I can't connect a bank account to my Upwork account, because on Upwork I go by my name, but my bank account is connected to the string of letters that the IRS uses to interface with me as a legal object. Since they aren't similar, I would need to meet Upwork's requirements to get that requirement waived:
"[If y]ou are a transgender individual – Upwork will make exceptions for transgender individuals who are in the process of transitioning but have not been able to obtain a name change due to legal or other barriers. Documentation may be required."
First of all, the "process of transitioning" is fuzzy as fuck when it comes to nonbinary people, who've been nonbinary the whole time, and who are going to continue to be nonbinary. Or nonbinary people who don't have access to any structure of legally recognized mechanism of transition because they aren't looking to jump in status or form out of the designation of their assigned-at-birth gender to the other universally recognized state-approved gender. Or nonbinary people who have complicated, uneven, inconsistent access to healthcare, and don't happen to have any medical records to call on that name anything to be specifically gender-related.
This was annoying before. But now, they've introduced a new feature -- potential employers can specify that they want applicants to be from a specific place. That's fine, I'm comfortable being asked to work on jobs native to the US specifically because I'm also here, there are cultural and linguistic reasons that that can matter. And I'm also happy to be excluded in advance from applying to jobs that are only interested in applicants from someplace I don't live. Saves me energy and connects (Upwork's tokens you spend on applying to jobs).
But to apply for any job that's employing that particular filter, you need a verified bank account that comes from the place you claim to be from. And I don't have a bank account connected to my Upwork account, because like I said, I am not unambiguously "in the process of transitioning," so much as I am "in the process of having been nonbinary the whole time so far and planning on continuing to be." Legally setting the string of characters the IRS uses for me to match my name is a complicated thing I can't realistically pursue right now. And I have no documentation.
And if I ask for that exemption, which I feel it's strongly hinted I won't get, then it's also strongly hinted that they'll require me to either update my Upwork profile to feature that IRS string rather than my name, or deactivate my account.
So, this is a vector of potential income that's tangibly withheld from me, and in order to gain access I either need to publicly misrepresent myself and be closeted for the purposes of freelance work (fragmenting my portfolio even more than it already is, making it even harder to pursue the kind of work I'm looking for) or I need to risk torching this entire space of potential employment in the process of asking Upwork to recognize my gender identity and name.
(I wonder if writing this blog post will get my account banned?)