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Trans billionaire warns Tennessee she’ll move her wealth if it doesn’t stop ‘hurtful’ anti-trans attacks

Matilda Davies April 19, 2021
Jennifer Pritzker

Jennifer Pritzker became the first ever transgender billionaire when she publicly came out in 2013. (YouTube/Elizabeth Dole Foundation)

Jennifer Pritzker, the world’s first and only out trans billionaire, has said she’ll consider moving her wealth out of Tennessee because of new anti-LGBT+ state laws.

Pritzker is the only trans person ever included on the Forbes Billionaires list, with a net worth estimated at $2 billion. She is an ex-US Army lieutenant colonel and a member of one of the wealthiest families in the US, who founded the Hyatt hotel group.

Her private family trust is currently held in Nashville, Tennessee but she has threatened to move it due to ongoing attacks on LGBT+ rights in the state.

In March, Tennessee passed a bill banning trans girls from playing middle and high school sports as their correct gender. State governer Bill Lee stated that the move aimed to “preserve women’s athletics and ensure fair competition”.

Other ongoing legislative attacks in the state include attempts to ban LGBT-inclusive textbooks in schools, allow parents to opt their children out of LGBT-inclusive curriculums and restrict trans healthcare for under-18s. Bill Lee also signed a bill in 2019 which allowed adoption providers to discriminate against LGBT+ people.

Jennifer Pritzker told the Nashville LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce: “As a transgender woman, these unnecessary and hurtful laws are personal to me.

“As a businesswoman, my larger concern is the impact they will have on Tennessee’s reputation and, ultimately, economic well-being, as businesses and tourists turn elsewhere.

“No state benefits from the perception that it is an intolerant and unwelcome place for people of different backgrounds, and it alarms me gravely to see this state vying for the title of least inclusive in the nation.”

Pritzker was previously a supporter of Donald Trump, donating $250,000 to committees supporting his presidency. However, her support appeared to end when he announced a ban on transgender people serving in the military in 2017.

She later donated $100,000 to The Lincoln Project, a Republican political action committee (PAC) that formed to prevent his re-election. It also opposed the other Republicans vying for re-election, including Kentucky senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, Iowa senator Joni Ernst and North Carolina senator Thom Tillis.

Pritzker went on to donate $2,000 to Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, joining her cousin John Prtizker who donated at least $650,000 to pro-Biden PACs in 2020.

She is only the tenth richest Pritzker, with her sister Karen topping the list at a reported net worth of $4.3 billion.

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