This week on the Writer's Detective Bureau, transsexual protagonists, Inside Man, and romance undercover.
I'm Adam Richardson and this is the Writer's Detective Bureau.
Welcome to episode number 71 of the Writer's Detective Bureau, the podcast dedicated to helping authors and screenwriters write professional quality crime related fiction. This week I'm answering your questions about how human resources at a police department would handle confidentiality of a transsexual employee, poking plot holes through the movie Inside Man, and handling romance while undercover.
But first, I need to thank gold shield patrons, Debra Dunbar from debradunbar.com, C.C. Jameson of ccjameson.com, Larry Keeton, Vicki Tharp of vickitharp.com, Chrysann, Larry Darter, Natalie Barelli of nataliebarelli.com, Craig Kingsman of craigkingsman.com, and Joan Raymond of joanraymondwritinganddesign.com for their support.
I also want to send a huge thank you to my coffee club patrons. I really do appreciate each and every one of you. You can find links to all of the writers supporting this episode in the show notes at writersdetective.com/71.
To learn about setting up your own Patreon account for your author business, or to support this show for as little as $2 per month visit writersdetective.com/patreon. P-A-T-R-E-O-N
Welcome back to the Bureau. I had an unintentional one week hiatus, a little more than one week actually, due to a sinus and upper respiratory infection, which kept me in bed and sounding horrible for over a week. Well, I still sound horrible, so I apologize for that, but the show must go on. So let's get into this week's first question.
Tony Dutson writes, "I'm one of those who found the Writer's Detective Bureau through the Creative Pen podcast and Love Your Work. I also have a sticky question for the Bureau. When Hollywood went into overdrive by flipping character's sexual preferences, they've done better lately. I wanted to write a trans anti-hero like a trans Dexter or Hannibal Lecter. My character goes through the complete sex reassignment surgery, female to male, before becoming a CSI. My question is how much of his reassignment will be revealed by the hiring process and will that information be kept confidential? Will senior officers be informed or will HR keep the reassignment confidential?"
Great questions, Tony. I will confess that I know very little about labor law or human relations, human resources work, but I do know that their primary focus is to maintain an inclusive and safe workspace. So for starters, if your character transitioned prior to being employed by the police department, then it's a nonissue. The department can't even ask about gender as part of the hiring process. Applicants for police officer positions do go through full on medical examinations, but it sounds like your character is more of a civilian crime scene investigation specialist or forensic technician or serologist or however you want to classify the title. Those jobs as a civilian likely don't have the same kind of medical exam as part of the hiring process, but even if it was disclosed, then yes, it would be kept confidential.
Now, if a supervisor came to HR and inquired, now, regardless of whether HR knew any of those details about their employee, that would likely be treated as an effort to single out that employee and should spur its own inquiry. I guess walking into HR and asking the gender of an employee, you know, especially of a subordinate is not normal workplace behavior. I'm pretty sure no one's ever walked into my HR asking about my gender, you know, so who does that? The answer is that it's someone who's looking to make it an issue and that's a big red flag. From statistics that I've read 90% of people identifying as transsexual report sexual harassment in the workplace, 90%, and I can only imagine that percentage would be even higher in law enforcement, unfortunately. I personally would hazard a guess that the other 10% in that survey didn't trust the surveyor enough to admit it in the survey without fear of repercussion... Continue reading...
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