Transgender Women In Trucking (Please Don't Laugh...not A Joke)

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Isabelle G.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi everyone!

I'm going to be upfront and honest. I am a 24 year old woman who has hit a point in her life where a major change of career (and money) is needed. I should also note that I was not born a woman. I am transgender and currently going through the process of gender transition. But that is not what this post is about.

I have always had a love of the open road, and excelled at jobs in which I was able to work independently. As mentioned before, I am in desperate need of a change of career and due to my personality and preferences trucking SEEMS like it may be a suitable option...hence why I am doing some more research. In short I have a few questions that I was hoping perhaps someone more knowledgeable than myself could shed some light upon.

1. I understand that this is a mostly (and I may be stereotyping here) "blue collar" dominated industry. As such, do you think a woman like me would have to be worried about facing discrimination when it comes to job placement? 2. Do women have to be more careful in terms of physical safety (i.e. at truck stops, shipping offices etc.) 3. Would you say there is more animosity towards LGBT folk in trucking as compared to other industries?

Any and all responses would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much an have a wonderful day! :-)

C. S.'s Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!

I guess I am wondering why people want to complicate their already complex decisions by entering a field that is filled with men who will NEVER on earth respect them. I was born female, am female and will stay female. I am not protected class. I am not lesbian. My mature age and gender are not given any special consideration at all by 98% of the male students at trucker school. Why should you or anyone with such an issue with gender identity expect BETTER treatment than those of us born and bred female by openly proclaiming your transgender status? Seems like the only place you would want to be open about it would be on the physical exam in privacy of doctor-patient relationship. All the laws on the books aren't going to change reality of the overwhelming majority of men driving the goods in this country or any other. Just being real with you.

I don't think the OP, or anyone else expects special treatment. They expect the same treatment as every other woman, (or man for that matter) who enters trucking. I am also biologically a woman, and I identify as one. If you're not treated well by your classmates at school, you need to stand up for yourself. The last time I checked, the ignition of a truck isn't phallus shaped. If by "special consideration" you mean special treatment, I don't see why you would want it. In fact I don't see anyone on this thread who wants special treatment, only equality.

By the way, you ARE a protected class. The EEOC also prohibits employment discrimination based on sex and age (among other things). Though this only applies to your employer, you are protected in this regard and should know your rights.

Regardless of your opinion on the matter, the laws are in place. What Desiree's trainer is doing is sexual harassment under the eyes of the law. I am not suggesting she sue, I am merely pointing out that her company would certainly like to know so that they can reprimand the trainer appropriately, and potentially avoid a large lawsuit from someone further down the line.

I guess I am wondering why people want to complicate their already complex decisions by entering a field that is filled with men who will NEVER on earth respect them.

Why did Marie Curie enter the field of physics? Why did Rosalind Franklin study DNA? Why did Rachel Carson write Silent Spring? Why did Mae Jemison enter space? Grace Hopper? Sally Ride? Florence Nightingale? The list goes on. These women all entered fields "filled with men who would NEVER on earth respect them". Maybe they did it because it was their calling. Maybe because they knew they could change the world. Maybe some even did it because they wanted to prove all the naysayers wrong.

By your logic, no woman should enter trucking (including you). For that matter, no woman should enter ANY field that is male-dominated (read: nearly all of them). To imply that transgender women (or men, for that matter) shouldn't even enter trucking? Why, because it will be hard? It's hard regardless, and I'm sure most people who are transgender have endured enough hardship to be able to stomach a little more in order to do what they love.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Desiree V. (Handle: Squar's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

I am also transgender. 2 weeks into driving with a trainer for a major carrier to become a 48 state Otr driver. The one thing so far that I have experienced, is that even though I have a female trainer, she just can't see me as anything other than a male when I clearly do not presented as anything other than female. The one comment that I'm still trying to let go of is: "you just need to face the fact that you're a man and look like one". She's the only person I've heard that from in 10 years of transition. I don't feel I can say anything to the company and that if I ask to change trainers, I'll just end up sitting in a hotel room for weeks while one trainer after another rejects taking me onto their truck to finish the company training period. Already logged over 100 hours driving, I'm good at doing this and really looking forward to getting into my own truck & running loads. Any advice from others out there who may have already encountered this type of situation? I'm open to getting messaged directly I f it gets this career path moving for me. thanks :) -Des

