Monday, September 16, 2013

Bye Oakland and Trans H4CK, Hello H-town

The interesting dynamic about events like Trans*H4CK is that you wait months for the date to finally arrive as you plan for it.  The calendar page flips to that month and as it relentlessly moves closer toward that date you sweat and nervously obsess about whether it will be a success or failure.  The day of the event finally arrives, you are in the moment of handling any last minute glitches and setting it up as you begin to realize it's here and get in the zone of enjoying it.

And then just as quickly as it arrived and you realize your event was the unqualified success you'd hoped, prayed and planned for it to be, it's sadly over.

That time has come for the wildly successful first edition of Trans*H4CK.   It was an interesting meld of a hackathon and trans social justice activism that was fascinating to witness.  I got to kick it with Kortney, his significant other, friends and a few folks in the Oakland area, enjoy some beautiful and cool weather, learn some interesting things about the tech world, be part of the decision making as to who won, and make a few new friends on the Left Coast in the process.

It was also pointed out to me Saturday that the Betti Ono Gallery venue that hosted TransHack was a mere two blocks from the 13th and Franklin Street corner where Brandy Martell was gunned down last year and unfortunately her killer is still at large.

But just like that, the inaugural edition of Trans*H4CK is over.  Kortney and his team get to bask in the afterglow of a successful event and rest before the process of planning the next one begins as I get to fly back to my own life back in Houston.

I enjoyed my time here witnessing history in the making and getting to observe just how much work goes into making a successful app or computer program.   It's also cool that this weekend reinforced for me the knowledge there are bright trans people who are intimately involved in the tech industry and talented enough to do that work.

As my plane takes off bound for Houston, I get to reflect on the way back home about this weekend and anticipate a bigger, better and badder Trans* H4CK 2.0.  I also hope to see the model that Kortney successfully envisioned for trans empowerment through social justice hackathons replicated elsewhere in the country and the world.

And thanks Kortney for extending me the invitation and the opportunity to be a part of it.

Bye Oakland.  I had a wonderful weekend.  See you next time.

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