dress code

Tina Cook Was Told To Dress Like A Man To Find A Job. She Can’t. She’s Trans

Tina Cook (nee Andrew) has been transitioning from male to female for a year, after years of dressing as a woman. Tina, from Durham, England, has known since age six she was living in the wrong body. And after spending her entire life working in the construction industry, she was laid off some 18 months ago. Facing unemployment, she hit up the neighborhood unemployment office. Where she was told to start dressing like a man.

After being made redundant from her construction job 18 months ago, Ms Cook began to claim Jobseeker’s Allowance. When she was at the Jobcentre in Darlington last week, she says she was advised to go back to dressing like a man for interviews if she wanted to improve her chances of securing a job.

“I have been living in the wrong body for 53 years and have only recently summoned up the courage to be the way I want,” said Ms Cook. “I have given up so much for this. My family don’t really talk to me and I have no friends. How can they expect me to give it up to get a job? I think it is really insensitive.” … She added: “I don’t go to the Jobcentre to get disrespect and abuse. All I need to do for that is walk down any street or go into any pub. Somebody will always say something, but I don’t expect it when I am trying to get off benefits and get back into work. I suppose it is just something I have to deal with.”

Moreover, Tina, who has some three years of operations and treatments left to fully transition, must continue dressing as a woman to be eligible for gender reassignment; patients must live as their intended sex for at least a year before a credentialed doctor will perform surgery. Even Tina’s wife Vaudine, whom no longer lives with her legal husband, feels for her: “It is so insensitive for them to suggest this. They do not know the repercussions it could have, not only on Tina, but also on me. I grieved for my husband and have long since said goodbye to him. It would knock me sideways seeing Tina dressing as Andrew. It is a ridiculous thing to ask.” So Tina has filed a complaint, and a Department for Work and Pensions spokesman says, “Jobcentre Plus is committed to treating all individuals fairly and equally. We will not tolerate discrimination and will take any allegations seriously. We are aware of this complaint and are investigating.”

[Northern Echo]

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  • EdWoody

    To be fair, I suspect the Job Advisor was only suggesting what he or she thought was necessary to help his or her client get a job. It was a practical suggestion based on emotionless reality, and not any kind of anti-trans discrimination. I don’t think the person deserves a lawsuit for doing something that is, effectively, their job.

    But then, of course, I wasn’t there.

  • EdWoody

    ^^^ To clarify, I’m not saying the person wasn’t wrong, just that they probably didn’t mean it to come out as bad-sounding as it did.

  • sweetbrandigirl2004

    @EdWoody: I think you are right, but these type people have got to understand that there is always goiing to be a certain amount of push back against them sine they don’t fit into society.

  • Asher


    For goodness sake, you really need to learn when to use “who” versus “whom”! You keep misusing “whom”!

    Wrong: “whom no longer lives with her legal husband.”

    Right: “who no longer lives with her legal husband.”

    This is the nominative case!

  • justiceontherocks

    @sweetbrandigirl2004: “these type people”??? What decade are you living in?

  • jak

    Perhaps with some makeup tips and a new hairstyle, this person could look less mannish and could pass easier in society. In this economy, we all have to do what is necessary in order to survive.

  • Jeffree

    You should not be posting on a LGBT board because you aren’t LGB and don’t understand the T part of the equation. I get that you feel somehow superior, and I wonder what gives you the right. Logic? Nope. Clarity of thought? Nope. Humanity? Heck no. Information? Dated and skewed.

    Problem is that to the non-LGBT world, you’re still an outlier, so you really are all alone and unwanted in your little corner of the universe.

  • sweetbrandigirl2004

    @ JEFFREE Not that it’s any of your bee’s Wax But I’m a lesbian and have every right ot post on this board. You are also incorrect in your assumtion tht I don’t understand the T. I known quite a bit far more then I supect you do. As for your assmtion that I’m an Outlier and not accepted in either the non GLBT world or the LGB world is wrong again, I am completing mainstream.

    I for one,but not the only one feel that the “T” gets ignored and I feel that there are several reasons for that. 1) The “T” has lost it’s meaning in the last 15yrs since Virginia Prince (who by the way was a shemale who hated the …Transsexual community and had been turned down several times by multiple therapist as NOT having GID) coined the term Transgender and to cover crossdressers ,transvestites, shemale ie: people who transition short of Genitalia surgery. It once stood for Transsexual then it got co-opted by those mentioned above and having no legitimate reason for their behavior they choose to again latched onto the term GID as it gave them the only way to vilify their lives and how they live them. They are now trying to ride the diagnosis all the way to equality, but they know they are to few to make enough noise to be taken seriously therefore they need the help of the every expanding Gay& Lesbian community.
    2) The LGB doesn’t understand the who, what or how about anyone in the Transgender community and that’s because they (the Transgender community) have rolled so many gender variations of do whatever you wants under the “T”. It’s very hard for anyone in the Gay & Lesbian community to get a grasp on whats right or whats wrong to say or do or on how to help. 3) Think how much easier it would be for not only Gays & Lesbians to gain right but also the True Transsexual community if they cut the wannabes loose. and we reversed the trend in society to were the “T” once again stood for Transsexual and people had a clear definition of what that is. Think how much easier it is for the politicians in Washington to cast a vote for someone with a documented legitimate medical condition, one that can be cured and returns people back into society fitting into one of the two given genders.
    I For one feel that if the “T” can’t be returned to mean Transsexual it would be in the Gay & Lesbian communities et interest to drop the “T” it’s only holding them back, it’s taken 40 long years just to get to the point society is now with accepting Gay rights if the “T” is to remain it will take at least another 40years to e equally accepted how many Gays & Lesbians are willing to wait or live out the rest of their lives without rights they could have had if they had push their community to drop the “T” ?

