by S.E. Fleenor
Kaiba Lithicum sits across from me, smiling as he talks, clearly at ease in his workplace. But that hasn’t always been the case. He’s often struggled with how he’s been treated at work as a trans person of color. “Being misgendered and deadnamed several times in a shift became emotionally really, really hard,” he says of one job that left him exhausted at the end of each day. “I was just so tense.”
Lithicum, a social work student at Metropolitan State University of Denver, now works at the LGBTQ Student Resource Center, where he can bring his whole self. “It feels more authentic. I feel like I can work better. I don’t need to show up and pretend to be someone I’m not,” Lithicum says.