'Trans 100,' Annual Event Honoring Transgender Rights Advocates, Launches In Chicago

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 02: People.com Editor Janet Mock arrives at the 23rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards at San Francisco Marr
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 02: People.com Editor Janet Mock arrives at the 23rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards at San Francisco Marriott Marquis on June 2, 2012 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Araya Diaz/Getty Images for GLAAD)

Trans 100, an annual celebration of transgender advocates, kicked off March 31 in Chicago.

The inaugural Trans 100 list was created with the intention of shifting the coverage of transgender issues by focusing on the positive work that is being accomplished, and providing visibility to those typically underrepresented. Composed of 100 transgender people from all over the country, the Trans 100 included writer Janet Mock and writer/filmmaker Dr. Kortney Ryan Ziegler, among others. The event was created by We Happy Trans and This is HOW.

In addition to Mock and Ziegler's speaking engagements, there were performances by Namoli Brennet and Joe Stevens, with Kokumo as host.

Back in February, Huff Post blogger and correspondent for Chicago's WBEZ, Nico Lang interviewed Jen Richards, co-creator of We Happy Trans about the Trans 100 launch.

During the interview, Richards stated that her collaboration with Toni D'Orsay, executive director of This Is H.O.W.started with the posting of a Facebook status.

"Earlier in the evening a friend of mine, Toni D'Orsay, executive director of This is H.O.W. in Phoenix, AZ, posted the following on Facebook, 'I am seeking to create a Top 100 Trans people list -- sorta like the Forbes list, but built around activism and making a difference in the lives of many trans people,' and asked for nominations," Richards explained. "I loved the idea, threw in a few names and went to bed. As soon as my eyes closed, my mind started working out the potential impact of such a list, outlining all of the possible ways to formalize it, potential objections, how to make it a resource rather than a popularity contest, and the conditions under which I would be comfortable attaching We Happy Trans to the project."

Richards added, "I got back up and started chatting with Toni, who was equally restless. We quickly came to an agreement on the terms and wrote copy for an announcement. I brought in Kai, the designer and admin of We Happy Trans, and by 2:00 a.m. we had set up an online form. We had over a hundred nominations in the first 24 hours."

Both Mock and Ziegler excitedly tweeted about their experiences at the launch event:



48 Transgender Pioneers