Meet the amazing presenters who made Salon LGBTQ 2013 a catalyzing and defining experience.
Opening Keynote Speaker
Renée serves as Senior Vice President and Director of Social Media for Wells Fargo & Company. As Wells Fargo’s Director of Social Media, Renée Brown leads the development and implementation of enterprise social media strategies for Wells Fargo. Her responsibilities include integration of team member social engagement, social communications, social media marketing and social servicing practices across the company.
Brown, a 16-year company veteran, has more than 25 years of marketing, media and leadership experience. She most recently was the Director of Wealth, Brokerage and Retirement Marketing, and she served as the Director of Brand Management at Wachovia. She also held numerous marketing roles in Business and Small Business Banking. Before joining Wells Fargo, Brown was a marketing leader at two community banks in Louisiana and worked in radio for nine years.
Brown holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Communication Theory from Louisiana State University, where she was named to Phi Beta Kappa.
She is a featured blogger on the Wells Fargo Beyond Today blog and volunteers with numerous community nonprofits, including serving as a longtime board member of the Carolina’s American Red Cross and co-chair of the Tiffany Circle as well as currently serving on the board of Out and Equal Workplace Advocates.
Closing Keynote Perspective
Michael Crawford is Digital Director at Freedom to Marry, the campaign to win marriage for same-sex couples nationwide. He leads the Freedom to Marry’s digital strategy in communications, organizing and fundraising and manages the team responsible for the organization’s social media, email, web, online advertising, online organizing, design, and online video presences.
Before joining Freedom to Marry, he was a leading strategist for the successful campaign to win freedom to marry in Washington, D.C. with a focus on public education, community outreach, and communications strategy.
Michael served as Associate Field Director at Human Rights Campaign where he specialized in developing field and legislative strategies to advance pro-LGBT legislation at the state and federal levels and building support for endorsed candidates. As Communications Director at Energy Action Coalition, a coalition of youth and student organizations building a clean energy movement, Michael developed media strategies to tell the stories of young people against man-made global warming.
He has spoken about building internet powered social movements at numerous conferences including Netroots Nation, National Immigration Integration Conference, Campaign Tech, Creating Change and RootsCamp.
Closing Keynote Perspective
Gabe Briones is currently a Social Media Specialist for Southwest Airlines. His primary responsibilities include monitoring and engaging with Customers on social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Flyertalk, and the Nuts About Southwest blog. Gabe’s passion for diversity and inclusion motivated him to get involved with the Company’s D&I efforts. He serves as an active Member of Southwest’s Corporate Diversity Council and is a Co-Chair for the LGBTQ Group, SWAGLE+ (Southwest Airlines Gay and Lesbian Employees+ Allies). Prior to joining Southwest Airlines back in 2010, Gabe recruited for healthcare professionals and staffed some of the nation’s top facilities. He has a Bachelor of Business Management degree from Oklahoma State University. Follow him on Twitter at @southwestgabe.
Closing Keynote Perspective
Nichelle Stephens is a blogger, cupcake enthusiast, editor, event producer, and social media strategist. Nichelle is the co-founding editor of Cupcakes Take The Cake, the most popular blog about cupcakes. Nichelle currently lives in suburban Atlanta after toiling for years in Brooklyn, New York. Nichelle is also the founder of Keeping Nickels, a personal finance and business accounting blog for freelancers and entrepreneurs. Nichelle is also the founder of lifestyle and pop culture blog, CoolBlkPpl.
In 2012, she was the community manager for Digital Undivided’s FOCUS100 Symposium, an event for Black Women Tech Entrepreneurs. That event hit a social media milestone when it became a trending topic on Twitter.
Nichelle has spoken at BlogHer, Blogging While Brown, SXSW, TECHmunch. She has been a guest lecturer at Fashion Institute of Technology.
A decade ago, Matt Tumminello broke new ground in the marketing, advertising and PR industry by establishing Target 10, one of the first agencies to specialize in gay and lesbian consumers. He knew starting out that the market would emerge as a power segment for major brands and is proud to have been behind some of the most innovative work targeting gay consumers since the agency first opened its doors in 2002.
As president of Target 10, Matt is a leading voice on gay and lesbian marketing. He advises senior brand leaders on business opportunities within the segment, leads groundbreaking targeted campaigns and works with the best team of professionals an agency president can hope for. He is proud to have a roster of clients that includes Showtime Networks, Children's Tylenol, Motrin, Rogaine, Prezista and Johnson & Johnson. He speaks regularly on the gay market and has appeared in news publications such as PR Week, HBS Working Knowledge, O’Dwyer’s Communications and New Media, and The Bay Area Reporter. Matt is also a contributing author to the Inside the Minds business series published by Aspatore Books.
