2018 Speakers & Panelists

Speakers and panelists scheduled to appear at ClexaCon 2018

Abbey Sophia Allen

Panels: The Sun: Trans Representation in an Independent Film

Abigail Sophia Allen is a Transgender actress that has performed in various venues such as live theater in the round, stage, and movies. She has also performed in bands and improvisational stage shows. Trained in Stage combat, improvisational skills, sewing, painting, set work and helping people laugh. Of these things she likes helping people laugh the best. She is also very happily married to a wonderful supportive and beautifully smart lady.

Adrienne Carley

Panels: How to Use YouTube as a Platform 2.0

Adrienne has only been a reaction YouTuber for a short while, but it brings her so much joy to know that she brightens the day of so many people. You will most likely see her crying because of all the feels. “Girls kissing makes me feel funny in my tummy”

Alexis Sanchez

Panels: (I’m Queer and…) Intersectionality and Why it Matters, Korrasami is Still a Breath of Fresh Air; Latinx Representation in the Media: Invisible Latinx – ClexaCon Edition

Alexis is the creator and co-founder of Latinx Geeks, an online community for latinxs who love all things geeky and pop culture. She is a student by day and geek fangirl by night. There is nothing she loves more than snuggling up with her cat, Nox, and getting lost in the world of comics. You can catch her online advocating for Latinxs in space and anywhere else she sees the need for more representation.

Alice Stevens

Panels: The Art of Vidding

Alice has been a femslasher since Buffy/Faith came on the scene and loves queer subtext more than just about anything. She has been a fanfic writer and vidder since 2006 and runs the femslash vidshow at TGIF/F.

Alli Bryant

Panels: From Fans to Creators (The Early Early Stages)

Alli received her Bachelor of Arts in English Language & Literature with minors in creative writing and film studies in 2009. She lives with her wife in the midwest and teaches high school English. Alli was recently published in Chicken Soup for the Soul for a story she wrote about coming out to her grandmother. She enjoys traveling, coaching, writing, and working with kids and animals. She hopes to someday be a screenwriter.

Alyssa Lerner

Panels: ClexaCon Film Festival Filmmakers

Alyssa is a Filipino and Jewish recovering ballerina heralding from a part of San Diego no one wants to visit. Growing up with enough internalized homophobia to wage many a war against herself, Alyssa has now made it her mission to write authentic queer comedy as a way of healing herself and her community. Alyssa graduated from UC Berkeley in Ethnic Studies and Dance, and went on to receive her MFA in Writing for Film and TV at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. Her writing has won best pilot at the LA Comedy Film Festival and official selection at the Berlin International Film Festival and the NBCUniversal Shorts Fest Finals.

Amanda Embry

Panels: Crossplay!

Amanda Embry is an out professional Production Designer, who has designed over 300 shows. She has spent a decade designing for theatre, film, and television in New York City. Embry now teaches the tricks she’s picked up from the professional industry for Cosplay. Her new YouTube Channel: Cosplay College, will be coming your way soon.

Amanda Holland

Panels: 2017: A Year in Review; Girl Ship TV

Amanda Holland is the creator and executive producer of Girl Ship TV and Drunk Lesbians Watch as well as the writer of Project Inferno. She is a former theater major from Cleveland, Ohio and she never knows what to say in bios. She enjoys talking about TV, writing about TV and watching TV. You may recognize her from BuzzFeed. But if you don’t, that’s cool.

Amanda Moon

Panels: From Fans to Creators

Amanda is the founder of Reflection Productions, which is a media company devoted to creating authentic and positive portrayals of minority groups on screen. She is also producing and acting in an upcoming LGBTQ short film titled Forward. When she’s not pushing for better representation in multi-media, you can often find her sleeping, playing her guitar, or cuddling with her pup, Sampson.

Amy Dellagiarino

Panels: Freelancers Anonymous: How to Make an Independent Film and Not Die Trying!

Amy Dellagiarino is a playwright and screenwriter with a BFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Her plays have been produced in New York, Chicago, and LA. Other credits include: the comedy feature film “Freelancers Anonymous”, the second season of “The Convergence”, Collegehumor.com, and her children’s book “Jenny Morgan: Certified Genius” is available on Amazon.com. For more info visit www.amydell.com.

Amy Spalding

Panels: Countering the Impact of Heteronormative and Cissexist Media on Young People; Queering Your YA Lit

Amy Spalding grew up in St. Louis, but now lives in the better weather of Los Angeles. She has a B.A. in Advertising & Marketing Communications from Webster University, and an M.A. in Media Studies from The New School. Amy studied longform improv at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. By day, she manages the digital media team for an indie film advertising agency. By later day and night, Amy writes, performs, and pets as many cats as she can. Her newest book is The Summer of Jordi Perez.

Ana Paula Lima

Panel: RED: The Web Series

Ana Paula Lima is a Brazilian actress best known for her role in RED, the first lesbian-themed Brazilian web series. She has played various roles both in popular shows in Brazil and on-stage in the city of Rio de Janeiro.

Andy Cahoon

Panel: Crossplay!

Andy Cahoon has been a professional actor in Phoenix, AZ for five years, appearing on stage and in commercials. Three years ago he began Cosplaying with his significant other and absolutely loves the process and the community. He is exceptionally grateful to be attending this year’s Clexacon.

Annie Hollenbeck

Panels: Diversity & Inclusion Today: How to Develop PR Campaigns that Foster an Inclusive Communications Culture

With over seven years of experience in entertainment and non-profit event production, Annie’s repertoire of events include AFI Fest, Outfest Los Angeles, the Film Independent Spirit Awards, and the Sundance Film Festival. Currently the Special Events Manager at the Los Angeles LGBT Center, she works on a team dedicated to creating events that engage the LGBTQ community, while also raising money for the necessary services and programs provided by the Center. Annie is also a freelance writer, and has written for SheWired.com and the Advocate. She is an avid runner, a comedian by hobby, and a New York sports apologist.

Annie Segarra

Panels: One Day at a Time; Disabled LGBT Representation in the Media, (I’m Queer and…) Intersectionality and Why it Matters; Latinx Representation in the Media: Invisible Latinx – ClexaCon Edition; Poor Queer Representation and How it Affects Mental Health

Annie Segarra is a content creator, artist, and activist. On her YouTube channel, Annie Elainey, she creates videos on various topics that include her observations and experiences with body image, gender, race, LGBT+, disability, chronic illness, and mental health as well as her creative work; her art forms include theater arts, film, writing, music, and visual art.


