Alesia Glidewell (she/her)
A Trip to Unicorn Island, Look at Me
Alésia Glidewell, also known as Z, is a multi-passionate Writer/Director, Producer and EP of New Media series, commercials, and feature films. This includes properties such as the YouTube Original “A Trip to Unicorn Island” starring Lilly Singh, “Look at Me” for Amazon Prime, “Shook” for Shudder, “Lana Steele: Makeup Spy” for Estée Lauder, “Disney Insider” for Disney + and “Wear it to Win it” for Facebook Watch and MGM. Z is also a Former Board Delegate of the Producer’s Guild of America’s New Media Council, a Sony Pictures Television Diverse Director’s Fellow, a VR SH//FT Scholar and a Producing Mentor for Women in Media’s CAMERAderie Initiative.
Amanda Deibert (she/her)
DC Super Hero Girls, Wonder Woman Agent of Peace
Amanda Deibert is a television and comic book writer. Her comic book writing includes the New York Times best-selling series DC Super Hero Girls, Wonder Woman Agent of Peace, DCs The Doomed and the Damned, Teen Titans Go!, Batman And Harley Quinn, and Wonder Woman ’77 and the New York Times #1 Best Selling anthology Love Is Love, for DC Comics, HyperSpace Stories for Lucas Film/Dark Horse, Red Sonja for Dynamite and John Carpenter’s Tales For A HalloweeNight Vol. 2-7 for Storm King Comics as well as the graphic novel Work for a Million for Penguin Random House’s McClelland & Stewart. Her television writing includes He-Man and The Masters of the Universe and work for CBS, SyFy, Hulu, Quibi as well as four years as the writer for former Vice President Al Gore’s annual climate broadcast, 24 Hours of Reality
Panels: Queer Representation in Comics
Amanda Holland (she/her)
GirlShipTV, Fruity Productions
Amanda Holland is an Ohio born/LA based, super gay, award-winning comedy writer & the founder of GirlShipTV + Fruity Productions. She is a serious writer who has written scripts and produced pilots/short films that have been featured at the New York TV Festival, Austin Film Festival, Frameline San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival and more… But you probably recognize her as that lesbian on the internet who gets drunk and talks about scissoring.
Amanda Layne Miller (she/her)
Woke, The Morning Show
Amanda Layne Miller is a queer comedy writer, filmmaker, and performer with a focus on the surreal and the magical. Amanda has been Staff Writer for Chinese sci-fi series DREAM HUNTERS in both Los Angeles and Beijing, Writers’ Assistant on Hulu’s WOKE S2, on a Netflix sci-fi series for WATCHMEN and BLADE scribe Stacy Osei-Kuffour, and on Apple TV+’s THE MORNING SHOW S3. Most recently, Amanda wrote, directed, and co-starred alongside her sister Amber in their short comedy film THE DAY I DIDN’T MEET ONE DIRECTION, which premiered at The Lyric Hyperion in Los Angeles. Next up, Amanda and Amber are hosting Fangirl Central, their new monthly variety show at Junior High, while Amanda continues to develop her own scripted projects and produce live comedy around LA.
Panels: Showing Up and Getting Shit Done
Amber Whittington (she/her)
Amber Whittington, also known as AmbersCloset, is an Activist and Social Influencer, whose videos range from Self Growth, Racial Justice, LGBTQ topics, Fashion and more. She started her channel to help others that might be struggling with their identity and to break stereotypes. She believes in changing the world by changing within.
She wants people to leave her content feeling Empowered through their voice, their fashion, or from being entertained. Her goal is to inspire everyone with positivity, self love, and self confidence; so that they find comfortability in their own skin too.
Anna Goodman (she/her)
Open Dyke Night
Anna Goodman (she/her) graduated with a bachelor’s degree in media and communications from Ohio University in 2011, and has since worked in a variety of fields ranging from event production and development, marketing and graphic design, to sales and customer care. With a passion for activism and the LGBTQ+ community, Anna has worked with various organizations, restaurants and bars, and corporations on creating safe spaces, events and experiences geared towards the lesbian and queer community. From 2015 – 2022, she worked as JQ International’s Director of Events and Communications providing inclusive spaces for LGBTQ+ Jews, their friends, families, and allies, and was the Los Angeles City Events Manager for the HER app from 2016 – 2018. Currently, she produces and hosts Open Dyke Night, Hidden Hearts, and Fanny’s Underground, all monthly lesbian queer events taking place at different bars across Los Angeles. You can also find her performing on stage as her alter ego /Drag King identity, Dandy Frank.
Anna Sinatra (she/her)
After almost a decade in entertainment as an opera singer then comedy writer and produced playwright, I left to work in tech as a head of community for a community of over 30,000 members. I am a queer event producer who has produced events for the queer led coffee ld brand Couplet and Dog Drop. I hire exclusively queer talent for my events in LA as well as help lead the DEI initiative at my company.
Showing Up and Getting Shit Done
Annemarie Hauser (she/her)
Los Angeles Times Studios
Annemarie Hauser holds an MFA from the University of California, Riverside. Her writing appears in the Los Angeles Review of Books. Formerly the Senior Event Manager for the Los Angeles Times, she recently transitioned to a new role as Production Coordinator for the L.A. Times Studios team.
Panels: Showing Up and Getting Shit Done
Ashley Bartlett (she/her)
Award-winning author, Ashley Bartlett was born and raised in California. Her life consists of reading, writing, and editing. Most of the time Ashley engages in these pursuits while sitting in front of a coffee shop with her wife.
She is an obnoxious, sarcastic, punk-ass, but her friends don’t hold that against her. She lives in Sacramento.
Astrid Ohlet, Founder and CEO of Ylva Publishing, has an education as a library assistant but worked as a PA for one of the partners of a large, international law firm for more than ten years before she became a publisher. Publishing combines her love of books with her understanding of legal and economic issues.
Being able to publish books where subtext is maintext is a dream come true for Astrid. Having a certificate in editing from the Academy of German Book Trade doesn’t hurt.
Aurora Rey (she/her)
Aurora Rey is a college dean by day and a life coach and author of queer romance the rest of the time, except when she’s puttering in the kitchen, riding the tractor, or pining for goats. She grew up in a small town in south Louisiana, daydreaming about New England. Baking is her favorite form of seduction.
Aymae Sulick (she/her)
The L Word: Generation Q
Aymae Sulick is an LA-based cinematographer and camera operator. Her work over the past 20 years includes award-winning films, documentaries, TV shows, and music videos, and has screened on platforms including Netflix, PBS, and HBO, and numerous festivals. Aymae earned her MFA from the USC School of Cinematic Arts and believes visual storytelling can change the world. She’s currently a camera operator on Showtime’s “The L Word: Generation Q.”
Barbara Ann Wright (she/her)
Coils, Bold Strokes Books
Barbara Ann Wright writes SFF novels starring LGBTQ+ characters and featuring happily-ever-afters. She has won six Rainbow Awards, has been a finalist in the Goldie and Lamda Awards, and her work has made recommended reading lists on BookRiot, Tor.com, and Syfy.com. She is also an editor working for Bold Strokes Books.
Becca Damante (she/her/hers)
Becca Damante is a writer for Tagg Magazine, where she writes about queer television and film, LGBTQ+ politics, and queer people making a difference in the community. She also writes for The Advocate and Go Magazine and is the co-founder of Pride and Less Prejudice, a non-profit organization that sends LGBTQ-inclusive books to elementary schools across the United State and Canada. Becca has also appeared on podcasts such as Lez Hang Out, Sapphic Stuff, and Be a Better Ally, and has been cited by or quoted in The New York Times, USA Today, CNN, Daily Kos, Representative Katie Porter, Senator Harry Reid, and Mary Trump.
Becca Mann (she/her)
The Wilds, The Morning Show, Cruel Summer
Becca Mann was vomiting in the middle of the ocean at 2 AM––on her way to breaking a world record while swimming across a 40 mile channel––when she decided to write about the survival of the human spirit. At 13, Becca left home and became a nomadic Olympic-level athlete and competed internationally against the world’s best swimmers. All of this, along with being queer, is why Becca writes about confident fish-out-of-water women suffering from wanderlust in fantastic worlds.
Becca graduated with a screenwriting degree from USC and served as Script Coordinator on Apple TV’s THE MORNING SHOW, Showrunner’s Assistant on Amazon’s THE WILDS, and Writers’ PA on Freeform’s CRUEL SUMMER. Her screenplay EXILED was a 2x finalist in the 2020 Austin Film Festival and the winner of the 2021 ISA Fast Track Historical Genre. Her pilot SOAR was a semifinalist in the Humanitas Carol Mendelsohn fellowship. Becca is represented at Fourth Wall Management.
