Contributors to My Kid Is Gay

We work with an incredible team of experts, parents, youth, and others to help address the many questions and concerns of parents who have an LGBTQIA child! You can read more about them and their work below.

If you’re interested in become a volunteer contributor for My Kid Is Gay, please fill out this form and we will be in touch!

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Kristin Russo is the CEO & Co-Founder of both Everyone Is Gay  & My Kid Is Gay. She also hosted & produced the first season of First Person, a video series on gender and sexuality from PBS Digital. She co-authored the book This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids (Chronicle, 2014), is the co-director of A-Camp, and holds a Master’s in Gender Studies from the CUNY Graduate Center in Manhattan.

 

Grace M. is the Senior Managing Editor here at My Kid Is Gay and is based in Portland, Oregon. She enjoys Vitamin D (in the form of sunshine, please), podcasts, intersectional feminism, and talking to people about their life goals. Follow her on Twitter @gracemanger

Brent Almond is a graphic designer, writer, and father of a pre-schooler. He combines all of these on his blog Designer Daddy, where he writes about being a gay dad of an adopted son, chronicles the progress of same-sex marriage with fridge magnets, and shares the superhero doodles he puts in his son’s lunchbox. More of Brent’s writing can be found on Huffington Post and The Good Men Project, and he was recently honored as one of the Voices of the Year at BlogHer 2014. Brent also serves on the board of Rainbow Families DC, an organization that supports, educates and connects LGBT families. Read more of his work on his blog, Designer Daddy.
Amelia is a mother and breadwinner. When not working she’s spending as much time as possible with her three young sons, friends, and family. In her copious free time she knits, obsesses about science fiction and cult television, and reads way too many books. She considers her most superhero worthy act finding a couple free hours now and then to read trashy novels.
Lindsay Amer is a New York-based artist making queer content for kids! You can check out their newest project, Queer Kid Stuff, an LGBTQ+ educational webseries for the kiddos on YouTube. They are also a founder and Co-Artistic Director for Bluelaces Theater Company, creating multi-sensory work for individuals with developmental differences. They hold a BS in Theatre (with a minor in Gender Studies) from Northwestern University and an MA in Theater and Performance from Queen Mary University of London. When they’re not completely overwhelmed by adulthood, they’re probably plotting ways to overthrow the patriarchy while playing their ukulele. Follow them on Twitter @thelamerest
Claudia Astorino is an intersex activist living in NYC.  Claudia serves as Associate Director of Organization Intersex International’s USA chapter (OII-USA), coordinates the Annual Intersex Awareness Day (IAD) events in NYC, and writes for Full-Frontal Activism: Intersex and Awesome (her personal blog) and Autostraddle.com. Follow her on Twitter @claudistics and Tumblr at claudiaisintersex.
Audrey Benedetto is a writer, artist, and human being who currently lives in Manhattan. Her passion for gender, sex, and race issues began in college and influences how she sees and moves through the world. She enjoys karaoke, long walks, and french bulldogs. Audrey is constantly learning and would like to share some of what she’s picked up along the way.
Susan Berland is a parenting coach who is fiercely committed to guiding parents of gay youth back to a loving, accepting relationship when they are struggling to accept their child as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. Susan guides parents and their kids to communicate effectively, trust one another and accept one another where and as they are. You can learn more about Susan at susanhopeberland.com and read her free report, “6 Secrets to Bring Peace Back to Your Heart and Home”.
Kai River Blevins is a genderqueer/femme poet, community organizer, and graduate student from western New York who now lives in Salem, Oregon. When Kai isn’t doing homework or writing on their blog, Queer as Life, they love to read, color, cook delicious vegan food, and spend time with their loving partner and adorable fur-child, Sir Reginald, the Earl of Puppydom. Follow them on Twitter @queeraslife
Whiskey Blue is the author of Brooklyn Love, a collection of literary erotica available everywhere ebooks are sold. In her other life, she is a contributor to Psychology Today. She has also written for The Huffington Post, The Atlantic, AfterEllen, Curve Magazine, Bitch, and more. Whiskey holds erotica in the highest regard. Follow her @topshelferotica.