Panel: Xena, Gabrielle and Their Legacy

Aphrodykee is an over-educated radical gaysian fangirl and lifelong Xenite who lives to passionately discuss TV’s latest lesbian storyline. She originally hails from the San Francisco Bay Area and is now located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she enjoys editing reaction videos, fantasizing about her next drag queen performance, and occasionally cosplaying. One day she will be done searching for her Gabrielle …and done waiting for a Xena movie with the original cast!

Apple Cadavona

Panel: Korrasami is Still a Breath of Fresh Air

Apple is an avid femslasher who is always watching cartoons, and also really loves Korrasami. Support staff for TGIF/F, a gal pals convention.

April Funiestas

Panel: The Art of Vidding; Vidding 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Making Fanvids

April has been a proud member of fandom ever since the days of Willow and Tara. Vidding is her fandom passion, and she is happy to be spreading the gospel of vidding at Clexacon!

Ariel Wetzel

Panel: Xena, Gabrielle and Their Legacy

Ariel Wetzel, PhD is an interdisciplinary lecturer at University of Washington Tacoma, where she teaches classes on fandom, Disney, television, cyberpunk, and warrior women. Ariel is active in the Xena fandom, where she co-runs Xena Movie Campaign. When she isn’t teaching or geeking out, Ariel aspires to be like Xena by training at Seven Star Women’s Kung Fu in Seattle, Washington.

Ashley Linder

Panel: Creative Activism, Tagg Nation

If Ron Burgundy and Ellen Degeneres had a love child, Ashley Linder would surely be it. Equal parts seasoned broadcaster and engaging comedic host, Ashley blends professionalism with a warm and authentic personality in all that she does. Linder recently moved back from Los Angeles where she continues to write, perform, and craft a dream world.

Ashley Smith

Panel: All in the Family

Ashley is a lover of nerdy things from comic books to television. She is a social justice librarian interested in the varying intersections of Blackness, race, gender, and sexuality in popular media.

Ashly Perez

Panel: Girl Ship TV

Ashly Perez is a multi-hyphenated producer/actor/director/writer. She worked at BuzzFeed for five years as a Development Partner and co-founded its first scripted universe, BuzzFeed Violet. She’s starred in over 350 videos including the You Do You series and Unfortunatly Ashly. Perez is most known for creating content for young women, queer women, and people of color.

Audrey Coulthurst

Panel: Queering Your Young Adult Lit

Audrey Coulthurst writes YA books that tend to involve magic, horses, and kissing the wrong people. When she’s not dreaming up new stories, she can usually be found painting, singing, or on the back of a horse.

August McLaughlin

Panel: It Takes a Village: Allies in the Media; Creative Activism, Let’s Get Cliterate

August McLaughlin is a health and sexuality writer and host and creator of Girl Boner® and Girl Boner® Radio, with work appearing in Cosmopolitan, DAME Magazine, the Huffington Post, LIVESTRONG.com and more. She speaks openly about her experience surviving an eating disorder she was diagnosed with while working as an international model and the powerful role embracing one’s body, self and sexuality can play in leading a full, authentic life. Her latest book, Girl Boner: The Good Girl’s Guide to Sexual Empowerment (Amberjack Publishing), is set to release in 2018.

Bari and Salome Block

Panel: Queer & Plus Sized Cosplay

MaeBerry Cosplay is a cosplay couple based out of Santa Fe, NM specializing in body positive portrayals of LGBTQI+ characters. Their cosplay career began in 2014 at Dallas A-Kon and has gained repute at conventions throughout the southwest, with some of their cosplays being recognized on the national stage by shows on major television networks. Their blog, narrating their travels and experiences at cons in cosplay, as well as, some much needed ‘how to’ or DIY tutorials have gained recognition by conventions as large as Dallas A-Kon. Two of their blogs are featured in the online Press Room of ClexaCon and their blog is ranked in the ‘75 Top Cosplay Blogs‘ by Feedspot, the most comprehensive list of cosplay blogs on the internet. Most recently they were featured in the Cosplay Savant column of FangirlNation Magazine and have a full-page feature in Cosplayzine’s Nov-Dec issue.

Beth Ryne

Panel: From Fans to Creators

Beth Ryne is a Los Angeles-based casting associate and currently directing her first documentary film, Feeling Seen, about the impact of queer representation on television. Beth has worked in the casting departments for Blue Book (History Channel), Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan (Amazon), Altered Carbon (Netflix), American Gothic (CBS), I’m Dying Up Here (Showtime), and Masters Of Sex (Showtime). For the stage, she was the casting director for the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s productions of Hit The Wall (about the Stonewall riots), as well as Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe: Revisited, produced by Jane Wagner and Lily Tomlin. Beth is a graduate of SUNY Purchase and the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts. She lives with her wife and two cats, who are (along with her niece) the lights of her life.

Bonnie Ferrar

Panel: Tales of the Black Badge Podcast; Wynonna Earp Fans

Bonnie Ferrar is the owner & managing editor of Ferrar Copywriters, an online social media & content development company. Her ‘no Chill’ attitude in life turned into ‘No Chill’ in fandom this year with Wynonna Earp. She runs the Wynonna Fans twitter account, co-hosts the Tales of the Black Badge podcast, and co-hosts the Whiskey & Doughnuts video hangout.

Braxie Jacobson

Panel: Creating Your Own LGBTQ+ Representation on YouTube; Where are Older LGBTQ Characters?

Hi, I’m Braxie. I thrive on passion and art and creating things, and i just happen to be really gay. that’s not the only important thing about me, but sharing that part of myself with people and getting to create physical representations of my soul is important.

Breanna Hughes

Panel: From Fans to Creators 

A graduate of Chapman University, Breanna is a published author, fan fiction writer, song-writer and a long term wlw enthusiast. She is currently working on her second novel, to be published later this year, and is passionate about writing strong queer female characters. She lives and works in Los Angeles.

Bridget Liszewski

Panel: Wynonna Earp; Wynonna Earp Fan Panel

Bridget Liszewski is the Editor-in-Chief at The TV Junkies where she channels her passion for television into covering some of her favorite aspects about the medium. An advocate of both Canadian and US television, she strives to make the TV Junkies a place for fellow enthusiasts to connect. She is also the co-host of Feminist Thrilljoys, a podcast where three women take a break from smashing the patriarchy to talk about the feministy things they love.

