TIDA Celebrates the LGBTQ Community with PRIDE

By: Noelle M. Natoli, Member at Clark Hill, PLC and Chair of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee
June 21, 2021





“In trucking, what you wear, what you sound like, how you present yourself—restrictive aesthetic elements in many jobs—are not barriers.”—Lee Ann Carey

I know I do not speak for all of TIDA when I write this article—but I do speak to those of you who have strength, who have compassion, who know the true meaning of equity, and if you have read this far, you have faith in knowing that each of us is created equal. The trucking industry’s recent ventures to improve inclusion of the LGBTQ community provides opportunities and challenges.

The author of this article is not a member of, but rather an advocate for the LGBTQ Community. It may be cliché, but my best friend is gay. We have been friends since we were 12 years old, long before sexuality or gender identity became topics one could discuss openly. He came out to me when he was 17, and I said to him, “yeah, I knew that.” It has never been something I was uncomfortable with. And, now he is a plaintiff’s attorney and regularly sues trucking companies. According to one study, 2.6% of all attorneys are openly LGBTQ, while summer associates, or the next generation of attorneys, measure 4.7%.

The trucking industry has seen an influx of openly LGBTQ drivers thanks to marketing efforts. As we all know, the trucking industry has suffered from a massive driver shortage: one that can be lessened by marketing the opportunity that a career in trucking offers to the LGBTQ community. As Shelli Lichiti states in Rolling Stone’s article “Inside the Growing World of Queer Truckers,” Rolling Stone Magazine by Leigh Ann Carey, February 24, 2019, “Trucking is a cocoon. You can create a new self. While that truck is moving, no one can really judge them as they explore that path.” Lichiti is the founder of the Facebook group LGBT Truckers which has 5,695 followers as of the time of this publication. The article goes on to specifically reference trucking companies that are hiring gay couples as team drivers. But there is more.

Trans women are already entering the trucking workforce. According to statistics compiled by Anne Balay, author of Semi-Queer: Inside the World of Gay, Trans, and Black Truck Drivers, the trucking industry may already be comprised of 3% of trans women. Whether they are gay, straight, transsexual, bisexual, queer, or other, you have the same challenges other minorities have when it comes to finding a safe place to stop for breaks—“You gotta watch your back. You can’t be naïve our here…You can feel a difference in different states….we stayed in the truck and locked our doors.…[We] are very sensitive to the things that are going on around us. … We have to protect ourselves.” 

As a trucking defense attorney, I always like it when my clients say, “Safety is our greatest concern.”  Here, our concern is for the safety of our drivers—all our drivers.

The TIDA Diversity & Inclusion Committee welcomes all members of TIDA with PRIDE.


The TIDA Diversity and Inclusion Committee has curated a list of articles to provide our members with information on diversity and inclusion. The information and links to other information on the TIDA Diversity and Inclusion Article Page has been prepared by TIDA for the general information of TIDA members. The committee encourages members to submit an article relating to diversity and inclusion to further promote the mission of the committee. 

Click here to submit an article