This post is PART 17 in a guest blogger series following author Rachael's transition from an A.M.A.B (Assigned Male at Birth) individual to that of a self-identified trans woman.
If you are just discovering Queer as me, start the story from the beginning here.
Being home during the next few days were marvelous. I was able to relax and heal from the horrendous drive here. I had so many thoughts on that as well. I should have checked the weather, I should have turned back multiple times, but my silly stubbornness felt that just a few more kilometers and it’ll get better. Next time I’ll listen to my instincts and stop when I started to feel unsafe. But hopefully I’ll never have to do such a thing as that anytime soon.
My mom gave me the time to get myself together before she sent me to government for help with returning to Canada. I was sure that it would be easy. Laughing, silly me, always the optimist. In fact, it took me almost two months to get my Alberta health care card and Social Insurance card. What I didn’t realize was that after five years with no job in Canada, my SIN number went dormant. Which means that I ceased to exist for all intents or purposes. So, I had to jump through many hoops to just prove that I was who I said. No records for over twelve years made that difficult to say the least, but I finally succeeded proving my identity. I was now Canadian again.
But looking for work proved to be the greatest challenge by far. Since all my work history ended in 2008 in the United States, I found that I couldn’t get a job. The last four years I had been a stay at home step dad. Taking care of my wife and my grandsons proved to be a full-time job in and of itself. But as anyone who has been out of work for a length of time, proving yourself is something you had to do each and every time I applied for anything. I tried all the types of jobs I used to work at, but to no avail.
Trying to start over again at forty-two was going to be much harder than I previously thought. I went through a job searching course and also took some time with a job councilor in updating my resume. I was thinking that I should go back to school, but the cost of student loans would be a huge debit to add, and I didn’t know what I should take that would guarantee me a job. I was told to go down to the central library to get a discounted or free library card to access some networking groups. While I was there I asked if they were hiring. Not at that time they said, but I could always apply and that they would keep it for three months in case anything came up. So, I applied, said I’d take anything.
I was quite surprised and of course quite relieved when they called me back six weeks later asking for an interview. I said yes, and after passing a physical was hired on as a Shelver. It was only on call, a sub position, but it was a job. Success! Finally, I had my foot in the door. I was a library employee. My future had finally begun.
Editor’s Note: To read Queer as me – Part 18: Sexual identity, click here. Or click here to read the previous blog post Queer as me – Part 16: Cold sleep and coming home, For the latest LSOP blog posts and so much more, make sure to add us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.