Prior to founding Target 10, Matt worked on Madison Avenue at several PR agencies, including SCIENS Worldwide Public Relations, Inc. where he was a vice president. In a public relations capacity, he was privileged to work with such clients as Johnson & Johnson, the CDC, Columbia University, Bristol-Myers Squibb and The American Legacy Foundation. He began his career in Washington, DC where he worked extensively with non-profit organizations.
Matt is actively involved with LGBT civil rights organizations and is a co-chair of the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Leadership Council. He lives in New York City with his partner Dominick.
Sarah Frantz has built two careers on women’s popular narratives of love and romance. As an academic, she focused on the way best-selling female novelists, both two hundred years ago and today, constructed their heroes and male villains. As an editor, she works with all genres of queer romance for Riptide Publishing, an up-and-coming LGBTQ press.
Sarah earned her Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Michigan and is a tenured professor at Fayetteville State University, NC. In her academic life, she co-edited two collections of essays, Women Constructing Men: Female Novelists and Their Male Characters, 1750-2000 (Lexington, 2009) and New Perspectives on Popular Romance Fiction: Critical Essays (McFarland, 2012). She is founder and past president of the International Association for the Study of Popular Romance and has published academic articles on Jane Austen and on romance authors J.R. Ward, Suzanne Brockmann, Joey W. Hill.
Sarah is currently an Acquisitions Editor at Riptide Publishing, where she edits romance across the LGBTQ spectrum. Her authors include Anne Tenino, JL Merrow, Heidi Cullinan, Marie Sexton, Alexis Hall, and Lambda Literary Award finalist L.A. Witt. She has helped bring to life the multi-authored, reader-favorite contemporary world of Tucker Springs, Colorado, the high-octane suspense series Hell or High Water by SE Jakes, and the paranormal noir London of Alexis Hall’s Kate Kane, Paranormal Investigator series.
She can almost always be found procrastinating on Twitter: @sarahfrantz.
Chris Spargo is the Senior Editor at NewNowNext, the Logo site he worked to relaunch two years ago, that deals with pressing LGBTQA issues such as marriage equality, lap band aficionado Chris Christie's homophobic reactions to anything involving two dudes kissing, and Miley Cyrus twerking.
He feels very, very uncomfortable writing about himself in the third person.
Before NewNowNext, Chris worked as an editor at sites including Page Six, Movie Line and Hollywood Life. While he should have started a personal blog at this time, the entire endeavor sounded super exhausting.
A soccer prodigy from birth, he was launched on to the international football scene when he joined Manchester United at the the tender age of 17. Sadly, soccer stardom quickly proved that looks will always trump athletic ability, so he nobly decided to avoid the pitfalls of celebrity by marrying Britain's poshest celeb, Vicki Beckham, and soon after fathered a child named after the greatest borough in all of NYC.
Sorry Staten Island.
He currently splits his time between L.A., London, Tom Cruise vacation homes and H&M photo shoots.
You can follow him on Twitter at @ChrisOnChris.
Neo L. Sandja is a man of Trans experience, originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo and currently living in Atlanta. He is the president and owner of FTM Fitness World which first started as a hobby and within a year, grew as an online business that offers transmen around the world a hub to share tips on fitness, nutrition, wellness and more. The sites offer articles, a blog, a forum with an open chatroom and an online store.
Megan Volpert is a poet and critic from Chicago who has settled in Atlanta with her wife, Mindy. Volpert holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Louisiana State University and has been teaching high school English for the better part of a decade. This assignment is so gay: LGBTIQ Poets on the Art of Teaching (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2013) is her first work as an editor. She is the author of four books on communication and popular culture. Her work on Andy Warhol was short-listed for an Indy Lit Award, and she is currently researching rhetorics of independence during the American Bicentennial.
This self-proclaimed love child of Joan Jett and Roland Barthes has performed with a wide range of writers, from Wayne Koestenbaum and Andrei Codrescu to Eileen Myles and Daphne Gottlieb. Volpert has been in competition at the National Poetry Slam, is a board member of Poetry Atlanta and is Co-Director of the Atlanta Queer Literary Festival. Volpert is a theory junky and cannot resist rock and roll. She drives a scooter.
Predictably, www.meganvolpert.com is her website.
