Texting makes transgender voices heard

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Today, March 31st, is International Transgender Day of Visibility. Recognizing that marginalized people are empowered by visibility and awareness, Zipwhip supports the LGBTQ community. Last year, we donated our software to the #transneeds Listening Campaign, hoping to provide participants with agency and voice through texting.

The Listening Campaign was started by a group of volunteers in September 2015, when they realized there was a lack of data surrounding the needs of transgender individuals. They invited trans-identified people to share their personal stories both on the #transneeds Twitter hashtag and through a toll free texting support line powered by Zipwhip.

Why text? Texting provided participants a safe channel to share their stories. By offering a more private option, the volunteers found that people were able to send in longer-length, qualitative narratives compared to Twitter.

“Texting is not only private but it’s also more accessible to the most isolated, low income, or impoverished segments of the population at large,”
-Ginger Chien, AT&T engineer and project member.

“In offering a text option, the campaign gave people who are not on social media or who wanted to remain anonymous a way to participate and share their stories,”
-the Listening Campaign concluded.

Because of these conversations, volunteers gained insight into discrimination faced by trans people in areas such as education, housing, employment, health care, and family life.  In 30 days, they received over 12,000 tweets and texts. Their stories will be compiled and presented to the White House to influence policy reform. View the entire #transneeds deck here.

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