1980/1981 (age 37–38)|
|Organization||TransTech Social Enterprises|
Angelica Ross was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin but was raised in Racine, Wisconsin. Ross, a trans woman, has said she was perceived as feminine from a young age. In 1998, at the age of 17, she came out as gay to her mother, an evangelical Christian. Her mother did not receive the news well as, according to Ross, "she told me I should commit suicide or she would, because she couldn't have someone like me as her child." Ross considered ending her own life and overdosed on medication but survived.
Upon graduating high school at 17, Ross briefly attended the University of Wisconsin, Parkside before dropping out after one semester. Ross decided to join the U.S. Navy (after her parents signed a waiver so that she may join as a minor) in order to qualify for the G.I. Bill. Ross initially moved to Rochester, New York before being stationed in Yokosuka, Kanagawa. After six months of service, she requested and received an "uncharacterized" discharge under the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy (which was then in force) due to being harassed by enlisted men who coerced her into saying she was gay. Ross moved back home, and made friends with a drag queen called Traci Ross who helped her begin her gender transition at the age of 19. Upon discovering that she was transitioning, her parents threw her out and Ross moved in with her biological father in Roanoke, Virginia. Although Ross and her parents were estranged for a time, she states that their relationship has since mended.
During the six years that she lived in Roanoke, Virginia, Ross worked as a waitress at Applebee's so that she could earn enough money to pay rent and attend cosmetology school. She was let go from her waitress job due to discrimination. Ross then moved to Hollywood, Florida and worked as a model and escort until 2003. She started a web development and graphic design business and began taking acting classes. She later moved to Chicago to become the employment coordinator for the Trans Life Center.
Ross launched TransTech Social Enterprises in Chicago in 2014. The nonprofit creative design firm trains and contracts transgender and other workers. Melissa Harris-Perry brought more attention to the firm in 2015, choosing Ross as her show's first "Foot Soldier" of the year. Ross was a featured speaker at the 2015 White House LGBTQ Tech and Innovation Summit.
In 2016, Ross began acting in Her Story, a web series about trans women in Los Angeles. The series was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Short Form Comedy or Drama. Ross also made a guest appearance that year on the TV series Transparent.
Awards and recognition
- 2015 – Be Amazing Award, Transgender National Alliance
- 2016 – Trailblazer Award, Black Trans Advocacy Awards
- 2016 – Visibility Award, Human Rights Campaign
Ross was once engaged, but called off the engagement as her fiancé did not want others to know that Ross was transgender.
- Dawn Ennis (November 17, 2015). "Meet the Vanguard: Trans Businesswoman Angelica Ross Tells All". The Advocate. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
- Kate MacArthur (June 4, 2015). "Angelica Ross, TransTech and voice and value for transgender people". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
- "The World Wouldn't Make a Place for Angelica Ross. So She Made One for Herself". Magazine. Retrieved 2018-08-10.
- Erin Bried (July 15, 2015). "Being Transgender Nearly Cost Me My Life". Self. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
- Heather Wood Rudulph (July 25, 2016). "How I'm Helping the Trans Community Get Great Jobs". Cosmopolitan. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
- Andy Ambrosius (February 17, 2015). "How One Chicago Start-Up is Working to Close the Transgender Employment Gap". Chicago Magazine. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
- Melissa Harris-Perry (January 3, 2015). "How one trans businesswoman is helping others". MSNBC. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
- Megan Rose Dickey (September 1, 2015). "TransTech Helps Transgender People Get Jobs In Tech And, Soon, The White House". TechCrunch. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
- Evan Ross Katz (January 28, 2016). "Angelica Ross And Jen Richards Discuss Their Groundbreaking New Series, "Her Story"". Logo TV. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
- Mari Brighe (July 31, 2016). "The Emmy-Nominated Trans Web Series Her Story Could Change Everything". The Advocate. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
- Robin Roemer (July 17, 2016). "Women Behind 'Her Story' Talk Emmy Nomination". NBC News. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
- Brighe, Mari (September 26, 2016). "What's Next for Transgender Media After 'Transparent'?". Vice. Retrieved July 26, 2017.
- Mey (July 1, 2017). ""Danger & Eggs" Is The Greatest Weirdest Queer-and-Trans Inclusive Kids Show Ever". Autostraddle. Retrieved July 26, 2017.
- Bendix, Trish (July 3, 2017). ""Danger And Eggs" Is The Queer Cartoon We've Been Waiting For". NewNowNext. Retrieved July 26, 2017.
- Lawson, Richard (May 30, 2018). "Pose Is Bold, Necessary Melodrama". Vanity Fair. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
- "METRO GLAM Fundraising Event". Transgender National Alliance. October 28, 2015. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
- "2016 National Black Trans Advocacy Awards: Full List of Award Recipients". Black Trans Advocacy. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
- "2016 HRC Chicago Award Recipients & Special Guests". Human Rights Campaign. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
- Lori Grisham (July 24, 2015). "#InTheirWords: 'A lot of trans people feel like they will never be loved'". USA Today. Retrieved January 5, 2017.