WHAT’S YOUR ISSUE is being advised by a diverse multi-generational National Board comprised of LGBTQ & GNC youth and adults with experience in policy, research, advocacy, and the arts.
Former Co-Director of Trans Youth Support Network (TYSN), Minneapolis, MN
Former Co-Director of Trans Youth Support Network (TYSN), Minneapolis, MN JP is a young change maker and facilitator dedicated to leading his peers of young trans folk of color to a continual place of healing and self-empowerment. Uprooted from Huber Heights, Ohio, JP now blossoms in and beyond the Twin Cities. There he is using past experiences as a youth member, board member and co-director of the Trans Youth Support Network, to build positive relationships and hold dependable spaces that encourage personal and collective reflection, dreaming and building.
Co-Founder of DarkMatter New York, NY
Janani Balasubramanian is an Artivist-Techie, and one-half of the trans South Asian duo DarkMatter that regularly performs to sold-out houses at venues like La MaMa Experimental Theater, Nuyorican Poets Café, and the Asian American Writer’s Workshop. DarkMatter was recently part of the Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival as well as the Queer International Arts Festival. Janani’s creative work deals broadly with empire, desire, microflora, apocalypse, ancestry, trauma, and the Future. They’re currently working on a sci-fi novel, H.
Mickyel “Micky” Bradford
Co-Founder of Southern Fried Queer Pride Festival, Atlanta, GA
A graduate of Georgia State University, Micky currently works at a “healthcare for the homeless” agency as their “Linkage to Care Coordinator” and serves as national ambassador for the #SpeakOutHIV campaign. Outside of public health work, Micky is a performer & community organizer, named 2015 LGBTQ Marshall of the Atlanta MLK March. Upcoming, Micky is co-founder of the Southern Fried Queer Pride festival, commemorating Stonewall through radical Southern art, dance, and fellowship.
Lyons Community High School, Brooklyn, NY
I’m a 17-year-old girl who was born in Brooklyn. I am a very humble person with a lot of goals set to conquer in this lifetime. I really want to be a successful person in life, but while everyone fighting one battle I’m fighting two. No one really knows me, no one can really see me, and no one ever will. I love to dance, dancehall to be exact. I love myself so much, my true self. I take care of myself like a secret. I often feel people like me but can’t like me, but I’m liked by most. I spend my time and money on shopping, I love clothes! My top priorities besides school are my hair, eyebrows, clothes, nails and make-up. I attend school in Williamsburg called the Lyons Community School since the 6th grade. Boy was that a journey and now I’m currently a junior. I feel that we should teach people about awareness. People are not aware of the things they say that are hurtful. I think that bathrooms and pronouns are things that people should be more aware of. But my number one priority is to connect how I feel on the inside and bring it to the surface and not feeling like a winter.
TransJustice Program Coordinator at the Audre Lorde Project, New York, NY
Elliott is a HAPA Nikkei Trans person originally from St. Paul, Minnesota, who is currently residing in Brooklyn, New York and coordinating the TransJustice Program at the Audre Lorde Project. He has been an organizer, educator, facilitator and trainer for over twelve years, working and volunteering with organizations like Planned Parenthood, GLSEN, Trans Youth Support Network, the YAYA Network, and the War Plays Project.
Organizing Director, FIERCE, New York, NY
Frederick Ginyard joined FIERCE staff in 2013 as the National Program Coordinator. Born and raised in North Philadelphia, Fred attended Edison High School where he joined Youth United for Change in his freshman year. As a youth member of the organization, Fred participated in many campaigns and gained many valuable skills. One of the most significant campaigns occurred during his senior year of high school when Fred organized to stop private companies from privatizing his school and other high schools across Philadelphia. At age 19, Fred joined the staff of Youth United for Change as a Youth Organizer. During his tenure, Fred worked on campaigns that included the creation of Small Schools at Olney High School located in the Olney section of Philadelphia and ending the school to prison pipeline in by reforming the School District of Philadelphia discipline policies. Currently, Fred is the Organizing Director at FIERCE.
Grants Program Manager for Alaska’s Tobacco Prevention & Control, Anchorage, Alaska
I am 9th child (actually 11th of 13) in a family of 10, with extensive relatives and grew up in a small remote Yup’ik village in Western Alaska. The vast and open tundra was my playground, loved playing basketball and volleyball, was pretty fortunate to grow up in a close knit and supportive community despite the fact that people knew I was different. I know most young LGBTQ youth were not as fortunate as I; however, I strongly believe that a strong, vibrant, traditional, and cultural intact community played a role in my acceptance. I love to travel, read, learn, ask and share, contribute to worthwhile causes, keep fit, enjoy a strong network of friends but most of all, appreciate being with my family.
