In this month's issue, in honor of International Transgender Day of Visibility, we talked with Ravanna-Michelle E. Menendez, a transgender woman who is transitioning in Nashville about her life and how she's hoping to impact transgender life through her project, The Lilac Experience.
At Lyft, she saw the other great things that the company was doing, especially with their employee resource group (ERG), for trans people and local communities. “But I was like, what are we doing for our own employees? After the Trump administration had issued the action to remove transgender troops from the military, they held a therapy session for the LGBTQ+ ERG.
When they asked for questions, Ravanna was stuck on the idea that while the company couldn’t address these big national questions, there were things they could do for the people in their company.
“So I brought it straight to the founder's face. And I said, I think what you're doing is fantastic, but I want to know what you're able to do for actual trans employees that are working for you. Because the coverage that we have for trans inclusive insurance is not enough. And, you know, that wasn't something that they were expecting, right?”
“He was very generous about it. And he was like, ‘Well, I would love to hear from you. What can we do to better support trans employees?’ Let’s get in touch so we can learn and address this together. And that's why having somebody like me at the table is so important. Because if you don't have anybody to start these conversations, they're not going to be had! That really gave me the platform to then lay out everything that we needed.”
We also hear from Lee, our regular book reviewer, about his path to transition in Nashville, and some of his top book picks for transgender visibility.