23 December 2021

Interview with B. Pagels Minor

From Mississippi to Chicago to Silicon Valley, B. has built their career around building great products for amazing brands while also working to enrich their community around them. B. is a trans nonbinary lesbian whose pronouns are they/them/their.

B. is a native of Mississippi who relocated to the Silicon Valley in 2018 from Chicago. B. is an enthusiast for anything technology related, as well as randomly obscure trivia facts. B. works in the technology industry and spends much too much time scouring the latest financial, footwear and technology news for new tech toys and shoes for their collection.

Tell us about your work and why it's important.

I have a few areas of focus in my work. The first is easy access to culturally competent healthcare for Black and LGBTQ+ people which I seek to push forward as a Director on the Board of Directors at Howard Brown Health Center in Chicago. The second area is economic empowerment and equity for Black womxn through work placement programs, emotional support programs, etc. which I accomplish through my work as a Director on the Board of Directors at YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago. Third is my desire to help ensure Black womxn are able to attend elite schools like Northwestern university without economic debt and to empower them to become the next leaders in the world which I accomplish through my role as a Director on the Board of Directors of the Northwestern Alumni Association. Lastly, I am a worker in tech who is always attempting to make tech companies a safe place to work for diverse people (LGBTQ+, Black, LatinX, and women) which I accomplish through coaching companies and also speaking engagements.

What are some of the biggest barriers facing trans and non-binary folks, especially in accessing care?

The biggest barrier is the lack of standardized care for TGNC folks. Depending on your city, state, or country the types of care you may have available to you is absolutely subjective to whether there is a healthcare professional who has invested in being trained. I belong to a number of TGNC groups where we discuss medical care and it’s frankly horrifying to hear what some individuals are told in terms of care versus others. TGNC care is an area where there is little choice and as such many medical providers who do offer services simply operate as they desire vs ensuring they are providing the latest and best care. This lack of care also extends to other areas. For instance, a TGNC person can be mistreated when attempting to change their name, gender, etc. to match their identity even when following all of the rules outlined by their government. I recently attempted to have my birth certificate updated in my home state of Mississippi and was continually given new and more outrageous requirements to block me from my right to have my birth certificate match the name that other states now recognize.

Could you share your personal experience accessing healthcare?

I have been fortunate in my healthcare. First off, I began my transition in Chicago with the amazing services of Howard Brown Health and secondly when I began investing in surgeries I had excellent insurance that enabled me to utilize Dr. Mosser in SF. I literally have had world class care and wish every other TGNC person had the same opportunities.

How can people support your work?

First and foremost educate yourself on local organizations in your community that provide TGNC care and support them.

Second, there are great organizations like Howard Brown Health, Trans Lifeline, Transgender Law Center that support the TGNC community and fight for the community so consider supporting them.

Lastly, I try to share the stories of my community through social media so do consider following to learn more and also spread the message.

— Find out more about B. Pagels Minor work at bpagelsminor.com | LinkedIn | Twitter

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