Speakers & Panelists

Speakers and panelists scheduled to appear at ClexaCon 2021

2021 Speakers and Panelists

Adelena Rodriguez · she/they

Adelena Rodriguez is a storyteller for social impact. She’s an up-and-coming sapphic fantasy author, NYU film production student heading into media communications, and long-time activist focused on building intersectional action beyond movement spaces. She is the 20-year-old Founder & Executive Director of the Revolution Coalition and is the Artistic Director of the organization’s EMPOWER Arts program. Recently, Lena became the youngest graduate in their Storytelling and Content Strategy program from the University of Washington.

Annie Segarra · she/they

Annie Segarra, also known as Annie Elainey, is an American YouTuber, artist, and activist for LGBT and disability rights. Segarra, who is queer, Latinx, and disabled, advocates for accessibility, body positivity, and media representation of marginalized communities.

Bren Coombs · they/them

Bren Coombs is a nonbinary producer of film, theatre, events, and social media content who is currently co-producing a documentary about LGBTQ representation on TV with The Clexa Project. Bren has produced fan events with the casts of South of Nowhere and All My Children, content for CNN, The LA Times, and other media outlets, and an array of films, series, and stage shows featuring LGBTQ talent and subject matter. Bren still hasn’t recovered from the on-screen death of Dana Fairbanks.

Caitlyn Clear-Brady · she/her

Caitlyn’s love of storytelling began when she was a shy child who loved going to the theater with her family. Now a writer by day, and an avid TV watcher by night, she feels driven to create the representation she looked for as a child. She strives to create content that includes complex queer characters and storylines that make people question their own beliefs. Caitlyn has been featured in the Emmy Magazine for her spec script of Killing Eve and Playbill for her musical The Flame.

Camille Elston · she/her, they/them

Camille Ora-Nicole (she/her, they/them) is a Creative Director, Placemaker, and Artist who encourages audiences to expand their thoughts on how the world can look and function. She is the founder of The Queer 26, a non-profit media arts organization that supports QTBIPOC creatives through training, networking, and opportunities to get their stories out in the world. Camille received her BFA in Graphic Design and a minor in Art History from Cal Poly Pomona and received their Masters in Heritage Conservation from USC.

Candida Valentina · they/them

Candida Valentina is the founder and producer of Queerly Beloved Revue (ATL, SEA, & Las Vegas). They are also a Seattle based model, performer, actress and lesbian looking to be outspoken about the resistance. Candida produces a wide variety of LGBTQ+ shows and events. They use their platform help push unity, diversity and acceptance within the community and beyond. Partnering with a variety of venues, they’re showing that there is more to our community than meets the eye.

Dr. Christina Patterson · they/she

Dr. Patterson is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in queer health. They are the President Elect of APA Division 44: The Society for the Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity and a WPATH member.

    Christy Fleck · she/her

    Christy is the creative mind behind @sapphic.jam, a queer meme page on Instagram with a penchant for Xena content and occasional thirst traps. She started the page on a whim out of pandemic boredom and loneliness and accidentally cultivated an entire beautiful community. When she isn’t making memes, Christy can be found in a gym, probably.

    Clyf Hangar · he/him

    He is Atlanta’s Blatino Fire! Clyf is a proud member of the Candybox Revue and loves that he is fully invested in the Burlesque Atlanta Community. Clyf has been a Boylesque performer for a little over 6 years, has performed in multiple cities, including Atlanta. He has had the honor of working with many troupes,such as Queerly Beloved Revue, Bear It All Burlesque, Fandom Nerdlesque and Roxie Roz, Fritz Kreig and Ariel Allegro.

    Dana Piccoli · she/her

    Dana is a pop culture writer and entertainment critic who has written for sites like NBC News, The Mary Sue, Decider, Curve and was a longtime writer and Staff Editor of a formerly popular queer women’s pop culture website. While there she hosted the popular podcast “Let’s Process” which had over 250k downloads. She’s the former Managing Editor of the Bella Media Channel, a vertical of Bella Books Publishing that focuses on queer entertainment and pop culture. Dana is also the founder and Editor in Chief of Queer Media Matters. Because queer media matters. Always has. Always will.
    Dana was recently named one of The Advocate Magazine’s 2019 Champions of Pride. She was also one of Curve Magazine’s 2017 Pridelist for her work in LGBTQ media. 

