On Board With PRIDE@Transfix and Southern Truckers’ Christmas

LGBT Truckers

Members of the LGBT Truckers, Inc.

Chelsea Kumpula and Sam Ladd were looking to do some outreach. Working for Transfix remotely in Mobile, Alabama, can be a bit isolating, and as members of the company’s PRIDE@Transfix employee resource group (ERG), they wanted to help make a difference in both their community and the trucking industry.

Chelsea K + Sam LSo when they were introduced to Shelle Lichti, who runs an organization called “LGBT Truckers,” which just happens to be based in their county, they couldn’t have been more excited. It was December, and Shelle was working on her “Southern Truckers’ Christmas” outreach project: filling 100 Christmas stockings with key essentials drivers need while on the road — lip balm, notebooks, pens, snacks, hand sanitizer, and more — to give out to drivers along with plates of food.

Shelle, however, is a truck driver herself, so she was on the road during the planning of the project. She needed help receiving the items and filling the stockings. One phone call with Chelsea and Sam was all it took.

“Sam and I created an assembly line, and we put together 100 stockings,” Chelseasays. “We just stuffed them full of everything we could get in there. Shelle was on the road a lot, so we kept up with tracking and orders for her. We would drive to her camper, pick everything up, come back to our home, and stuff the stockings. Then we would drive them back to her camper, so they were there for her when she got back — she didn’t even come in off the road until Christmas Eve.”

Like Sam and Chelsea, Shelle wanted to spread visibility and positivity about LGBTQ+ members of the trucking community. If the flood of happy-drivers-with-stockings photos Shelle posted following the event are any indication, the effort was a success.

The PRIDE@Transfix ERG loves such outreach efforts. Members of the “small but growing” group work to build awareness of the LGBTQ+ community through structured programming, industry engagement and community building.


“If trucking companies would do the types of things we are doing at Transfix — starting a group to support their employees — it could make a big difference,” Chelsea says. “There are a lot of people in hiding, and they don’t feel like they can be honest, even with their own employers, because they believe they’re at risk of losing their job.”

“If more companies across the country would come together and do small things like we did with Shelle, it would put more awareness out there in trucking for the LGBTQ community,” Sam adds. “If a company like Transfix is willing to do something like this for Christmas, what could we do on a broader spectrum just to help out?”

“We want to set a positive example for our employees and other companies alike,” Chelsea says. “Trucking is old school, and we want to drive it toward the future. The industry is always changing, and we want to grow with it.”