50% of transgender people face job rejection in Russia

Russia withdraws terrifying bill to legally erase trans people – but the threat hasn't yet gone away

50% of the transgender population in Russia are rejected from job positions because of their gender identity.

In a study conducted by Russian group, Pravo Trans, employers were found to have been concerned that hiring a transgender person could cause issues during inspections.

“Many employers are concerned about [the] risk of problems during inspections that might arise in case they hire a transgender person whose appearance does not match their passport data.”

It also found that 62% of respondents did not even apply to jobs, 41% avoided seeing a doctor or using public health services and 34% opted out of going to school or university all because of fear surrounding discrimination.

22 year old Vitaliy who took the survey said: “Before I got new ID I did not travel anywhere if I could help it. I didn’t visit major museums where they could have asked to see my passport to prove Russian citizenship… I refrained from buying cigarettes and alcohol when I was alone.”

In Russia it can take years to obtain legal gender recognition, as psychiatric evaluation and medical examination is required. Those applying for new documents must also prove they have had hormone replacement therapy before getting official documents.

The drawn out process can create anxiety and hesitance for those looking into legal changing their gender.

36 year old Alexander said: “I once won a writing contest and was unable to collect the prize – they insisted on me showing my passport, and I decided to just go away.”

The study explains that the treatment they require to be legally recognised is expensive, which causes a vicious cycle because they struggle to get the legal documentation needed to reduce the chance of being rejected from jobs.

“Trans people cannot afford medical examinations, therapy and legal gender recognition, whereas without ID and other documents matching their appearance and identity they cannot find steady employment.”