Suzanne Brockmann is a proud PFLAG mom and the New York Times bestselling author of fifty-five novels. Her favorite is the one where her most popular character, gay FBI agent Jules Cassidy, wins his happily-ever-after and marries the man of his dreams. Called All Through the Night, this was the first mainstream romance novel with a hero and a hero ever to hit The New York Times hardcover fiction bestseller list, and in 2007, Suz donated all of her earnings from this book, in perpetuity, to MassEquality, to help win and preserve equal marriage rights in Massachusetts. Known for her hunky Navy SEAL heroes, Suz is also the author of When Tony Met Adam, a romantic e-novella published in celebration of the repeal of DADT. Suz is also the co-writer/producer of The Perfect Wedding, a sweet gay romantic comedy movie, currently available on DVD or via streaming from Netflix.
Emily Brooks is a writer and advocate who focuses on the intersections of gender, sexuality, and disability. Currently, Emily is pursuing her MA in Disability Studies and working with young people in New York City. To read more of Emily’s work, please visit www.emilybrooks.com and Autostraddle. You can follow her on Twitter @emilybrooks89
Jamie Bruesehoff is a writer, speaker, and advocate. She is mom to three spirited children including a transgender daughter. She holds a Masters of Arts in Theology from Gettsyburg Lutheran Seminary and has worked in outdoor recreation and children’s fitness. You can find her on her blog, I am totally *that* mom, writing about life, advocacy, self care, parenting, faith, and more. In her free time, you’ll find her playing in the woods with her family. Follow her on twitter @hippypastorwife.
Rex Butt is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences at Bronx Community College of CUNY. He served for several years on the Board of Directors for the Hudson Valley LGBTQ Center and is a member of the PFLAG National Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming (TGNC) Advisory Council. He and his wife Karen live in Poughkeepsie and are the Transgender Coordinators for the Kingston, NY chapter of PFLAG. Since 2008, they have presented at regional conferences and mentored scores of families who have transgender loved ones. His book, Now What? For Families with Trans and Gender-Nonconforming Children, offers a comprehensive approach to the concerns and challenges encountered by families with a transgender child regardless of age.
Cheryl Clarke was the founding director of the Office of Social Justice Education and LGBT Communities at Rutgers University, New Brunswick Campus, from 1992-2009. She retired from Rutgers in 2013, after 41 years. She is the author of four books of poetry and has been an out lesbian since 1973.
Georgiann Davis is assistant professor of sociology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She has written numerous articles on intersex in various venues ranging from Ms. Magazine to the American Journal of Bioethics. In her book, Contesting Intersex: The Dubious Diagnosis (2015, NYU Press), Davis explores how intersex is defined, experienced, and contested in contemporary U.S. society. You can read more about her work at www.georgianndavis.com. Follow her on twitter @georgiann_davis
Rachel Dougherty lives and works in NYC but is constantly homesick for Pittsburgh. They are passionate about increasing civic participation, and they are concerned about building equitable access to the public sphere. In their spare time Rachel spends time seeing shows at DIY venues, wrestling with their Jewish spiritual life, and going off-recipe in the kitchen. Follow them on Twitter @active_witness
Asha French is a writer living in Atlanta, GA. She has a weekly column on Ebony.comand her work has also appeared in PLUCK!: the Journal of Affrilachian Arts & Culture, Warpland, Mutha Magazine, and PoetryMemoirStory. She is currently at work on a memoir.
Cara Giaimo is a Boston-based writer interested in words, gender, and the push-pull of identity construction. She also likes rock’n’roll and biking around. You can find more of her work at Autostraddle and Case Magazine.
