Theory: An advertisement soliciting a trans-gendered proofreader will offend someone who has their original genitalia, and that person will claim discrimination.
“I am in need of a transgendered proofreader capable of editing a novel over the next six months. English must be your native tongue and you should be specifically good with spotting where commas go because my computer’s comma key is broken. In my estimation the work will take you 4-5 hours per week. You can do it at home or I have a kitchen. Pay commensurate with experience. You will need to sign a traditional non-disclosure form about the book’s plot and me. The book is about a Spanish boy and his adventures being elsewhere.”
Posting: 8:09 am
First response: 11:26 am
The self-demeaning approach:
“If you could consider a boring old straight person, I’d love to hear more. If not, good luck on your project.”
Have original equipment but I’m good approach:
“Would you consider using a highly experienced (fourteen years) proofreader who isn’t transgendered?”
“Would you consider a good but non-transgendered proofreader?”
“I did see that you are seeking a transgendered proofreader, which I am not. However, I am sensitive to the transgendered community, so this would not be a problem.”
The faulty use of the “if not…” construct coupled with the I’m-on-to-you-but-just-in-case approach:
“I’m an open-minded, if not transgendered, proofreader. I’m proficient with punctuation, and have experience proofreading creative and academic writing. I thought your post was a bit bizarre, so I’m not sure if it’s serious. If it is, I’m interested and capable of doing a great job proofreading your novel.”
Scoring lower on the reading comprehension scale:
“I am a degreed, published, open minded writer/translator who would be pleased to proofread your manuscript about the transgendered Spanish boy for the next 6 months.”
And the amazing realization that such a person actually exists:
“I am a transgendered proofreader of superior skill and am interested in hearing further about your novel and what your needs are in completing it.”
Results: No hostile emails claiming discrimination were received during the course of the experiment. Every email was a bona-fide job application. All, save one, were from people who were technically qualified but who totally ignored the job criteria since they had their original Peters and Pineapples.
Conclusion: This experiment suggests that the general population is terribly afraid of the trans-gendered and will not say anything, even if he/she blatantly advertises non-equal opportunity hiring practices.