lack of support, or curiosity about the employee's transition, this is a great place for management to step in and cover that gap so that the employee doesn't have to. It's important that the employee be able to continue to do their job, rather than taking on the additional position of sensitivity trainer. There are tons of great online lists of books and resources collat- ed by transgender and cisgender [denotes a person whose gender identity corresponds with the sex they were assigned at birth] people alike that explain all of the basics as well as deeper explo- rations and real-world tips for inclusive practices. As a manager, make these resources available to baristas. "A lot of thought goes into simply existing as a trans person," says Katie Bishop, a barista at Everyman Espresso in New York. "It takes up a lot of additional space and energy. It would be mean- ingful to see cis people make a conscious effort to spend a little of their time thinking and self-educating about these things." It's also important to talk to the transitioning party about wheth- er or not they're OK with questions. Some folks are, some are not. If the person transitioning does not want to take questions from peers, respect that and communicate to your team that you would like them to send questions your way instead. "This may sound weird, but ask before asking," says Katie. "People will have ques- tions, but don't assume it's OK to ask the transitioning person." Managers and teammates who adapt easily to name and pronoun changes can also act as ambassadors for the employee, using their correct name and pronouns freely around coworkers and customers alike and gently correcting mistakes if the transitioning employee feels comfortable with them doing so. INFRASTRUCTURE What else needs to change about your infrastructure now that you have an employee whose name differs from their assigned legal name and whose pronouns may differ from the norm? "At Ritual, we have a clock in/out system that makes it really easy to change employee names, and that's one of the easiest changes that other employees can see," says Ernie. "So, for employees who may not be as receptive or experienced with name changes, it makes your name change official." Small things matter too: For instance, if paychecks come in envelopes with legal names showing, simply put them in closed envelopes with names written on the front instead. Additionally, it may be important to create a place where em- ployees can see each other's pronouns—whether on a Google doc, in your payroll system, or somewhere else. Another good way to incorporate this is to provide baristas with pronoun pins for their shift—that way, both coworkers and customers can learn correct pronouns. At this point, while you're modifying small infrastructural details, you have a great opportunity to retrofit your hiring and onboarding paperwork. If your company uses an online application, add "name" and "legal name" as opposed to just "name," then add a pronoun slot. If you use a hiring ad template, encourage appli- cants to put their pronouns on their résumé or cover letter. In your onboarding paperwork, add similar "name," "legal name," and "pronoun" slots. These small upgrades to your infrastructure will likely be free, but they'll prove invaluable to creating a real culture of inclusion. Katie points out that inclusive bathrooms are also a must. "If you have gendered single-occupancy bathrooms, you can simply take the gender signs off." NEXT STEPS These are some first steps to get you started and make sure that you're equipped with the necessary tools you need to support tran- sitioning employees from day one. Longer-term, real inclusion is a constant journey that needs to be approached from many angles, all of which will benefit cisgender employees just as much as trans- gender ones. Some things that make up the longer-term journey to inclusion and equity are sustainable pay, good health insurance, and well-developed human-resource systems. While those challeng- es are complex, this guide should make it so that first responses are as feasible as they are meaningful. —RJ Joseph While simple support, respect, and listening will take you far on your journey to trans inclusion, there are lots of great resources that can help you self-educate on every- thing from gender basics to trans history to salient related philosophies like intersectionality. Here are some great places to start: Digital Transgender Archive: A site created to make trans history accessible for anyone wishing to learn. Whipping Girl: A collection of essays on trans feminism and trans misogyny by trans feminist and biologist Julia Serano. The 21 Best Transgender and Gender-Non-Conforming Books for Kids: A resource guide for children by Huffing- ton Post. Supporting the Transgender People in Your Life: A guide to trans allyship from National Center for Transgen- der Equality. Tips for Allies of Transgender People: A guide from GLAAD Media Institute. This is just the beginning. If you really want to learn, there's no end to the free resources out there in the world. STRATEGIES FOR SUPPORTING AN EMPLOYEE MAKING A GENDER TRANSITION 27

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