Broderick Greer was reared in Texas, went to college in Tennessee, and is now a master’s of divinity student at Virginia Theological Seminary. He enjoys jogging, traveling, Beyoncé, politics, and vanilla milkshakes.
Jamey Hampton is a non-binary adventurer from Buffalo, NY who wishes they were immortal so they’d have time to visit every coffeeshop in the world. They spend most of their time writing code for Agrilyst (an agtech startup in Brooklyn), doing public speaking & advocacy on the transgender experience, making zines, and thinking about Star Wars. More of their work, pictures of their cats and selfies can be found at www.jameybash.com or on twitter at @jameybash.
Austen Hartke is the creator of the YouTube series “Transgender and Christian,” which seeks to understand, interpret, and share parts of the Bible that relate to gender identity and the lives of transgender individuals. Austen is a bisexual transgender guy, and a 2014 graduate of Luther Seminary’s Master of Arts program in Old Testament/Hebrew Bible Studies. You can order Austen’s book “Transforming: The Bible and the Lives of Transgender Christians” on Amazon now, and find it in stores everywhere beginning April 7th, 2018.
Katie Hadjolian is a mother of two from Lancaster County, PA. When not working in software support, she can be found cracking wise and goofing around with her sons. She enjoys the company of a diverse group of women writers and will read anything she can get her eyes on.
Rachel Halder is currently an MA in Religion candidate at Claremont School of Theology, studying holistic spiritual trauma healing for those who have been marginalized by the Christian Church because of sexual abuse and/or LGBTQIA sexual identification. She is passionate about interspirituality, believing that mystical spirituality is the origin of all world religions, and that at their mystical core all spiritual paths lead to Love. She blogs about sexualized violence at Our Stories Untold, about spirituality at Heart of Thought, and when she’s not writing or speaking you can find her hiking mountains or walking through the forest, communing with pachamama’s beautiful earth creation. Follow her on Twitter @raegitsreal
Lana Halperin is a 25 year old law graduate from Perth in Western Australia, currently living and working in Canberra (Australia’s largely forgotten, under-appreciated capital city). She recently helped establish a social network for LGBTQ young professionals in Canberra and will gladly talk for hours about musical theatre, reality television, ladies of comedy and/or her fondness for bicycles and trampolines.
LaShay Harvey Jones, M.Ed., is a sexologist, professor, and researcher from the south, currently living in Baltimore, MD. LaShay teaches a course on sexuality and a course on gender at The University of Baltimore. She also coordinates a study on pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) at The Johns Hopkins University. You can check out her website and her blog, too!
Lance Hicks is a biracial community organizer and youth worker from Detroit, Michigan. He came out as trans in high school, and became involved with gender justice work shortly afterwards. Currently, Lance works to support LGBTQ youth organizers of color, works part-time at a transitional living shelter for teens and young adults, and studies social work.
Teresa Kane is a teacher and writer living in Portland, OR. Her writing often focuses on the intersections of her queer and Muslim identities. She has degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University and George Mason University and studied American Sign Language at Gallaudet University. She is passionate about art, feminism, interfaith dialogue, and correct grammar usage.
Ellen Kate is a health educator, sometime writer, and mom. She runs a middle and high school health education program in Brooklyn, teaches in the Health Education department at Brooklyn College, and is a contributing writer for Everyday Feminism. For many years she edited About.com’s LGBT teens site. More of her work can be found here. Follow her on Twitter @ellenkatef
Dr. Sabra L. Katz-Wise, PhD is a developmental psychologist working as a Research Scientist in Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital and as an Instructor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and in Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. Her research investigates sexual orientation and gender identity development, sexual fluidity, health disparities related to sexual orientation and gender identity in adolescents and young adults, and psychosocial functioning in families with transgender youth. She is currently working on an NIH-funded community-based longitudinal mixed-methods study to examine how the family environment affects the health and well-being of transgender youth. In addition to research, Dr. Katz-Wise is involved with advocacy efforts at Boston Children’s Hospital to improve the workplace climate and patient care for LGBTQ employees, patients, and families.
