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dubstep girl

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Hi everyone, I'm new to nukeworker. I'm a college student who will be working the fall outages at the Byron and Clinton plants as part of my internship, it is my first time working at a nuclear power plant. I plan to graduate in Spring with an associates in Radiation Protection.

I am quite excited to work in the nuclear industry. After interning during high school at a DOE lab, I got introduced into the nuclear industry and decided to pursue a career in it. However, I am concerned about working at a power plant, the reason being I am transgendered (male who identifies as female). While I haven't started my transition yet, I plan to do so  in the not-so-distant future. What I am concerned about is being discriminated upon and/or even risk losing a job because of it as other LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi, transgender) people have throughout the country. So my question is, in general, what are the views of this in the nuclear industry? Like where do most people (regular workers + management) stand on this issue? And what are the companies viewpoints on this (company websites I've noticed seem to appear friendly, however, I know in reality, this isn't always the same view that people have)?

Thanks, I hope you guys are nice, I've been flamed on other websites whenever I touch into this issue, so its hard for me to get answers sometimes.
« Last Edit: Jul 20, 2011, 03:22 by dubstep girl »

Offline Marlin

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Hi everyone, I'm new to nukeworker. I'm a college student who will be working the fall outages at the Byron and Clinton plants as part of my internship, it is my first time working at a nuclear power plant. I plan to graduate in Spring with an associates in Radiation Protection.

I am quite excited to work in the nuclear industry. After interning during high school at a DOE lab, I got introduced into the nuclear industry and decided to pursue a career in it. However, I am concerned about working at a power plant, the reason being I am transgendered (male who identifies as female). While I haven't started my transition yet, I plan to do so  in the not-so-distant future. What I am concerned about is being discriminated upon and/or even risk losing a job because of it as other LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi, transgender) people have throughout the country. So my question is, in general, what are the views of this in the nuclear industry? Like where do most people (regular workers + management) stand on this issue? And what are the companies viewpoints on this (company websites I've noticed seem to appear friendly, however, I know in reality, this isn't always the same view that people have)?

Thanks, I hope you guys are nice, I've been flamed on other websites whenever I touch into this issue, so its hard for me to get answers sometimes.

They (alternative sexualities) already work in the industry. To put in my [2cents], I have not seen or had any problems with this kind of prejudice but I have deliberately avoided those who come in with the "I'm a victim" chip on their shoulder as I do not want to be a victim of the PC police. Come in do your job and don't assume that you will have a problem and most likely you will not. Treat people with the respect you want for yourself and you will do fine.

Welcome to the Nuclear world.  [GH]

Offline Already Gone

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One thing I have learned over all these years is that people who appear to be different from us are more like us than we realize, and that people who appear to be like us are different in ways we didn't expect.

The only thing "normal" about us is that we are all unique.

While some people are so afraid of differences that they will refuse to accept them, most people are too busy and involved in their own lives to care very much whether you feel like a boy or a girl.

Nuclear plant outages bring a lot of people together in a tight place for a lot of hours.  Learn to laugh at the stupid jokes - especially if they are at your expense.  There is a LOT of drama in situations like an outage; who is sleeping with whom? who has a gambling problem? who sucks up to the boss? who is too overweight to fit into the coveralls? who  this? who that?  Gossip runs amok.  There may be snickering, whispering, and joking in the break room.  Don't let it get to you.

Femininity even among women is suppressed by the hardhats, work boots, safety glasses, and scrubs anyway.  If the women there don't look very girly, then there is no reason for you to outdo them.  I guess my point is that if you identify as a woman, remember that women in this situation dress a lot like men in the first place.  If they aren't wearing eye shadow, skinny jeans, and lots of jewelry to work, follow their example.  (There will always be one or two women at work who just don't get this.  You can't help that.  Showing up for work too dolled-up is a bad idea for any woman, including you.)

The determining factor will be your attitude.  Your identity and self-image are your business.  Keep it that way.  You will encounter much more resistance if you display the attitude, "you HAVE TO accept me" than you will with "you have no reason to reject me".  Do the work.  Keep the drama to a minimum.  Being the newbie means that you should be listening more than talking anyway.  Most people, regardless of their opinion of your gender identity, just want to work with other people who carry their share of the load.  If you are going to work to do the work, rather than to prove a point, you are going to have fewer problems.

"To be content with little is hard; to be content with much, impossible." - Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

Offline tolstoy

I wouldn't trust a single line here from anyone purporting to speak for the industry.

