A: Some of the best and the brightest, that’s who.
As many of you know, NCTE just completed an exhaustive search for a policy analyst to add to our staff. When we began the search I was hopeful that we would get 50-60 applicants to choose from. I assumed we would get plenty of transgender-identified people who wanted to join us, and I expected that we would get many lesbian, gay, and bisexual applicants who are not transgender but who embrace the full LGBT movement.
What I didn’t expect was the sheer volume of applicants, their varied backgrounds, and the large number of people who have no direct connection to transgender rights. We received over 200 applications for this one position. We heard from academics, lawyers, researchers, social workers, and activists of all stripes. There were human rights activists, civil rights activists, and social justice junkies. We heard from longtime workers, career-switchers and newly-minted college grads looking to jump-start their careers.
I’m sure that some of this has to do with the current state of the economy. But that alone can’t account for this unprecedented level of interest. For some of the applicants, they were moved to action after watching family or friends transition and then struggle with inequality. But many people simply consider transgender rights to be the forefront of the civil rights movement. Today, a job working for transgender equality is seen as a career builder and that is a great position for all of us to be in.