Father Shannon T.L. Kearns is a writer, speaker, and theologian. He is the co-founder of Queer Theology and the founder of Uprising Theatre Company. He graduated from Union Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity and is an ordained priest in the Apostolic Catholic Church of America. Fr. Shay is a sought after speaker on queer theology, transgender issues, and the intersections of identity and faith. He’s been published in Geez Magazine, Lavender Magazine, Believe Out Loud, and the Huffington Post, and featured in The Advocate and the Star Tribune. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter,Tumblr, Instagram, and his website.
Polly Kim is the mother of 21-year-old twins, including a daughter who came out at age 15. Polly joined PFLAG Los Angeles soon after and is now a board member. She has been a science teacher for over 25 years, teaching high school biology, elementary school science, and high school science research.
Alyse Knorr is the author of Super Mario Bros. 3 (Boss Fight Books 2016) and of the poetry collections Copper Mother (Switchback Books 2016), and Annotated Glass (Furniture Press Books 2013). She also authored the chapbooks Epithalamia (Horse Less Press 2015) and Alternates (dancing girl press 2014). Her work has appeared in Denver Quarterly, Columbia Poetry Review, The Greensboro Review, Caketrain, and The Southern Poetry Anthology: Georgia, among others. She received her MFA from George Mason University. Alyse is a co-founding editor of Gazing Grain Press and teaches English at Regis University.
Sara Schmidt-Kost is an out, queer Educator in Minneapolis, MN. She spent five years as a leader in the LGBT student organizations at St. Cloud State University where she completed her undergrad in Secondary Social Studies Education. Sara currently leads the after-school GSA at the high school where she works, and she is thankful for the opportunity to support her students as they grow into fully-functioning adults. She has also created a training workshop on LGBT Issues in Schools and has presented it to groups of Social Studies teachers, other educators, and students alike.
Richard Kramer is an American film and television writer and producer, playwright and novelist. His film and television credits include thirtysomething, Family, My So-Called Life, Once and Again, Queer as Folk and Tales of the City. His first novel, These Things Happen, tells the story of what happens when a 16-year-old boy, whom he calls Theo, comes out in his school assembly, and how that reverberates in a handful of linked Manhattan lives.
Kara Kratcha (they/she) is a librarian in Queens, NY. When not planning library programs, obsessing over book lists, or questing for the perfect queer librarian outfit, Kara is probably hanging out with their poly partners, aka “significant roommates.” Follow Kara on Twitter @kaeklib
Anna Krieger, MSW has been committed to social issues since her time as a student at Haverford College, where, as an out student, she led several student groups focused around providing support for the LGBTQ community. Post-graduation, Anna worked in several low-performing middle and high schools in Philadelphia as an Americorps member, and later as a social worker, after graduating from University of Pennsylvania with her MSW. Anna moved to New York last year, where she has focused her career on recruitment, most recently for a non-profit that provides programming for high-need middle schools around the country. In her spare time, Anna likes to sit in the park, eat soft serve ice cream with sprinkles, and attempts to remember to update her blog: www.nougatsofinspiration.blogspot.com.
Irwin Krieger, LCSW, is a clinical social worker who provided psychotherapy in a private practice setting for LGBT individuals, couples and families for over 30 years. A graduate of Yale with an MSW from UConn, Irwin has worked extensively with transgender teens and adults and their families. He was a 2013 recipient of the New Haven Pride Center’s Dorothy Award for his service to the LGBT community in New Haven. With the goal of expanding the base of knowledgeable providers for transgender individuals and their families, Irwin provides training for mental health and health care professionals, as well as school personnel. Irwin Krieger is the author of Helping Your Transgender Teen: A Guide for Parents andCounseling Transgender and Non-Binary Youth: The Essential Guide. For additional information see www.IKriegerTraining.com.
