About Hire Trans

Windy City Times, in partnership with several organizations, created the #HireTrans Campaign for the Chicago area after seeing a similar campaign in San Francisco.

This educational campaign launched in time for its LGBTQ Job Fair on September 29, 2017 from 11:00am to 4:00pm at Center on Halsted (3656 N. Halsted) in Chicago. The Job Fair is free and open to the public.

Award-winning filmmaker André Pérez has photographed individuals from a wide range of backgrounds, those looking for work and those who are employed, to show the diversity of the transgender, gender nonconforming & nonbinary communities of the Chicago area.


Sponsors & Partners


#HireTrans Team


Tracy Baim (she/her) is co-founder and publisher of Windy City Times, a weekly LGBTQ newspaper founded in 1985. She is a longtime LGBTQ advocate and has received numerous awards for her journalism and advocacy, including the Studs Terkel Award, and lifetime achievement awards from the Society of Professional Journalists in Chicago, and the National LGBTQ Journalists Association. She is founder of the Pride Action Tank.


Patrick Olson (he/him) is a Chicago-based artist and designer who believes in doing great work for good people. He works in tech as a brand designer. In his free time he does design work for marginalized communities, such as the You Are Beautiful project, Trans Liberation Collective & Unicorn Ball, Trans Pride Beach Party and NIU Association for LGBT Issues in Counseling.


Vanessa Sheridan (she/her) is the Director of Transgender Relations and Community Engagement for Chicago’s Center on Halsted. She is a leading transgender awareness speaker and trainer for corporations and government agencies throughout the nation. Vanessa is also the author of “The Complete Guide to Transgender in the Workplace,” the first full-length, hardcover book on this topic ever released by a mainstream publisher. 


Amy Shelton (they/them) is a genderqueer photographer currently living and working in DeKalb, IL. They received their Bachelors in Studio Art-Design & Media Arts from Northern Illinois University in the spring of 2017. Shelton makes work about a variety of subjects including gender, sexuality, intimacy and photographic history, with a strong emphasis on issues of social change. 


André Pérez  (he/him) is a mixed-race oral historian, educator, filmmaker, and community organizer whose work centers collaborative storytelling with marginalized communities. He founded the Transgender Oral History Project in 2007, co-founded Project Fierce Chicago in 2015, and recorded over 500 stories as part of StoryCorps. He is currently working on America in Transition, a Sundance-backed documentary series exploring issues for trans people of color.


Chris Walker (he/him) is a freelance social media marketer and event producer working in the nonprofit sector. He is constantly scheming ways to curate dynamic and inspiring spaces to strengthen community. His driving force is rooted in uplifting queer people of color and helping them all thrive rather than simply survive. Chris is part of the America in Transition team.


Jes Scheinpflug (they/them) is an advocate for social & economic justice issues including racial equity, LGBTQIA rights, fair & affordable housing, living wage & immigration reform. They prioritize initiatives that address systemic oppression while simultaneously empowering people & ensuring all voices are heard, especially in decision-making. Jes values grassroots organizing, with a belief that collaboration & solidarity are necessary for true [r]evolution.


Channyn Lynne Parker (she/her) is a community advocate, public speaker, and social service provider Channyn Lynne Parker has devoted her life's work to the fight for social justice, in particular for trans women of color, among other marginalized populations. Channyn brings with her an extensive background in social service, homeless youth advocacy and counseling.


LaSaia Wade (she/her) is an open Afro Puerto Rican indigenous trans woman, founder of TNTJ Project in Tennessee, and member of Chicago TGNC Collective and the Trans Liberation Collective, and director of Brave Space Alliance. She is the first trans woman to be honored in Women's History Month by state Comptroller Susana Mendoza. LaSaia has 10-plus years of global experience in organizing and advocacy work with Black, Indigenous TGNC folks.

Alloíza Mari (they/them) is an Afro Latinx trans femme living in Chicago. Their work ranges from advocating for homeless and disenfranchised queer youth to filming videos for organizations like Brave Space Alliance and American Friends Service Committee. They have provided sliding scale design and tech assistance to local nonprofits and grassroots groups.


Phoenix Matthews (they/them) is a professor and clinical psychologist at the University of Illinois at Chicago. They conduct reach aimed at understanding and addressing causes of health disparities among LGBT and other under-served populations. Phoenix is also interested in global health issues and teaches internationally. In 2015, Dr. Matthews was inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame. More about them available here >