Bridget McManus

Panels: Acting In and Directing Sex Scenes, Creating an Original Web Series, Happy Wife, Happy Life, Out in Hollywood: Playing Straight, Playing Queer and the Roles We Didn’t Get

Bridget McManus is a television host, screenwriter, producer, director and award-winning performer. She created and hosted two television shows for the Logo Network; Bridget McManus Presents: That Time of The Month and the award-winning comedy talk show, Brunch with Bridget. McManus plays a recurring role in the Emmy-Award winning series Transparent and was named tellofilms’s Vice President of Development in 2016.

Britta Lundin

Panels: Queering the Room, Queering Your YA Lit

Britta Lundin is a TV writer, author, and comic book writer. She currently writes on the hit CW show Riverdale. Her queer YA novel Ship It, about fandom, Comic-Con, and slash shipping, comes out May 1. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in Los Angeles with her wife.

Brittany Ashley

Panel: Countering the Impact of Heteronormative and Cissexist Media on Young People; Girl Ship TV; LGBTQ Actresses

Brittany Ashley is a screenwriter and actor, best known for her work centering the queer female voice. You can watch her series “Lesbian Princess”, her short films “Unaware” and “Unplanned”, her LGBTQ news show on Logo, or listen to her Daria rewatch podcast with Laura Zak called “Sicker Sadder World.”

Brittany Dailey

Panel: Empowerment Through Fandom

Brittany is a long time nerd, who’s currently obsessing over the show Wynonna Earp, and how to Earp every single part of her life. Melanie Scrofano is her patronus. In her spare time, she co-designs Wynonna Earp ‘ugly’ Christmas sweaters. She is also heavily involved with the non-profit organization LGBT Fans Deserve Better, and is still bitter that the show Sweet/Vicious didn’t get a second season because it is the most important and influential show in the last year.

Caitlin Stickels

Panel: ClexaCon Film Festival Filmmakers

Born and raised in Texas, Caitlin has always been interested in telling stories about queer identities in an effort to turn gender and sexuality stereotypes on their heads. They have directed and produced 5 of their own films and most recently won best short film at North Carolina Gay and Lesbian film festival. Caitlin currently lives in Brooklyn and owns a cat.

Candace Gingrich

Panel: The Politics of Representation

When her brother Newt became Speaker of the House, Candace spoke her truth and came out to the world as queer – and hasn’t stopped talking since. She’s held numerous roles advocating for LGBTQ equality with the Human Rights Campaign over the past two decades, from spokesperson, to campus organizer to internship coordinator. In their spare time, Candace enjoys rugby, birds, good beer, sarcasm, naps and spending time with their family – wife Illinois State Representative Kelly Cassidy and their three sons.

Carmen Bermúdez

Panel: Sapphic Fan Fiction: Resistance, Healing, and Community

Carmen, also known as Tanagariel on the interwebs, has a Bachelors of Science in Biology and is working on her dissertation for her Masters in Epidemiology. She enjoys sci-fi in any kind of medium and of course, reads and writes fanfiction in her free time.

Carolyn Bergier

Panel: Let Them Hear You: Podcasting 101

Carolyn is a New York City-based stand up comedian and writer who produces and co-hosts the lesbian lifestyle podcast, Dyking Out. She’s also a FunnyOrDie contributor and writes for The Box Show, a feminist variety show filmed at Littlefield in Brooklyn. She’s a graduate of the Upright Citizens Brigade’s sketch and improvisational programs.

Caryn K. Hayes

Panel: Venice: The Making of a Web Series; Bisexual Representation in the Media

Native New Orleanian and graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana, Caryn K. Hayes started her career producing new media content for Showbiz Shorts and BrevityTV.com in 2007. Two-time winner of the TV Pilot Award in the original script competition presented by the Organization of Black Screenwriters, Caryn started Hardly Working Entertainment in 2009 to produce her own content. Caryn’s work, including series Breaking Point and Entangled with You, has been recognized with 30+ awards and nominations by ITV Fest, AfterEllen.com, and the Indie Series Awards.

Cat Davis

Panel: Happy Wife, Happy Life; Staged Reading of Passage: Tello’s 2017 Pitch to Production Winner

Cat Davis is an LA-based TV writer and performer. She has written for Shake It Up and KC Undercover on the Disney Channel and has appeared on Showtime, LOGO, Lifetime and the CW. As a contributor for AfterEllen.com, she was the host of Cat on the Prowl and co-host of Is This Awesome?! (with Fortune Feimster) and We’ve Got Issues (with Bridget McManus). She’s a co-creator and co-host of Happy Wife, Happy Life on TelloFilms.com, which also stars her wife, Kristen ‘What a babe!’ Smith.

Catherine Lundoff

Panel: Labels: Why We Need Them – Or Do We?

Catherine Lundoff is an award-winning writer, editor and publisher from Minneapolis. Her books include Night’s Kiss, Crave, Haunted Hearths and Sapphic Shades: Lesbian Ghost Stories, Hellebore and Rue: Tales of Queer Women and Magic, Silver Moon and Out of This World: Queer Speculative Fiction Stories. She is the owner and publisher at Queen of Swords Press, a new genre fiction publisher specializing in tales from out of this world.

CB Lee

Panel: Queering Your Young Adult Lit; Queer Representation in the Media and How it Affects Mental Health

CB Lee is a bisexual Chinese-Vietnamese American writer based in Los Angeles and is the author of the Sidekick Squad series and Seven Tears at High Tide. Not Your Sidekick (Sidekick Squad #1) was a 2017 Lambda Literary Awards Finalist in Young Adult. Connect with her on Twitter @author_cblee and on Instagram at @cblee_cblee.

Celeste Vasquez

Panel: Queering the Room

Celeste Vasquez is a TV writer and producer who grew up in a small desert town outside of Los Angeles. She currently writes for Freeform’s Shadowhunters which combines some of her favorite things — good friends helping each other, blood, supernatural abilities, and kissing. For fun, she runs, plays piano, and watches TV religiously.

Celina Phair

Panel: Decolonizing the LGBTQ Sphere: Indigenous Queer Representation in Media

Celina Phair is an enrolled member of the Lummi Nation in the Pacific Northwest and serves as an elected official for Lummi. Most of her time is spent in service to her people, but in her spare time she enjoys crossfit, playing xbox, and reading.

Chandler Meyer

Panel: Lexa’s Legacy

Chandler Meyer is one of the original founders of LGBT Fans Deserve Better. Motivated by the phrase and the movement, she has channeled a passion for writing and a desire for change into a future career in screenwriting and production. She is California born and currently living and loving sunny Los Angeles.

