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Sex and gender categories have become more fluid in recent years. With evolving understandings of sexual orientation and gender identity, public administrators are confronted with questions of how to craft policy and make decisions based on new conceptions of sex and gender for transgender employees. Policy and practice is especially challenging in the workplace where sex and gender encompass both personal and professional dimensions. Within the public sector, the federal government is recognized as a leader on these issues, and this work examines federal transgender policy to answer the following questions: 1) how are federal agencies addressing transgender issues in the workplace through formal policy? and 2) what can be done to improve future transgender policy? To gain a better understanding of what constitutes an effective transgender workplace policy, we conducted a qualitative content analysis of nine transgender plans from the following federal agencies: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Internal Revenue Service, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, United States Office of Special Counsel, United States Department of Interior, United States Department of Labor, United States Environmental Protection Agency, and United States Office of Personnel Management. Our analysis includes the identification of major themes within the nine policy documents. From this analysis, we propose best practices and future policy directions, as well as suggest ways of expanding the limited scholarship on transgender issues in the public sector.


This article was originally published in the Journal of Public Management & Social Policy, available at



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