Speaker series will address transgender community issues

Unemployment at twice the national rate — and four times that for people of color. Average incomes of $10,000. Discrimination in jobs, housing, health care and legal services.

Such are the challenges faced by transgender people.

TRANS*H4CK, a hackathon and speaker series to economically empower the transgender community, will take place Feb. 21-23 at the Gay & Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada.

The event is free and open to all genders, and focuses on creating technology to assist transgender and gender nonconforming people.

“Trans people are early adopters of tech,” said Kortney Ziegler, TRANS*H4CK founder and self-taught web developer. “We find community through technology. We survive in ways we probably wouldn’t if there wasn’t a way to connect with people in other places.”

The inaugural event was held in Oakland, Calif., in September 2013. Las Vegas is the second stop on the national tour, and Chicago will be next.

In Oakland, participants created a “trans-health wiki” for users to share health care stories and advice. Another group created Dottify Me, an anonymous social surveying site to collect information on transgender communities and show where they exist.

The Las Vegas event will feature a fireside chat with Lane Campbell, a transgender entrepreneur who owns a Las Vegas-based database company. The talk is free and open to the public.

“We want to show that trans people are successful in tech,” Ziegler said.

About 20 are expected to attend.

“It’s important for allies to be there,” Ziegler said.

Contact reporter Kristy Totten at ktotten@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3809. Follow @kristy_tea on Twitter.

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