Panels: Showing Up and Getting Shit Done
Bee Davies (she/her)
Bee is a founder, creator, and actor using blockchain technology to revolutionize creative industries. Her interest in merging these verses (blockchain and entertainment) began when the pandemic pushed her into virtual production–which was around the same time that NFTs exploded into the mainstream market. In that trend she saw an opportunity to create a new revenue stream by selling NFTs of her digital productions. Following that success, she and her business partner Teemu Airamo (blockchain and NFT veteran) created VirtualFashion.io. VF uses blockchain technology to integrate fashion into the NFT space, spearheading the future of sustainable fashion as a result. This journey inspired her to write an TV pilot called “Hivemind” loosely based off her experience as an LGBTQIA+ creator in fashion and Web3—which eventually led her to start Qrypto Queer, so that she could make access to education and resources easier for other LGBTQIA+ creators like herself.
Panels: Queer XR: New Worlds
Beth Kochendorfer (She/Her)
Jojo Goes, The Ultimatum: Queer Love
Known for her eye for story and cinematic integrity, Beth Kochendorfer is an accomplished unscripted director and director of photography who strives for authenticity in her storytelling as well as herself. Most recently she directed Jojo Siwa in Jojo Goes for Meta and was the DP for The Ultimatum: Queer Love for Netflix. Beth is a member of the DGA, the ICG and the SOC, and strives to be the change she wants to see in the world.
Beth Ryne (she/her)
Beth Ryne is a casting professional and documentary filmmaker. Casting credits include Dead To Me, The Umbrella Academy, Jack Ryan, and Altered Carbon. She is currently making a documentary film, FEELING SEEN, about how queer women find identity and community through representation on TV. Beth lives in Los Angeles with her partner, son, and 3 pets.
Bex Nitti (they/them)
“Bex (they/them) is a trans nonbinary performer and latin dance instructor from Venezuela, and the founder of Queerchata. Bex fosters spaces where Trans and Queer dancers can use movement as a tool to explore their identity, while forming deeper connections with themselves and their communities. That exploration and fluidity is something that Bex also brings to the stage. As a performer, Bex loves to shatter the often very rigid, and gendered traditions of latin dances while tapping into their skills as a lead, follow and switch dancer. This versatility leads to exciting and entertaining performances that help audiences reimagine a new, degendered and very queer version of Latin dance.
Bex has also spent 10+ years working in Tech and is currently a Senior Global Program Manager. Their experience spans across Google, YouTube, SAP and other technology organizations. “
Panels: Creating Community
Bren Coombs (they/them)
The Clexa Project
Bren Coombs is a non-binary producer, designer, marketing specialist, and writer.
Bren strives to uplift other creatives, to put forth authentic storytelling, and to get shit done. They are currently co-producing a documentary film about Queer representation on TV with The Clexa Project, have produced fan events with the casts of South of Nowhere and All My Children, contributed content for CNN, The LA Times, and other media outlets, and have worked on an array of films, series, and stage shows featuring LGBTQ talent and subject matter.
Bren’s play Toast won the Stage Writers Festival for “”Best Ten-Minute Play”” and Bren’s appearance on stage in Mortified, performing a self-written piece featuring diary entries and notes from childhood, was featured on the Mortified podcast. They are a Props Assistant at Steppenwolf Theatre Company and teach Theater Production Management at DePaul University.
Bren currently lives in Chicago with their wife, two cats, and more props than their wife thinks is necessary.
Panels: Queering the Documentary
Brian Femminella (he/him)
Brian Femminella is the CEO and Co-founder of SoundMind, a mental wellness app, utilizing AI and sound therapy. At 17, Brian joined the Army and is now an officer serving as a 2nd Lieutenant. He is a member of the LGBTQIA+ community and is a staunch proponent of providing underrepresented communities with mental health resources. Brian/SoundMind were the mental wellness sponsor of NY Pride 2022 and have partnered with NAMI, Boys and Girls Club and the Human Rights Campaign.
Caitlyn Clear (she/her)
The Flame, Journey to the Heart
A writer by day, and an avid TV watcher by night, Caitlyn enjoys writing and watching any story with an upbeat sapphic plot line– after some angst and miscommunication, of course. While pursuing her MFA at Chapman University, she was featured in the Emmy Magazine alongside her spec script of Killing Eve. Caitlyn is the writer and co-director for The Flame (2021) and Journey to the Heart (2023).
Camille Elston (she/they)
The Queer 26, Clarity
Camille (she/they) is the founder of The Queer 26, a non-profit multimedia organization that aims to support queer creatives of color thrive through their art. Throughout her career as a designer and artist, Camille has created short experimental and documentary animations using AfterEffects. She was also the Producer of Q26 animated narrative shorts, The First Time. This short was positively received and screened at Tag! and NewFest, with NewFest being one of largest queer film festivals in the United States. Camille has also directed a short film, Clarity, in partnership with Black Girls Trekkin’. This film will also be put on the festival circuit through 2022.
Cat Crimins (she/her)
She Nerds Out Podcast
Cat’s been working in television and film since the early 2000s. She’s currently an Associate Producer working in Post Production for scripted television and is the producer and co-host of the She Nerds Out Podcast.
Cat Staggs (she/her)
Crosswind, Wonder Woman '77
Co-Creator on Crosswind, Artist: Wonder Woman ’77, Supergirl, Orphan Black, Smallville S11, John Carpenter’s Tales for a Halloween Night, Star Wars, draws like a girl
Panels: Queer Representation in Comics
Chris “CJ” Russo (she/they)
Lady Buds, Mama Sue, Buck Angel's Cannacopia
CJ Russo is the award-winning Director-Producer of “Lady Buds,” the critically acclaimed feature documentary about cannabis legalization in California through the eyes of six courageous women. The film opened theatrically in the fall of 2021 to rave reviews, earning 100% on Rotten Tomatoes and is currently airing and streaming on Starz, Amazon and AppleTV+. Driven to create content that amplifies underrepresented voices, CJ currently has two spin-offs in development — “Mama Sue,” a docuseries following the inspiring life journey of septuagenarian entrepreneur Sue Taylor with Village Roadshow, and a scripted feature version of the documentary with Hellcat. CJ is the Executive Producer on the upcoming series, “Buck Angel’s Cannacopia” with trans activist Buck Angel at Altrd.TV. Her short films have screened at Sundance and numerous LGBTQIA+ film festivals around the world, and have been broadcast on Showtime, PBS, IFC, LOGO and Netflix.
Panels: Queering the Documentary
Chris Hulen (She/Her)
Christina Hulen is an award-winning Writer/Director/Producer. Her female centered work has won the Meryl Streep funded Writers Lab and was a top 10 female written script in the Academy Nicholl Fellowship. She’s been a selected participant to the CineStory Feature Lab, the Stowe Story Lab and the Sundance Director’s Collab. She writes across genres, specializing in historical dramas featuring LGBTQ +storylines. Currently, she is in the funding stage for a short form narrative film called, Everything’s Fine that examines the long-term effects of PTSD on a young woman, her wife and everyone in her orbit after a mass trauma event.
Christie Shinn (she/her)
Demon Bitch, Mine!
Christie Shinn is an illustrator and comic artist that lives in the city of Los Angeles. She draws funny, mean stuff like ‘Demon Bitch’ and other terrible illustrations and comics showing the world in its vapid, gross entirety, plagued by a completely self-serving bunch of losers that only are in it for themselves. She won the 2018 Ringo award for “Mine! – a comics collection to benefit Planned Parenthood for Best Anthology. She is currently the President of CAPS- Comic Arts Professional Society, founded by esteemed cartoonists Sergio Aragonès and Don Rico, and writer Mark Evanier – and wants to promote, nurture, and network artists and writers in the sequential and non-sequential art aspects of the comic arts.
Panels: Queer Representation in Comics
Cynthia & Betsy Martinez
Fan Girl Cafe
Betsy and her wife Cynthia are the founders of Fan Girl Cafe, a forthcoming space dedicated to women+ in music and art. Betsy is a contributing writer/photographer for music blogs including Blurred Culture, Pass the Aux and her own blog- Fan Girl LA, and has worked with the LALGBT Center for the past 7 years as a freelance and volunteer photographer.
Betsy and Cynthia, both self proclaimed music nerds, often found it hard to find places in their area that weren’t just party, party, party- so they decided -why not create a space ourselves? Their dream is to open a safe space to gather and uplift one another, all while being inspired by music videos and artwork by women who rock. While they search for the perfect space, Fan Girl Cafe has hosted pop up events around town which feature female fronted acts, music videos, community vendors, photography and art displays. Most recently, Fan Girl announced their latest venture- the launch of their own indie record label “Fan Girl Records” which will also focus on female artists.
Panels: Creating Community
Dana Piccoli (she/her)
News is Out
Dana Piccoli is an entertainment writer, pop culture critic and the editor of News is Out, a queer media collaborative. Dana has written for numerous sites including The Mary Sue, The Decider, Curve, and NBC. 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 the founder of Queer Media Matters. Dana is known for her moderating skills and has hosted panels and events every year at ClexaCon. She has also moderated panels with NYCC, Outfest, Flamecon and more.