Sara Kyle resides in the Bronx, where she earned a BS in Business Administration – Marketing at Fordham University. She is the founder and managing director of a digital marketing company and worked at Everyone Is Gay in 2014 and 2015 to help launch and manage My Kid Is Gay.
Kirsten & Lucy are a parent-kid duo! I’m Kirsten. I’ve been married to Richard for 20 years (!) and in addition to Lucy, we have 2 dogs and 4 ¾ cats (one of them only has 3 legs!). I work full-time at a non-profit social services agency. I’m basically addicted to Instagram and I love to read, bake, and make art. I’m dying to get a new tattoo. Suggestions? Find me on Instagram or Twitter @kjerstieb. // I’m Lucy, I’m 18, I’m queer, and I have a real passion for making sure that dogs know they are loved.
Lisa is a mother, wife, music therapist, and part-time teacher. She currently teaches music and cooking to children at various preschools and libraries. She also teaches piano to children where she focuses on the love of music and sharing it with others. In her spare time, she loves to travel, scrapbook, and make music with her two teenage daughters.
Grace Lilly is a queer filmmaker, graphic designer and photographer based out of New York City. Her love of learning and documenting diversity motivates all that she does, including her film series Finding the Meaning of Life. Her biggest flaw is that she was born allergic to cats so has an interminably unrequited love for felines. You can view her film series, Finding the Meaning of Life, here and her collection of artwork here. Follow her on Twitter @gracefullyweird.Liam Lowery is a queer transgender man and law student, based in New York. His work focuses on transgender legal advocacy, and how race, class, ability and sexuality impact the transgender experience.
Lauren Lubin is pioneering ultimate gender awareness and equality by producing WE EXIST: A Film About a Third Gender.Lauren’s work shatters traditional, antiquated constructs that defines gender as either male or female. The conversation around this project has started an international “WE EXIST” movement, allowing those who exist outside the gender binary to also stand-up for their recognition. Lauren’s a former division I athlete who has published two books: The Rain Forest Awakenings and The Thoughtless Revolution. Lauren has been featured in ABC Good Morning, Curve Magazine, Out Magazine, The Denver Post and countless others. Read more about Lauren right here.
Erika Lynn is a white, feminine off center, mentally disabled organism who loves to frolic in fields and splash in the ocean. She’s lived a life as multiple genders and sexual orientations and enjoys critically exploring how gender and sexuality influence many aspects of our lives. Her approach to activism is intersectional, and she strives to be as race, ability, class, gender, sexuality and body conscious and positive as possible.
Mahdia Lynn is the founder and Executive Director of Masjid al-Rabia—a women centered, LGBTQ affirming, pluralist mosque in Chicago—where she has spearheaded unprecedented programming in support of marginalized Muslims. Mahdia’s prolific career as a community organizer has centered transgender liberation, disability justice, prison abolition, and youth suicide prevention. Her Black and Pink Crescent program provides services for hundreds of incarcerated LGBTQ Muslims across the globe. Mahdia lives in Chicago where she is a senior caregiver and works as a freelance writer, speaker and educator. You can learn more about Mahdia and her work at mahdialynn.com or on Twitter @MahdiaLynn
Lauren Neidigh is Director of Social Media for GO! Athletes. She was a Division I swimmer at the University of Arizona and is working on her master’s degree in criminology at Florida State University. You can follow her on Twitter @l_e_neidigh or on Instagram, as well as e-mail her at lneidigh@email.arizona.edu
Laurin Mayeno is a mixed race Asian/Jewish/Anglo woman and mother of a multiracial gay son. She founded Mayeno Consulting 18 years ago to create inclusive, equitable, diverse spaces where everyone is valued and supported. Her son, who loved dressing up as a princess, inspired her current focus on building support for gender diverse and LGBTQ young people and families in schools, preschools, and other organizations that serve children and families. Her bilingual children’s picture book, One of a Kind Like Me/Único como yo, and Proud Mom video series raise awareness and spark dialogue about gender diversity.