Deborah Goldstein is a media sales director turned freelance writer and blogger. She is a managing director for VillageQ.com, a community site that gives voice to the experience of LGBTQ parents. Deborah also publishes a medley of miscellany on her personal blog Peaches & Coconuts, identified by Huffington Post as one of the 7 Favorites For Post 50 Women. She enjoys stepping out from behind the screen to bring her words to life at spoken word events such as Edgy Moms, Listen To Your Mother, Funny Pages and Staten Island’s annual arts festival, Art by The Ferry. Follow her on Twitter at @psandcs.
Amanda K. Zweerink
Amanda K. Zweerink is the Vice President of Marketing for Life360, where she applies 15 years of engagement in marketing expertise toward responsibilities including user acquisition & engagement, communications strategy, customer insights and social media.
Prior to Life360, Amanda was a Vice President and Director at Draftfcb, a marketing communications agency in San Francisco, where she built the in-house social media and content strategy capabilities and worked across departments and clients to provide guidance in planning, platform development, social analytics and community management. She was Director of Marketing for Blurb and VP of Product Management and Community at Current TV. Amanda also has had editorial experience at YPULSE: Media for the Next Generation and PopGurls.com.
Amanda has established herself as an expert in marketing, social media and community relations. Her published work includes: “Choosing Community: Rejecting Anonymity in Cyberspace” and “Interpersonal Culture on the Internet: Television, the Internet and the Making of a Community”, and she is often asked to present at leading industry events. She has spoken at the annual Digital Hollywood and Community Unconference and was an inaugural attendee for Do Lectures USA in 2011.
Brent Almond designs, blogs and lives in the DC ‘burbs with his attorney husband, toddler son and pre-Obama Portuguese Water Dog.
Design Nut is Brent’s one-man graphic design studio, where his clientele includes The Nature Conservancy, NPR and Girl Scouts USA. His work has received awards from the American Advertising Federation and Art Director’s Club, and has appeared in numerous industry publications including Print, Graphis and the LogoLounge series.
Brent blogs at DesignerDaddy.com, where he plays with cool toys, shows off his crafts and complains about poop. He occasionally hops on his soapbox to champion the rights of same-sex marriage or share about his family’s adoption story. His writing can also be found on The Huffington Post, The Good Men Project and Mamapedia.
Earlier this year, Brent wrote a song for his son, “My Two Daddies (Can Beat Up Your One).” The story of its inception was featured on Huffington Post Gay Voices, and through this exposure, his family was profiled in a Father’s Day article on CBSNews.com. The song is available on iTunes (proceeds go to Family Equality Council) and the t-shirt is available on Brent’s blog (proceeds go to buying action figures).
In his spare time, Brent performs with the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington. Follow him on Twitter at @DesignerDaddy.
Anthony D. Weeks
Anthony Weeks is a documentary filmmaker, illustrator, and visual storyteller based in San Francisco, CA. He has more than fifteen years of experience working with senior-level product and strategy development teams to think visually and turn data into stories. In the role of “public listener” and illustrator, Anthony collaborates with project teams to create visually-rich graphic chronicles and murals of their strategic conversations in real time. The visual storytelling facilitates dialogue, engages participation, clarifies vision, and animates the process of ideation.
Anthony’s documentary films have been screened at venues including the Angelus FilmFestival (Los Angeles), Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, Dokufest (Kosovo),Honolulu International Film Festival, Hot Docs (Toronto), Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival, San Francisco Asian American International Film Festival, San Francisco Independent Film Festival, and the Thin Line Film Festival. Anthony was a 2009 award recipient from the Princess Grace Foundation (New York/Monaco), was selected as a Jury’s Choice-First Prize winner in the 2010 Black Maria Film + Video Festival, and won Honorable Mention for Outstanding Documentary in the 2010 Angelus film competition in Los Angeles. His film Imaginary Circumstances (2010) was an official selection of the New Filmmakers LA series, was named a 2010 winner of the CINE Golden Eagle Awards, and was screened at embassies and consulates abroad in 2011 as part of the US State Department’s American Documentary Showcase. The film also won an Emmy in 2011 from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and won a student Academy Award in 2011 from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
He holds an MFA in documentary film and video from Stanford University, a Master of Social Work from Augsburg College (MN), and a BA from Grinnell College. Anthony was a 1997-98 Coro Fellow in Public Affairs in San Francisco.
Vikki Reich writes about the intersection of contemporary lesbian life and parenthood at her personal blog Up Popped A Fox and is a Managing Editor for VillageQ, a site that gives voice to the experience of LGBTQ parents. She is also the co-director of Listen To Your Mother Twin Cities. In 2013, she completed the Foreword Writing Apprenticeship in Creative Nonfiction at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis and is a 2013 recipient of the Beyond the Pure Fellowship for writers. Follow her on Twitter at @VillageQTweets and @uppoppedfox.