    Elishia K. Constantine · she/her

    Elishia K.Constantine is a writer and producer who got caught up in years of adulting before rekindling her passion for creating queer content at Clexacon 2019. Since then she’s produced the pilot for the queer dramedy, Out in Love, and launched Canon Divergence, a film and podcast studio that showcases queer women and nonbinary folx as stars, not sidekicks.

    Eliza Karlson · she/her

    A native New Yorker, Eliza grew up surrounded by creativity with a famous photographer father and Vogue editor mother. While living in Singapore and Amsterdam for 10 years, she developed a photography business. Her love of photography soon segued into short films. She focuses on non-profits like Lesbian Game Changers and There With Care. She is passionate about using her skills to highlight important issues.

    Elizabeth Wong · she/her

    Elizabeth Grace Wong, M.A., is a doctoral student in the Combined Clinical/Counseling Psychology program at Utah State University. Her research at the moment is about positive identity strategies and experiences of religious/spiritual LGBTQ+ BIPOC. Prior to USU, she studied at the University of Toronto for her MA in Women & Gender studies and Sexuality studies, and HBSc in Psychology. Her therapy interests broadly include multicultural and LGBTQ+ identity, resilience, sex and intimacy, and collective healing.

    Ellie Brigida · she/her

    Ellie Brigida is the co-host and producer of the Queerty nominated podcast Lez Hang Out on the TAGG network, the co-creator and star of the Flame, An Original Podcast Musical and the host and audio engineer for Sweetbitter, a Sappho Podcast. She is also the Studio Production Manager and lead audio engineer for Clear Harmonies.

    Evangeline Laveau · she/they

    Evangeline Laveau is a self described feminine divine with no limitations on her creativity. She is burlesque & variety show producer, performer, cosplayer, activist, and writer. Evangeline is loud and proud about her bisexuality, her black American heritage, mental health awareness/education, opinions, fandoms, and polyamorous relationships. Evangeline Laveau can captivate you with her performances and in-depth conversations.

    Geneva Faye · she/her

    Geneva Faye is a Los Angeles-based director and producer. Raised both in the US and Mexico, her work aims to examine the space in between culture and identity through sincere storytelling. She most recently produced the short film Growing Fangs on Disney+, and is currently working as a producer at mitú.

    Giovannie Espiritu · she/her

    Actor and filmmaker Giovannie Espiritu was nominated alongside Academy Award nominees Alfre Woodard & Amy Irving for Best Supporting Actress at MethodFest and stars as Gin in DykeCentral (Amazon). She is also an award-winning filmmaker with over 12 awards on the film festival circuit for her film, “Ally 3000,” a top acting coach whose alumni/current students that include series regulars and Emmy nominees, and is the on-call acting coach for kids at Pixar Animation Studios.

    Hannah Liebreich · she/her

    Hannah Liebreich recently completed her PhD at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and is a visiting assistant professor at Furman University. As a queer sociologist and criminologist, Hannah is interested in gender-based violence and how this issue impacts communities. In terms of media, Hannah’s research has explored social media and the #metoo and how groups such as the Proud Boys make national headlines. In the classroom, she is particularly interested in how media makes class content more accessible to students.

    Isabella Rocha · she/her

    Isabella Rocha is a 26-year-old model and entertainer. Pronouns are she/her and identifies as queer. Originally born in Sete Lagoas, Minas Gerais, Brazil: I have everything to do is learn and dive headfirst into any culture. Drying, dancing, and making people laugh are her favorite past time hobbies. Drag shows, modeling, and YouTube videos is how she makes her money.

      Jackie Monahan · she/her

      Jackie headlines at the hottest clubs, regularly appears on TV, and has a cult indie-film following. Voted comic-to-watch by Esquire magazine, they said, “Jackie has the looks of your friend’s hot older sister with the jokes of a deranged serial killer. She will kill you and you will be smiling.

