KUDOS TO JASON HILL, FOUNDER OF THE LARGEST TRANS CAREER FAIR
By Awa Gueye
March 20, 2019
Workplace discrimination is heavily practiced on trans and gender non-conforming people. According to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, 26% of trans people lost a job due to bias and 50% of trans people were harassed on the job. This news is not new and must end.
Los Angeles-based social worker and trans rights advocate, Jason Hill, is an inspiration. Their actions created a safe and productive space in which people were able to see themselves reflected, which is integral to positive change. Hill decided that enough was enough, leading them to create “the world’s largest job fair aimed at finding stable and long-term employment for trans people” — called Transcend.
Hill’s mission is unique as they demand that trans people not only have access to more job opportunities but that they have the right to work safely and securely in said workplace. The Transcend event was planned by Hill over three to four months with the help of their employer the St. John’s Well Child and Family Center and Trans Can Work. Together, Hill and company assembled over 81 employers including Paramount, UCLA and Starbucks. Hill spoke to PAPER magazine about the process of getting these amazing participants saying,
I was blown away by the response I got from participants. I honestly expected weird looks or rude questions, and none of that happened. Sometimes, I would go into crowded retail stores and go up to the cash register and explain what we were doing. The sales associates would connect me with corporate, and here we are.
Hill’s passion for this was also incited by the intricacies of passing in the trans community. They acknowledge that they had the privilege of passing as a “well-spoken Black man” early on into their transitioning process and that this is not the case for some. Hill champions acceptance in the workplace for all trans people at all stages of their transition.
This has been an incredible beginning to a necessary movement. Hill has managed to not only make the people who were able to attend the event feel seen but also to give them access to a world that had previously shut the door on them.