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LGBT groups condemn ABC show Work It; say Work It doesn't work
From a news release
2011-12-14

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San Francisco - Transgender Law Center, San Francisco LGBT Community Center, and Transgender Economic Empowerment Initiative (TEEI) say promotions for new show Work It, scheduled to premier January 3rd on ABC, present both unrealistic gender-norms and stereotypes about women in the workplace.

According to ABC, Work It is about "two unrepentant guy's guys who, unable to find work, dress as women to get jobs as pharmaceutical reps... They've learned the hard way that the current recession is more of a 'man-cession' and their skills aren't in high demand."

"This show is debuting at a time when women continue to face high rates of workplace discrimination and get paid less than men, and when transgender and gender non-conforming people face extraordinary levels of violence and discrimination in their communities and the workplace," said Masen Davis, Executive Director of Transgender Law Center. "The premise of this show, that it is easier to get a job if you present as a woman, is absurd."

Statistics prove that transgender people encounter high rates of discrimination. The report Injustice at Every Turn, published this year by The Task Force, showed that compared to the general population, transgender people face:

Double the rates of unemployment

A strong correlation between job lost due to bias and other ruinous consequences such as four times the rate of homelessness

Four times the likelihood of a household income of less than $10,000/ year compared to the general population

"This show validates outdated gender-norms and expectations that make it even more difficult for transgender people to get jobs. In these economic times, the plight of anyone facing joblessness is no laughing matter," said Eugénie FitzGerald, Director of Economic Development at the San Francisco LGBT Community Center. "At TEEI we hear stories about discrimination in the workplace every day."

Transgender Law Center is a civil rights organization advocating for transgender communities. Transgender Law Center uses direct legal services, education, community organizing and advocacy to create a world that recognizes and supports the needs of transgender people and their families. Learn more at www.transgenderlawcenter.org .

TEEI is a unique collaborative program designed to help transgender individuals find stable jobs that provide a living wage, benefits, and opportunities for advancement. For more information visit http://www.teeisf.org/.

The San Francisco LGBT Community Center, formed in 1993, is the nexus of the LGBT community in the Bay Area, offering facilities, a central location in San Francisco and vibrant programs in health and wellness, children youth and family programming, community initiatives, arts and culture, economic development and facility services. The Center serves over 9,000 visitors and hosts more than 250 events each month. The Center is located at 1800 Market Street in San Francisco. Visit The Center at www.sfcenter.org for a full calendar.


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