In honor of celebrating Trans Day of Visibility, I wanted to highlight some of the many incredible transgender and non-binary entrepreneurs. Over the past 16 months, I have had the pleasure of interviewing some of these incredible out bosses, and on this very special day, I encourage you do give each one of these episodes a listen, especially if you’re seeking inspiration to lead a more authentic, self-actualized life, or if you’re trying to create a business that aligns with your life’s purpose. I promise you’ll walk away inspired to live a life where you can be your authentic selves 100% of the time.
After listening to some of these incredible episodes, consider reading through a post I wrote on a few years ago about the intersections of being transgender and an entrepreneur. Having both experiences, the post intended to inspire transgender people to consider the entrepreneurial leap, and to encourage cisgender entrepreneurs to build empathy with the experiences that so many of us trans folks have when trying to create a life that truly aligns with who we are in the world. Enjoy, and be sure to do something nice for a trans person today!
Interviews with Leading Transgender & Non-Binary Entrepreneurs
066: Blend Your Personal Brand and Your Passions to Build a Successful Business with Perry Cohen, Founder of The Venture Out Project
Perry Cohen realized a lifelong dream of combining his love of the outdoors, his commitment to social justice, his own trans & queer identity, and his professional life when he founded The Venture Out Project, a business that brings the queer community together to experience the beauty and fun of the wilderness with trips run by queer people for queer people. Perry also serves as the lead facilitator and trainer for the Venture Out Project’s gender and diversity training program, where he has presented in front of audiences at UC Davis, The University of Maryland, Colby College, Middlebury College, The University of New Mexico, and other institutions. Perry has two children, a partner, and a chocolate lab, and calls the hills and trails of Western Massachusetts home.
063: Triumph Over Adversity with Molly Cameron, Professional Cyclo-Cross Champion and Owner of the Portland Bicycle Studio
Molly Cameron is an American professional cyclo-cross racing champion winning elite competitions including the 2004 Cross Crusade single speed series. She is the only out transgender athlete to compete in a UCI cyclo-cross world cup. When she’s not racing, she’s runs the Portland Bicycle Studio, a business she founded in 2001. In this interview, we talk about her pioneering efforts to cultivate a more gender inclusive industry.
050: Celebrate Episode FIFTY with Guest Host Christa King Interviewing Rhodes Perry, Host and Creator of the Out Entrepreneur!
Celebrate episode FIFTY with guest host Christa King interviewing The Out Entrepreneur host and creator, Rhodes Perry. Rhodes is an award winning social entrepreneur, and a nationally recognized diversity, equity, and inclusion thought leader. Media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, The Associated Press, and The Huffington Post have featured his accomplishments in transforming large organizations into ones that are more respectful and inclusive of diverse stakeholders. Rhodes is the founder of a national strategic management firm helping leaders build workplace cultures of belonging. As a part of his inclusion work, he created The Out Entrepreneur to empower thousands of LGBTQ people to pursue building the businesses of their dreams, all while being their authentic selves 100% of the time.
040: Step Away from Limiting Beliefs and Commit to Your Business Dreams with Nik Kacy, Founder of Nik Kacy Footwear
NiK Kacy Footwear is a fashion line inspired by the needs of both its founder and the larger LGBTQ community. NiK Kacy, who identifies as gender-fluid, queer and trans, designed their first collection of "masculine of center," gender-neutral shoes in order to provide a solution for the on-going problem of individuals unable to purchase men's styled shoes due to limitations in sizing set by the shoe industry based on gender. Their first collection, named "Fortune," consists of 5 classically masculine looking styles, now modernized with colorful contrasts and re-proportioned to fit those who identify in whatever spirit they deem fit.
031: Do things differently and create a business that bucks group think with Davis Senseman, Founder of DLO
Davis founded Davis Law Office in 2010 after nearly a decade of practicing in the corporate department of a larger law firm. Armed with this experience and knowledge of legal solutions used by large entities, Davis set out to bring the same level of service to smaller organizations and individuals. The mission was three-fold: provide top-notch legal work, charge fair prices for it, and never stop evolving to meet the changing needs of clients. Over seven years and more than 900 clients later, Davis is proud of the assistance DLO provides for companies large and small, and the expanding service they now offer for individuals and families.
023: Embrace Your Intrapreneurial Spirit & Side Hustle with Katie Barnes, ESPNW.com Journalist
Katie Barnes is a pop-culture obsessed writer for espnW.com, covering culture, LGBTQ issues, women’s basketball, and whatever else is thrown at them. Since joining ESPN in August 2015, they have written on myriad topics, such as campus sexual assault, the sports world’s response to North Carolina’s controversial law, HB2, "American Ninja Warrior," "Pitch," and more. In addition to Katie’s TV obsession, they are known to argue about the redeeming qualities of "Bring It On" (the first one), and play copious amounts of video games (including Mafia III). Tune into this episode and learn about Katie’s intrapreneurial superpowers, and how they are transforming workplace culture from within ESPN and beyond.
014: Get the impulse to soar with Laura Laban from Flying Development Studio
Laura Laban is the Co-Founder & CEO of Flying Development Studio. After six years of working in the tech industry, she broke out on her own and turned her side hustle into her full-time job – developing a flight simulator software program, called Infinite Flight. I was fortunate to connect with Laura through StartOut, a vibrant network of dedicated LGBTQ entrepreneurs and supporters. During this conversation, Laura shares how she developed a successful business enterprise all while managing coming out as transgender last year. On this episode, Laura gets vulnerable and shares some valuable insights on how to navigate the challenges of transitioning on the job, all while maintaining a thriving business.
007: Learn how to develop a business model that communicates your capability and personality with Danny Rosen from DLR Consulting
Danny is a passionate social justice advocate, and has over 20 years of citizen volunteer engagement with law enforcement and criminal justice agencies, advocating for the fair treatment of transgender and gender diverse people. In this episode, Danny shares the secrets of how to create a business model that communicates both capability and personality. She also touches on her own personal gender odyssey that has evolved over the past three decades, and offers advice on how to build powerful relationships with unlikely LGBTQ allies.
005: Start your business heart first with Aidan Key from Gender Diversity
Aidan Key is the founder of Gender Diversity, a nonprofit dedicated to providing support and educational services with respect to transgender and gender diverse children. He leads a support program for parents of trans youth that is the largest in the U.S. and offers trainings and policy development for school districts, organizations, and other youth-based agencies across the nation. Since 2001, Aidan Key has produced the annual international Gender Odyssey conference for families raising trans children, professionals seeking to expand their knowledge, and for adults exploring and celebrating their gender.