(Forbes) Intuit, the U.S. business software giant and financial management corporation, made history [last] week by hosting what was billed as a first for Silicon Valley: a “Trans Summit,” in which transgender, non-binary and gender non-conforming employees spoke with their coworkers — as well as their CEO — about their struggles and successes in the workplace.
Emotions ran raw; everything from tears to cheers and sincere compassion were palpably present throughout the day-long event.
But those assembled said the speakers who really made the biggest impression were five kids, ranging in age from 11 to 17. No, they were not there for “Bring Your Child To Work Day.”
They are the next generation of engineers, doctors, actors, dreamers and achievers. And they are all transgender.
“I’ve been waiting to say this all day,” beamed Lia of New Hampshire, a bodacious 14-year-old trans girl who dreams of Broadway. “Let’s get ‘In-tu-it!’”
These young people are the face of a nationally-recognized nonprofit, GenderCool. Its co-founder, public relations and marketing veteran Jen Grosshandler, is herself the mom of a 13-year-old trans girl. Together with her husband, John, and her co-founder, diversity consultant Gearah Goldstein, Grosshandler worked with the LGBTQ+ employees at Intuit who organized the Trans Summit to bring these children, as well as one parent each, to the Mountain View, Calif. campus for Tuesday’s event.
“We no longer need to engage in a debate about the validity of any human being, period,” Goldstein told the audience of Intuit employees, attending both in person and via video. She suggested that when they hear someone talking negatively about trans or non-binary people, they should step up and share the experience of meeting her and the five trans children sharing the stage.