Here's what you will find: as stated above most people will judge you by your work ethic, skills, and personality so this part is mostly up to you. There will be a few who pander to you. There will be a few who can hardly bear to be in the room with you. Pretty much what we all find.

Offline navynukedoc

There will be a few who pander to you. There will be a few who can hardly bear to be in the room with you. Pretty much what we all find.

You don't have to be of a, as SunDog put it, alternative sexuality to be around people like that. Hell, there a some folks you just plain ol' can't stand period.

The advice here is solid. Be the best you can, act as you do everyday, and if I assume correctly, you have the tough skin part pegged already. Just don't let ignorance of others defeat your goals.

Welcome to Nukeworker!
"Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence" - George Washington

Cathy

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One thing I have learned over all these years is that people who appear to be different from us are more like us than we realize, and that people who appear to be like us are different in ways we didn't expect.

The only thing "normal" about us is that we are all unique.

While some people are so afraid of differences that they will refuse to accept them, most people are too busy and involved in their own lives to care very much whether you feel like a boy or a girl.

Nuclear plant outages bring a lot of people together in a tight place for a lot of hours.  Learn to laugh at the stupid jokes - especially if they are at your expense.  There is a LOT of drama in situations like an outage; who is sleeping with whom? who has a gambling problem? who sucks up to the boss? who is too overweight to fit into the coveralls? who  this? who that?  Gossip runs amok.  There may be snickering, whispering, and joking in the break room.  Don't let it get to you.

Femininity even among women is suppressed by the hardhats, work boots, safety glasses, and scrubs anyway.  If the women there don't look very girly, then there is no reason for you to outdo them.  I guess my point is that if you identify as a woman, remember that women in this situation dress a lot like men in the first place.  If they aren't wearing eye shadow, skinny jeans, and lots of jewelry to work, follow their example.  (There will always be one or two women at work who just don't get this.  You can't help that.  Showing up for work too dolled-up is a bad idea for any woman, including you.)

The determining factor will be your attitude.  Your identity and self-image are your business.  Keep it that way.  You will encounter much more resistance if you display the attitude, "you HAVE TO accept me" than you will with "you have no reason to reject me".  Do the work.  Keep the drama to a minimum.  Being the newbie means that you should be listening more than talking anyway.  Most people, regardless of their opinion of your gender identity, just want to work with other people who carry their share of the load.  If you are going to work to do the work, rather than to prove a point, you are going to have fewer problems.
I very much agree! Most women with any time in the RP industry dress to work, not to impress or flaunt anything. I can't imagine trying to climb a scaffold in skin tight jeans and a low cut shirt to survey an RHR line at the top of a 20 foot erector set nightmare! Don't even get me started on the women (and a few men) that wear their hardhats so far back on their head that they defy gravity because they are worried about messing up their hair!!! Sorry, that is a rant for another thread  8) I work with people on a daily basis that would be considered LGBT. They do not flaunt it, demand recognition at work or deny it. It is just matter of fact. I don't treat them any different than I do anyone else. If you are doing a good job, excellent, good performance has zero to do with your sexuality. If you spend your time worrying about what everyone else is thinking about you, it is going to be a long hard road. Any Radiation Protection technician better have a thick skin! Be a professional, listen and learn. Respect will come from doing a good job, treating others with respect and carrying your part of the load.

dubstep girl

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Wow, I'm amazed at the number of views/replies this got, I was worried that no-one would answer. After reading the responses, from what I understand, its not much different from any other workplace (there's people who are accepting and open-minded individuals, but there's always going to be people who won't like me simply because i'm different)??

as for some workers not liking me, i don't feel like it would be a huge problem as i get along with people easily and its their choice to like me or not and up to me on how to handle it. however, i do fear getting a manager/supervisor who is anti-LGBT and fires me/discriminates me for it, etc. i've heard so many stories about LGBT individuals having a hard time keeping jobs that i don't know what to believe.

as to Already Gone's and Cathy's responses, i wouldn't dress all girly and flashy in the workplace (safety first, plus its not professional), but there are still differences in male/female clothing that would be noticeable and can cause for some awkward situations. 


i appreciate all your responses and like to hear from all sorts of people. Thanks everyone :)
« Last Edit: Jul 21, 2011, 03:59 by dubstep girl »

Fermi2

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Just be professional. That's the expectation for everyone.
Also remember legally your fellow employees have to tolerate you and any legal choices you make, they do not have to like you and yes there is a difference.

dubstep girl

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Just be professional. That's the expectation for everyone.
Also remember legally your fellow employees have to tolerate you and any legal choices you make, they do not have to like you and yes there is a difference.

