Transgender Advocate Michaela Mendelsohn on Being Liberated by Transition
By Spectrum News Staff Los Angeles
PUBLISHED 1:13 PM ET Aug. 05, 2019
LA Stories with Giselle Fernandez profiles Michaela Mendelsohn of Agoura Hills who liberated herself and never looked back.
She was born a he — a husband for over 30 years, a very successful businessman, and a devoted father to three children.
But his secret was making him sick.
In what she calls an act of sheer survival, Michael would transition to Michaela and become one of the most powerful champions of transgender rights today.
Michaela spoke candidly to Giselle about the lifelong struggles she had with her gender identity and the heartache that she and her family endured due to her sexual transition. Michaela also shares with Giselle her surgical transition and how she found happiness by finally being in her right body as a woman.
She opens up to Giselle about her life today as a new mommy to little ones, while still being a dad to her older kids.
In business, Giselle found out that despite Michaela’s previous success as a businessman, the business world treated her differently as a women. She was shocked to learn that trans people experience twice the unemployment rate others do.
Motivated to act, Michaela began using her experience and platform to advocate for others. She launched the non-profit Trans Can Work, which has programs that educate, train, and incentivize business owners on the benefits of hiring transgender employees.
The results have been positive for both companies and trans employees across the United States. Michaela also helped create and get passed California law SB 396, which requires employers to publicly post in the workplace the rights of trans workers. In addition, Michaela tells Giselle that the issue that’s of most importance to her these days is her work on the Board of the Trevor Project — a non-profit working to stop suicide among transgender youth.
She shares a harrowing statistic that half of transgender youth attempt suicide and have a profound need to know that there is support, hope, and a future available to them.