Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Pre-order Book!
Pre-order Book!



Trans woman fights bias during journey from Tennessee to Chicago
by Jake Ekdahl

This article shared 2222 times since Sat Apr 27, 2019
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 .

This article shared 2222 times since Sat Apr 27, 2019
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.


Gay News

Illinois Senate passes proposal removing gendered language from marriage certificates
--From a press release - On April 21, on its third reading, the Illinois Senate passed (by a bipartisan vote of 44-13) a proposal that amends the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act to allow the removal of gendered language ...

Gay News

Jennifer Pritzker threatens to leave Tennessee over anti-trans legislation
Jennifer Pritzker—the world's first out and only known transgender billionaire, as well as a cousin of Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker—threatened to pull her fortune from Tennessee if lawmakers pass transphobic ...

Gay News

Ex-cop Chauvin found guilty of murder, manslaughter; LGBTQs react
On April 20, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of second- and third-degree murder as well as second-degree manslaughter in his case involving George Floyd. Floyd died in May 2020 after Chauvin placed ...

Gay News

Gay, trans panic defenses continue in court cases in many US states
--From a press release - Gay and trans panic defenses first appeared in court cases in the 1960s and continue to be raised in criminal trials today. ...

Gay News

PASSAGES Donald Duane Slater
Donald Duane Slater, age 73, of Kalamazoo Michigan made his transition on April 8, 2021 in his home, of natural causes. Don worked in several bars in the 1970's and 80's. Among them the Glory Hole ...

Gay News

Pilsen Law Center responds to death of Adam Toledo
--From a press release - Chicago Illinois — The shooting by Chicago Police of 13-year-old Adam Toledo, is yet another reminder to our community that much critical work remains to be done to prevent the use of lethal force through policies ...

Gay News

GLAAD responds to increase in suicide attempts among trans youth in Arkansas
--From a press release - (New York, NY - April 19, 2021) — GLAAD is responding to reports of an increase in suicide attempts among transgender youth in Arkansas, which on April 6 became the first U.S. state to outlaw gender-affirming ...

Gay News

NATIONAL More trans deaths, bullied teen, Manhunt, trans writer, Biden
A Black transgender woman in Missouri was shot to death—and investigators swiftly tracked down a suspect they believe shot her after meeting on an online dating website, LGBTQ Nation reported. Dominique Lucious was found dead April ...

Gay News

WORLD Peru items, Kenya, UK government, Poland city
The first lesbian elected to Peru's Congress promised to put up a "strong battle" for LGBTQ+ rights in the South American nation as two social conservatives go head to head for a presidential run-off vote in ...

Gay News

Poll: Most Americans oppose anti-trans laws
A new PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist poll showed that two-thirds of U.S. residents oppose laws that would limit transgender rights, PBS reported. About one half of one percent of U.S. adults are transgender, according to a recent Gallup ...

Gay News

Everytown for Gun Safety groups respond to police shooting of Adam Toledo
--From a press release - The Illinois chapter of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety's grassroots networks, released the following statement responding to the video and subsequent reports of the fatal police shooting ...

Gay News

Equality Florida, HRC condemn Florida House passage of trans sports ban
--From a press release - Tallahassee, FL - The Florida House has voted 77-40 to ban transgender girls from playing sports alongside their peers. The vote comes just hours after transgender students and advocates held a press conference in the Florida ...

Gay News

Illinois Latino Agenda issues statement on shooting of Adam Toledo
--From a press release - On March 29, 2021, 13-year-old Adam Toledo was shot and killed by a Chicago police officer. Since the shooting, there have been different narratives formed of who Adam Toledo was. Various media have made allegations saying ...

Gay News

International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia theme announced
--From a collective press release - LGBTQI+ networks from around the world have announced the theme for this year's International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia: "Together: Resisting, Supporting, Healing!" We are inspired by this very ...

Gay News

Decriminalization of HIV approved in Judiciary-Criminal Committee
--From a Illinois HIV Action Alliance press release - SPRINGFIELD — Today, the Illinois House Judiciary-Criminal Committee voted 18-0 to approve House Bill 1063 HA1, which would end criminal penalties against people living with HIV (PLWH). Under current law, PLWH face the threat of arrest, ...


Copyright © 2021 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.








About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

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.