Therésa Dowell-Vest is a three time Geoffrey Award (Santa Monica Theatre Guild) winning director and a NAACP Theater Award nominee. She is the owner and CEO of Diva Blue Productions, Publications and Photography. Her credits include directing, writing, acting (stage and film), production design (film). She has worked on stages in New York City, Virginia and Los Angeles. In film, Terésa is a production designer, writer, director, and producer. She served as the production designer on feature films: "Dead Tone" (Produced by Magic Johnson in 2006, Staring Brian Hooks, Rutger Hauer), "Flip the Script" (2005, Miguel Nunez Jr., Robin Givens), "Wifey" (2005, Brian Hooks, Jazsmin Lewis) and "Showstoppers" (2007). In 1999, she wrote Vinegar Hill, a play commissioned by Live Arts Theatre in her hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia. Vinegar Hill was reviewed by the Pulitzer Prize board in 2001.
Recently, Terésa directed the short film "Stuck" starring Monique Currnen ("The Dark Knight", "The Fast and the Furious") and Erika Ringor ("Love and Basketball"). She was recently featured in a two page article about her superhero series "Genesis" in the premiere issue of Cinematiq, a new filmmaker's magazine. Terésa recently published a coffee table book and multimedia exhibit, "The Box 69: My Photographic Chronicle in Verse, Song, and Crayons" a look at crayons but from an adult's perspective. Her next book to be published by Diva Blue Publications is "Passage Home" Teresa's Blogvel (blog/novel) about the day America sent Blacks back to Africa in the 2019. Terésa relocated to Atlanta from LA where she taught acting for film and producing at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in Hollywood. Currently: Director of two films "Shirts vs. Skins" and "Master Piece". "Master Piece" is in the Ron Howard contest for Canon cameras and has been submitted to the Sundance Film Festival. "Shirts vs. Skins" has also to been submitted to Sundance and will screen at the Portland Lesbian and Gay Film Festival in October. Follow Therésa on Twitter @teresadowelvest.
Dyana Bagby is a an award-winning writer with 20 years experience in print and online journalism. She started her career at a small, local newspaper in Tennessee before moving to Atlanta where she worked at a daily newspaper covering the crime beat. She started her career in LGBT media in 2004. Her passion is sharing the stories of the many interesting people in our various communities as well as giving a voice to those who often are ignored. She also loves to doodle men's faces in the margins of her notes while thinking through ideas. Follow her on Twitter @dyanabagby.
Alex is the co-founder and design director of Autostraddle.com, the world's most popular independently owned and operated lesbian website, nominated as an outstanding blog by the GLAAD awards. Current projects include designing and overseeing a complete website redesign and helping organize a popular new series of adult camp retreats for queers called 'A-Camp' that take place in the San Bernardino National Forest outside Los Angeles. Alex enjoys using her design skills to help make the internet a better-looking and more user-friendly place. She tweets at @a_ex.
Marie Lyn Bernard
Marie Lyn Bernard (or "Riese") is an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, journalist, copywriter, video-maker and aspiring cyber-performance artist as well as the editor-in-chief, co-founder and CEO of Autostraddle.com, the world's most popular independently owned website for queer women. Autostraddle has earned a GLAAD Award nomination for Outstanding Blog, won Blog of The Year in the 2012 Weblog Awards, and in April 2012 expanded to include A-Camp, a wildly successful biannual retreat for queer adults in Southern California. Her personal blog, Autowin, launched in 2006 and has received numerous honors. Her big internet debut, however, was as the official L Word recapper for The L Word Online back in 2007, which led to a little gig at OurChart (R.I.P).
Her work has appeared in eight books including The Bigger the Better, The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image, and the Other Hazards of Being Female and Dirty Girls, magazines including Marie Claire, Go, Interlude, NeXt, CollegeBound and Curve, and all over the web including Jezebel, Bitch Magazine, Nerve.com, and Emily Books.
In addition to editing "Julie & Brandy In Your Box Office" for Autostraddle and the second season of "Gay Street Therapy" for Tello/OneMoreLesbian, Riese has edited videos for clients including Wingspan Pictures and BroadwayWorld.com and was the host of Showtime's record-breaking webseries "Lezberado."
Riese has appeared on panels and given presentations at venues including BlogHer, StartOut, New York University, Yale, The University of Chicago and The Museum of Sex.
A graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy, The University of Michigan and The Olive Garden's week-long training intensive; Riese relocated to the Bay Area in 2010 after six years in New York City. She presently lives in a nice little apartment below a former meth lab with her girlfriend and her stuffed dog, Tinkerbell. Follow @autostraddle and @autowin on Twitter.
Mike Street is a Senior Digital Strategist based in Harlem, NYC. He has a passion for emerging media, technology & social innovation. Having spent 13 years in the digital space, Mike Street has worked with top tier brands such as Time Magazine, Oprah Winfrey, OWN TV, Rémy Martin, Oscar de la Renta, Lexus, Turner Broadcasting, and BET Networks. He is passionate about the community of Harlem and runs a popular Facebook page all about Harlem that has 91,000 fans. Follow Mike on Twitter at @MrMikeStreet.
Susan Goldberg is a writer, editor, essayist and blogger, and coeditor of the award-winning anthology And Baby Makes More: Known Donors, Queer Parents, and Our Unexpected Families. Her writing has been featured on the CBC and the Globe and Mail, in Ms., Lilith, and Stealing Time magazines, and several anthologies, including the forthcoming Chasing Rainbows: Exploring Gender-Fluid Parenting Practices and Here Come the Brides! Reflections on Lesbian Love and Marriage.Susan is a contributing blogger at VillageQ.com, Today’sParent.com, and Ms. Magazine. In 2012, she was chosen as one of BlogHer’s Voices of the Year. Susan lives in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Read more at Mama Non Grata. Susan tweets at @mamanongrata.
Kayce Brown's special blend of communication and unique knowledge of the tech and entertainment industry has allowed her to develop and oversee creative marketing and strategic partnerships for numerous companies. She has dedicated countless hours to fighting for LGBTQ rights and preventing bullying on both National and grassroots levels. Because of this, she has been able to work with organizations such as GLAAD, Trevor Project, Equality California, LA Gay and Lesbian Center, and dot429.
As one of the founding members of GaymerConnect and COO of anti-bullying organization "Be More Heroic", Kayce uses her visibility in the community as a chance to encourage, empower, inspire, and guide youth and any member of the LGBTQ community to be exactly who they are, without shame. Follow Kayce on Twitter at @GaymerConnect.
Toni Rocca is a Queer Rights Activist and visionary behind the hit gaming convention, GaymerX. The event, which brought in nearly $100,000 in crowdfunding, international headlines, and over 2300 attendees despite being its first year, was a raging success. Toni is one of the leading fighters in the cause for equality in gaming, the highest grossing entity in entertainment and yet by far the most behind with regards to issues of gender, sexuality, or any other forms of diversity. Currently the Director of Operations and Communities at GaymerConnect, Toni strives to create a gaming world where equality is truly interwoven. Follow GaymerX on Twitter at @GaymerX.
Matt Conn is the Founder and Creative Director of GaymerConnect, the organization behind GaymerX: the world's first gaming conference with a focus on LGBTQ geek culture. Previously a founding member at BandPage, Matt believes that there is a better world that we can create for LGBT geeks and their allies and hopes to help bring that vision to reality. Matt's experience in being a part of founding multiple companies in the startup world has helped him understand how to get things done in a way that is creative, impactful, and disruptive. Follow GaymerConnect on Twitter at @GaymerConnect.
Chris Lemig spent twenty-three years of his life in the dark closet of addiction and self-hatred. After coming out as being gay in 2007, he discovered the teachings of the Buddha and never looked back. He is deeply concerned with issues relating to the mental and spiritual wellbeing of modern culture and is looking for ways to bring happiness and contentment back into our lives. Chris is the author of The Narrow Way: A Memoir of Coming Out, Getting Clean And Finding Buddha. He writes about coming out, sobriety and Buddhism on his blog http://www.thenarrowwaybook.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @narrowwaybook.
Emily Keenan is the Editor of 4 Real Equality Weddings, an LGBTQ wedding blog. She started her blog in 2011 shortly after she and her wife were married. During their wedding planning, she became hooked on wedding blogs for inspiration but realized that there was little representation of queer weddings in the main-stream blogging world at the time. Thus, 4 Real Equality Weddings was born. She created her site to increase awareness that gay weddings are happening, and she wanted to celebrate that these are real couples planning real weddings and getting married, for real.
Emily is also a full time nurse in Boston. She and her wife, Kristen, are moms to their sweet daughter, Madison. They live in the outskirts of Boston, where they enjoy home improvement projects, cooking meals for friends and family, and keeping up with a house full of two dogs, a cat, and a baby.