David J. Peterson (He/Him/His)
Motherland: Fort Salem, The 100, Defiance
David J. Peterson is a language creator and author. He’s created languages for many shows and films, such as HBO’s Game of Thrones, HBO’s House of the Dragon, Syfy’s Defiance, the CW’s The 100, Legendary’s Dune, Netflix’s The Witcher, Freeform’s Motherland: Fort Salem, and many more. Since 2020 he’s co-hosted the LangTime Studio YouTube series, in which he and his co-host Jessie Sams create a new language from scratch two hours a week, every week, live.
Deb Simone (She/Her)
Queer As Folk, Genera+ion, Better Things
Deb just finished work on the scintillating update to Queer As Folk, now streaming on Peacock. Before that, she cut the pilot and 4 more poignant and funny episodes of the the Gen-Z LGBTQ+ series Genera+ion for HBOMAX. Her compulsive need to speak truth to power earned her a Consulting Producer credit on the FX series “Better Things,” and her cutting there made Variety’s “Top 25 Episodes of The Decade,” among other accolades.
Delia Rawdon (she/her)
Transparent, La Veneno
Delia Danae Rawdon is an out and proud Transgender Woman living in Los Angeles with her wife and 3 children. You can see her in hit TV shows like Transparent, you can hear her voice over work in series including La Veneno, her comedy is showcased all across Los Angeles, and her Performance Art Act No More Disguise has headlined numerous venues. She is a lifelong advocate for the LGBTQ+ community and strives to break through the social constructs and barriers that society has put on us.
Dyana Winkler (she/her)
One of Variety’s 2019 top ten filmmakers to watch, Dyana Winkler is an Emmy-nominated filmmaker straddling the worlds of both fiction and documentary. Her feature documentary, “United Skates,” which she wrote, directed, and produced, screened at over 140 film festivals and won 15 Best Documentary and Audience Awards, including at its World Premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival. “United Skates,” executive produced by John Legend, is currently available on HBO. Dyana’s films have participated in the Sundance Screenwriter’s Lab, Sundance Music and Sound Design Lab, SFFILM Cinema Filmmaker Fellowship, Film Independent, The Gotham, Women In Film, New York Council for the Arts and many more. Dyana is currently in post-production on her first narrative feature, “Hawaiian Vacation,” and is in development on her second feature documentary in partnership with IPC.
Eden and Jay (she/her)
Social Media Influencers
Eden and Jay are well on their way to championing LGBTQ visibility as a fun, loving, same-sex married couple living their authentic lives in Los Angeles. They are proud Latinx content creators specializing in healthy relationship advice, travel, cooking, and lifestyle content. Their transparency and relatability as a couple inspire over 300 thousand people every day across TikTok, Youtube, and Instagram. Their overall mission is to keep growing their empowered community of women, couples, and people alike to continue to collaborate with progressive brands that support a more inclusive vision of the world.
Elena Heuzé (she/they)
Elena Heuzé is the star of the new Netflix short film, Heart Shot. They are originally from from the Philippines and moved to LA to pursue acting at 18. Elena is genderqueer, half-filipino half-french and lives in Los Angeles with their partner, hairless cat and their “big ass dog”.
Emer Kinsella (she/her)
Saturn, I Hate New Years
Known for creating poignant soundscapes, Emer Kinsella has been involved in critically-acclaimed films, television series and live performances. She wrote the music to Tello Film’s rom-com ‘I Hate New Year’s’ and recently completed the score to the upcoming Sci-Fi feature film ‘Saturn’ and was the first recipient of the SESAC/New Music USA Reel Change grant award to create her score to the psychological feature thriller ‘She The Creator’.
Emer’s credits include additional music for Amanda Jones on ‘Dreamland – The Burning of Black Wall Street’ (CNN) ‘From Cradle To Stage’ (Dave Grohl, Paramount Plus), American Horror Stories Anthology, working with Johnny Klimek on the hit Netflix series “”Sense8″” (written by The Wachowskis); the drama thriller “”Jungle”” starring Daniel Radcliffe; as well as with composer Andrew Kawczynski on Netflix’s ‘Go Karts’ and ‘The Eight Hundred.
Panels: Music for the screen
Erin Tillman (she/her)
Bloom Community, Sex Positive LA
Erin Tillman is a Certified Intimacy Coordinator, Certified Sex Educator, inclusive Dating & Consent Empowerment Coach, Consultant, Author, Speaker, and TV/Radio/Podcast Host based in LA. She is the current Executive Director of sexuality nonprofit Sex-Positive Los Angeles and Bloom Community App’s Los Angeles Event Ambassador. She is currently serving on the SAG-AFTRA Sexual Harassment committee. In 2021, Erin’s book, The Consent Guidebook was selected by AASECT (The American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists) to receive their 2021 General Audience Book Award. In 2018, Erin was awarded the Gender Equity Champion Award presented by the California National Organization for Women (California NOW). For over 10 years, she has been dedicated to empowering singles in all lifestyle and identity categories to have enjoyable dating lives, relationships, and partnerships through personal development and boundary-setting techniques.
Panels: Queer BIPOC Representation
Gaye Ann Bruno (she/her)
Between the Sheets with Gaye Ann Bruno
Gaye Ann Bruno a publicity and photography executive for the past 33 years at the same TV network..and she continues to inspire and is passionate about what projects she is working on.
She has spearheaded photo campaigns for THE GRAMMY AWARDS, LIVE EVENTS, SCRIPTED AND NON SCRIPTED PROJECTS.
Since 2009, she has hosted and produced one of the first award-winning LGBT podcasts called BETWEEN THE SHEETS WITH GAYE ANN BRUNO.
She is a jill of all trades and has managed music icons such as BERLIN and THE MOTELS to name a few as well as serving as VP of Entertainment on the board of directors for 12 years at CSW/LA PRIDE.
Gaye Ann has been a trailblazer in the LA area LGBTQ+ community for many years.
Georgia Beers (she/her)
The Swizzle Stick Romances
Georgia Beers is very lucky woman because she gets to make a living doing what she loves: writing sapphic romance novels, more than thirty of them so far. When not writing, she searches Netflix for a good scary movie, explores the world of wine and cocktails, and takes her dog Archie on long walks around the neighborhood so he can greet his adoring public. She is currently hard at work on her next book.
Giovannie Espiritu (she/her)
Dyke Central, Ally 3000
Giovannie Espiritu’s identity is inherently political: A bisexual, once-undocumented immigrant Filipina mom who spent time in a Biblical doomsday cult as a teen. Her first short film, “Ultra-Feminist,” got an Honorable Mention at Outfest:Fusion, and her second film, “ALLY 3000,” won over 12 awards at film festivals mainly in scriptwriting and social justice. Most of her work has taken aim at dismantling the patriarchy, healing generational trauma, and exposing systems of bias with humor. Her IRL and reel life mantra is to “Break Hearts Wide Open and Create More Moments of Joy.” As an actor, she was once nominated alongside Academy Award nominees Alfre Woodard and Amy Irving for Best Supporting Actress, but she didn’t know what to do with that information other than put it on her business card.
Greet den Holder (she/they)
Flying in from The Netherlands, Greet travels the world to vlog and blog at international LGBTQ events, and interview filmmakers and actors from queer shows and movies. ClexaCon will be their first con in nearly 3 years and they can’t wait. Queer representation in media matters!
Bridget Regan & Katrina Law
Jackie Monahan (She, Her, They)
Never Normal, Queer Riot
Jackie Monahan is in the 2022 Stand Up documentary Queer Riot also featuring Margaret Cho.
Jackie does stand up at all major comedy clubs all over the globe as well as at recovery centers, jails, hospitals, and institutions. You may have seen her on Adult Swim’s “The Eric Andre Show”, Last Comic Standing, or Comedy Jam on Showtime.
Jackie 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. She has professionally trained at UCB and Groundlings and she was born with a spot-on sense of timing and a unique look at life that cannot be duplicated.
Jaclyn Chessen (she/her)
Jaclyn has worked over 20 years in the industry, working on a multitude of projects including music videos, documentaries, shorts and feature films. She was a Producer and Director on the feature film “Shock Attack” (Worldwide Film Entertainment), and the shorts “Deprivation”, “Dark Hole”, and “POV: In the Shadows”. More recently, she Co-Produced the feature film “Christmas at the Ranch” and Produced “The Bra Mitzvah” and the series “Passage” and is currently Producing the tv series “Candis Cayne’s Secret Garden”.
Jae is the author of 23 sapphic romance novels. She used to work as a psychologist but gave up her day job in 2013 to become a full-time writer and a part-time editor. As far as she’s concerned, it’s the best job in the world. When she’s not writing, she is an avid reader of sapphic books, indulges her ice cream and stationery addictions, and watches way too many shows.
