When Shana moved to New Hampshire twenty years ago, she was happy to find a community in a rural town in the Lakes Region. So in 2012, when Shana decided to start living every day openly as the woman she long knew herself to be, there was no chance she could transition quietly or secretly. Lianne is Shana’s current employer at The Community School where she was hired as the music teacher in 2014. Like most everyone else in the town, Lianne has also known Shana for years. But it wasn’t until after Shana transitioned that their relationship became professional. And when she was hired, Shana’s gender identity was not a topic of conversation. What mattered to Lianne and to The Community School was that Shana was a good musician, a good teacher, and a great fit for the job.
“Really when I was hired, it was the best thing: There was never any talk at all about [me being transgender],” Shana said. “They knew me as a musician.”
“It’s much more about the culture and the modeled expectations,” Lianne added. “I just think we so often show kindness and respect and acceptance that it’s almost a non-issue here because that’s just what we do.”