As a trans-woman, walking into those spaces leaves her feeling fraught, Johnson says.
“It’s like ‘I think I'm welcome here, I'm maybe welcome here, I'm not sure that I'm welcomed here’ and most of us trans-women go through that experience of always being hyper vigilant,” she says.
The power of allies
The women agree if they learned anything good from the marriage equality survey – which they describe as a “horror” - it was the power of allies.
“We want you to stand beside us and help us advocate and help us achieve equality,” Sheppard says.
“So many people within our community are quick to throw terms around like 'pink washing' and so on but they don't actually see what's going on behind the scenes."
Sheppard recalls writing down everything she had to deal with as a trans woman to help create policies for the bank.
“The company I was with before, when I first came out, actually looked at me like they wouldn't touch me and wouldn't shake my hand or anything,” she says.
Johnson says most people find their transparency inspiring.
“Suddenly you’re living authentically," she says. "You're living in a way that you hadn't in the past and that kind of honesty is infectious.”
You can hear more of the conversation by watching the video above.
Jemma Wight is production editor at bluenotes