Are you a Canuck or are you a CanUK?
November 23, 2022 7:15 PM   Subscribe

Pitfalls of being transferred from a Canadian subsidiary to a UK Plc mothership corp location?

I've given thought and research on moving to the US for work, as a Canadian, beyond taxes and healthcare and into the racism/ queer-phobia and all the politics.

Have not put as much thought (and not as many examples) for a Canadian moving to the UK (Manchester).

The parent corp has not been super about LGBTQ stuff. Am transfemme, but present cis male. HK Chinese phenotype.

Practical anecdotes appreciated!
posted by porpoise to Work & Money (5 answers total)
Caveat: I am a cis-female in Australia. I have no first-hand knowledge or practical anecdotes AT ALL. But I am an English teacher with half a MLS, so I know how to shape my google questions.

If you were my nibling, I would show you this info and ask: is this promising?
Manchester City Council
Agenda Item
Notice of Motion - Trans Rights Are Human Rights
Meeting of Council, Wednesday, 2nd February, 2022 10.00 am (Item 7.)
Manchester is a city that firmly believes in equality of opportunity. We believe that trans women are women, trans men are men and non-binary individuals are non-binary. We know that our differences within our communities can make our city stronger and that shapes the vision of our city.
This Council notes:
[many dot points outlining an understanding of the issues trans people in Manchester have faced in the past]

This Council therefore resolves to:
1. Affirm trans men are men, trans women are women, non-binary people are non-binary and trans rights are human rights.
... ... ... ... ... ...
8. Declare that our city is a welcoming, tolerant and progressive city that will not let hate divide our communities.
Motion proposed and seconded:

Resolution: The motion was put to Council and voted on and the Lord Mayor declared that it was carried unanimously.
I think you might have Manchester on your side.
posted by Thella at 10:34 PM on November 23 [2 favorites]

My initial gut feeling is that you won’t like it… I feel like outside of London these cities have pockets of neighborhoods that are very rough and while many of the people from those areas are accepting and lovely, the yobs and rowdy kids roam around and pick on people. I have a feeling Manchester might be like that.

Here is an article I just read as well, just keep in mind by “Asian” they mean south east Asian:
posted by pairofshades at 1:45 AM on November 24 [1 favorite]

Living in (suburban outskirts of) Manchester, I'd agree that Manchester has a fair amount of safe spaces and is made of peolle who are mostly tolerant of difference -- but there might be surprising patches of poor behaviour.

Your company may also have additional health insurance or pay-and-reclaim mechanisms for care options over and above those available through the NHS -- and the non-naturalised Commonwealth Citizen status may still leave you paying a chunk of money to have any access to the NHS.
posted by k3ninho at 4:26 AM on November 24 [1 favorite]

I only know bits about Canada so sometimes in the list below I'm comparing to the US on the basis that you can then compare back to Canada.
  • In general conservatives in the UK are less conservative than those in the US, but also liberals in the UK are less liberal than those in the US. To get an idea of current mainstream liberal thought in the UK for better or ill, read the Guardian (originally founded in Manchester)
  • Racism operates differently in the UK compared to settler societies like Canada. Specifically, race is very heavily associated with immigration in the UK and that seems to make a real difference to all sorts of things. Compared to Canada, immigration is not seen positively in the UK (and there was a comparative article about this on the BBC website this week)
  • There are lots of people of Chinese origin in the UK, but the largest visible minority are South Asian, and so when we say "Asian" we mean South Asian. This may be particularly relevant in food shopping.
  • People may be surprised to find you are Canadian, but Canadians are well liked so that shouldn't be a problem.
  • Lesbians and gay men are broadly accepted in British society. As an example, many prominent sportspeople have come out as gay in the last few years.
  • Trans issues have backslidden in recent years and Britain is less publicly welcoming than it was 10-20 years ago. My own impression (backed up by survey evidence) is that more people are supportive of trans rights than not, but it's difficult to know ahead of time who will turn out to be a TERF.
  • The NHS has the same pros and cons as what I have read about public healthcare in Canada, including challenges finding a GP and long waits for elective or non-urgent treatment. Emergency care is excellent
  • Employment rights in the UK are much better than in the US, and overall are similar to, but slightly weaker than, other European countries. More information from Acas
  • The British government has a genuine and meaningful commitment to making online information for citizens, residents and visitors clear and easy to understand. The website is very good at explaining how things work here.
  • Inflation is currently very high and the country is expected to experience the longest recorded recession over the next few years. Renting is expensive (not sure if it's as bad as Canada), petrol (for cars) is expensive, food and energy are historically cheap for Europe but have risen a lot in the last year.
  • Manchester is a modern, cosmopolitan second-tier European city with a strong record on LGBT rights. You would do at least as well there as you would in any similar sized European city, all things being equal

posted by plonkee at 6:49 AM on November 24 [2 favorites]

Random thoughts: Manchester doesn't strike me as any worse than any other medium-large city. Everywhere has poverty and dodgy areas.

To my mind it would be one of the two-three UK cities with the best gay scenes (Brighton and London being the others). The (original, UK) Queer as Folk was set there, back in the later 1990s. Googling terms like Canal St and the Village might give you an idea. That said, I read the article that pairofshades linked to, and it's clear from that that there is certainly some ugly racism in that scene (seemingly mostly from bouncers).

Overall, I like the place (though I haven't lived in the UK for, OK, 8 years now so it may have changed).

Worth noting: the weather is awful. Lots of rain, lots of grey skies.

Echoing plonkee that the majority of people in the UK support trans rights, from what I've seen, but that the TERFs are really fucking loud and have a strong presence in mainstream media (I mean, even the Guardian had a bunch of TERFs among its writers).

People can be weird about immigration, most of them saw me as "one of the good ones" (I'm a white New Zealander). Your experience might or might not be similar. I feel like the UK is more racist than NZ, and for context I have a Chinese-Kiwi friend who moved to Vancouver and thinks that is a lot better than NZ.

On the other hand people in the north of England tend to be friendlier and start conversations with strangers, more so than in London or the south.
posted by Pink Frost at 1:08 AM on November 25 [1 favorite]

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