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Rachel A.'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

I too am a mtf transgender trucker.i live 24/7 as a woman now. I've been driving like this for 2 weeks, and have been unconditionally accepted by the company I drive for. Out on the road, I have been treated very well, with only the occasional dirty look from the ignorant few that I encountered. I've been to shippers and receivers with no incident. Ignorance is out there, and I'm sure you will encounter some, but it is dwindling in prevalence, and hopefully it will be completely gone when the ignorant ones die off. If you do get your cdl , I think you will find a home out here on the road.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

DWI:

Driving While Intoxicated

R J.'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Hi Isabel, Welcome to the world of trucking. As a fellow female driver , it can be tough out there , and don't carry mase it's against the law , Carry a water gun filled with amonia works better then anything and not illegal yet . As for safety as with any other job a female works at , just pay attention to your surroundings at all time , you do have stupid people out there . I've been driving since 2005 and have learned for a woman. When guys start harassing you stand your ground with them !!! No means no. If they persist find out what company and get their truck number ( not the trailer number) then call it in . In general most of the other drivers are very respectful, you always have some bad apples in the bunch , don't let them get to you though. Try not to put yourself in a siuation you can't get out of safely. And stay away from dark places like the other person posted . A good rule to follow is. Whenever in doubt don't do it . There's also a female forum on here so if you have any other question especially pertaining to female drivers it's a good place to check out to . I hope this helps some . Welcome to the trucking industries,

C. S.'s Comment
member avatar

You will not face discrimination as far as employment goes. If you do, get an attorney. People who identify as transgender are a protected class, REGARDLESS of whether they have completed reassignment surgery, or even plan to complete it. Link below for the EEOC decision:

Protections

Women are entering the trucking industry at a much higher rate than they used to. We are no longer seen as incapable by companies, and the majority of fellow truckers. There will always be a few sexists, racists, etc...but that spans every profession. As far as safety is concerned, use common sense and always be aware of your surroundings. I'm not a trucker yet so someone else can probably give more insight, but safety should not be a huge problem, especially at the major chain truckstops.

As to your last question, I'm not really sure. Someone who's already been on the road a while could answer this better. What I can say, is that should you run into ANY unprofessional behavior regarding your status, report it immediately. If it's within your own company, report to the higher ups. If from another driver, report it to their company. Don't let anything slide, because trucking (and really all professions) should be welcoming to people from all walks of life. The only way to change it is to take action.

With all that said, welcome to TT Isabelle!

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Starcar's Comment
member avatar

Welcome, Isabelle....and around here, we don't care about your gender...and no one else should either..Tho you will have to be honest about your situation during your physical, in school, out on the road,....its all good. You will be treated by how you act. Truck stop safety is a little different with women....you need to walk like you are the baddest cat in the alley...never go in dark places, around the back of trailers, or buildings. Never let yourself be lured ANYPLACE. Since you can't carry a gun, carry mace...our a walking stick ( those have gotten REALLY popular, and can be a formidable weapon !!) But its basic common sense...I have been driving for over 15 years...I've never had a problem anywhere with anyone... Stick around here, go thru the High Road Trucking training.........High Road Training Program..... and we'll get ya lined out and in a truck in no time... Glad to have you here !!!!!

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
ColeTrucker's Comment
member avatar

Hi Isabelle!

Think about this for a sec.....It doesn't matter if you are transgender, purple, blue or green. You have to know that YOU ARE A HUMAN BEING AND HAVE RIGHTS IN THIS GREAT OLE USA! Therefore, if trucking is want you want to do...do it! Always keep abreast of your rights, work polices, and police obligations.

I am CDL student now and don't have actual experience in the trucking world. But, life lessons has taught me everything that starcar said about being aware of your surroundings and how you project yourself. If you project anything less than who you are, anything less will be attracted to you. Do your thing! Cole

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
RedGator's Comment
member avatar

Welcome:) Everyone else kinda hit on most of the things you asked so I will just add this. I have seen grown, hairy men 6'0 tall in Sundresses. And tons of Transgender folks out here who all seem to get on just fine. I promise you your gonna be one of the "normal" folks out here.

