Sarah Stowe works for the Massachusetts Department of Corrections as a Sergeant, charged with the supervision of both staff and inmates. When she came out to her colleagues as a transgender woman and transitioned from male to the female she long knew herself to be, she continued to perform her duties each day. While things were fine at first, co-workers began complaining when she started using the women’s locker room, claiming she was causing a hostile work environment. After Sarah took action to correct the discrimination she faced among her coworkers, her unit took a diversity class, during which an officer said to the instructor, who is also transgender, disparaging comments. The comments went unaddressed.
“These experiences made me feel really lonely, and pretty unsafe,” Sarah said. “They made me feel like my coworkers didn’t have my back.” Still, she remains optimistic for the future, adding, “Eventually, people will have fewer and fewer issues when transgender people are more widely accepted.