I don't expect to be liked, just not discriminated for who i am.

Fermi2

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I figured you did. Many don't seem to know the difference.

HeatherB.

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Guuurrrlll...!!!

Good luck. Most of your co-workers will be fine. However, as a open-minded girl (who grew up with the Sisterhood & the trannies in the NON-tourist old South Beach) I will straight up tell you to steel yourself for the rednecks. They are in FORCE in the nuke industry, but I figure you're expecting that since you're doing your internship in the midwest. Maybe being closer to Chicago will help a bit, but you will run into a LOT of "conservative" types in the plants. The craft guys (pipefitters, welders, carpenters, etc.) go out of their WAY to prove what manly-MEN they are. The testosterone is thick enough to choke a  girl. (*no pun intended! LOL.)

The drama in the field can be fierce, but only if you give them ammunition against you. KNOW what you're talking about, WERKKKK hard, and keep your personal life to yourself. Work ethic is truly appreciated, ya heard?!?!

(*TRUTH... most of the workers newer to the nuke industry have a MUCH more accepting attitude that the good ol' boys who are retiring out but the bus loads. A lot more liberal ideology from the masses, in the break rooms, and in the working relationships with the QUALITY people who you'll meet. TRUTH.)

« Last Edit: Jul 28, 2011, 05:12 by Blah Blah Blah »

nukewood

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What truth are you talking about? I am one of the busloads retiring soon, and I thought I had seen and heard it all, but there really is nothing new under the sun. In my 30+ years in the business I have worked with a multitude of good ol boys and good ol girls from north and south of the Mason-Dixon line. Some of them might have been transomethingor others or not. Please try not to think too badly of us if we don't share your values or life style ,or religion, or lack of it. If you show up everyday for work without a chip on your shoulder and the willingness to shoulder the load with those of us who are willing to work with you , and if your work ethic is high, you'll find that we could not give a rip what you do after work any more than you should care whether we go home from work and pray for the sick or give money to those in need.
By the way, prayer is very powerful. The fervent prayer of a righteous man [or woman] avails much. I will be praying for you.
« Last Edit: Aug 05, 2011, 03:59 by nukewood »

Fermi2

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Guuurrrlll...!!!

Good luck. Most of your co-workers will be fine. However, as a open-minded girl (who grew up with the Sisterhood & the trannies in the NON-tourist old South Beach) I will straight up tell you to steel yourself for the rednecks. They are in FORCE in the nuke industry, but I figure you're expecting that since you're doing your internship in the midwest. Maybe being closer to Chicago will help a bit, but you will run into a LOT of "conservative" types in the plants. The craft guys (pipefitters, welders, carpenters, etc.) go out of their WAY to prove what manly-MEN they are. The testosterone is thick enough to choke a  girl. (*no pun intended! LOL.)

The drama in the field can be fierce, but only if you give them ammunition against you. KNOW what you're talking about, WERKKKK hard, and keep your personal life to yourself. Work ethic is truly appreciated, ya heard?!?!

(*TRUTH... most of the workers newer to the nuke industry have a MUCH more accepting attitude that the good ol' boys who are retiring out but the bus loads. A lot more liberal ideology from the masses, in the break rooms, and in the working relationships with the QUALITY people who you'll meet. TRUTH.)



Bull crap

Lauren E. Porter

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I don't expect to be liked, just not discriminated for who i am.

Even Presidents that win in a landslide election still have a good 20 to 45% of the citizenry that voted against him or her. The one and only antidote to the inevitable strike of personality conflicts is to FEEL GOOD ABOUT OURSELVES. A person can have nothing but adulation and everyone dying to be with them and tell them how great they are. But if they feel like crap about themselves on the inside, none of that external approval will mean anything. I say stand tall, love and cherish yourself as the amazing individual you are, worthy of respect and dignity.

Give that respect and dignity to yourself... how others react towards us should not be the primary element we use to measure our value as individuals. So you'll be just fine. Stand tall. And, if anyone tries to give you a hard time, imagine them wearing a clown hat and a big round red nose. Laugh it off. Whatever they feel is really ON THEM, and has nothing to do with you. :-)

Offline thenukeman

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My boss partnered me with a person  that was not  openly gay, but everyone assumed he was.  He even admitted he was undecided.  My boss called me in his office after about a week, and told me you know he is a little different, does that bother you?  I said no, He does good work.   I stayed his partner for awhile.  The last I heard he was a supervisor.

dubstep girl

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Guuurrrlll...!!!

