SPOKANE, Wash. — A Spokane woman has developed a mobile application that will be the first of its kind in the entire nation as a resource and tool for people of the transgender community.
Robbi Anthony is a software developer and executive director of an organization called "Solace."
Thanks to her, project partner Patrick McHugh and a team of three others, her app will soon be in the hands of transgender individuals across the United States and eventually Mexico.
The app, called "Solace," is a tool that transgender individuals can use to map out their transition, while receiving the most accurate and credible information.
About a month ago, Anthony and her team were involved in a competition called "HackOut" that happens to be the only LGBTQIA themed start-up weekend across the world.
She competed with groups from New York, the Dominican Republic and even Canada. “Solace” took first place.
That's when she and her team knew they had something special. Her personal experience as a woman in transition only made her realize even more just how important it would be to release the app to the world.
"I know how difficult it is to move forward on what's already a difficult road that is transition and we interviewed a number of people and we found out that the financials are an aspect of it that holds people back, the community, but (also) access to information is something that makes people unable to move forward," Anthony said.
According to Anthony many, in the trans community will seek advice by resorting to forums like closed Facebook groups where the information is often hit or miss.
She and her team have done testing within the LGBTQIA community and have heard a lot of positive feedback from parents who struggle to help their kids who are going through transition.
"About 41 percent of people who are trans attempt to commit suicide at one point in their life. I want to drive that number down,” Anthony said. "If providing accurate information can put any sort of dent in that number, that would be the highest calling of this type of application." The app will give trans individuals the means to navigate medical, legal and social challenges involved with transition.
“Solace” was recently revealed to the public but should be available for use soon. Anthony said she is still trying to raise $80,000 since app development is expensive.
Those interested in donating can visit the “Solace” website.