California Restaurants To Create U.S. First Largescale Transgender Employment Program

We have our favorite restaurants, our locally owned businesses, and even our chummy wait staff at our preferred hangouts.  As LGBTers, do we gravitate toward fellow LGBTers?  Do we tip them more?  Do we hire them more than the straight alternative?  One program in California is taking up the challenge of making sure transgender individuals are gainfully employed.


California is now home to the nation's first ever large-scale program to help transgender people find jobs. The goal of the new California Transgender Workplace Project is to eat away at the unemployment rate for trans people, which is twice the rate of other Americans. The numbers are even worse for trans people of color.

The project will place trans job seekers into entry-level positions at restaurants throughout the state, in collaboration with the California Restaurant Association.

As an incentive to owners and managers, the first 60 hours of a new hire's wages will be paid for through a $150,000 grant from the California Workforce Development Board.

And this is all because of Michaela Mendelsohn, a trans woman who's employed trans people at her restaurants for years.  –


For more on this program, head over to the Take Two site where they have an audio link to their radio coverage of this story.  The text of the story also elaborates on the following points.

"The customer’s always right…unless they attack you personally."

"The word’s just gotten out that I’m a trans owner supporting trans people."

How Caitlyn Jenner and NC's bathroom bill helped Mendelsohn's cause.

Restaurants' first taste of the new program.


Do you think the program will grow and be a great success?

Would you change your restaurant ways to support programs like this?

Would you hire an LGBT employee over another equally qualified candidate?

Is that discrimination?





Learn more about Michaela Mendelsohn at She owns the El Pollo Locos at:

  • 1545 S. Western Ave, Los Angeles
  • 3750 West 5th Street, Oxnard
  • 7851 Foothill Blvd, Sunland
  • 5050 Kanan Road, Agoura Hills
  • 1722 S. Victoria Ave #A, Ventura
  • 17240 Saticoy Street, Van Nuys

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