Jane Clark (she/her)
Elena Undone, Meth Head, Crazy Bitches
Jane is an award-winning filmmaker with 3 features, ELENA UNDONE (as producer,) METH HEAD, and CRAZY BITCHES; 8 shorts including THE TOUCH and the recent DINNER FOR 4, 1 VR short and 2 seasons of the short form tv series, CRAZY BITCHES behind her. She has worked with actors such as Lukas Haas, David Arquette, Tom Sizemore, Candis Cayne, Necar Zadegan, Guinevere Turner, Mandahla Rose and Wilson Cruz. Her work has been reviewed as “Oscar-nomination worthy, “hypnotizing,” “hauntingly graphic,” “intriguing, provocative and harsh,” “compassionate,” “intelligent,” “well-conceived,” “A-plus,” “well-crafted,” and “infused with a welcome level of depth.”
Jen Pirante (she/they)
Jen Pirante is a Marine Corps photojournalist turned LGBTQ filmmaker in Los Angeles. She/They is an alumni of the Los Angeles Film School and Casting Society of America’s Training and Education Program. Pirante works both in front of and behind the camera as an advocate for diversity and inclusion for military and LGBTQ communities.
Casting for Film and Television
Jenna Brown (She/her)
Jenna Brown is a lesbian influencer and event planner who was featured in Are You The One: Come One Come All, an MTV dating show featuring an entirely queer cast. Jenna was a highlighted cast member of this GLAAD award winning reality series. She now uses her platform to share her story from coming out to her struggles with mental health.
Jessie Sams (she/her)
Motherland: Fort Salem
Jessie Sams has a PhD in Linguistics from the University of Colorado at Boulder and was a professor of linguistics at Stephen F. Austin State University for 13 years, where she created a conlanging course and taught students how to construct a language from the ground up. She is now a full-time professional conlanger and works with her partner, David Peterson. Their languages appear in TV shows and films, including Freeform’s Motherland: Fort Salem, and they host the weekly livestream LangTime Studio on YouTube, where they create new languages from scratch and share the process.
Judy Carter (she/her)
The New Comedy Bible
As an author, Judy doesn’t like to brag, but she did write the Bible. No joke, she’s the author of “The New Comedy Bible” which rose to the #1 book on comedy on Amazon and is the go-to book for anyone launching a career in comedy. Judy’s students include Maz Jobrani and Hannah Gatsby. Judy is also an International keynote speaker on how to use humor to laugh your way out of stress and she is also the author of The Homo Handbook which won the Lambda Literary award for best humor book.
Julie Pacino (she/her)
I Live Here Now
Julie Pacino is a top woman photographer in the NFT space and one
of the leading voices in web3. Her photography genesis collection,
I Live Here Now, is the first NFT native IP to inspire a feature film.
She was chosen by TIME as an artist in the Publication’s famous
TIMEPieces “Build a Better Future: Genesis” NFT collection and
selected for the Playboy x Sevens “The Art of Gender and Sexuality.”
Julie is also a SuperRare artist, creating artwork that explores the
intimacy of her relationship, the female form, and embracing her
sexuality. All of her pieces have been sold.
In 2022, Julie’s most recent NFT project, Keepers of the Inn, became
the first NFT collection to ever finance a feature film, is the largest
collection of NFT photography ever sold by one artist, and made
Julie one of the highest grossing photographers in web3.
Julie advocates for the involvement of women filmmakers in this
exciting and emerging space. With women only accounting for 5%
of total sales generated in NFTs, she has launched a grant for
women filmmakers to help on-board more women into the space.
Julie is also committed to bringing more visibility to women and
LGBTQIA+ NFT artists. She runs an NFT fund called Cult of Pink, that
exclusively purchases women and LGTBQIA+ NFT art, specifically
from creators who have yet to sell any artwork.
Julie is a successful fashion photographer, most recently shooting
the AllSaints 2022 summer campaign.
Julie Tizard (she/her)
Free Fall at Angel Creek
Col. Julie Tizard (US Air Force, ret.) is a multi-award winning author and a professional pilot. One of the earliest women USAF pilots, Julie was a T-37 instructor pilot, a KC-10 aircraft commander, an aircraft accident investigator and a Squadron Commander. She was also an airline Captain and flew the Boeing 737, 757, 767, the DC-10, and the Airbus 320. “Free Fall at Angel Creek” is her newest novel.
Kacy Boccumini (he/him)
The Real L Word, The Stores We Tell
Kacy Boccumini is a trans writer, director, and academic from los angeles. He was featured on seasons 2 and 3 of The Real L Word. He is the writer and host of The Stories We Tell, a podcast that interrogates the myths and narratives constructed around identity and sexuality in film, television, and media.
Trans and Non-Binary Representation in Media
Katie Chonacas (She/her/they/them)
She's All Over The Place
Katie Chonacas aka “Saint Kyriaki” is a globally outstanding Greek-American actor with over two decades of experience in the Hollywood entertainment industry. She began her career as a classically trained actor, model, poet, painter, and philanthropist at an early age.
As an actor, Chonacas made her first appearance on a network TV show. She has been on shows like CSI: NY, Cold Case, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and Law & Order SVU. She has also appeared in films with Al Pacino, Milla Jovovich, and Nicolas Cage, to name a few. Chonacas is a leading top talent as a Voice Over artist who loves animations, playing in video games, etc… and her branded vo name is “Cartoon Katie”
Chonacas is a Renaissance person, Quantum thinker, multi-disciplinary artist & blockchain trailblazer who is thriving to empower women. Kyriaki’s genesis NFT made her the very first person to have minted a “love poem” on the blockchain.
Katie Grubbs (she/her)
I’ve loved movies ever since I was a kid, so when the stock market crashed in ‘08 and I lost my job on my first day of training as a network administrator for a Fortune 500 company, I took that as a sign that I should follow my passion. I went back to school, this time for art at LCAD to make a portfolio. With my portfolio made, I submitted it and was accepted to grad school, at AAU, to learn animation and VFX. Currently, I have been a Bay Area filmmaker working professionally since ‘18, with experience on large and small productions; shorts, feature length films and commercials. In my independent work, I have focused on stories about, made by and featuring queer people in a positive light. In order of frequency, I work as a film editor, DIT, AC/Grip, Script Supervisor, B-Cam, Cam Op, BTS and occasionally as a PA. As I’m writing this, I’m working as head of craft services on my first sequel film, and prepping my first feature-length script that I wrote during the pandemic to produce and direct in 2023.
Kayden Phoenix (she/her)
Penance, A La Brava
Kayden Phoenix is a lesbian Chicana writer and director from Boyle Heights, California. Kayden’s queer horror film, Penance was purchased from Gun Powder & Sky’s horror platform, Alter, which boasts over 3 million subscribers. Kayden advocates for diversity through her Latina superhero comics, A LA BRAVA, and her non-profit, Chicana Directors Initiative.
Panels: Queer Representation in Comics
Kayleen Casey (She/her)
Light As a Feather, Queer Field Day
Kayleen Casey is a lesbian actor, dancer and queer event organizer in Los Angeles. She is known for her roles in Light As a Feather on Hulu, Deadly Cheers on Lifetime and Total Eclipse on Brat TV. Her favorite role to date has been playing quick tempered-artist-lesbian Penny in a leading role in Interrobang, a comedic web-series currently making the festival rounds. Her passion outside of acting is making more queer safe spaces and helping LGBTQ+ people make connections and find community. She (along with her cofounders Lilly Brown and Adrianne Casey) started Queer Field Day directly after quarantine to help people do just that. Her ultimate goal is to make Hollywood a safer space for LGBTQ+ people by putting out her own content and making sure that there are LGBTQ+ individuals in every room where decisions are being made.
Panels: Casting for Film and Television
KC Richardson (she/her)
KC is an author with Bold Strokes Books and writes contemporary romance because she believes in happily ever after. KC and her wife are living the dream of HEA with their rescue fur kids.
Kerri Zane (she/her)
Kerri Zane is an Emmy Award Winning Executive Producer and highly respected info-reality content creator, show runner, writer, and director. With over thirty years of experience, she ran one of only a handful of female-owned production companies. Currently Kerri works as a development consultant with a rich slate of female centric lifestyle series as well as a handful of premium documentary true crime series.
Kerry Michelle O’Brien (she/her)
Kerry Michelle is a veteran of the production and post production with over 35 years in the industry, covering commercials, game shows, music promos, VFX, animation, documentaries and feature films.
Recently she has been Executive Producer of the HBO max queer biased feature film “Lupe”, helped produce and deliver 6 shorts for Women in Media’s “CAMERAderie” scheme as a mentor and Post Supervisor, as well as doing conform and delivery on a variety of documentaries and series currently being seen at major film festivals around the world.
Part of Kerry Michelle’s drive is to assist and support film makers at all levels in their career, be an advocate for their work as well as getting projects through post and delivery that may not have had the budget to complete to this high a standard.
