I started looking for a new job this week and have quickly realized that it will be much more complicated than I had anticipated. There is no work in my field where I currently live, so relocating is likely unavoidable. However, this comes with some serious concerns. I am approaching 11 months on HRT and I plan to come out in about a year. I need to relocate somewhere that I have access to hormone replacement therapy and is safe for trans people.
The most significant complication is ensuring that I will have access to informed consent hormone replacement therapy. Much of the United States is an HRT desert, there are no HRT providers within a reasonable distance. This is most prevalent in rural areas in the south and midwest. There is often only one or two cities in those states that have an informed consent provider. Until I started looking at the availability of informed consent clinics, I didn’t realize how fortunate I was that I had one within a reasonable distance (1 Hour). I hadn’t been considering transitioning last time I moved for work, so the availability of HRT was not something that I had researched. I cannot be so careless now that I am transitioning, I will need to ensure the availability of hormone therapy anywhere that I may apply.
The other complicating factor is that many areas in the United States are pretty hostile to trans people (and it is frankly getting worse). I have effectively ruled out most of the southern and Midwestern United States for this reason. I can’t see myself living somewhere that is openly hostile towards me, especially since I hope to come out in a year. Unfortunately, it isn’t as clear-cut as these states are hostile and these states are friendly. Even within states that are generally trans-friendly, there often exists a divide between rural and urban areas. Most of the jobs in my field are located in rural areas, so it can be difficult to find positions in or near cities. The ideal situation would be a job near a city in a trans-friendly state, but that is an unfortunately small selection.
Being trans has really limited the jobs that I feel comfortable applying for. Ideally, I could get a job somewhere that is trans-friendly and has an informed consent clinic but that is a very limited pool. This effectively restricts me to the west coast, the northeast, and a handful of cities outside those regions. This is a fairly limited set of options and if I exhaust the jobs in those regions, I will have to start widening my search area.