George Hastie is a 48-year-old transgender man living in Boston. He was born a girl and lived most of his life as female but identified as male and named himself George as a young child. No one accepted his male identity then, and as a result, he repressed it until he began living as a man at the age of 44. George explains that he frequently has his identity questioned on the phone, especially when on the line with business representatives, because people assume his gender is female because of the higher-than-expected pitch of his voice. George has seen other transgender people have their identity questioned, and some of them have had to go through humiliating lengths to prove who they are—far beyond what’s expected of other customers.
“This is very upsetting to me and makes me think this likely happens to many other customers,” he said. “Training is needed so that representatives don’t assume someone’s gender based on their voice. This can happen to anyone with a less common voice pitch.”