Chantel Houston

Panel: Girl Ship TV

Chantel Houston is a producer and creator at BuzzFeed. Over the years she has been an integral part in forming some of BuzzFeed’s largest properties including Top Knot, The NBC Olympics Snapchat Partnership, and currently Ladylike. In addition to creating shows she has produced many scripted pieces, including Lose Some Weight which garnered 2.9 million views and won the ‘Excellence in Inspiration’ Award at the 2017 Buffer Festival. Houston is best known for creating meaningful and entertaining videos for women, people of color, and underserved audiences.

Charlotte Robinson

Panel: Game Changers – How These Outliers Impacted Queer Culture

Charlotte Robinson is an Emmy Award Winning Broadcast Journalist and host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ a series of over 500 audio interviews with global LGBTQ leaders and their allies including Alan Ball, Margaret Cho, Kate Clinton, Cleve Jones, Kathleen Turner, John Waters, Melissa Etheridge, Ted Allen & more. Since 2008 Charlotte’s weekly podcast series broadcasts on HuffPost, Google News, iTunes and Podbean addressing civil rights issues to millions of listeners worldwide.

Chelsea Shorte

Panel: Tagg Nation; Queer Women of Color Meetup , A Lil Laughin’ Color

Chelsea Shorte describes herself as a comedian, storyteller, writer, and ‘regular gay.’ When asked for a biography of her life she says, “I love to go out and party, I love to look good. I don’t hold back on shoes or eccentric blazers and I love having fun and bringing happiness where ever I go.” What she’s too modest to mention is that she’s been tearing up the comedy scene.

Chelsea Steiner

Panels: Bisexual Representation in the Media; Freelancers Anonymous: How to Make an Independent Film and Not Die Trying!; Let’s Get Cliterate; Queering the Room

Chelsea Steiner lives in sunny Los Angeles, where she works as a director/screenwriter/blogger/sex educator. Her work has appeared on Bella Books, AfterEllen and AutoStraddle. She is the creator/writer/director of the web series THANK YOU COME AGAIN. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.

Chloe Tse

Panel: 2017: A Year in Review; It Takes a Village: Allies in the Media; Gaysian: Queer Asian Representation in the Media; Queer Women of Color Representation in the Media

Chloe Tse is a gaysian journalist, co-founder of TheFeminismProject.com, a media critic and a social justice warrior. She’s served on advocacy boards in Toronto and lives for her activism. Also, she’s a mom to a bad beagle.

Christie Conochalla

Panel: Lights, Camera, ACTION! – The Importance of Lesbian/Queer Films and Web Series

Christie Conochalla is a writer/director in Los Angeles, CA known for her lesbian screwball comedy Once Upon a Zipper, the award-winning lesbian drama August in the City, and is currently in production with her first feature called Forever Not Maybe, starring Mandahla Rose.

Christin Baker

Panels: Acting In and Directing Sex Scenes, Queer Lady Business, Creating an Original Web Series, Producting a Low-Budget Indie Project; Happy Wife, Happy Life

Christin Baker is the President and CEO of Tello Films. She is passionate about providing the lesbian community with quality entertainment. She is an award-winning director and an Emmy-nominated producer, a member of the Producers Guild of America and the Television Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Christina de Leon

Panels: ClexaCon Film Festival Filmmakers

Christina de Leon is a writer, director, and born and raised California girl. Having not gone to film school, Nasty Habits acted as an intense, hands-on training ground for Christina. In addition to webseries, Christina is working on multiple long-form pilot scripts as well as her first feature. She’s still not over the breakup of the Spice Girls and wishes everyone would stop talking about it.

Christine Svendsen

Panel: Labels: Why We Need Them – Or Do We?

Award-winning, international best selling author, Isabella, lives in California with her wife and three sons. Isabella’s first novel, Always Faithful, won a GCLS award in the Traditional Contemporary Romance category in 2010. She was also a finalist in the International Book Awards and an Honorable Mention in the 2010 and 2012 Rainbow Awards. Her recent book Razor’s Edge won an Honorable Mention in the Reader’s Favorite Award. She is a member of the Rainbow Romance Writers, a PAN member in the Romance Writers of America and the Gold Crown Literary Society. She is currently working on Cigar Barons – A family dynasty where blood isn’t thicker than water, it’s war!

Cristina Royale

Panel: Creative Activism

Cristina Royale is a sex-positive feminist activist, writer, YouTuber, and rapper. Through humor, she exposes and pokes fun at the sexism that persists in today’s culture. She holds nothing back when sharing personal accounts of her sexual encounters all over the world (and at home in Las Vegas) and shines a light on what being a single woman can look like when you have no interest in upholding the oppressive status quo. Her unique brand of humor is at once both shocking and thought-provoking.

Crystal Chappell

Panel: Venice: The Making of a Web Series

After starring on daytime dramas Days of Our Lives, One Life to Live, Guiding Light and The Bold and The Beautiful, Crystal Chappell launched her own production company, Open Book Productions in 2009. With Open Book Productions, the three-time Emmy Award-winning actress, producer and director has since established a digital presence with the award-winning Venice the Series, The Grove, and Beacon Hill. Chappell most recently partnered with Perfect Features to star and produce Open Book Productions first feature, A Million Happy Nows. Crystal looks forward to starting production on season six of Venice the Series later this year.

Dana Piccoli

Panels: Behind the Badge: Alex Danvers; Hollstein, Let Them Hear You: Podcasting 101; Lost Girl Reunion; SHETHORITY; Shoot Reunion; Swerve: The Web Series; Venice: The Web Series; WayHaught

Dana is an entertainment writer and pop culture critic who got her start the old fashioned way – by writing funny songs about television shows and posting them on Youtube. From there, she was discovered, and much to her surprise, realized she was a writer at heart. Since then, Piccoli has written for sites like The Mary Sue, The Portalist, Decider, Curve Magazine and more. She was a longtime writer and Staff Editor of AfterEllen.com. While there, she hosted the popular podcast Let’s Process which had over 250k downloads. She’s now the Managing Editor of the blog at Bella Books, a vertical of Bella Books Publishing that focuses on queer entertainment and pop culture.

Danielle de la Torre 

Panels: Empowerment Through Fandom

Growing up in a small town didn’t stop Danielle from having big city dreams. A self-proclaimed ‘gleek’, Danielle found inspiration through TV and movies to help her during tough times of anxiety and depression in high school and college. Out of college, she created angstynerd.com in order to reach out and help connect others through social media who suffer from mental illness by using the power of fandom in pop culture. Her biggest inspiration is Buffy Summers who’s quote, “The hardest thing in this world is live in it. Be brave. Live.” are words she lives by and teaches every day.