  • missanthrope

    @ Jeffree

    SweetBrandiGirl is transgender. She’s just filled with self-hate that she projects on to other people like this poor person. She’s truly a vile and sad person who doesn’t deserve any sympathy.

  • Shannon1981

    I feel sorry for Tina. But the thing is, with the way society is, the job placement person is probably right.

  • David Gervais

    EdWoody and Shannon1981:

    I appreciate that you think the placement officer was trying to be ‘realistic’, however Tina was working in the construction industry when she started transitioning. If she is strong enough to work while transitioning, she can keep going.

    In my opinion, she is better off working somewhere that knows about and is supportive of her continuing transition than getting into a job where it will be a problem later on.

    It is the Job Advisor’s actual job to advise people about finding the right job match.

  • yah

    Why should society bend for every nut case out there?

  • David Gervais


    Exactly- why should Tina or anyone else have to bend for bigoted nutcases? Like you?

  • sweetbrandigirl2004

    @missanthrope: You do not known me and therefore you don’t known anything about me so keep your mouth shut whenever your one brain cell lights up and thinks it should say something about someone you known nothing about. I am NOT Transgender nor am I Transsexual I am a Lesbian women just for your 411.

  • sweetbrandigirl2004

    @ JEFFREE Not that it’s any of your bee’s Wax But I’m a lesbian and have every right to post on this board. You are also incorrect in your assumtion tht I don’t understand the T. I known quite a bit far more then I supect you do. As for your assmtion that I’m an Outlier and not accepted in either the non GLBT world or the LGB world is wrong again, I am completing mainstream.

  • sweetbrandigirl2004

    I feel that because of the misconceptions created by the Transgender Hoard and their do-it-yourself transtions many fail to realize that by APA standards, you have failed transition by transitioning to trans something rather than woman. Some of us knew from the get go we were meant to have female bodies and grow to be women. Professional trans are considered failures by the top level folks that made up the DSM team and advisors and will not be considered “cured” by the new standards. I have no problem with the transgender hoard being whoever or whatever they choose to be,but don’t try and highjack a diagnosis that doesn’t include them just so they can vilify how they choose to live their lives or to try to gain rights off the gust of gender Identity. They are more then welcome to be professional trans if they so choose. I have a huge problem with anyone representing women such as my self as having anything in common with or being clowns like Sandeen and Helms and company.

    Transsexuality is pretty much proven as much as anything in biology gets proved, to be a neurological pre-natal form of intersexuality. You either are or you are not and ONLY a trained counselor can diagnosis. If you are, you will move heaven and earth to put mind and body in congruence, this is called the Dysphoric Imperative which is the cause of what used to be called GID crisis. Anyone who advocates for the transgender hoard is doing a huge disservice to future women born with this condition by contribution to it’s apparent erasure in the eyes of the general public which has been the goal of the transgender dogma for the past 15 years. TGs have left zero room for mutual respect here as you know

  • Shannon1981

    @David Gervais: Yeah I get where you are coming from, and you are right. But I highly doubt some random job placement person knows about and/or is sensitive to how detrimental it would be for Tina to have to act and dress like a man just to keep a job. Furthermore, even fewer employers are sensitive to things like that. Think about the anti gay discrimination most of us have probably faced. Times that by a million and you get the kind of misunderstanding in the workplace trans people face. I just hate the situation for her and others like her.

  • David Gervais


    I appreciate your comments.

    “I highly doubt some random job placement person knows about…”

    It’s their job to know. Tina does not have to accommodate their failure, that is blaming the victim.

    “…the anti gay discrimination most of us have probably faced…”

    Many, many years ago when I was young and desperate for a job, I still got “the issue” out of the way early. I didn’t want to work for someone who’d have a problem, and I wouldn’t have wanted to work for them.

    I hope Tina has the strength to do the same. She has a life time of skills to offer. There is a suitable job for her. It is the Job Advisors responsibility to help her find it.

  • nybb

    What exactly does “dressing like a woman” mean anyway? If Tina job hunts attired as she is in the photo, she should try dressing in a less traditional (stereotypical?) manner to get a job. We women don’t always wear dresses and heels. How about wearing more androgynous clothing to work (i.e. slacks, sensible shoes, light makeup and simple jewelry) and “femmeing it up” during her free time?

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