After watching the bravery of first responders on September 11, 2001, April Fredericks was inspired to become an EMT herself. At the time a business owner, April purchased a home in Bushkill, Pennsylvania, settled in with her significant other and her son, and became educated, trained, and certified as an EMT and paramedic. From 2005 through 2012, April worked on and off for various Emergency Medical Service companies in the region. She had difficulty turning these periods of employment into full-time work – and when she was hired, she often was fired or intimidated into quitting, simply because she is a transgender woman. After years of being harassed, referred to as a man, and facing other hostility, April retired early in 2012 and became the owner and operator of a karate dojo.
“I was simply doing my job as an EMT, saving lives,” April said. “Yet I was fired and also unable to obtain employment. Until we have protections against this type of workplace discrimination, you can be fired unfairly if you are gay or transgender.”
Photographs by Kristy Lumsden Photography