Erin McKissick is a junior at Bowdoin College, where she majors in Psychology and Gender & Women’s Studies and passes the time each winter wondering why she chose to live somewhere so cold. She identifies as a queer woman, a proud feminist and a lover of reading good books in cozy coffee shops. You can usually find her watching Gilmore Girls while burrowed under multiple blankets, at the gym attempting to lift heavy things, or in the kitchen making something with tofu. She is inspired by thoughtful conversations about power, privilege, sexuality and gender, and hopes to one day work at the intersection of social work and feminist criminology.
Alaina Monts is a 20-something working on a PhD in Performance as Public Practice. They are a mom to three cats, they listen to a lot of NPR and musicals, and they spend a lot of time on Pinterest lusting over studio apartments. They are actively trying to build A Brand on twitter @alainamonts. One day, they will be First Lady of the United States.
Chris Mosier (he/him/his) is a hall of fame athlete, coach, and thought leader around LGBT inclusion in athletics. In 2015 he made history by becoming the first transgender man to make a Men’s US National Team, and was the catalyst for change in the International Olympic Committee’s policy regarding participation of transgender athletes at the elite international level in 2016. He will compete for Team USA at the Sprint Duathlon (run/bike/run) World Championship in Spain in June 2016. He recently made his second US National Team, and will compete for Team USA in the Long Course Duathlon World Championship in Switzerland in fall 2017.
Amanda Neumann lives in Indiana with her growing family of felines and books. She recently earned her BA in Women’s Studies and English and hopes to use her knowledge and skills to destroy the patriarchy, or at the very least create more spaces for communication and engaged activism. Amanda’s hobbies include infrequently blogging, working with nonprofit organizations, rereading Harry Potter, and caring about things. Follow on Twitter @amandandwords
Bianca Palmisano is a sex educator and medical consultant serving the DC community since 2012. As the owner of Intimate Health Consulting, she specializes in training medical providers to improve their competence around patient sexual health concerns, and offers LGBT cultural competency trainings for hospitals, businesses, and non-profits. She also serves as a member of the Metro DC PFLAG board of directors.
Beck Paterson just finished their Honours English degree at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Canada. They look forward to getting into a Social Work program and working to make lives better. Now that they aren’t in school, Beck spends their time reading comics and marathoning 90s TV shows on Netflix. They also enjoy naps. If you’re so inclined, you can visit their website at www.beckpaterson.ca
Cornelia Prior is a Writer and Communications assistant by day, Cultural and Critical Studies student by night. They have written about art for The Flaneur and Best for Film and about LGBTQ issues for My Kid Is Gay. When they’re not busy being 25 years late to the Judith Butler party or frequenting art galleries, the theatre, the cinema and other things that classify as either “Critical,” “Cultural,” or both, they can be found reading, swimming or admiring lighthouses.
Dr. Anne Rafal has a doctorate degree from the University of Maryland School of Social Work and Community Planning and over twenty years of professional experience in counseling, supervision, educating, mentoring, and agency consulting.  She has worked at several child-welfare and mental health agencies in Texas, Virginia, Maryland, and Missouri.  Anne directed the Frost Counseling Center in Rockville, Maryland for many years and has social work experience at the University of Virginia Health System and coordinated Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gay (PFLAG) activities in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Steve Reaugh is a third-year candidate for an MFA in Creative Writing in prose at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. His writing, a hybridized blend of drama and memoir, focuses on the depictions and performances of an LGBTQ self in the public sphere, and how that self changes based on both acceptance and non-acceptance. In addition to teaching English and Creative Writing at the University of Alabama, he volunteers with the Tuscaloosa chapter of the Writers in the Schools initiative, which introduces creative writing instruction to Title I schools in Tuscaloosa and the surrounding area as a complement to academic success. He currently resides in Tuscaloosa, with his fiancé of 3 years, Josh, and their dog, Brooke.