      She starred in and co-wrote Madeleine Olnek’s beloved Sundance feature film “The Foxy Merkins” which was also nominated for an Independent Spirit Award. Jackie was Zylar in Olnek’s Sundance hit “Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same” which received rave reviews from both Variety and The Hollywood Reporter. 

      Jaclyn Chessen · she/her

      Jaclyn Chessen is a filmmaker, artist, and owner of To-Enfro Productions based out of the Los Angeles area. Originally from the Bay Area where she got her first taste of indie filmmaking, her work in the industry spans almost 20 years, from her beginnings in publicity for Miramax to years of making indie magic. She has previously been on panels for San Diego Comic Con, Midsummer Scream, and Clexacon. Jaclyn has worked on a breadth of projects including music videos, documentaries, shorts and feature-length films. She wrote and directed the feature film “Shock Attack”, and the shorts “Deprivation”, “Dark Hole”, and “POV: In the Shadows”. She was editor on “Season of Love”, “I Hate New Years”, “Christmas at the Ranch”, and Cinematographer/Editor for “The Bra Mitzvah” and “Passage”.

      Jenna Brown · she/her

      Jenna Marie Brown is a queer content creator and cast member of Are You The One: Come One Come All: MTV’s first ever reality show featuring solely queer contestants. Originally from southern Indiana, Jenna uses social media to connect with LGBTQ+ youth and share her battle of accepting her identity in a conservative state. A mental health advocate and survivor of addiction, she now works with her (also queer) sister, Lilly Brown, planning LGBTQ+ events in Los Angeles. Jenna’s goal is to create a safe space for queer people to comfortably be themselves and find a like-minded community to thrive in.

      Jennifer Ruffin · she/they

      Jennifer has been a nerd since childhood, discovering comics at an early age. Upon the realization of her sexuality, she quickly began writing fanfiction online for all the femme couples, starting with Xena and Gabrielle. It has since morphed to include Kim and Shego, Rizzoli and Isles, Emma and Regina, etc. And this will continue for the rest of her life.

      Jessica Mason · she/her

      Jessica Mason lives near Portland, Oregon with her wife, daughter, and corgi. She is a journalist and author of nonfiction, fiction, and fan fiction. She hosts the podcast Reel Magic and when she’s not writing or being a fangirl, she enjoys gardening, writing other things, music, and witchcraft.

      Jett Garrison · he/they

      Jett Garrison is a Transgender award-winning director, WGA writer and producer whose work has shown in over 100 film festivals worldwide. Jett’s currently staffed as a writer on The CW Network’s reboot of THE 4400. He’s known for directing the digital series THESE THEMS, winning the Best Director Award from Chicago’s PRIDE FILMS Festival. He’s also won an EMMY and been nominated for an OSCAR for his short film work.

      Jett started his filmmaking career in Austin, Texas where his first feature documentary premiered at SXSW. As a fellow in Film Independent’s PROJECT:INVOLVE directing program, Jett was mentored by Jeremy Podeswa [GAME OF THRONES]. Through that fellowship, Jett’s work was sponsored by “NBC/Universal” and featured in “Vanity Fair”. Jett was also a fellow in SONY’s inaugural Diverse Directors Program and was recently invited to participate in Ryan Murphy’s HALF Directing Program for 2021/2022

      Jorie Burgos · she/her

      SAG/AFTRA Actor, Producer, Wardrobe Stylist, and 2nd hand clothing lover from Puerto Rico. 

      Kari Alison Hodge · she/her

      Kari Alison Hodge is an actress and a writer, known for being Jenna in Good Kisser, Penelope in Dating in Place, Aggie in Crazy Bitches, Esmerelda in Cut and Chop, and Phi in Dinner for 4. She also holds a PhD in Gravitational Wave Astronomy. Besides Dating in Place, she kept busy during the pandemic by doing a photo series featuring the appropriately sized fruit for each week of pregnancy: see #karifetusfruit on instagram.

