Transgender group left with few options
NZ Herald Thursday Jun 17, 2010
An attempt to help young transgender sex workers find new jobs outside the sex industry has been hit by the axing of a Government job scheme. Five young sex workers aged 18 to 24 were employed by the Mangere East Family Service Centre in November under Work and Income’s Community Max scheme, which paid non-profit groups the full costs of employing young people for 30 hours a week for six months at the minimum wage. They ran a holiday programme and planned education programmes about transgender issues for schools. They also applied for jobs outside the sex industry and changed their names by deed poll from the male names they were given at birth to the female names they now use.
Briannah Swift, 18, went into sex work when she had just turned 17, too young to get a benefit. “Coming on this programme was way better than being on the streets,” she said.
Isles Posimani, 24 – “The course has given us opportunities and more hope for us girls to try and look for a job, but let’s be honest it was more getting off the street,” she said.