David J. Peterson

Panels: Trigedasleng 101 Workshop, Trigedasleng Genesis

David J. Peterson is a language creator, writer, and artist. He has created languages for HBO’s Game of Thrones, Syfy’s Defiance, Netflix’s Bright, Spike’s The Shannara Chronicles, and many others, including the Trigedasleng language for the CW’s The 100.

Desiré Galvez

Panels: All in the Family

Desiré is a Gender and Sexuality Studies student at UNLV. This non-binary cutie loves photography, bread, and pigeons (along with the rest of this queer ass earth and space). Co-founder of The Muxerista Collective, Desiré enjoys creating content that builds bridges between community and academia. As a transformational coach they advocate for healing and the creation of content that speaks to our multidimensional lives. Lately they have been embracing the nerd within, getting into shows such as Rebelde, Xena, Buffy, Adventure Time and Steven Universe, (among a whole bunch of other nerdy shit).

Diana Benitez

Panels: Wynonna Earp Fan Panel

Benitez is a self-taught fan artist from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. She is currently finishing her Bachelor of Arts in Art & Design and plans to attend her local digital arts college to work on illustration and video game design. Aside from school work, she currently sells art prints and other various products on her personal store, doing commissioned art works from time to time.

Diane Chen

Panels: (I’m Queer and…) Intersectionality and Why it Matters; Creating Your Own LGBTQ+ Representation on YouTube; Gay Asian Representation in the Media

Diane Chen is an award-winning multidisciplinary filmmaker and theater artist based in NYC, and co-founder of Multihyphenate Productions (MHP). In all her work she strives for striking visuals and stylistic movement and framing, subverting the expected, and to share the stories of the othered and underrepresented, with an awareness of intersectionality of representation. Her award-winning series Here We Wait has been making its international festival circuit, garnering 31 nominations so far – including a win for Diane as Best Supporting Actress at Brooklyn Webfest and a Best Lead Actress: Drama nomination at the IAWTV Awards.

Dylan Arrieta

Panels: TBA

Dylan Arrieta is the Executive Director of the Honolulu Gay and Lesbian Cultural Foundation (HGLCF), a nonprofit 501c(3) organization. She is also the Festival Director of the Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival (HRFF), one of the longest-running LGBTQ film festival in the country, now in its 29th year. During the off season, Dylan performs locally as a musician.

Eboné Bell

Panels: It Takes a Village: Allies in the Media; Queer Lady Business, Queer Women of Color Representation in the Media

Eboné Bell is the founder and managing editor of Tagg Magazine, a print publication and website dedicated to serving the lesbian and queer women’s community.

Eden Treviño

Panels: Bisexual Representation in the Media; Queer Representation in the Media and How it Affects Mental Health

Eden Treviño is a Digital Producer for Warner Brothers Television and is currently working on the Emmy nominated show, The Real. In 2016, she and her partner Jacqueline Serrano launched the first LGBTQ Latina radio show to broadcast worldwide on Dash Radio called, Eden and Jaxx. Eden’s mission is to continue to support queer storytelling and to find more innovative ways to produce bisexual representation in media.

Elaine Atwell

Panels: Countering the Impact of Heteronormative and Cissexist Media on Young People, RED: The Web Series

Elaine Atwell is the founder and editor of TheDart.co, which provides queer and feminist pop culture analysis, political shrieks, and humor. She has been writing about queer media for queer fans since 2012 and has never stopped believing that if you yell at the screen long enough, the two women on it will kiss.

Elesha Barnette

Panel: Lights, Camera, ACTION! – The Importance of Lesbian/Queer Films and Web Series

Writer, photographer, millennial and filmmaker. Elesha is known for successful series, Last Life, which fans have spent over 50 million minutes watching. She is currently in pre-production on a second series set for early 2018.

Elisa Oh

Panel: ClexaCon Film Festival Filmmakers

Elisa Oh is a queer Korean American writer, director, and illustrator. As the eldest child of a preacher, Elisa grew up poised to follow suit in the family business. She graduated from UC San Diego with a BA in Philosophy and Asian American Studies and went on the receive her Masters in Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary. After parting ways with the church, she decided instead to illuminate underrepresented, authentic stories from her own experiences through film and illustration. She is currently a third year MFA student at USCs Film and Television Production program with an emphasis in screenwriting.

Elizabeth Bridges

Panel: The Responsibility of Media Makers

Dr. Elizabeth Bridges is a professor of literature at Rhodes College in Memphis. She has published academic work on pop culture topics such as Buffy and ‘Nazisploitation.’ Her most recent journal article examines the history of queerbaiting, BYG, and ‘The 100 mess.’

Elizabeth Jeannel

Panel: Disabled LGBT in the Media

Elizabeth Jeannel is an author, YouTuber, mastermind behind the web series Cursed, and full-time caregiver for her quadriplegic girlfriend. She was born and raised in the four state area, and currently lives in Kansas, where she is hard at work on her next creation.

Elizabeth Mackintosh

Panel: Creative Activism; GirlShip TV

Liz Mackintosh plays Joanna Peters on Girl Ship TV’s Project Inferno. Liz is also a producer, storyteller and woman enthusiast. Prior to moving to Los Angeles, she produced two Off-Broadway benefit productions of The Vagina Monologues which toured women’s and men’s prisons throughout New York and featured a cast of formerly incarcerated women and actors from Orange is the New Black. She currently works in development at Sony Pictures Television.

Elizabeth Vlasoff

Panel: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: Queer Representation in Video Games in 2017

Elizabeth is a Silicon Valley native and a lifetime lover of video games and tech. When not working at her day job, she is the gaming managing editor for The Fandomentals, and maintains a dual citizenship between California and Tamriel. She loves building computers, playing games, queer ladies in media, and enthusiastically complaining about all of these things.

Steam: ohemgeeliz

Elke van der Lest

Panel: How to Use YouTube as a Platform 2.0

A 22 year old Youtuber from The Netherlands who tries to brighten up people’s days with her reaction videos.

Ellie Brigada

Panel: Let the Hear You: Podcasting 101

Ellie Brigida is a producer and recording engineer specializing in a cappella production. She also happens to be a lover of all things lesbian which she talks about on Lez Hang Out, a lesbian podcast featuring prominent members of the LGBTQ community and discussing topics that affect all women who love other women.

Emily Papak

Panel: How to Use YouTube as a Platform 2.0

By day, Emily is a full-time video editor living in California. By night, she runs a YouTube channel featuring her reactions to TV shows, movies, and music videos, in which she fangirls over queer ladies (both real and fictional).