      Kristin Murison · she/her

      Kristin is the Production Assistant for Lez Hang Out and co-host of Sapphic Stuff podcast. Being a typical Gemini, she loves working in podcasting and especially loves hosting queer events for Lez Hang Out. Kristin began working in LGBTQ+ media, because growing up under several minority umbrellas (South Asian, lesbian, adoptee) she never felt represented by the characters on her screen. Kristin is very passionate about both increasing positive representation for minority groups in media and in being a source of positive representation herself. In her spare time she loves to hang out with her dog Ember Roo, write fiction, and swim as a mermaid.

      Kristina Pupo · she/her

      Kristina Pupo is a first-generation, Cuban-American screenwriter and director  from Miami. Kristina wrote and directed the LGBTQ dramedy pilot, Out in Love.  This summer, Kristina was selected to be a part of Constellation Incubator, a program designed to disrupt the current indie film production and distribution model in hopes to create a more equitable and sustainable indie film ecosystem. Currently she is also playing Ana Elias in the much anticipated season 2 of Rational Creatures, a literary web series that gives a queer and latine twist to Jane Austen’s Persuasion.

      Lagueria Davis · she/her

      Lagueria Davis graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2007 with a BFA in Media Art. Since graduating, Davis has established herself as an award-winning filmmaker. MAID OF DISHONOR, a feature she co-wrote was a 2016 Nicholls Fellowship Quarter-Finalist. In 2019, her short film, LIGHT IN DARK PLACES hit the film festival circuit and is now streaming on Amazon and other VOD platforms. In most recent news, Davis was selected as a participant in the Mentorship Matters TV Writing Program and is currently in production directing BLACK BARBIE: A DOCUMENTARY.

      Currently, Davis resides in LA where she’s on the Emeritus Board of the Alliance of Women Directors.

      Larin Sullivan · she/her

      Larin Sullivan is a filmmaker based in Los Angeles. She has directed documentaries for Showtime, ABC Australia, HGTV as well as content for OUT, Samsung, Lexus and This Free Life. Her first narrative feature film THE YOUNG KING, which she wrote and will direct, is the story of a drag king who reconnects with her deadbeat dad, a clown, over a weekend in Las Vegas. In development, the short film version of the same name is currently playing festivals.

      Dr. Lauren Chapple-Love · she/her/Dr.

      Dr. Chapple-Love’s clinical experience primarily lies in Forensic and Correctional Psychology. While in the community, she has worked with court-mandated individuals and in sexual health. Dr. Chapple-Love has focused on diverse populations (e.g., LGBTQAI+, People of Color, the Kink community, etc.) and the ways that they process and can excel while living within systems of oppression and majority culture spaces. She is a member of the executive board of the Nevada Psychological Association (NPA), serving as the current Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Chair. Dr. Chapple-Love will also serve as the President-Elect of NPA, the first Black-identified psychologist to be elected in the organization’s nearly 65 year history.

      She is the owner of Elle Psychological Services, LLC, a private practice that currently focuses on diversity, equity, and inclusion training and consultation.

      Lilly Brown · she/her

      Lilly Brown is a story producer for unscripted TV by day, Tik Tok content creator and event planner by night. She started in 2014 making queer song covers on YouTube, but the 2020 quarantine pivoted her to Tik Tok, where her queer-focused videos gained popularity amongst the #lesbiansoftiktok. This audience reach was the catalyst for hosting a queer meet-up, which has since evolved into Queer Field Day – an event for queer people to meet friends, play games, and find community.

      Liza Katsman · she/her

      Liza Katsman is a D&I consultant and facilitator. She received her MBA from UCLA Anderson, helping develop their first graduate D&I leadership course. Prior to this, she researched psychological effects of anti-LGBTQ+ stigma, and went on to lead the LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Group (ERG) and spearhead the growth of the entire ERG community at Sony Pictures. In her non-professional life, she is a queer event organizer in Los Angeles, most notably a series of “L Word Trivia” parties and screenings.

