November 15, 2023
ICYMI—TransTech Social is back with Fireside Chats!
Led by TransTech’s Executive Director E.C. Pizarro III (he/him), the Fireside Chats are a series of intimate, themed virtual talks held with some of the most important trans voices succeeding in the tech space. Focusing on creative tech and finding community in tech, E.C. was joined for this chat with B. Hawk Snipes (they/she) and Miss Mojo (she/her) of BTFA Collective, a non-profit organization for Black trans femmes in the arts.
B. Hawk and Miss Mojo, both with fabulous beats, statement earrings, and long, sentence-accenting nails, remarked on their earliest experiences with tech, unaware of their tech expertise. B. Hawk, who is the Digital Communications Lead for BTFA and an activist (and the rest you can Google), often thinks of tech as a physical field, working hands-on with equipment and data. TransTech Social led them to realize that the coding she did on her MySpace page, to their daily use of social media, was all based on tech. A resource like TransTech Social offered them the representation needed for her to conclude that they were enmeshed in tech already.
Miss Mojo, The Original Digital Doll and musician, remarked that her introduction to tech began as a child with LeapFrog interactive books. Coming from a “pro-future” household, Miss Mojo experienced the first flat screens and the home-grown engineering of boosted cable, and it all piqued her interest in technology.
She too found freedom in the use of MySpace, where she could display her self-taught Photoshop skills and meet a world that existed far outside of her neighborhood. “I needed to find community elsewhere…so I found it online in groups and forums.”
Using her tech knowledge, she shared her story online through her art, blossoming into the digital doll we know and stand today. Guided by the mantra, “Your network is your net worth,” Miss Mojo has built her fanbase organically with the availability of streaming services and email list automation.
The discussion led further into the impact transgender experiences have on the technology space, which has been misrepresented as being inaccessible for trans folks without degrees or certifications. E.C. also highlighted how tech plays a part in trans liberation through gender-inclusive healthcare, remote work, and sustainable salaries. All agreed that while there is safety behind tech, it can also be a double-edged sword. “Visibility brings opportunity and transphobia.” B. Hawk remarked, but that same tech-driven visibility brought her to organizations like BTFA, where there are other Black trans women and femmes they can lean on.
TransTech has the resources and the staffing to support transgender and non-binary people starting a career in tech or looking to pivot from their current careers into tech. As a virtual organization all about equity, TransTech offers free membership, certifications, interview prep, career coaching, and resume writing. But as E.C. emphasized, it’s only available to those who are willing to ask for help. “Don’t be timid about reaching out to the community…there is a community here that will support you.”
Become a member or join our mailing list to learn about the next Fireside Chat!
TransTech: Employ. Empower. Educate.