World’s First Transgender Hackathon Planned for September


EDGE Media Network Contributor

Tuesday June 11, 2013

This September, software developers, designers, and LGBT activists will meet in Oakland, CA., for Trans*H4CK, the world's first transgender hackathon aimed to address issues specific to the transgender community.

According to, the 48-hour hackfest, which is scheduled for September 13-15, will focus on hacking apps, sites, products and solutions that address the needs, risks, issues and consumer interests of transgender communities. Money is currently being raised through a GoFundMe campaign for space rental, travel sponsorships for out of town participants, payment for guest speakers and prizes.

The event is the brainchild of activist, artist and scholar, Dr. Kortney Ryan Ziegler, who is is building the capacity of Who We Know, a social enterprise centered on economic empowerment for transgender people through entrepreneurship, with Trans*H4CK its first public event.

According to notes on Trans*H4CK's GoFundMe page the two-day event will feature developers, designers, activists, community members, youth and entrepreneurs invested in the betterment of the lives of trans and gender nonconforming people, sharing ideas and creating apps, websites and products that provide solutions in challenging anti-transgender discrimination.

Dr. Ziegler states, "a necessary step in addressing anti-transgender bias is to create technology that socially empowers transgender individuals. Imagine if there existed a mobile phone app that helps individuals find trans friendly doctors or an app that profiles safe space job opportunities for trans people across the country?"

Dr. Kortney Ryan Ziegler is an Oakland, Calif., based artist, scholar and entrepreneur. He is the first person to hold the Ph.D of African American Studies from Northwestern University. He's the director of "STILL BLACK: a portrait of black transmen," a groundbreaking documentary that profiles the lives black transgender men. Dr. Ziegler is also a writer and self-publishes a collection of essays on his GLAAD Media Award nominated blog, blac (k) ademic.

In 2013, Dr. Ziegler was named one of the Top 40 Under 40 LGBT Activists by The Advocate Magazine, was listed on the inaugural Trans 100 list, was awarded The 2013 Authentic Life Award from Transgender Law Center and is the recipient of the Outstanding Service Award from the Esteem Awards.

Similar hackathons in the past have pooled the talents of software developers and designers to address issues ranging from inner city transit systems to education reform to disaster and crisis management.
To contribute to Trans*H4CK, visit