Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2020-01-22
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Trans woman fights bias during journey from Tennessee to Chicago
by Jake Ekdahl
2019-04-27

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


May 5 will be a meaningful day for Angelina Nordstrom. She will be speaking at the Chicago House 33rd Annual Spring Brunch Fashion Show on the importance of stable employment for the vulnerable.

( Also at Harold Washington Library, Eataly Chicago will be presented with the Chicago House 2019 Spirit Award for its program offering employment opportunities for transgender and non-binary people. )

For Nordstrom, these kinds of programs are important not just because of her identity as a trans woman, but also because she has struggled with long-term workplace discrimination due to that identity.

Originally from Memphis, Tennessee, Nordstrom worked at two organizations—and allegedly faced workpace discrimination at a federal facility. Nordstrom said that co-workers continuously misgendered her, and that her status as a trans woman affected decisions about her future employment.

"It was a federal government entity doing this," Nordstrom said. "It's a lot more damning to hear of a governmental institution violating protections."

It was during this ordeal Nordstrom was put in contact with the Chicago House trans-legal service. "We filled out a document and sent it where it was supposed to go," Nordstrom said. "Still we have not received a response even to this day."

The trans-legal services are part of a natural evolution for Chicago House. The organization was founded to address the critical need for housing HIV/AIDS-affected individuals, and has since expanded to offer employment services, HIV prevention, case management and TransLife Care programs.

"The needs of the community have changed so much, so Chicago House has kind of changed to meet those needs," said Chicago House Media Director Ashley Pabst. "So now their services are just much more expansive. … There's trans legal, there's trans housing [and there's more]."

Nordstrom and her attorney brought a lawsuit against her employers, which ended in a settlement.

"I was still learning, so I had to find it within myself to realize what they did was wrong," Nordstrom said. "Regardless of how vulnerable I may be. … I still had to remain strong enough to ensure my voice is heard and make sure I share my narrative. Because if I don't share my narrative then not only am I suffering in silence, but eventually I'm contributing to the problem."

For Nordstrom, the result was instructive. "The bigger thing to me, was [for them] to acknowledge the situation as a whole and not just say 'Okay, be quiet, we're going to pay you out but we're not admitting fault,'" she told Windy City Times.

Nordstrom eventually made the leap from Tennessee to Chicago, but the adjustment had major challenges.

"Every time I visited [Chicago] I would stay for two weeks because I hated Tennessee at the time as far as the lack of resources, the lack of community, the lack of protections, the lack of just being able to just do things for yourself without just having to rely on [others]," Nordstrom said.

When she first arrived in Chicago, Nordstrom learned she was unfortunately just barely too old to stay at The Crib, a housing service for LGBT youth aged 18-24. She turned 25 about a month prior.

She found random work in Chicago, but nothing stable and certainly nothing secure enough to make her feel confident about renting a place, so she struggled with homelessness for a time.

After a stint at a temp agency, Nordstrom eventually secured employment at the LGBTQ-oriented Center on Halsted in 2017. She also volunteered with Harold Brown and Chicago House.

"It's been better than previous employers when it comes to understanding one's particular narrative and one's walk in life," Nordstrom said.

After spending 2017 getting her student loans under control, she's now pursuing a Human Resources degree with Harold Washington College. But she isn't finished.

For Nordstrom, overcoming employment discrimination isn't just an obstacle—it's a mission.

She said she hopes to go on to law school and represent clients like her, who may face discrimination for their LGBTQ identity. For her, law school will be a pursuit "to improve the human condition and provide equity to the trans community that's been lacking."

"I need for everyone to know that you don't have to sit silent and take abuse from an employer that doesn't understand who you are, and what about that makes you amazing and what makes you such a valuable employee," Nordstrom said.

Currently, she's looking at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago. "I'm not going to limit it to two choices, [but] they're way up there in the research," Nordstrom said.

Nordstrom added that, as an attorney, she hopes to offer the kind of assistance she needed in her employment discrimination case.

Her case may have ended in a settlement, but for her future clients, Nordstrom wants to let litigation go as far as they need.

"If they want to [avoid settlement], sure, let's see what we can do," Nordstrom said. "Let's see what the law says and see if we have something."

On May 5, the audience at the Chicago House event will not just be hearing from someone who has struggled with and overcome workplace discrimination. She hopes people will be listening to a woman determined to help others fight for their rights, too.

See ChicagoHouse.org .


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Center announces new security provider 2020-01-22 - Center on Halsted has finally selected a new security provider, according to a statement released by Center officials the afternoon of Jan. 22. ...


Gay News

Federal court ruling benefits same-sex couples 2020-01-22 - A federal appeals panel of Republican appointees ruled Jan. 17 that the state of Indiana must treat same-sex married couples the same as ...


Gay News

Me Too movement founder at NU Jan. 27 2020-01-22 - Me Too movement founder Tarana Burke will keynote Martin Luther King Jr. Dream Week on Monday, Jan. 27. Burke will speak on the ...


Gay News

Lambda Legal releases report on judicial nominees 2020-01-22 - Lambda Legal released the third edition of its annual report of judicial nominees, showing how the Trump-Pence administration, with the help of Senate ...


Gay News

Planned Parenthood, We Testify release "Ours to Tell" short film 2020-01-21 - New York, NY — Planned Parenthood Federation of America ( PPFA ) and We Testify, an organization dedicated to the leadership and representation ...


Gay News

Indiana same-sex parents can list both names on children's birth certificates 2020-01-19 - On Jan. 17—after more than two and a half years—the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that married same-sex couples in Indiana ...


Gay News

Children Born Abroad to Married U.S. Same-Sex Parents Are U.S. Citizens 2020-01-17 - ( New York, NY — January 17, 2020 ) Lambda Legal, Immigration Equality and pro bono counsel Morgan Lewis this week urged federal ...


Gay News

Lightfoot criticizes aldermen over LGBT study 2020-01-16 - On Jan. 15, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot criticized aldermen for objecting to a plan to determine if the LGBT community faces obstacles in ...


Gay News

Access Living names new CEO 2020-01-16 - Access Living's board of directors announced that Karen Tamley has been named the next president/CEO of Access Living. Tamley takes the role March ...


Gay News

COMEDY 'The Haggard Unicorn:' Queer trans comic talks representation, hurdles 2020-01-14 - KJ Whitehead wants to see unrepresented voices take over the comedy world and her latest project, The Haggard Unicorn, is a reflection of ...


 



Copyright © 2020 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.