Sandy Roffey is a writer, mom, and former educator living in the Northeast with her coffee-loving husband, two non-conformist teens, and a tyrannical baby.  Her writing has been featured on Huffington PostThe Good Men Project, and BlogHer.  She is currently working on a novel and sharing her everyday exploits on Suck At Home Mom’s Cranky Blog.
Araguaney Rodriguez Da Silva is a non-binary Venezuelan migrant currently living in Portland, Oregon. They are a sexual health, reproductive and racial justice educator and facilitator. You can always find them with their dog and baked snacks in tow.

 

A queer/trans/non-binary Seattle-based comedian and writer, El Sanchez has been performing all over the US (and once in Canada) since 2010. They have appeared on NPR’s Latino USA, featured in Teen Vogue, starred in LGBTQ documentary short, “Oh, I Get It” and have performed at Bumbershoot, the Bridgetown Comedy Festival, Emerald City Comicon and Autostraddle.com’s annual LGBTQ event A-Camp. They have opened for comedians Michael Che (Weekend Update), Bridget Everett (Inside Amy Schumer) and W. Kamau Bell (United Shades of America). El has been called “fearless” by City Arts Magazine, “a grumpy nugget of delight,” by writer/activist Lindy West, “a local favorite,” by Seattle alt weekly The Stranger and “a brilliant new voice everyone should know,” by comedian Hari Kondabolu (The Problem with Apu). Grammy Award winning singer/song-writer Kimya Dawson has cited El as her ‘favorite underground Northwest comedian’ while Emmy Award winning comedian and host of CNN’s United Shades of America, W. Kamau Bell, once said, “El Sanchez is the truth.” Their debut comedy album “Hard Femme/Soft Butch/Werewolf” will be released in the summer of 2018.
Linda Sankat is a college student and former staff writer at New York City-based YCteen Magazine. In her favorite pair of beat-up Docs, she determinately chases words and thoughtfully pieces them together in effort to promote human rights, social justice, and intercultural understanding. Her work has been featured in the Harvard Educational Review and the Huffington Post.
Vivek Shraya’s first book is a collection of twenty-one short stories following a tender, intellectual, and curious child as he navigates the complex realms of sexuality, gender, racial politics, religion, and belonging. Told with the poignant insight and honesty that only the voice of a young mind can convey, God Loves Hair is a moving and ultimately joyous portrait of the resiliency of youth.
Sarah Simon has been writing for My Kid Is Gay for two years. She is an ENFJ/ Sagittarius who usually can be found with body glitter on her face and English Bulldogs on her mind. Sarah is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, where she studied Queer Theory and Psychology. She is currently a candidate for her MA in Women’s History at Sarah Lawrence. In between pots of very strong coffee, Sarah makes rad mix tapes for her friends, cooks fun vegetarian food, and cackles at the thought of destroying the patriarchy. Follow her on Instagram @glitterpawzz and on Twitter @misssaraheliz
Julie Tarney is an advocate for LGBTQIA youth, speaker and author. Her award-winning memoir, My Son Wears Heels: One Mom’s Journey from Clueless to Kickass (University of Wisconsin Press 2016) and blog of the same name are about her experiences raising a gender nonconforming child in the Midwest in the 1990s and what she learned from him along the way about gender identity, gender expression and self-acceptance. Julie is a board member for the It Gets Better Project, contributes to HuffPost Queer Voices and is an active member of PFLAG NYC’s Safe Schools program. She was named a “Favorite Queer Hero of 2016” by HuffPost and one of BlogHer’s “Voices of the Year” in 2015. A longtime resident of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Julie now lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she can often be found cheering in the audience at her creative director and sometimes-drag-artist son Harry’s performances.