Erin Tillman

Panel: Creative Activism

The Dating Advice Girl, Erin Tillman, is an inclusive Dating Empowerment Coach, Certified NLP Practitioner, Author, Speaker, and TV/Radio/Podcast Host based in Los Angeles, California. She is dedicated to empowering all singles in all lifestyles to have happy and enjoyable dating lives that best suit their dating & relationship wants, needs, and objectives. For almost ten years, she has helped singles successfully navigate through the early stages of dating through her book, The Dating Guidebook, over 100 dating-related articles for various lifestyle and dating sites, radio and TV segments and through her podcast, The Dating Advice Girl Radio Show.

Dr. Erika Abad

Panels: All in the Family, Queer Women of Color Representation in the Media

Erika Abad, PhD is a Professor in the Interdisciplinary, Gender, and Ethnic Studies Department at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Historically, Dr. Abad has worked around queer open mics, and Latinx social movements. Her investment in activism is being paired with her student-inspired curiosity regarding fandom community building.

Evangeline Aguas

Panel: Feeling Backward: Losing and Memorializing Queer Female Characters

Evangeline is a PhD student currently completing a thesis and online documentary on Clexa fans and queer female fandom. She also works as a freelancer on TV commercials as a Director’s Assistant. She lives in Sydney with her girlfriend and a grumpy cocker spaniel named Lucy. While shooting her bio picture, the camera lens broke. She’s trying not to take it personally.

Fernando Belo

Panel: RED: The Web Series

Fernando Belo is an actor, director, producer and movement director for theater and film. He’s the director and co-creator of the RED, the first Brazilian lesbian-themed web series. His work has been presented internationally in China, Russia, the Czech Republic, Belgium, Belarus, the United States and Brazil. Fernando holds an MFA in Acting from the California Institute of the Arts.

Germana Belo

Panel: RED: The Web Series

Germana Belo is a Brazilian writer, producer and co-creator of RED, the first lesbian themed Brazilian web series.

Giovannie Espiritu

Panel: ClexaCon Film Festival Filmmakers

Giovannie Espiritu was nominated alongside Academy Award Nominees Alfre Woodard and Amy Irving for Best Supporting Actress at MethodFest for the Mynah Films feature film Fiona’s Script. Her primetime credits include a recurring role on ER (NBC), Bones (FOX), Gilmore Girls (ABC), and Trauma (NBC). She has voiced characters in international video games and cartoons, directed several theater productions at the Herbst Theater in San Francisco, and produced several short films.

Giugi Carminati

Panels: Bias in the Media and Stereotype Threat: You Are What You Watch; The Politics of Representation

Giugi is an intersectional feminist who brings feminist theory into practice by being a lawyer, writer, speaker, and activist. She blogs (www.ArgueLikeAGirl.com), lawyers (www.TheWomansLawyer.com), and gives talks to diverse groups (corporate and non-corporate) about sexual violations, gender relations, and white privilege. She speaks French, English, Italian, and Spanish.

Gloria Calderon Kellet

Panels: It Takes a Village: Allies in the Media; One Day at a Time

Gloria Calderón Kellett is the executive producer and co-showrunner of One Day at a Time, currently streaming on Netflix. Before that, she wrote and produced on such shows as CW’s iZombie, ABC’s Mixology, Lifetime’s Devious Maids, CBS’s Rules of Engagement & How I Met Your Mother, for which she won an Alma Award for Outstanding Script.

Gretchen Ellis

Panels: Korrasami is Still a Breath of Fresh Air; Neurodiversity in Writing; The Responsibility of Media Makers

Bi, she/her. Gretchen is a Managing Editor for the Fandomentals. An unabashed nerdy fangirl and aspiring sci/fi and fantasy author, she has opinions about things like media, representation, and ethics in storytelling. She also likes talking about how gay history is on her podcast called, unimaginatively enough, History is Gay.

Griffin Schulman

Panel: Korrasami is Still a Breath of Fresh Air

Griffin is a queer, jewish writer for the Fandomentals who likes puzzles, deconstructing other puzzles, and talk-show branded ice cream flavors. He is very easily amused and has probably written as much about Batwoman as he has about The Legend of Korra at this point. That is to say: way too much.

Haviland Stillwell

Panels: Freelancers Anonymous: How to Make an Independent Film and Not Die Trying!

Haviland Stillwell is an actress, singer and director, whose work has been seen on Broadway, TV and in film, videogames, and commercials. Recent on-screen credits include the iPhone commercials with The Rock, Freelancer’s Anonymous, Magic Mike XXL, Selma, UnREAL, Living the Dream, Sexy Civics, Baywatch, Stitchers, Unicorn Plan-it and upcoming films for SyFy and Hallmark. On Broadway, she was in the original revival casts of Les Miserables and Fiddler on the Roof. Her animation and videogame voiceover work includes Barbie Life in the Dreamhouse, Ever After High, and Fallout: Far Harbor. Her two solo albums, How I Role and Spark, are available on iTunes.

Heather Currie-Martinez

Panel: Two Steps Forward, Invisible Women: The Marginalization of the Female Identified Butch in Queer Media; Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: Queer Representation in Video Games in 2017; Gaming Meetup

Heather Currie-Martinez is the owner and editor of Maverick Gamers, an entertainment industry website with over 60,000 followers on Twitter. Ms. Currie-Martinez regularly attends and covers video game industry events, such as E3, GDC, and PAX and is also an avid gamer and influencer. She lives and works in Northern California.

Hillary Esquina

Panel: From Fans to Creators (The Early Early Stages), Staged Reading of Passage: Tello’s 2017 Pitch to Production Winner

Hillary Esquina is a content creator from the Washington D.C. area who has worked with nonprofit organizations and production companies across the board. LGBTQ storytelling and advocacy are passions of hers, and she recently won tello’s Pitch to Production for her web-series Passage.

Holly James-Kill

Panels: Decolonizing the LGBTQ Sphere: Indigenous Queer Representation in Media; The Politics of Representation

James-Kill (Lumbee descent) received her MA in Indian Law, magna cum laude. She begins work towards her Juris Doctor in Indian Law this fall. Every summer you will find her on Tribal Canoe Journeys with her family. James-Kill loves all things animation and BBQ, and enjoys beading, cooking and fighting the patriarchy. She and her wife are pawrents to a standard poodle named Nola. #MMIW

Jackie Larson

Panel: Xena, Gabrielle and Their Legacy

Jackie Larson is a founding member of Xenite Retreat and an avid Xena fan. Jackie was late to the Xena fandom coming in after season six aired, but the relationship between Xena and Gabrielle sent her to conventions where she met some of her best friends. Those friendships have manifested into developing a safe place for all people to come and be themselves, all in the name of Xena!