Shawn Hollenbach is the Manager of Social Media Content at Logo, where he helps to craft the voice of the channel on social media to engage millions of fans. Logo is one of Viacom’s properties that entertains a social, savvy audience of gay trendsetters and also attracts a straight audience that wants to be ahead of the curve. Logo features hit series like "RuPaul's Drag Race," "Bad Sex," "1 girl 5 gays" and "Misfits," to legendary shows such as "Nip/Tuck," "Roseanne," "Absolutely Fabulous"… and yes, "The Golden Girls."
Before Logo, Shawn worked at Comedy Central and Lifetime in media planning and was a stand-up comedian. Shawn represented Logo on the Rihanna 777 Tour with a cardboard RuPaul to 7 countries in 7 days. He found his own internet success with his blog, Unicorns on Computer Paper, being named one of the “7 Sites You Should Be Wasting Your Time on Right Now” by the Huffington Post and will be a coffee table book coming soon! Follow Shawn on Twitter at @shawnhollenbach, @LogoTV and @RuPaulsDragRace.
Sandra Telep is a West Philly Mama (not born and raised, but she does spend most of her days on the playground). She is a former professional activist turned stay-at-home-mom. She is happily married to her best friend, jb, and together they parent a precocious preschooler and a vivacious toddler. Sandra blogs about parenting as a queer, Latina, feminist reclaiming family values at West Philly Mama. Follow her on Twitter at @westphillymama.
Polly has been blogging about her experience as a lesbian parent since 2006, at Lesbian Dad, which has been recognized with awards from the Weblog Awards, the Bloggies, About.com, Red Tricycle, Circle of Moms, and Babble. She contributed to the landmark anthology Confessions of the Other Mother: Non-Biological Lesbian Moms Tell All (Beacon, 2006), as well as to LiteraryMama.com, BlogHer.com, Parenting magazine, and some academic journals. She has spoken about writing and LGBT and alternative families at local universities, as well as at the social media conferences BlogHer, Mom 2.0, and Dad 2.0. She is the editor-in-chief of VillageQ. She lives with her partner and their two elementary school-aged children in the San Francisco Bay Area. Follow her on Twitter at @villageqtweets and @lesbiandad.
Jasmine Banks started blogging back when Xanga was cool. She spent the first several years blogging anonymously under two different names successful. After almost four years of a highly trafficked blog, Jasmine decided to start writing publicly in order to work through the process of "writing your truth" and "owning your story." It hasn't been all sunshine and unicorns. Jasmine openly processes topics such as addiction, sexual abuse/trauma, marriage issues, mental health issues, and grief. Jasmine has a bachelor's of science in Psychology, and is currently finishing up a graduate degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. As a biracial queer mother of three in a heterosexual marriage, Jasmine has come to embrace that life, for her, will never be ordinary... and that is a good thing. Find Jasmine on Twitter, Instagram, or butchering all the grammar and spelling on her blog JustJasmineBlog.com
Casey has been blogging since 1999 and now writes daily at her personal blog about her life with her wife and daughter at lifewithRoozle.com. When not working at her full time job of billing for a Boston construction company, she can be found exploring life and her urban neighborhood with her family and writing about it. Casey manages the Instagram account for VillageQ.com, a website for queer families, and writes about queer parenting for Huffington Post Parents. Her work has been featured on Huffington Post, Daily Buzz Moms, and BlogHer. She was a reader at BlogHer's Voices of the Year this year and spoke at BlogHer '13 on a panel about queer parenting. Casey is passionate about learning and loves a challenge. Follow her on Twitter at @lifewithroozle.
David Paisley is the Senior Research Director with Community Marketing & Insights (CMI). He has been with CMI for 20 years. David coordinates the company’s quantitative and qualitative client research projects and professional educational programs. With decades of experience, organizations utilize his expertise that comes from coordinating over a hundred LGBT-specific research initiatives and personally moderating CMI’s LGBT focus groups.
His work represents a wide variety of corporate, nonprofit and government entities including Wells Fargo, Target, Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism, Travel Portland, Chicago History Museum, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, WNBA, E&J Gallo Winery, Kaiser Family Foundation, San Francisco Suicide Prevention and the United States Census Bureau to name just a few.
David is also a featured speaker at LGBT sales and marketing conferences, and conducts training webinars for corporations throughout North America and beyond. David lives in both San Francisco and Palm Springs commuting between his two homes or traveling for the next CMI research project or speaking engagement.