Emma Tattenbaum-Fine is a comedian who writes for The Huffington Post. Her comedy has been featured on Jezebel, BustMagazine.com, Gawker, in Time Out NY and Comedy Central’s Indecision 2012 in Tribeca. She has appeared on PoliticsNation with Al Sharpton, with Reggie Watts in a web series for JASH and also on Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls at the Party. She has created content for Google’s Original Channels, Funny or Die, and as a sketch comedian with a residency at YouTube’s NY studios. See more at www.emmatattenbaumfine.com!
Karen Thompson currently serves on the board of Lucie’s Place, an organization dealing with LGBT youth homelessness in Arkansas. She works in loving memory of her daughter, a force of nature, Lucille Marie Hamilton—the one who taught her everything (1988-2009).
Max Titus is a queer wife and parent living, working, and writing in Vermont. Despite their day job and regular adulting, they love comic books, video games, and drawing their own images of the world. They also write about gender, queer parenting, and the like on their blog www.maplesticks.com. Follow Max on Twitter and Instagram @matitus2
Ashleigh Tobin, MA, LLPC is a Psychotherapist in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The foundation of Ashleigh’s approach to counseling is the idea that you will never be good at being anyone other than yourself. She focuses on who you are, where you’ve been, and who you are becoming in relation to yourself and others. Ashleigh specializes in working with LGBTQIA+ individuals, women, and young adults. Maintaining a safe, collaborative, and judgment-free space where ALL are welcome is her top priority. When she’s not working, you can find her watching the Great British Baking Show with her wife, playing guitar, doting over her cat Oatmeal Stout, and drinking Manhattans. Follow her on Twitter @theraqueer
Linda Ulanoff is a wife and mother of a 16-year-old daughter (who just happens to be a lesbian) and 20-year-old son. She is an advocate for the LGBTQ community as an active member of PFLAG Long Island and serves on their Board as Treasurer. She also manages the group’s Facebook page. You can follow her on Twitter @CrankyMomma48
Carmella Van Vleet is a wife, former teacher, and the mother of three young people (ages 22, 20 and 18) who she thinks are pretty cool despite the fact they insisted on growing up. Carmella is also a full-time children’s author who’s committed to including LGBTQ families in her work whenever possible. You can visit her at www.carmellavanvleet.com.
Candace Waldron is an educator, administrator, and public policy advocate in violence prevention and women’s health, working in settings that include state government, healthcare, religion, and community non-profits. She is the mother of a transgender son who disclosed at fifteen and transitioned at nineteen. In her book, My Daughter He: Transitioning With Our Transgender Children, Candace explores the stages of her process toward acceptance and invites readers to attend to their own emotional responses while supporting their child’s authentic self-expression. Candace is cofacilitator of PFLAG support groups in the Boston metro area for parents of nonconforming and transgender children. Visit www.candacewaldron.com for more information.
A.J. Walkley earned a B.A. in literature from Dickinson College in 2007 before heading into the U.S. Peace Corps as a health volunteer in Malawi, Africa. Upon her return to the States, she became a United Nations correspondent and freelance writer working out of New York City, before moving to the Los Angeles area. She is currently writing out of Phoenix, Arizona.
Allyee Whaley is a Crisis Services Coordinator at The Trevor Project, the leading national suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth. Allyee manages “Ask Trevor,” an international online Q&A resource for young people regarding sexual orientation and gender identity as well as coordinates operations on The Trevor Project’s 24/7 national suicide prevention lifeline. Allyee has long strived to create balance in the universe by listening attentively, advocating ruthlessly, and loving compassionately. She is an openly polyamorous queer based in New York City who will talk your ear off about anthropology, human sexuality, social justice, and mystical creatures.
Pip Williams lives in London, UK where they study Veterinary Medicine alongside their work as a journalist and editor. They are passionate about cats, bisexuality, pop music, and rejecting binaries, and can be found online as @pipsuxx.
Renee Zalles has a BA in English Lit, a MFA in Advertising, and a PhD in being gay.