      Mariah Hanson · she/her

      The founder of The Dinah, the world’s largest lesbian/queer/non-binary music festival and event in the world. The Dinah is five days of celebrating community, our lives, our differences and the ways our shared culture beautifully unites us. Empowering, inspiring, and celebrating all things female and the many ways we identify through music and community

      Morgan Riedl · she/her

      Morgan Riedl is a PhD candidate in creative writing, with a specialization in nonfiction, at Ohio University in Athens, OH, where she lives with her rez dog and retired horse (not in the house). She has an MA in creative nonfiction from Colorado State University. Her essays have appeared in the Normal School, Sonora Review, Entropy, and Essay Daily.

      Precious Love-Chapple · she/her

      Precious is currently in an accelerated nursing program working on her third bachelor’s degree to become a registered nurse in 2022. She has two bachelor’s degrees in Biology: Pre-Med and French along with a psychology minor.

      Rae Magdon · she/her

      Rae D. Magdon is an author of queer speculative fiction. She believes everyone deserves to see themselves represented in the stories they read, especially lesbians, bisexual women, queer women, trans women, and nonbinary folks. She has published thirteen novels through Desert Palm Press. Her cyberpunk novel, Lucky 7, received a Golden Crown Literary Award for Sci-Fi/Fantasy (2019) as well as a Rainbow Award for Science Fiction (2019).

      Renee Santos · she/her

      Santos is a Professional Stand-Up Comedian, Actress and Podcaster, seen on Showtime, Last Comic Standing and performing at comedy clubs and theaters around the country. Her self-written and produced 1 Hour Special “Outside the Box” was picked up by AmazonPRIME in October of 2019 and she currently is in pre-production for her sophomore Comedy Special. Her comedy is Revving with verve and theatrics, Santos gives you a little bit of everything: funny voices, wordplay, musical comedy, and rapturous storytelling. She is here at ClexaCon to share the journey to creating her own content and the persistently patient path it takes to put art into the world.

      Riley Silverman · she/her

      Riley Silverman is a writer, comedian, and professional geek. She’s a contributing writer for Nerdist and Fandom, the award-winning sci-fi podcast, Bubble, as well as SYFY’s Forgotten Women of Genre limited podcast series. She has rolled dice on numerous actual-play D&D and Roleplaying shows, including in the role of Braga for the official tabletop adaptation of Rat Queens. Her comedy album Intimate Apparel was a #1 bestseller. She lives in Los Angeles, California and she is certain that her lightsaber would have a white kyber crystal.

      Rivkah Reyes · they/she

      Rivkah Reyes (they/she) is an LA-based/Chicago raised Filipina-Jewish actor, writer, musician, and comedian. Riv’s recent TV and film credits include Netflix’s Easy, NBC’s Bring The Funny, and the upcoming Lifetime Christmas movie A Picture Perfect Holiday, but they are best known for their work in the iconic School of Rock. Riv is the host of Where Are We Now?, a podcast where former child stars get to connect and share their stories so that Buzzfeed doesn’t have to. Follow Riv on the internet @rivkah.reyes on IG/TikTok and @rivkahreyes on Twitter!

      Robin Lowey · she/her

      Robin Lowey is a speaker, author, filmmaker, and historian, whose work elevates the discourse in our country about the role lesbian history plays in advancing LGBTQ+ civil rights and social equity. As a pioneering queer parent and an activist, Robin’s work focuses on LGBTQ+ achievements that have advanced a more inclusive society as well as on the unmet needs of a culture that continues to oppress queer people.

      Robin Lowey is the executive director of Lesbian Game Changers, a project that provides schools with valuable resources that fill the gap in education about LGBTQ history.

      An award-winning graphic designer and writer, Robin is the founder of Epochalips.com and has been Editor-in-Chief since 2010. Her writing has appeared in The Advocate, Lesbian.com, and Epochalips.com. Honored in Go Magazine’s 100 Women We Love issue, Robin was a featured speaker at Talks at Google and the Michelle Meow Show on The CW Network. She is a member of the LGBT Speakers Bureau.

      Rose Montoya · she/her, they/them

      Rosalynne Montoya, usually referred to as Rose, is a Hispanic, bisexual, nonbinary transgender woman. She works as a model, actor, public speaker, makeup artist, advocate, and content creator. Their goal is to spread love and education about their community as they share their story. 