As a transgender film maker, Kerry Michelle knows the struggles of not being “heard” or even “seen” as a competent resource which faces so many of the individuals of diversity wishing to be considered for crew rather than the standard crewing practices biased towards cis norms.
“I pride myself on always delivering projects to budget and schedule given the opportunity, we just need to make sure that all individuals are given a fair opportunity.”
Kim Airs (she/her)
Kim has worked in every aspect of the pleasure products industry for almost 30 years, starting as founder and owner of the award winning store, Grand Opening!. She has worked for sex toy companies of every size, a large lubricant manufacturer, home party company, is a writer and blogger in the industry, and has been featured in countless media including a one hour feature on HBO. Kim is as comfortable training a room full of doctors as she is with teaching a room full of sexual novices the ins and outs of sexual pleasure by using her boundless energy and humor. Kim also is the host of her podcast, SexChat with Kim Airs. She loves her life!
Panels: You Wanna Put That WHERE?!?
Kim Guerra (she/her)
Badass x Bonita
Kim Guerra is a queer woman of color. A butterfly woman who has given herself wings. She is a writer, advocate, and entrepreneur. She is the creator of “Badass x Bonita”, a brand and movement that she considers to be a work of self-love and her love for her community. She wants each person to wear “Badass x Bonita” products as a statement and shield– a living revolution. Guerra is the author of “Mariposa” and “Mija”: collections of bilingual poems, affirmations, and revolutionary love letters. “Badass x Bonita” is for all humans who are giving themselves and their community wings through revolutionary love.
Guerra received the “Agent of Change” award from Univision’s Premios Juventud and has been recognized for her work in various publications including Oprah Magazine, People, Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, Univision, Televisa, Remezcla, R29Somos, and FiercebyMitu. Kim Guerra continues to use her voice and platform to advocate for the immigrant, LGBTQ+, BIPOC, survivors, mujeres, and oppressed communities.
She was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley in LA. Kim graduated from Cornell University and received her Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy from Antioch University in Seattle. She’s currently based in Los Angeles and Coyoacan with her partner and dog, Chancho.
Kimberly Cooper Griffin (she/her)
Sol Cycle, Tides of Love
Kimberly Cooper Griffin is an American author of award-winning Sapphic romance who lives in Denver, Colorado with her wife, daughters, and a menagerie of dogs and cats. Her novels explore the complexities of building relationships and finding balance when life has a tendency of getting in the way. Her work includes her June 2022 release, Sol Cycle, and the upcoming first book of the Oceana series, Tides of Love, coming out Feb 2023. She is also a Foreword Book of the Year winner for her debut novel Life in High Def and sophomore novel, Chasing Mercury. Kimberly publishes with Bold Strokes Books.
Kris Bryant (she/her)
Bold Strokes Books
Multi-award-winning author Kris Bryant was born in Tacoma, WA, but has lived all over the world and now considers Kansas City her home. She received her BA in English from the University of Missouri and spends a lot of her time buried in books. Kris is currently writing her 19th novel for Bold Strokes Books.
Kristina Pupo (she/her)
Out In Love
Kristina Pupo is a storyteller whose voice is rooted in love stories that make you laugh, cringe and cry. KP is a screenwriter, director, actor and producer with a vision of creating queer, POC shows and films that can bring joy to fans without the fear of cancellation. Catch her in season 2 of popular Jane Austen web series, Rational Creatures, premiering late summer. Currently she is shopping her original series, Out in Love and starting pre-production on the epic queer romance of you didn’t know you were missing, Co-Stars.
Krystina Rivers (she/her)
Something Between Us, Last New Beginning
Krystina has been a lover of romance novels since she was probably too young to read them and started writing sapphic romance seriously herself when the COVID-19 pandemic struck, and she had extra time on her hands with no daily commute or regular work travel. Krystina works in real estate but dreams of a day she can write full time and lives in Chicago with her wife and their two dogs and two cats. Something Between Us, her first novel, was released by Bold Strokes Books in April 2022. Her next novel, Last New Beginning, will be released in January 2023.
Larin Sullivan (she/her)
The Young King
Larin Sullivan is a narrative and documentary writer, director and producer whose stories center on underrepresented protagonists and sub-cultures. Larin’s documentary directing and producing credits include half hours for Showtime, HGTV, HBO Max/Sesame Studios, and ABC Australia. She has directed brand films for Lexus, Samsung, Nestle and Genesis, featuring Laverne Cox, JD Samson, Dustin Lance Black, Candis Cayne and Don Lemon.
Her first narrative feature, The Young King, about a drag king who reconnects with her deadbeat dad over a weekend in Vegas, is currently in financing. The short proof of concept for the feature played festivals including Outfest, Newfest and Tallgrass and earned honors at several other festivals, including ‘best performance’ award from Pioneertown Film Festival and a Pink Apple nom.
LaShawn McGhee (she/they)
LaShawn McGhee is a Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer at Revry, where she utilises her technical skills and her passion for sharing the unique voices and stories of the LBGTQ community with the widest audiences possible. After leaving a nine-year nursing career with the United States Army, LaShawn dedicated herself to the art of storytelling by graduating from The American Film Institute (AFI) with a master’s degree in film editing. Since graduating, LaShawn has worked on film, television, and documentary projects as an editor, assistant editor, and producer as well as serving as the Festival Director for Revry’s QueerX Fest and regularly serving as a juror and panelist at film festivals and events. LaShawn has also been recognized as a Titan of Media in Out Magazines Out100, LA Confidential’s Portraits of Pride, and recipient of the Melissa Etheridge Award and the Rainbow Key Award from the City of West Hollywood and the Lesbian and Gay Advisory Council.
Lauren Ruffin (she/her)
Lauren Ruffin (she/her) is a thinker, designer, & leader interested in building strong, sustainable, anti-racist systems & organizations. She’s into exploring how we can leverage new technologies to combat racial and economic injustice. Lauren is an Associate Professor of Worldbuilding and Visualizing Futures at Arizona State University and a co-founder of CRUX, an immersive storytelling cooperative that collaborates with Black artists as they create content in virtual reality and augmented reality (XR). She also leads the Office of Movement Building at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA), where she focuses on amplifying the stories and activism of the YBCA community. Prior to joining YBCA, Lauren was co-CEO of Fractured Atlas, the largest association of independent artists in the United States. In 2017, she started Artist Campaign School, a new educational program that has trained 74 artists to run for political office to date. Lauren has served on the governing boards of Black Innovation Alliance, Black Girls Code, and Main Street Phoenix Cooperative, and on the advisory boards of ArtUp and Black Girl Ventures. She graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a degree in Political Science and obtained a J.D. from the Howard University School of Law.
Panels: Queer XR: New Worlds
Leah Breuer (she/her)
What/If, All Rise, 4400
Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Leah moved to Los Angeles with a 3-5 year plan in hopes of getting some real life Hollywood experience. 18 years later and she is still there, editing dramatic television series for TNT (Dallas), WGN (Underground), Netflix (What/If), CBS (All Rise) and CW (4400). She lives in Burbank with her wife Cat, and dog Cooper.
Lenir Costa (she/her)
I recently finished my BA in Literature, Languages and Cultures and am currently an intern at Ylva Publishing. Fanfiction has been a major influence in my life. It was the first place where I felt seen and saw my experiences reflected in stories. And this guided me to publishing, where I hope to help make the voices of talented heard by a wider audience.
Lilly Brown (she/her)
Queer Field Day
Lilly Brown is a reality TV editor, a Tik Tok creator, and one of the cofounders of Queer Field Day. She grew up in Indiana, and has now lived in LA for many years. She is passionate about creating a sense of community for LGBTQ+ individuals.
Lisa Zambetti (she/her)
Criminal Minds, Killer Casting Podcast
Lisa Zambetti, CSA is an Artios ™ nominated Casting Director for Television (CBS’ Criminal Minds), Film, Video Games (Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order) and Commercials. As a member of the Casting Society she has served on the Equity in Entertainment and Artist Development committees to provide education and opportunities for actors, especially those in under represented communities. She is also on the advisory board for Hire Survivors Hollywood an initiative that is working to end career retaliation against survivors of sexual violence in Hollywood. Lisa hosts the podcast “Killer Casting” a place to obsess about all dark and twisty shows she is currently binging.
Panels: Bi+ Representation
Lise Angelica Johnson (she/her)
Upload, Physical, Dollface
When not writing/directing her own queer projects, Lise has been advocating for diverse cutting rooms as an editor in television for the past fifteen years. Her credits include Upload on Amazon, Physical on AppleTV, Dollface on Hulu and she is currently editing Harlem on Amazon.
Liza Katsman (she/her/hers)
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Specialist
Liza Katsman (she/her) is a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion specialist by day, and avid consumer of queer TV and media by night, weekend, and lunch breaks. Prior to her current career, she spent 4 years at Sony Pictures, where she was president of the LGBTQ+ employee resource group and led their annual activation at LA Pride. She also ran behind-the-scenes operations on queer events across Los Angeles, inspired by the magic of building queer community when we don’t have dedicated space. She has her MBA from UCLA Anderson focused in Organizational Management, and serves on their alumni Board of Directors overseeing the identity and diversity chapters.
