The 2015 Trans 100 honorees were announced on Sunday, March 29th, at the annual live celebration in Chicago. The Trans 100 celebrates the work of 100 influential transgender activists and advocates from across the country. The event was hosted this year by Chicago trans activists Precious Davis and Myles Brady, with Keynote Speeches from GLAAD Senior Media Strategist, Tiq Milan, and film director Lana Wachowski. Violinist Tona Brown, Against Me! frontwoman Laura Jane Grace, and rapper Rocco Katastrophe performed.
Four Pennsylvania leaders in the trans community were honored this year:
Turner Stulting Lewisburg, PA
Turner is a trans youth activist, President of Bucknell University Gender and Sexuality Alliance, and the Assistant Director of Common Ground, a student-led diversity immersion retreat. Turner has worked in various capacities with the Pennsylvania Student Equality Coalition. Ze served as State Operations Co-Chair of the 2014 Pennsylvania Youth Action Conference: Igniting a Pennsylvania Youth Movement for Trans* Justice and Freedom, the 2014 Convener of the PSEC Coordinating Committee, and the 2014 Summer Policy Fellow. Last May, Turner interned with the Triangle Project, an LGBT rights organization in Cape Town, South Africa, assisting with the monitoring of hate crimes that LGBT people experienced in the Western Cape.Turner was the recipient of the 2015 Mara Keisling Leadership Award from the Pennsylvania Student Equality Coalition. Ze is currently beginning research on the implications of socioeconomic class difference on transgender college students.
Samantha Jo-Dato Philadelphia, PA
Samantha is the Coordinator of the Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference, one of the largest transgender conferences in the world. Samantha has served as a Committee Member for the annual Philadelphia Trans March and worked to launch the Mazzoni Center’s Trans Wellness Project in 2013.
Dr. Rachel Levine Middletown, PA
Dr. Levine is the acting Physician General for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the highest ranking openly transgender public official in Pennsylvania history. Prior to her appointment, she served as chief of the Division of Adolescent Medicine and Eating Disorders at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.
Jayden HC Sampson Norristown, PA
Jayden is an organizer of the Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference. He serves as Secretary of the Board of Directors for Gender Reel, a coast-to-coast film and performing arts festival highlighting the experiences and identities of transgender and gender nonconforming individuals. Jayden previously served on the Board of Directors of the Attic Youth Center and the Mazzoni Center in Philadelphia. He first came to Pennsylvania to practice law as a Public Defender.
The 2014 Trans 100 honored four Pennsylvania leaders as well: A. Dionne Stallworth (Philadelphia), Charlene Arcila (Philadelphia), Shay(den) Gonzalez (Philadelphia), and Michael David Battle (Pittsburgh).
The inaugural Trans 100 list in 2013 honored five Pennsylvanians (those from Pennsylvania, and those currently residents): Allsyon Robinson (Jermyn), Che Gossett (Philadelphia), Jenny Boylan (Valley Forge), Mara Keisling (Harrisburg), and Van Nguyen (Philadelphia).