Ryan J. Davis is the Vice President of Community at the new social news start-up Vocativ. Prior to that he served three years as Social Media Director at Blue State Digital, where he consulted with organizations like NAACP, Freedom To Mary, Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation, and many other corporations, non-profits and political candidates. During the 2012 election cycle, Ryan was the Co-Founder and Digital Director of the award-winning The Four 2012 marriage equality campaign. He has spoken on the power of digital at conferences and universities around the world. He tweets often at @RyanNewYork.
Chris Tuttle provides online engagement strategies for nonprofit charity organizations. Combining his experience as a community organizer with a technology and website development background, Tuttle provides a unique expertise combining constituent relationship building, marketing and online technologies.
For over 15 years Tuttle has worked for and consulted with hundreds of local, national and international nonprofits developing online engagement strategies involving social media engagement, website development, email communications, integrated fundraising, advocacy campaigns, marketing/advertising, content development and search engine optimization.
Tuttle currently oversees the Arcus Foundation's online engagement efforts, blogs about online engagement for nonprofits, and is a regular speaker on best practices and online strategy.
Highlights of Tuttle's career include having developed the Day of Silence, a national annual anti-bullying campaign involving over half-a-million students in more than 5,000 K -12 schools; managing social media engagement and live streaming of Opportunity Nation's 2012 Conference garnering over 5 million social media impressions in 48 hours, becoming a trending topic; creating an online networking community of over 40,000 student organizers; received over 200,000 video views on his "It Get's Better" submission, and training over 5,000 individuals at local, state, and national conferences and sessions.
Chris is a self-diagnosed geek and a jigsaw puzzle and Kermit the Frog lover. Follow Chris Tuttle on Twitter at @ChrisTuttle.
For more than a decade, Joe Moran has worked in the digital space as a nonprofit techie and creative producer. In 2012, he joined Cyndi Lauper's True Colors Fund as Communications and Technology Director, where he currently leads digital strategy and manages the organization's Give a Damn Campaign.
Prior to joining the True Colors Fund team, Joe spent eight years building the communications and technology department at Quality Services for the Autism Community (QSAC). He also lead digital strategy for a number of LGBT nonprofit organizations including Marriage Equality New York, OutAstoria, and the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce NY.
In addition to his work in the nonprofit sector, Joe has worked in the entertainment industry as an actor, producer, and writer. He was a founding member of Stone Soup Theatre Arts, a theatre company that creates collaborative work based on contemporary social issues. He also co-founded MorGold Productions, a New York-based digital media production company. Follow him on Twitter at @JoeSaidSo.
Elan Morgan lives, writes, and photographs in Regina, Saskatchewan. She blogs, designs, and consults through Schmutzie.com spreads gratitude through Grace in Small Things, celebrates Canadian blogging with the Canadian Weblog Awards, and speaks all over. She believes in and works to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online. Follow her Tweets at @schmutzie.
Amelia is wife, mother, partner and her family’s breadwinner. She has three young sons, one of whom identifies as gay – he is eight years old. Amelia began writing by posting a story about her son’s crush on a male television character on an unknown blog. Within hours, the blog went viral and garnered the attention of countless websites, blogs, advocacy organization and individuals.
She was invited to blog for the Huffington Post Gay Voices about her experiences as a parent and an advocate for LGBT children and teens. Her blogs are regularly featured by the Huffington Post, including in February 2012 the memorable “When Your 7-Year-Old Son Announces “I’m Gay." Her son has continued to identify himself as gay for over a year and a half, and she and her husband are absolutely committed in supporting him. She regularly corresponds with her readers which include LGBT adults of all ages, parents of LGBTQ and gender nonconforming children, straight allies and LGBT children as young as 13 years old.
Her work has been featured and shared by Trevor Project, It Get's Better Project, GLAAD, PFLAG, The Harvey Milk Foundation, Afterelton.com, Out.com, Instinctmagazine.com, Salon.com, and many others. She recently took part in the documentary "Second Class Citizen" by Ryan Yezak, to be released in 2013. She has participated in radio interviews for stations all over the world, Huffington Post Live and is a frequent guest on the Michelangelo Signorile Show on SiriusXM OutQ108. Follow her on Twitter at @Amelia_blogger.
Sarah Manley is a mother of three, 1 daughter (13) and 2 sons (7 and 5). She is married to a police officer and lives in Kansas City, MO. In 2010, her middle child wanted to dress as Daphne from Scooby Doo for Halloween. A few mothers at her son's preschool took issue with the choice and Sarah wrote a blog post about it on her popular blog Nerdy Apple. It went around the world getting about 4 million page views and over 40,000 comments. The post landed her on the TODAY Show, as well as interviews on various radio shows and CNN. Her post was discussed on all major news outlet websites.