Isabelle G.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello again all! Sorry I haven't had much time to spend on the computer as I have been busy running all over the place finding a temporary job and figuring out my financial aid stuff for the local community college I plan on attending.

I have not made up my mind 100% about whether or not I am going to go for my CDL...still kind of mulling it over, and trying to keep an open mind. I really just wanted to give a HUGE thank you to everyone who replied for being so nice, and understanding. :-) It really is encouraging and I just wanted you to know how much I appreciate it. I'll be back once I have made up my mind about whether or not the trucking life style would be suitable for me (still doing so more research) and by the way just want to mention that this website is a wealth of knowledge and has been really insightful so props to the creators/moderators/anyone else involved. Again, thank you all for your helpful replies :-)

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Jeff W.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello metal chic here.Been on hormones since 12/25/2013.I'm in my last week of school.Looking forward to being able to be myself.I'm hoping to meet or at least chat with more female truckers.

Desiree V. (Handle: Squar's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

I am also transgender. 2 weeks into driving with a trainer for a major carrier to become a 48 state Otr driver. The one thing so far that I have experienced, is that even though I have a female trainer, she just can't see me as anything other than a male when I clearly do not presented as anything other than female. The one comment that I'm still trying to let go of is: "you just need to face the fact that you're a man and look like one". She's the only person I've heard that from in 10 years of transition. I don't feel I can say anything to the company and that if I ask to change trainers, I'll just end up sitting in a hotel room for weeks while one trainer after another rejects taking me onto their truck to finish the company training period. Already logged over 100 hours driving, I'm good at doing this and really looking forward to getting into my own truck & running loads. Any advice from others out there who may have already encountered this type of situation? I'm open to getting messaged directly I f it gets this career path moving for me. thanks :) -Des

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

C. S.'s Comment
member avatar

I am also transgender. 2 weeks into driving with a trainer for a major carrier to become a 48 state Otr driver. The one thing so far that I have experienced, is that even though I have a female trainer, she just can't see me as anything other than a male when I clearly do not presented as anything other than female. The one comment that I'm still trying to let go of is: "you just need to face the fact that you're a man and look like one". She's the only person I've heard that from in 10 years of transition. I don't feel I can say anything to the company and that if I ask to change trainers, I'll just end up sitting in a hotel room for weeks while one trainer after another rejects taking me onto their truck to finish the company training period. Already logged over 100 hours driving, I'm good at doing this and really looking forward to getting into my own truck & running loads. Any advice from others out there who may have already encountered this type of situation? I'm open to getting messaged directly I f it gets this career path moving for me. thanks :) -Des

I can't tell you what to do in this situation; you have to decide that for yourself. However, know that what your trainer is doing constitutes sexual harassment. Perhaps tell her, in no uncertain terms, that you identify as woman (just as she does) and you would like her to respect that. After all, would it be appropriate if a male trainer was calling his male trainee "she" and referring to him as a woman? Of course not.

It's not a hardship for your mentor to provide you with respect; in fact, it's basic human decency. Whether or not you put up with her juvenile behavior is up to you, and I wouldn't blame you for bearing it just until you get out on your own. However, I would encourage you to report her once you're off her truck. Regardless of her personal opinions, her comments to you are sexual harassment and I'm sure your employer would like to know about it. Most large companies have a zero-tolerance policy on issues like this.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

December Hopeful's Comment
member avatar

I guess I am wondering why people want to complicate their already complex decisions by entering a field that is filled with men who will NEVER on earth respect them. I was born female, am female and will stay female. I am not protected class. I am not lesbian. My mature age and gender are not given any special consideration at all by 98% of the male students at trucker school. Why should you or anyone with such an issue with gender identity expect BETTER treatment than those of us born and bred female by openly proclaiming your transgender status? Seems like the only place you would want to be open about it would be on the physical exam in privacy of doctor-patient relationship. All the laws on the books aren't going to change reality of the overwhelming majority of men driving the goods in this country or any other. Just being real with you.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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