A client of CAMH’s Gender Identity Clinic, Rachel Paige Price knows first-hand how work aids recovery. Born biologically male and struggling with feelings of confusion over gender since childhood, Paige was formally diagnosed with gender identity disorder in 2003. Over the next two years, the impact of 9/11 and the sars epidemic on the airline industry challenged Paige’s long career in airport and airspace operations analysis, leaving her grappling with employment difficulties as well as the expected challenges of her gender transition process. Diana Capponi, CAMH’s Employment Works! Co-ordinator, with Rachel Paige Price, a former client of the program, in CAMH’s Information Technology Department.
During her transition Paige remained uneasy about interacting in a formal workplace environment. With the help of CAMH clinical staff at the Gender Identity Clinic and Diana Capponi of our Employment Works! program, she was hired to work with CAMH’s information technology team in developing our internal website.
“Working at CAMH was an invaluable learning experience,” Paige says. “It helped me gain confidence in adapting to working in a formal environment, and to feel more comfortable with my new self in all situations.” With this new confidence and self-acceptance, Paige was soon consulting with staff in CAMH’s various programs in developing the website.
After a successful six months (both personally and professionally), Paige felt ready to compete again for consulting work in her area of expertise. She soon found work with the company she had worked for before her transition, and with their support has had a successful career since.
“There is a lot of stigma, and people in the trans community are not always accepted on their merits,” says Paige. “Being able to work has really helped me to adjust, and the support I have received from my family, friends and colleagues has helped me be who I really am."