Good luck. Most of your co-workers will be fine. However, as a open-minded girl (who grew up with the Sisterhood & the trannies in the NON-tourist old South Beach) I will straight up tell you to steel yourself for the rednecks. They are in FORCE in the nuke industry, but I figure you're expecting that since you're doing your internship in the midwest. Maybe being closer to Chicago will help a bit, but you will run into a LOT of "conservative" types in the plants. The craft guys (pipefitters, welders, carpenters, etc.) go out of their WAY to prove what manly-MEN they are. The testosterone is thick enough to choke a  girl. (*no pun intended! LOL.)

The drama in the field can be fierce, but only if you give them ammunition against you. KNOW what you're talking about, WERKKKK hard, and keep your personal life to yourself. Work ethic is truly appreciated, ya heard?!?!

(*TRUTH... most of the workers newer to the nuke industry have a MUCH more accepting attitude that the good ol' boys who are retiring out but the bus loads. A lot more liberal ideology from the masses, in the break rooms, and in the working relationships with the QUALITY people who you'll meet. TRUTH.)



I was kind of worried about this since that's what some of my Missouri friends down here said; that alot of them will make fun of me if I don't act like a normal guy (since i still look like one).  I think after all the responses I've gotten, I'm ready for whatever comes my way. I'm just gonna be myself and do my job.




My boss partnered me with a person  that was not  openly gay, but everyone assumed he was.  He even admitted he was undecided.  My boss called me in his office after about a week, and told me you know he is a little different, does that bother you?  I said no, He does good work.   I stayed his partner for awhile.  The last I heard he was a supervisor.

That's awesome!
« Last Edit: Jul 29, 2011, 05:08 by dubstep girl »

Content1

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I am from the old school, not part of the wave of "new thinkers."  I am against people who think they are the wrong sex, but live and let live.  I believe we are in the image of God and he made us, male and female at birth.  My only question is a practical one and not making fun.  But I must ask, "Which restroom or dressing room would you go to."  Since you are still physically male, I would assume the men's.  When you change over, do you switch rooms?  I met many in the field I could not tell by the way they dressed what they are.  Unless they bring it up I just work and don't ask.  As far as your career, strive to be the best but don't come to others for approval.  You will do what you want.   If you were letting society dictate you probably would stay as who you are.  I will not discriminate in any way, but neither will I give you a medal for courage.  We all have to work somewhere, and this industry is where you choose to work.  I will see you like Neo say at the end of the first matrix movie, all people are wavy green lines and unless you bring it up, I wouldn't get into it.  I am not condemning you for what you do or believe, in a similar manner, don't condemn me.  I do believe differently that is for sure.

Offline tr

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You'll be working in a plant run by a very large company which takes workplace discrimination issues extremely seriously (essentially zero tolerance).  As others have said, the nuclear industry values good workers highly. 

I personally worked with one transgendered individual (20+ years ago) going male to female, through all stages (before, pre-op, post-op).  The only issue that I personally knew about was which restroom to use at what point in the process (some women were uncomfortable sharing a restroom with a pre-op male undergoing hormone treatments).  I would assume any large company has addressed this type of issue years ago.

Welcome to the industry!

catsonmars

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As a transwomen who spent 4 years in the Navy as a nuke ET aboard a fast attack, I can honestly tell you that you will be surprised by the overwhelming support you will get, even from the biggest red necks.  In fact I think my former crew was offended that I was afraid to tell them.  I've been out for about a year and a half working towards an engineering degree so I don't know what a civilian plant is like. But I think if you work your ass off people will respect you and what ever decision you make.  I'm still friends with the people on my boat. I'd say suck up any insult you get and save the money for FFS/GRS.  I can tell you life gets so much better after FFS. 

Offline retread

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I've got to admit, when I read the OP's first entry, I kind of cringed thinking what responses she would get. I found out we are an accepting and tolerant group. I'm proud of all the responses she received and proud of nukeworker members.



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In dwelling, be close to the land.
In meditation, go deep in the heart.
In dealing with others, be patient and kind.
In speech, be true.
In ruling, be just.
In business, be competent.

dubstep girl

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thanks for all your help so far everyone!

your replies have really helped and i think i'm ready to work in the nuclear industry knowing that most people are tolerant of LGBT people.
« Last Edit: Aug 14, 2011, 08:03 by dubstep girl »

 


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