Empowering the transgender community
Trans*H4CK is a new annual hackathon and speaker series that focuses entirely on what digital can do to empower one of the 21st centuries most marginalised groups – transgender people.
Transgender communities face some of the worst prejudice in modern society – prejudice that makes it inordinately difficult for them to maintain a stable home or career. Trans people are twice as likely to be unemployed, on very low income or homeless, and face routine discrimination when seeking legal support, health care and housing.
Trans*H4CK launched in California in June 2013 and for the first time brought together members of the trans community to identify and develop digital products and services to address the specific challenges they face.
Outcomes included a web and mobile database of trans-friendly resources, from entertainment joints to jobs, training and healthcare, that users can rate exactly as you might on TripAdvisor. Other prototypes included maps of transgender legal services, a wiki-site of funding sources for sex changes, a geolocated social networking site so transgender people could connect with others locally, and Clothes R4ck, a clothes swapping site for those changing gender: while in alpha mode this is just a straight clothes donation scheme, when it reaches critical mass it’s intended that those moving from one gender to the other will be able to trade with people making the opposite gender transition.
‘This is something I wish I would have had when I started my transition, it would have been much easier for me,’ Ellen McGrody, a games developer who attended the hackathon told the Wall Street Journal.
Image 'Hacking' courtesy of Jeremy Keith
Last updated: 23rd of May, 2014