Questions from a prospective transgender teacher...

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Questions from a prospective transgender teacher...

Unread postby mellam » 23 Jul 2012, 00:38

Hi, I've wanted to TEFL for a few years, and I'm considering going for it. However, I'm a pre-transition male-to-female transsexual. My current situation will keep me from starting the transition process for 2-4 years, and I'm hoping that TEFL might be a way for me to start sooner while following a dream.

So, here's the questions I've got...

Will most schools provide a health insurance plan? If not, will I be able to get insured in the country I'm working in, or will I need some sort of traveler's health insurance or something?

Will I even be able to find a school that will allow me to transition while working there? If needed, I'll be able to hide the fact that I'm transitioning for the first year that I teach and I'll probably be able to live full-time as a woman by the second year.

I've currently got a two-year "associate of arts in teaching" degree. I know that this limits my options, since some countries require a bachelor's degree. Could you guys give me a list of countries that might accept my degree and a TEFL cert, so I can compare it with a list of countries that I can transition in?

Thanks <3
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Re: Questions from a prospective transgender teacher...

Unread postby Elissa » 30 Jul 2012, 11:30

I'm afraid you can cross China off of your list! There is no way they would accept that here. I hate saying that, I really do, but they are very backwards when it comes to sexuality here, at least in public. Behind closed doors it's a different story! You may find it easier to transition and then seek employment, as I'm certain most employers won't have a health insurance package that would cover gender reassignment.

It would also make a big difference on how (no offence intended) feminine you are. If it was clear that you're transgender, I think you'd find it difficult getting work in most schools. This is mainly because there will always be people who think your 'choice' will corrupt or influence their children, or they simply don't want to have to explain to their child about transsexuals yet (if ever). Most ESL schools are private institutes, so they can pick and choose who they want based on whatever criteria they want.

It might be a good idea to look in to online teaching. Lot's of places want online teachers so you could get experience of tutoring ESL while your transition completes? This would also help you by way of experience seeing as you don't hold a full BA. Some countries will overlook a degree for a candidate with relevant expereince.

Sorry I can't be of more help.
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Re: Questions from a prospective transgender teacher...

Unread postby ianmkent » 03 Sep 2012, 18:56

Having lived for many years in the most liberal country in europe, Holland I doubt you would be able to teach English to children untill everything was in order.

But as long as a doctor agreed a decent health insurance would pay for any medication/operation ect ect. Travel insurance would not cover this. Just a thought but have you considered Thailand a lot of transgeners come from there.

If you wait untill everything is complete and get a certificate to change your passport to state the new sex I do not see any reason any country would know unless you told them. But it is not that hard to spot a transgener perso.
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Re: Questions from a prospective transgender teacher...

Unread postby kvanna » 27 Oct 2012, 22:07

Hi, I'm also a pre-transition, m-t-f transsexual beginning my pursuit to TEFL.

OP, if you're interested, I'd love to swap resources/ideas/support, although you might be farther ahead than me :) .

Thailand jumps out at me since the "reassignment" surgeons are affordable and well-known there, and as a previous poster mentioned, there seems to be a community of some sort.

For the record I have a BFA in Writing and need TEFL cert, which I'm willing to get (ideally within the new country).
Last edited by Alex Case on 28 Oct 2012, 22:23, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Questions from a prospective transgender teacher...

Unread postby Alex Case » 28 Oct 2012, 22:45

It must be possible to work as a transgender TEFL teacher under some circumstances, e.g:
- Working in or near a LGBT-friendly area of a liberal European city, e.g. Chueca in Madrid
- Working for a school that has a very strong equal opportunities policy, probably meaning a UK-based one like the British Council
- Moving to a country and picking up bits of work from people who accept your situation until you have a full schedule
- Having the skills, qualifications or experience to make up for any negative reactions you might get
- Working for a school in the UK that will support you through any unthinking complaints you get, e.g. from students of particular nationalities

I'd also suggest working in a country you know well and where you have some kind of support network of people, and preferably somewhere you know the language - especially if you will be in hospitals a lot there.

Unfortunately, as you've pointed out your situation is far from ideal in terms of wanting to do the transition abroad, not having any particular country in mind and not having a degree. I wouldn't expect too much from Thailand as trangender people are accepted but are also marginalised and I very much doubt there are any transgender teachers in schools there. Your best hope is to get TEFL qualifications and experience at home as soon as possible while exploring EU cities where you are thinking of moving during your holidays. Getting a degree would also really help.
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