Lola Keeley (she/her)
Writer, The Music and the Mirror
Lola Keeley is an award-winning Scottish novelist of Sapphic romances. At other times she has been a coder, trainer, and even a train driver. Alongside her books she is also writing for television.
Lola lives in Edinburgh, with her wife and four cats.
Lola Menthol (she/her)
Lola Menthol is a Filipino American, New York native artist finding expression through DJing, illustrating, animating, singing/songwriting, and filmmaking.
She has been creating digital and phygital art NFTs since February 2021.
Lola has created illustrated and animated projects for the Los Angeles Human Rights and Equity Department, various music labels, and renowned companies like Boba Guys. She’s also worked in animation production for companies like Viacom and Netflix.
Panels: Queer XR: New Worlds
Manda Malina (she/her)
Manda Malina is a lesbian pop singer from Sweden, based in LA. She started her career in Swedish X-Factor and has then went on to garner more success both as a pop artist but also a songwriter for many pop and EDM artists. Manda Malina dedicates her sound and uses her platform to encourage her listeners to embrace their sexuality and individuality.
Mara Palma (she/her)
Mara Palma is a queer, immigrant, Filipina-American woman who believes everyone has a story to tell. She is a teaching and performing artist, helping people create stand-out stories through creative expression so that they can become leaders of themselves and their communities. Mara is on a mission to bring more authentic, multi-faceted representation of girls and women — especially BIPOC/PGM — in mainstream narratives to life, across all media. She trained with Sara Porkalob and Dedra Woods for the Intiman Theatre Summer Festival: Autobiographical Solo Performance as Artist Activism, where she experienced the impact of developing a one-woman show. Mara graduated from Wellesley College with a degree in Theatre Studies and Political Science, and now lives in the Los Angeles area with her partner and two dogs.
Mariah Counts (she/her)
Singer Songwriter Mariah Counts just finished her 13 week DIY tour across the country where she was finally able to connect with her fan base! She started creating her fan base/ safe community through tiktok live concerts every Saturday during quarantine. She has written and released a full EP (True Ugly Feelings) and Debut album (Lost in the Sauce) sharing her personal experiences through lyrics. Her music and influence exude the positive and authentic impact we want for our queer community to have.
Mariel Taren (she/her)
For All Mankind
An actor and comedian, Mari was born and raised in Chicago and has been attempting to make people laugh for as long as she can remember. Prior to moving to Los Angeles in 2015, Mari was a graduate of The Second City Chicago Conservatory where she performed sketch comedy throughout the city. These days Mari can be found doing queer content on Tiktok and Instagram, and can be seen in season three of Apple TV’s “For All Mankind.”
Marina Rice Bader (she/her)
Soul Kiss Films
Marina Rice Bader founded Soul Kiss Films in 2009, an independent company dedicated to producing compelling narrative features with a unique focus on the female experience. She executive produced Elena Undone and A Perfect Ending then went on to write/direct/produce Anatomy of a Love Seen, Raven’s Touch and Ava’s Impossible Things. Marina is currently developing Alien Jane at the Shangri-La, a futuristic film with an all-female cast, and Aubrey Goes Down, a sexy holiday film dealing with the hot-button issues of feminism and porn. During the COVID lockdown Marina co-created and directed the web series Dating in Place, which released in 2020 and is still deciding what to do with The Juniper Files, a project she filmed during the pandemic as a one-woman crew with an all-female cast.
Marissa Layne Johnson (she/her)
Marissa Layne Johnson is a Producer at XR Studios. An experienced producer, writer, and advocate with a background in social justice strategy and community organizing, Marissa’s exploration of identity, equity, and poetics are at the forefront of her practice as a storyteller. Marissa’s creative work has been published in Bustle Magazine, Entropy Magazine, The Rumpus, and other notable
publications – earning her recognition in the creative community including a nomination for the Pushcart Prize in Poetry. Prior to joining XR Studios, Marissa worked at Company3, where she handled complex production schedules
and executed challenging projects that involved a slate of television’s top shows at the time. As a Producer at XR Studios, Marissa manages projects driven by immersive technology. Her mastery of high-level client communications and deep understanding of production workflow, paired with her unique creativity, allows XR Studios to effectively achieve innovative productions. Marissa recently completed her first manuscript, a memoir entitled The Light That Captured Us Here, and a short film she directed by the same name. She received her MFA in Creative Writing at the California Institute of the Arts and is based in Los Angeles, California, where she’s played an integral role in establishing the XR Studios Hollywood Campus, a new state-of-the-art facility dedicated to entertainment technology.
Queer XR: New Worlds
Melissa Brayden (she/her)
Melissa Brayden is the multi-award-winning author of twenty-one published romance novels and enjoying the ride. She’s a dedicated storyteller on the page and stage, having studied with the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford Upon Avon as well as Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London. Though she now writes romance full time, much of it is spent on coffee, wine, donuts, and staring off into space. Kissing scenes remain her favorite.
Michelle Larkin (she/her)
Michelle Larkin is an author of lesbian romantic thrillers, a long-distance runner with no sense of direction, and a nunchuck-wielding sidekick to a pair of superhero sons.
Nami Melumad (she/her)
Thor: Love and Thunder, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds
Nami Melumad has composed scores for numerous films and tv series, most notably Thor: Love and Thunder, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds and Prodigy, The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window and more. Nominated for Breakthrough Composer of the Year by the International Film Music Critics Association, Nami won the IFMCA Award for Best Original Score: Video Game for Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond, and the BMI Award for the Oscar-winning documentary short, “Colette” in 2020.
Panels: Music for the screen
Nicole de Meneses (she/her)
Dating in the Zombie Apocalypse, Nightcap, Blood Bond
Nicole de Meneses is a freelance writer, director, producer working in the Bay Area. She makes independent regional genre films that showcase and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. Nicole is the founder of Dark Rainbow Films and has created diverse commercial and promotional projects for various startups and film companies. Her short film, Nightcap had its European premiere at The Final Girls Berlin Film Festival last October, and you can see her new short film Blood Bond on PJs and Pixels and watch season one of the award winning web series Dating in the Zombie Apocalypse on Lesflicks.
Nicole Disney (she/her)
Nicole is an award winning novelist whose work spans across multiple genres of lesbian fiction, but thread throughout them all is a curiosity about the unseen underground worlds hidden beneath the ordinary. Nicole’s stories will take you up close to gang life, domestic violence, drug abuse, poverty, and professional fighting. She loves building strong female leads and taking you deep inside their worlds as they find themselves, fall in love, and test the real meaning of family and loyalty. Outside of writing, her other passions include martial arts, traveling the world, connecting with new people, and finding the charm in everyday moments.
NiK Kacy (They/Them)
NiK Kacy Footwear, Equality Fashion Week
NiK Kacy (@nikkacy) is a queer, trans-masculine, gender non-binary, Chinese immigrant who is now an L.A.-based entrepreneur/designer/ and event producer who refuses to be confined by societal boundaries or limited by the gender binary. Passionate about visibility, equality & equity, NiK created Equality Fashion Week in 2018, the 1st queer Fashion Week in LA featuring over 150 QTBIPOC talent, as well as, founded NiK Kacy Footwear, the first luxury genderfree footwear & accessories brand in 2014. Most recently, NiK received the City of West Hollywood’s Rainbow Key Award, as well as the City’s Certificate of Recognition for their work creating events which bring our community together. NiK is also featured in part of an anthology on Trans and Nonbinary lives named, “The Real Lives of Trans and Nonbinary Humans”, is a part of the Transgender & Gender Expansive (TGX) Initiative for the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, is on the Trans Advisory Board for the City of West Hollywood, the Advisory Board for TransCanWork and Gendrfwd, and is Vice President on the Board of Directors for The Queer26. NiK has been heavily immersed within the LA LGBTQIA+ community for over 25 years, including 8 consecutive years on the committee for An Evening With Women for the LA LGBT Center. NiK’s brands are brands with a mission to inspire positive change that promotes equality for all through unity and creativity. Please follow their work at @nikkacyfootwear, @nikkacypresents, and @equalityfashionweek
Panels: Creating Community
Olivia Sawi (she/her/they/them)
Olivia Gail Labalan Sawi is an educator, instructor, facilitator, and coach. For over 30 years, Olivia has studied various martial arts and combat sports. She is a brown belt in Brazilian Jiujitsu and also trains in Muay Thai and Pekiti Tirsia Kali, a Filipino Martial Art. Olivia is on the board of the Center for Babaylan Studies and produces the podcast Kultivating Kapwa with her dear friend and host Jana Lynne Umipig. Olivia’s life experiences help guide her desire to assist people in searching for their deeper meaning and purpose, and in achieving their full potential.