Jacqueline Serrano

Panel: Eden and Jaxx

Jacqueline Serrano is a music content specialist for Latin music at Google/Vaco. For the past few years she’s been making her way through the music scene, first as a journalist, then as an on-air personality and now a music programmer. As an LA born and raised Mexican-American, she takes great pleasure in spreading Latino talent and artistry. Whether it’s through film, music, or social media, she hopes to inspire empowerment and equality through storytelling and music.

Jade Salazar

Panel: Politics of Representation; Tagg Nation

Jade has been part of the d.c. queer women’s community for the past decade. She is an advocate for LGBTQ and women’s rights, as well as an outspoken advocate against sexual assault. Her passion on the show is the segment Queer History with Jade. Salazar feels it is important to discuss queer history because it explains issues, baggage and triumphs that make our community what it is today.

James Maple

Panel: Girl Ship TV

James Maple is a Washington D.C. born actor, host and comedian who also graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in History and minor in Poltical Science. James specializes in comedy with studies at iO West, UCB and DC Improv. He is working and living in Los Angeles, CA as a host and anchor of several tv shows/networks. James specializes in interviews, commentary, live events, broadcast journalism and news segments. He has also studied and completed the Suzanne Sena Hosting Program (Carolyne Barry Acting Academy).

Jasmine Rodriguez

Panel: Safe Place: I’m Coming Out

Jasmine is a gay Latina-American from South Florida that works in corporate America, specific to insurance services. She lives with her wife and two very needy fuzzy pet-children.

Jenn Polish

Panels: Queer Representation in the Media and How it Affects Mental Health; Sapphic Fan Fiction: Resistance, Healing, and Community

Jenn Polish is a YA fantasy author and instructor of theatre and english at CUNY LaGuardia Community College. Their debut novel, LUNAV — a lesbian fairy tale set in a world where dragons hatch from trees — is set for release with NineStar Press in March 2018, along with their queer Peter Pan re-telling novella. When they’re not teaching, writing, or working toward their PhD in English from the CUNY Graduate Center, they’re probably fanbying over a wide array of comic books or hitting the gym.

Jenna Buffum

Panels: Behind the Voices

Born and raised in the San Francisco bay area, Jenna is a part time bookseller, full time nerd, and all around lover (and critic) of queer media. When she’s not binging a show or book, catch her attempting to play DND, losing horribly at Overwatch, or cuddling her little yorkie.

Jess Harris-DiStefano

Panel: Creating an Original Web Series, Invisible Women: The Marginalization of the Female Identified Butch in Queer Media; Please Subscribe Below: What it Takes to Become a Breakout Creator on YouTube

Jess Harris-DiStefano is a writer, producer, and currently the Head of Creative Programming at YouTube Space LA. She holds a BFA in Writing for Television and Film from the school of Cinematic Arts at USC and is an outspoken advocate for positive LGBTQ+ representation in all forms of media. When Jess isn’t playing the part of a mentor and consultant to YouTube creators, her and her wife can be found wrangling their pint-sized protege named Charley and four-legged furball named Frisbee.

Jess Kath

Panels: 2017: A Year in Review; Lexa’s Legacy, LGBT Fans Deserve Better Presents: TV Scoring

Jess is Board Secretary of LGBT Fans Deserve Better, a ClexaCon partner and 501(c)(3) nonprofit all-volunteer organization advocating for positive LGBTQ+ representation in the media. She focuses on organizational policy and governance, as well as project research, writing, and speaking on positive representation.

Jessica Wert

Panels: Online Harrassment and Safety

Jessica Wert is a Sergeant with LVMPD and has worked for the department for 12 years. She is currently assigned to the Bolden Area Command as a Field Training Evaluation Program (FTEP) supervisor. Sgt. Wert has previously worked such assignments as Patrol Division Detective, plain clothes capacity in the Problem Solving Unit, and as a Field Training Officer while in patrol. She has been married to her wife for 5 years, and have 2 year old twin boys.

Ji Strangeway

Panels: Creative Activism

Film director, author and poet, Ji Strangeway is the creator of the #LGBTQ coming-of-age film, Nune, and Red as Blue graphic novel. Writing from the margins of gender, orientation and circumstance, Strangeway’s work is an unconventional call to action. Her words are for the dreamers and idealists.

John Arrow

Panels: 2017: A Year in Review; The Art of Vidding; Transgender Representation in the Media; Asexual Meet Up

John is a transmasculine fan from Seattle with a deep love of television, cons, poker, and fandom. He is the founder of the multi-fandom femslash con, TGI Femslash (TGIF/F), and has been vidding for over ten years. When not crying over OTPs, he can be found teaching 7-year-olds how to solve math word problems about his OTPs.

Joseph Dunn

Panel: Disabled LGBT Representation in the Media

Deaf Trans aspiring scriptwriter to be; aspiring filmmaker.

Juls K.

Panel: The Art of Vidding

Juls is an undergraduate fine arts student currently attending college. In her spare time, she has found a liking in editing together fan-made music videos for the show RWBY. She passionately supports the growing relationship between two of the main characters, Blake and Yang, and you can find that most of her content centers around them. You will also find her in the deep depths of the femslash side of tumblr, reblogging and loving other various queer lady ships.

Karina Regan

Panel: From Fans to Creators (The Early Early Stages)

Karina currently lives and works in San Diego where she is the co-creator and co-director of a low-budget indie film currently in the process of being filmed. She is also working on writing multiple other feature films and in the pre-production stages of a web series.

Karly Kownslar

Panel: Fact and Fiction

Karly Kownslar is a podcaster, videographer, and all around nerd. She has recapped The 100, Carmilla, and other series for Autostraddle.com before creating her own podcast called Fact & Science Fiction, combining her love of science fiction and science-communication.

Karman Kregloe

Panel: Happy Wife, Happy Life; Staged Reading of Passage: Tello’s 2017 Pitch to Production Winner

Karman Kregloe is a writer, musician and actor whose credits include Maybelle, McManusland, Ghostella’s Haunted Tomb, Top Friends, Deadly Dress 4: Never a Bride and the Logo TV show Dara and Karman’s Hit List. Her EP, Hummingbird, will be released in summer 2018.