Associate Professor of Feminist Studies, Southwestern University, Georgetown, TX
Alison Kafer is an associate professor of feminist studies at Southwestern University, where she also teaches courses in the environmental studies and race & ethnicity studies programs. She is, most recently, the author of Feminist Queer Crip (Indiana University Press, 2013) and a co-editor of “Growing Disability Studies,” a special issue of Disability Studies Quarterly (Spring 2014). Her work on disability, gender, and sexuality has appeared in a number of anthologies, including Sex and Disability (Duke University Press, 2012) and Feminist Disability Studies (Indiana University Press, 2011). She has served on the boards of the Society for Disability Studies as well as of Generations Ahead, a nonprofit that worked “to expand the public debate and promote policies on genetic technologies that protect human rights.”
Youth Organizing Coordinator, Colorado Anti-Violence Project (CAVP), Denver, CO
The youngest daughter of a single mother whose roots dive deep into the land around southern Colorado. I have a mixed race background and speak only English and Spanish, but I see my identities as connected to a history of resistance. I want to practice midwifery and more healing/food justice work as my life rolls on.
Chief Research and Strategy Officer, Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), New York, NY
I am the Chief Research and Strategy Officer at GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network. GLSEN is a national education nonprofit that works on LGBTQ issues in education. I developed and led GLSEN’s research initiatives for nearly 15 years, including our biennial national survey about the experiences of LGBTQ youth in school – National School Climate Survey. My PhD is in community psychology. In my research work, I have always worked with, in, and for community organizations on developing and using knowledge for advocacy, social change, and program planning. Prior to my research life, I was a school counselor and then a family and couples therapist for community mental health organizations.
Priscilla Pond Flawn Regents Professor in Child Development, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX
Stephen T. Russell studies adolescent health and development with a focus on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI): His studies focus both on individual wellbeing for LGBTQ youth, as well as on SOGI policies and practices that create safe and supportive school and community climates. He is Priscilla Pond Flawn Regents Professor in Child Development at the University of Texas at Austin, and past president of the Society for Research on Adolescence.
Co-Founder, DreamersAdrift.com, Berkeley, CA
Julio Salgado is the co-founder of the media collective DreamersAdrift.com. His activist artwork has become a staple of the DREAM Act movement. His status as an undocumented, queer artivist has fueled the contents of his illustrations, which depict key individuals and moments of the DREAM Act movement. Undocumented students and allies across the country have used Salgado’s artwork to call attention to the youth-led movement.
Associate Dean of the College of Ethnic Studies, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA
Amy Sueyoshi is Associate Dean of the College of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University. She holds a Ph.D. in history from University of California, Los Angeles and a B.A. from Barnard College. She has published on topics ranging from cross-dressing, same-sex marriage, romantic friendship, and Asian American pornography in journals such as Frontiers, Amerasia, and the Journal of American Ethnic History. She is the author of Queer Compulsions: Race, Nation, and Sexuality in the Intimate Life of Yone Noguchi. Her second book titled Sex Acts: Race, Leisure, and Power in Turn-of-the-Century San Francisco is currently under review at University of Colorado Press. She is also a co-curator and founding member of the GLBT History Museum, the first queer history museum in the United States, and the recipient of the Willie Walker Award for service for the GLBT Historical Society.
Director of National Programs, Gay-Straight Alliance Network, San Francisco, CA
Mustafa was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York and moved to the Bronx eleven years ago. He has been a lead organizer and director of Sistas and Brothas United youth organizing program for nine years. He is a founder of the Urban Youth Collaborative and the Leadership Institute high school. In April 2010, he joined the Alliance for Educational Justice as the National Campaign Organizer but was also a founder of AEJ in 2008. He continues to work tirelessly to build an ongoing national movement of youth leaders to reinvent America’s schools! He is also very active in his community and leads an intergenerational group focused on queer liberation in the Bronx. Outside of his organizing work he has been writing for over ten years on plays, poems, and short stories that show people the power they have inside. He believes the world can change using three ingredients: love, light, and revolution. He uses tools to build the next generation of our movement’s leaders using compassionate agitation, fearless strategy, Caribbean black gay Muslim warrior wisdom, and tells moving stories of suffering, sacrifice, and ultimate triumph.