Puppett (they/them, she)
NANA DARA IS GAY, Razor Tongue, Wedlocked
Puppett is a non-binary queer filmmaker and actor who focuses on character-driven genre and dramatic comedy with a social impact lens. Their work centers female, BIPOC, and queer characters in leading roles and has screened in over 60 film festivals worldwide (including Tribeca, Slamdance, and Outfest). Stage: Taylor Mac’s HIR (Max, Los Angeles premiere); Shaw’s SAINT JOAN (Bluebeard). Screen: ALMOST… NOT QUITE (series regular); NOT DATING (series regular); MTV’s CATFISH: THE UNTOLD STORIES (guest star); and most recently NANA DARA IS GAY (Eddie), a proof of concept for a limited series based on Tammy Lynne Stoner’s SUGAR LAND.
Rachael Hastings (they/she)
Under The Influencer
In the last year Rachael worked as D.P. or cam op on 12 LGBTQ, Female or BIPOC films including DP’ing Queer Feature film Under The Influencer. She just finished shooting feature Doc The Gibraltar Project and DP’d several music videos. She’s recently worked on camera or lighting crew for Travel Channel, Netflix, Yahoo, Firefox, Disney Channel, Facebook TV, All BLK network, Adidas, Organifi, Speedo, Hydroflask, Qualcomm, Intel, United, Chase, Deathwish Coffee. She grew up backstage at the Ballet running the fog machine with an interest in environmental activism beginning to apprentice in a lab age 11, winning numerous awards in Environmental Science. She began shooting PSA’s with her Dad’s VHS then attended film school. After following a movie around festivals and moving to LA, in 2004 she focused on cinematography spending the next 15 years as a Producer/Shooter across the world.
Raye Schiller (they/she)
Raye Schiller is a standup comedian, screenwriter, and software engineer. They placed “Best of the Fest” at the Comedy Chateau Festival and have performed at Broadway Comedy Club, Flappers Comedy Club, Ha Ha Comedy Club, & more. They produce and host “Queerly Funny,” an LGBTQ comedy show in Santa Monica. Raye placed as a finalist in the WeScreenplay Diverse Voices competition. They are Director of Technology for Qrypto Queer, an LGBTQ+ space for creators in web3. They hold a M.Eng. from Cornell University and a B.A. from CUNY Hunter College.
Renee Santos (She/her)
Renee 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.
Robyn Vie-Carpenter-Brisco (she/her)
Blessed. Balanced. Bliss.
Robyn Vie-Carpenter-Brisco, in true Gemini fashion, is know by (2) names. She has been known for the last 10+ years as both “The Lesbian Socialite” and the “Goddess of Joy”. After shutting down TLS due to COVID, Robyn has found that 2022 is the time for integration of her two halves. As the author of “Let’s Get Stoned, using stones and crystals to create a life that rocks!”, and a spiritual life coach, Robyn has been helping her clients live their lives in flow. She is ready to bring larger conversations of mindset, spirituality, and transformation to her LGBTQ+ community through books, her YouTube channel, and her new production company.
Robyn’s first project through her new production company, de la Brisco Productions, is a home show, “Blessed. Balanced. Bliss.” is about better energy flow to work from home. She and her wusband of ten years, Veronica, live in Southeast Louisiana, where Robyn writes, and works from her favorite spot, her office.
Rose Bladh (she/her)
Production Sound, A24, Disney, 21 Laps Entertainment
Rose Bladh has been working in the film industry for 10 years. She has work for productions such as A24, Disney and 21 Laps Entertainment. Production Sound mixing is her forte in this industry but has also been a producer and script supervisor. She is the first and only woman of color sound mixer in New Mexico’s 480. She hopes to grow the industry to include more women of color and lgbtq+ individuals in both above and below the line positions.
Ruth Sternglantz (she/her)
Bold Strokes Books
Ruth Sternglantz is an editorial and marketing consultant for Bold Strokes Books. A medievalist by training, Ruth loves everything about old media but believes there’s nothing quite like the privilege and responsibility of working with contemporary authors, making new queer books, and connecting both authors and books with readers–because playing with other people’s stories is the best job ever, and queer stories are activism.
Sa’iyda Shabazz (she/her)
Sa’iyda is a writer. Much of her work examines the intersections of race, sexuality, and socioeconomic status. An avid fan of pop culture, she loves writing about it too. In addition to writing, she is working on a documentary called “Feeling Seen” with her partner Beth Ryne. They live in Los Angeles with their son and three pets.
Sarah C. Reeves (she/her)
Star Trek: Picard, Westworld, Washington Black
Sarah C. Reeves is a Texas-raised editor who’s been cutting your favorite features and TV shows for over a decade. She’s worked on GOTHAM, STAR TREK: PICARD, the Peabody award winning pilot DAVID MAKES MAN from Tarell Alvin McCraney (co-writer of the Oscar winning film Moonlight), and the premiere of season 4’s WESTWORLD on HBO. Among many other indie darlings, she edited the lesbian action film THE ARCHER, which premiered at SXSW, then made her studio feature debut with Paramount’s horror film, SPELL. Currently she is editing the Hulu mini-series adaptation of the New York Times bestseller, WASHINGTON BLACK. If you’ve got a story with complex characters, diversity, or time travel, she’s your gal.
Sarah-Caitlin Williford (she/her)
Sarah-Caitlin (Sarah-Cait) is a writer for Lesflicks.com, public speaker, and travelling journalist who advocates for positive LGBTQIA representation in film & television. She loves to travel the country (and sometimes out of it!) going back and forth between fan conventions & film festivals of the queer variety. When she’s not working, she’s kickboxing, camping, kayaking or hiking with her dog.
Shaan Dasani (he/they)
These Thems, Razor Tongue
Shaan Dasani is an actor-writer-producer-director based in Los Angeles. He was recently featured as a trailblazer in the NEW YORK TIMES piece “The Trans Actors Challenging Outmoded Ideas of Masculinity,” for his performances in award-winning digital series THESE THEMS and Emmy nominated comedy series RAZOR TONGUE. With an M.F.A. from Chapman University, he has written, produced & directed over 30 short films, commercials and music videos. His film CAR CHASE won the AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARD for Outfest Fusion’s one minute film competition. Shaan is currently in post-production for his penned short film, AGENT OF CHANGE, in which he also stars, about secret agents who fight environmental crime. The film centers a primarily queer cast and crew and will be hitting the festival circuit in 2023. He is excited to share that the project has been awarded OTV’s 2022 Film & TV Fellowship Award. Shaan is a proud member of the D.G.A and SAG-AFTRA.
Shana Gee-Cohen, MSW (she/ her)
Shana Gee-Cohen serves as JQ International’s inaugural Chief Development Officer. Before JQ, Shana was Bend the Arc: Jewish Action’s Major Gift Officer and has worked in the nonprofit Jewish community since 2011. Shana’s experience in fundraising is grounded in the belief that communities with wealth and privilege are accountable to transform their resources and power for systemic change. Shana believes in shifting the root causes of inequality through racial and economic justice and queer liberation.
A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Shana earned her Master’s in Social Policy and Practice and her BSW from Temple University, focusing on healthcare access for LGBTQ+ individuals. She lives in Thousand Oaks with her spouse, Beck, two fur babies, and never enough plants! She is a triple earth sign, a queer zoftig Jewitch, with an unwavering commitment to intersectional feminism and intentional community building.
Sharmane Fury (she/they/he)
Militantly Mixed, BLERDcoMIXed, Bifurious, Queer and Far
Your Sir Auntie Sharmane Fury aka daBlasianBlerd is the busiest Mixed Race, Bisexual-Polyamorous, Atheist, Comic Book Nerd, Cat Mom, award winning Podcaster in the podcasting game! Host/co-host of Militantly Mixed, BLERDcoMIXed, and the Bifurious podcasts, and the upcoming travel podcast Queer and Far. Sharmane believes in creating a platform for POC voices to be heard. ManeHustle Media is dedicated to the for us, by us, and about us approach.
Sheena Metal (she/her)
In the enterainment industry, Sheena Metal is a 28-year talk radio host, in Los Angeles, as well as a producer, writer, actor, director and stand-up comic. In the spiritual world, she is a psychic/medium, spiritual counselor, energy healer and the founder of the non profit, RaisingTheVibration.org. Sheena is an out member of the bisexual, pansexual and intersex communities. She is the interfaith pastor at the Founders Church (Hollywood) of the Metropolitan Community Church denomination and sits on the Los Angeles Queer Interfaith Clergy Council. Each year, Sheena produces, directs and acts in a celebrity charity production of the acclaimed “Vagina Monologues”, is on the Board of Directors for both the Lavender Effect (LGBTQI+ historical society) and the Artemis Women in Action film festival and works with the Harvey Milk Foundation.