Sarah has been a contributing writer for the New York Times blog, HLNTV.com, among others and syndicated on BlogHer. She has been quoted on CNN, Good Morning, America, TODAY Show, and others. She is often asked for her perspective on gender nonconforming issues, appearing for example on Huffington Post Live.
Sarah was a panelist at BlogHer 11 and a Voices of the Year runner up that same year. This year she is leading a TED Talk on Building Sustainable Communities and appearing in a Listen to Your Mother Show. Follow her on Twitter @nerdyapple.
Lori Duron is the author of Raising My Rainbow: Adventures in Raising a Fabulous, Gender Creative Son (Random House, September 2013). The first parenting memoir to chronicle the journey of raising a gender nonconforming child, the book is based on her blog of the same name. RaisingMyRainbow.com has more than one million readers in 173 countries, including gender studies students and faculty at more than 50 college and universities in the U.S., Canada and the U.K.
Duron and her blog have twice been named one of BlogHer’s Voices of the Year; one of Ignite Social Media’s “100 Women Bloggers You Should be Reading;” one of Circle of Moms “Top 25 SoCal Moms;” and one of Parents Magazine’s blogs that are “Most Likely To…Change The World.”
Duron lives with her husband and two children in a happy, messy home in Orange County. Follow her on Twitter at @RaisingMyRainbow.
Kelly Byrom is an Art Director for CNN and HLN and the mother of three children all under the age of 6. She and her husband are committed to encouraging and supporting their daughter and both of their sons to follow their hearts and be true to themselves. Currently their oldest boy is a gender-bender while the middle girl and youngest boy son are stereotypical to their gender. Kelly decided to start writing about her son to address the issue of gender stereotyping in little boys, whether it’s what they wear or what they play with. His story landed her on the front of CNN.com and in the Overheard on CNN.com column from the feverish discussion surrounding the article.
After writing for CNN and HLN about gender nonconforming children, she started her own blog chronicling her life raising a gender nonconforming child.
Her beautiful photographs of her children on Halloween, including her oldest son dressed as a Minnie Mouse and a blue fairy, were featured along with an accompanying essay by Huffington Post Gay Voices and AOL. Her work has been shared by Dan Savage, PFLAG, Trevor Project, It Gets Better Project, Towelroad, and many others. Follow her on Twitter at @designisgood.
Erin Margolin is a New Orleans native, writer, mama of three girls, and co-founder of The Gay Dad Project. Erin's father came out to his wife and family when Erin was 15 years old. The Gay Dad Project is filming a crowdfunded documentary, publishing a book, and they have been featured on The Ricki Lake Show, USA Today and many news outlets. Erin is a successful blogger, produced and co-directed the 2013 Kansas City Listen to Your Mother Show, and making a documentary about growing up with a gay dad a reality. She also loves books, antique typewriters, Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay, social media, yoga pants and playing Memory with her twins, who always, always win. Follow her on Twitter at @ErinMargolin.
Amie is the co-founder of The Gay Dad Project which is a community where anyone can talk when a gay parent comes out. During college her father finally came out, and it was during this tumultuous time that the initial seed for The Gay Dad Project was planted. The Gay Dad Project is filming a crowdfunded documentary, publishing a book, and they have been featured on The Ricki Lake Show, USA Today and many news outlets. .Amie publishes a personal blog and you can follow her on Twitter at @amie_shea.
Stacy Jill Calvert
Stacy Jill Calvert is a digital storyteller who focuses on issues of culture, identity, feminism and technology. For over fifteen years, she worked New Media and Entertainment as a web producer/product manager and marketing consultant. Stacy also has a long history of working and volunteering for organizations that serve the LGBTQ community. In 2006, Stacy was the Ticketing Manager for Gay Games VII in Chicago and from 2008-2010, Stacy and her wife Melissa were the co-founders/owners of QueerlyWed.com, a wedding resource guide for same-sex couples.
Stacy has also presented at national conferences including the 2012 NIRSA (National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association) National Marketing Institute and the BlogHer Annual Conference (Chicago & New York) about Social Media Marketing and Video Production. Stacy is currently living in Carbondale, Illinois where she is a Teaching Assistant and Graduate Student in the MFA in Media Arts program at Southern Illinois University. Follow her on Twitter at @stacyjill.