What trans women can teach cis women (and vice versa) - Daniela Petruzelak, diversity activist

Three years ago, software developer Daniela Petruzalek took the leap to transition to her true female self. One of the first things she had to get over were her own internalized prejudices.

“I come from a family where they had traditional morals and were quite homophobic.” She said. “And I had to deconstruct everything. It took me many years to do so. I was a white cis heterosexual male... and nowadays I'm a lesbian.”

Not only that, she was back to competing in the male-dominated world of tech, but now--as a woman. She immediately noticed the double standards rooted in gender bias.

“The only time in my life I was unemployed was after my transition and took me 6 months to get a new job.” She told me. “When you send resumes as a man, even if you aren't a fit for the role, the people will call you and talk to you. But when you send a resume as a woman they expect you to have like 100 percent of the skills or they wouldn't want to even start talking with you.”

Now Daniela uses this knowledge to fight for diversity and inclusion in the tech world. Learn what trans women can teach cis women—and vice versa—in our conversation.

Daniela Petruzelak

Daniela Petruzelak

"I am powerful by just living" - Sarah McBride, author of "Tomorrow Will Be Different"

In 2016, Sarah McBride made history--and a childhood dream come true when she stood on the stage at the the Democratic National Convention as the first transgender person to speak at a national political convention. As of 2018, more than half of LGBTQ people live in states that don’t protect them from discrimination or are even actively hostile towards them. Some states have enacted laws that allow businesses, healthcare providers and government officials to actually deny services to LGBTQ people.

In the most challenging moments--the 2016 election results, everyday sexism and misogyny and the death of her young husband-- even then she fights to update our laws to protect and include LGBTQ people.

Sarah is now the national press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest LGBTQ civil rights organization. And she’s the author of the new book, “Tomorrow Will Be Different. Love, Loss and the Fight for Trans Equality.”

RESOURCES referred to on this episode:

Human Rights Campaign

Transgender Law Center

Sarah McBride (photo by B Proud)

Sarah McBride (photo by B Proud)