Sheri Lewis Wohl (she/her)
Cause of Death
Sheri Lewis Wohl lives in NE Washington State where she’s surrounded by mountains, rivers, and forests. It’s a perfect backdrop for her stories of danger, romance, and all things paranormal. When not writing, Sheri enjoys cycling, running, and hiking with her trio of German shepherds.
Shirin Etessam (she/her)
Shirin Etessam is an entrepreneur, seasoned media executive, and transformational speaker. She has produced films, original television series and specials, created several companies, and led campaigns for some of the world’s most recognized companies (ABC, CBS, Discovery, BBC, Facebook, Apple, Intel, Virgin and many more). As a proud member of the LGBTQIA+ community, Shirin founded OML.TV, a popular platform dedicated to streaming and curating quality queer female video content. OML’s YouTube channel has garnered 860K+ subscribers and 500M+ views to date. Her first book will be coming out in June 2023.
Sonya Saturday (she/her)
Writer and Cartoonist
Sonya Saturday is a Los Angeles-based cartoonist, writer, and photographer. Her books include two volumes of Presidential Candidates Coloring and Activity Books (2016 Republican & 2020 Democratic), Why Do You Cry When I’m On Top?, and A Ninja Dinosaur Christmas!!!. She is the publisher and co-editor of the queer erotic comics anthology Yellow is the Warmest Color. She has contributed comics to several award-winning anthologies, including Anything That Loves and We’re Still Here. Sonya is currently producing a (nearly) weekly autobiographical online comic strip called The Greatest Thing You’ve Ever Seen in Your Life. She has a thing for lengthy titles. sonyasaturday.com
Panels: Queer Representation in Comics
Stacie Butler (she/her)
THE UGLY NFTS
Stacie A Buhler is a fashion photographer, digital illustrator, NFT Artist, and marketing enthusiast based out of Los Angeles, California.
Buhler’s visual work is inspired by human nature, color theory, story-telling, and highlighting her subject’s divine masculine and feminine energies. Having discovered her love of creating art through her journey of leaving the Mormon Church, Stacie’s incredibly unique perspective speaks to a wide audience of those who inevitably stand out in the crowd.
Buhler is behind the creation and illustration of the digital brand “THE UGLY NFTS.” Inspired by the unique flaws in which she believes is the very essence of a person’s beauty, her sold out collections “UGLY BETTYS” and “UGLY BERTS” challenge the definition of what it means to “be beautiful.” The “UGLY” community continues to grow exponentially.
Stephanie Neroes (she/her)
Atypical, All American: Homecoming
Atypical and All American: Homecoming are some of the television shows this 15+ year editor has worked on. She aspires to expand her experience by telling inspiring character-driven yet incredibly impactful stories.
Stephen Silver (he/him)
Kim Possible, Danny Phantom, Clerks: The Animated Series
Born in London and currently residing in Los Angeles with his wife and two children; Stephen Silver has been a professional working artist, character designer, and teacher in the industry for over 30 years. He developed intellectual properties for some of the largest media companies in the world; such as Disney, Warner Bros., Nickelodeon, Sony, MAD Magazine, Reel FX, Bento box, Hasbro, Universal, DreamWorks, and more.
Stephen is responsible for the visual character development and design of some of animation’s most iconic shows; including Disney’s Kim Possible, Nickelodeon’s Danny Phantom, and Disney’s Clerks: The Animated Series, to name a few. Visit www.silvertoons.com to learn more.
Panels: Journey into Character Design
Syama Meagher (she/her)
Founder, Advisor, Investor & Consultant
San Francisco based, Web3 strategist, retail & consumer guru, founder champion, startup coach, and noted public speaker. WWD Top Women in Business (2017) and contributor to Forbes, NPR, NFT NYC and others.
Tara Chadwick (she/her)
She Nerds Out
Tara Chadwick is a co-host of the queer, pop culture podcast, She Nerds Out. She has worked as a video editor and filmmaker in Los Angeles for over ten years, and currently lives with her two cats and giant dog/moose.
Tema L. Staig (she/her)
Women in Media
Tema Staig is the Executive Director of Women In Media, an organization that she founded in 2010. In 2016, in response to the many excuses for why people weren’t hiring women behind the scenes in entertainment, she created the WiM Crew List, a Google doc that went viral. She took Women In Media 501(c)3 in 2017, transitioning the grassroots community into a vibrant organization and establishing the searchable crew list database as the go-to place to find, vet, and hire women above and below the line.
Ms. Staig has been in the film industry since earning her master’s degree from the Tisch Department of Design for Stage and Screen. She is a Production Designer/Art Director with a background in Scenic Art and Theater Design. She is best known for her work on the feature films Kissing Jessica Stein, Happy Hour, Battlefield America, and American Splendor as well as commercials and music videos. She was a pilot IFP Project Involve: NY Fellow.
Ms. Staig helms Women In Media’s CAMERAderie Initiative, an 18 month lab that includes mentorship, education, and gear + other necessities for high production value short films. She produced three CAMERAderie films in 2019 including Blood and Glory and Cherry Lemonade which screened at Tribeca. In 2021 four CAMERAderie films were produced, and are currently on the festival circuit. She also produced the award winning short, Present: A Moment In the Future, directed by Jacqueline Kim (Star Trek: Generations, The West Wing, Advantageous).
Teresa Lee (she/her)
Butch Pal for the Straight Gal, I Think She Likes You
Teresa Lee is a Taiwanese American comedian and filmmaker. She plays Moana in Butch Pal for the Straight Gal and also wrote and stars in the short film, “I Think She Likes You”, which played at Tribeca Film Festival and Outfest in 2019.
Teruko Furuya (she/her)
A native Californian, Teruko Furuya lives in Los Angeles and works as a Business Analyst. She has been published in two volumes of the ClexaCon Anthology Series “Fandom to Fantasy”, published by Sapphire Books. Her hand-sewn book arts project titled “Shikataganai,” a story of her family’s experience in the Manzanar Internment Camp, has shown in over 20 gallery shows. Copies have been donated to the Japanese National American Museum and the Library of Congress. Teruko is a prolific fanfiction writer and happily wears the badge of “deeply devoted fandom geek”.
Tracy Dawson (she/her)
Let Me Be Frank, Call Me Fitz
Tracy Dawson is the author of Let Me Be Frank: A Book About Women Who Dressed Like Men to Do Shit They Weren’t Supposed to Do, released in May 2022 from HarperCollins. Tracy began on the mainstage of the renowned Second City in Toronto. Tracy wrote and starred as a lead actor on the Canadian comedy series, Call Me Fitz. She went on to win the Gemini Award and the Canadian Screen Award for Best Lead Comedic Actress for her work opposite Jason Priestley on Fitz. Tracy has sold numerous television projects in The United States and Canada and currently lives in LA with her life partner Isaac, who is a dog.
Travis Chen (he/him)
Chen is the COO and Co-founder of SoundMind. He is a member of the LGBTQIA+ and AAPI communities and works tirelessly to encourage Asian communities to openly discuss mental health. He is a graduate of USC in International Relations and Global Business. He has previously worked with the U.S. Senate and Amazon. Travis/SoundMind were the mental wellness sponsor of NY Pride 2022 and have partnered with NAMI, Boys and Girls Club and the Human Rights Campaign.
Panels: Queer XR: New Worlds
Valerie Milano (she/her)
Valerie Milano is the well-connected Senior Editor and TV Critic at TheHollywoodTimes.today, a website that aggregates showbiz news curated for, and written by, insiders of the entertainment industry. Milano, whose extraordinary talents for networking in the famously tight-clad enclave of Hollywood have placed her at the center of the industry’s top red carpets and events since 1984, heads daily operations of a uniquely accessible, yet carefully targeted publication. For years, Milano sat on the board as a chief organizer of the Television Critics Association’s press tours, held twice a year in Beverly Hills and Pasadena. She has written for Communications Daily, Discover Hollywood, Hollywood Today, Television International, and Video Age International, and contributed to countless other magazines and digests. Valerie works closely with the Human Rights Campaign as a distinguished Fed Club Council Member and is a major donor to many other LGBTQ rights organizations
Wendy Armitage (she/her)
Starting her career in the concessions stand at the age of 16, Wendy Armitage is a 30-year film industry veteran. Having risen through the ranks during her 20+ years at Sony Pictures, she is currently the Senior Vice President of Global Marketing Operations, specializing in the Clearance & Censorship of both marketing and feature films. As a member and partner to several organizations and initiatives promoting equality in media, Wendy tirelessly works to ensure silenced voices are elevated within the entertainment industry. Wendy is a graduate of Arizona State University, where she obtained both her BA & MA studying the intersection between Film, TV and Gender.
Music for the screen
Zachary Cortes (he/him)
My name is Zachary Cortes, naturally cheerful and humorist. I studied marketing and library science and found my calling as a Publicist. I truly respect those who use their talents to inspire others and make this a better world. We are driven to help artists enjoy a prosperous and fulfilling career.