      Sarah-Caitlin Williford · she/her

      Sarah-Caitlin Williford is a kickboxer, dog mom, stringed instrument enthusiast and self-defense instructor who co-runs the fast-growing Xena: Warrior Princess Facebook discussion group “Xenites United” and spends her time traveling around the country advocating for positive LGBTQ+ representation in film and television.

      Sav Rodgers · he/him

      Sav Rodgers is a filmmaker and screenwriter from Kansas City. His work often centers on telling highly specific, surprising comedies and documentaries involving LGBTQ+ characters. He is the director of Chasing Chasing Amy (2022/23), an upcoming feature documentary about the cultural impact of Chasing Amy (1997) on the greater LGBTQ+ community and the profound, lasting impression on his own life. Sav also delivered a TED Talk on the subject titled, “The rom-com that saved my life.” In addition to his work as a director/writer, Sav is also the Founder and Executive Director of the Transgender Film Center, a nonprofit aiming to help trans creators bring finished films to audiences around the world.

      Sonya Saturday · she/her

      Sonya Saturday is a Los Angeles-based cartoonist, writer, photographer and experimental video creator. Her work has a sly and satirical sense of humor, and often features bright colors, sex, death and dinosaurs.

      Stephanie Sullivan · she/her

      Stephanie M. Sullivan is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Polyamory Relationship Coach, Writer, Educator, Speaker, and Entrepreneur. She specializes in working with individuals, couples, and multi-partner relationships in navigating various relationship styles from an attachment-based, trauma-informed lens. Stephanie also actively works to raise awareness and educate other therapists and healing professionals about polyamorous relationships.

      Sy Bernabei · they/he/she

      Sy Bernabei has been a social justice warrior for over 20 years. They have worked with AIDS Project Los Angeles, Aid for AIDS of Nevada, and the LGBT Center of Southern Nevada. They are dedicated to an intersectional and inclusive approach to teaching and community mobilizing. They identify as trans masculine and non-binary and use all pronouns. They have worked as an outreach worker, case manager, and educator of LGBTQ+ culture and history. They have a degree in secondary education which they use to train and empower allies and people in the gender diverse community in using their voice as a tool to increase visibility and understanding. Sy enjoys travelling, dismantling the cis-tem, and embarassing her kids on social media.

      Dr. Tanisha Ranger · she/her/Dr.

      Dr. Tanisha Ranger is Las Vegas-based clinical psychologist, specializing in the treatment of trauma, mood disorders, and sexual addiction. She works to ensure that her practice is safe for all marginalized people and works to help other clinicians do the same. Dr. Ranger is available for trainings/workshops, speaking on a wide range of topics having to do with the mental health and wellbeing of Black and Indigenous people of color.

      Tara Madison Avery · she/her

      Tara Madison Avery is a cartoonist and publisher of Stacked Deck Press. Her works include the Ignatz Award-winning We’re Still Here, the LGBTQ+ historical coloring book series, and the webcomic Gooch. Avery has also worked with non profit organizations such as Prism Comics and the Los Angeles Bi Task Force to promote queer representation in popular media. Her most recent project, The Polyamory Coloring and Activity Book, is available now from Stacked Deck Press.

      Taylor Gates · she/her

      After earning her BFA in Creative Writing from the University of Evansville, Taylor Gates moved to Los Angeles to pursue filmmaking. In December 2018, she wrote and executive produced her first short: a comedic, LGBTQ+ take on the noir genre called MAKE YOURSELF AT HOME, which won Best Screenplay at the Victory International Film Festival. She made her directorial debut with a short film she wrote through the OutSet fellowship, a high school comedy called ACADEMIC SUPER SQUAD, which premiered at the 2019 Outfest Festival and won Best LGBTIQQ Film at the Splice Film Fest. The OutSet Fellowship also sparked her partnership with co-writer Sav Rodgers, and together, they have written several projects, including road trip comedy EMPTY NESTERS and high school dramedy I LOVE YOU, MARGOT ROBBIE, which is a finalist for both the ScreenCraft Comedy Competition and Outfest’s Screenwriting Lab.