Kat Jetson

Panel: Empowerment Through Fandom

Kat Jetson is a freelance writer for a number of publications including The Hollywood Reporter, Tom Tom, and Razorcake. Her writing covers a wide variety of subjects, most notably television and music. She is also the co-host of two podcasts: BuffyEarpers and Feminist Thrilljoys. Both allow her the opportunity to discuss many of the things she loves, which is to say Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Wynonna Earp, and smashing the patriarchy.

Katherine Kleffner

Panel: Safe Place: I’m Coming Out

Katherine Kleffner is a writer and YouTuber for The Nerdy Girl Express and can be found online @kleffnotes. She writes about a variety of topics, but her focus is primarily comics, books, and webseries. Katherine also works within the field of higher education and is hoping to find a position that will allow her to work with LGBTQ+ college students. In October of 2017, she wrote an article focused on her coming out process and the television characters that she felt connected to. Attending ClexaCon in 2017 helped to give her the courage to come out to her parents and to begin living more openly as a bisexual woman.

Kathy Belge

Panel: Game Changers – How These Outliers Impacted Queer Culture

Kathy Belge is a writer who specializes in the LGBT community. She penned one-half of the popular advice column Lipstick & Dipstick in Curve magazine, and was also the guide to all things lesbian on About.com for 13 years. She is co-author of Lipstick & Dipstick’s Essential Guide to Lesbian Relationships and Queer: The Ultimate LGBT Guide for Teens.

Kelly Peters

Panel: Xena, Gabrielle and Their Legacy

As the former Social Media Director for her local Democratic Party, Kelly Peters has spent most of her life using the internet as a tool for change and activism. She is the founder of Queer Quality, an online hub designed to help combat queerbait in art & entertainment.

Kevin Bachelder

Panel: Tales of the Black Badge: Live at ClexaCon!; Wynonna Earp Fan Panel

Kevin is a Parsec Award winning podcaster who’s been covering science fiction and fantasy TV since 2005. For the past 12 years, Bachelder has also been a regular speaker at Dragon Con. Kevin currently co-hosts the Tales Of The Black Badge podcast and the Whiskey and Doughnuts fan video hangouts in the Wynonna Earp fandom.

Kia Barnes

Panel: Black Queer Representation in the Media; Creative Activism; (I’m Queer and…) Intersectionality and Why it is Important

Kia McCall-Barnes, also known as Kia Comedy, is an Atlanta-based comedian, host, speaker and writer. She has headlined her signature Lez Laugh comedy tour with some of the country’s most prominent comedians, and she also hosts SVTV Network’s Queer Comedy Jam. Kia produces and hosts LGBTQ parties, events, and fashion shows across the country, including the Andro Fashion Show, Atlanta Pride’s Dyke March and others. Kia uses her platform to encourage acceptance, diversity and unity. She does so by sharing her experiences growing up in church, as an educator, as number 11 of 12 siblings, and as a married lesbian in an interracial relationship in the South. Kia recently completed a Fulbright Research Fellowship to study abroad in Belize, and her research is published and implemented in American curricula and potentially in classrooms throughout the country. Kia’s work can also be found in The Advocate, Curve Magazine, GA Voice and more. She has produced events with Georgia Equality, the Human Right’s Campaign, and Gayborhood, and she is an advocate and activist in the LGBTQ community. Simply put, Kia Comedy is not just jokes. Kia is available for standup comedy, hosting, workshop, and event bookings.

Kirsten Schultz

Panel: Disabled LGBT Representation in the Media; Identity 101: Understanding the Terminology; Let’s Get Cliterate

Kirsten Schultz is a genderfluid sex educator and writer currently living in Wisconsin. Through her work as a queer disability activist, she has earned a reputation for tearing down barriers while mindfully causing constructive trouble. She runs Chronic Sex, which openly discusses how illness and disability affect our relationships with ourselves and others including – you guessed it – sex! When not plotting to take over the world, Kirsten enjoys playing the ukulele, helping others, and shipping Wayhaught.

Krista Freego

Panel: Safe Place: I’m Coming Out

Freego is an attorney who also writes for StarryMag, where she posts a weekly web series articles usually spotlighting a LGBTQ+ web series. She also occasionally has the honor of guest-starring on Katherine Kleffner’s YouTube channel, Kleffnotes. After struggling for many years, she came out as a cis-gender lesbian immediately following her attendance at ClexaCon 2017, which she said was ‘life-changing.’

Kristen Roche

Panel: Neurodiversity in Writing

Kristen is a writer of all things from film and tv, to novels and fanfiction. She is also a television reviewer at TheFandomentals. Kristen is always writing more projects than she has time for and is the author of the upcoming novel Strangers on the Phone.

Kristen Smith

Panel: Happy Wife, Happy Life; Staged Reading of Passage: Tello’s 2017 Pitch to Production Winner

Kristen Smith is comedian and actor, native to Southern Oregon. She’s performed and taught sketch and improv all over Los Angeles (CSzLA, Secondy City, The Groundlings, iO West, Studio School). She’s currently a host on Happy Wife Happy Life on TelloFilms.com. She loves her wife Cat and her two dogs, Grizzly and Birdie. Kristen is the only one in her house that doesn’t share her name with an animal.

Krizten Galiano

Panel: Transgender Representation in the Media

Krizten is a non-binary binge-master who consumes media as though it were air. When not attending femslash conventions, or practically living at Disney World they’ve been slugging her way through writing an inclusive children’s fantasy book for longer than he cares to admit. Pronouns are ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Kylie Ford

Panels: Korrasami is Still a Breath of Fresh Air; Neurodiversity in Writing

Kylie is a queer, jewish media critic with a penchant for complicated familial dynamics and accurate depictions of business details. She serves as a Managing Editor for The Fandomentals, and is a co-host on the podcasts, The Fandomentalist and Unabashed Book Snobbery. She is known around tumblr as that person who made the “Korra is ‘buy-curious’ joke,” and encourages all the Arrested Development references in her company.

Lainie Escovedo

Panels: What the Ancestors Taught Me: LGBTQ+ Aztecs and Coming Out:

Lainie Escovedo is a Los Angeles based Lesbian Latina Screenwriter, Filmmaker and Film Theorist currently completing two Thesis projects for both an MFA in Dramatic Writing and an MA in Interdisciplinary Studies she’s earning concurrently at California State University at Los Angeles. She grew up in a small Northern California Mountain Snow Resort town, and put herself through Community College as a Snowboard Instructor. She has traveled extensively including living in London, on a Greek Island and Mexico. Her favorite foreign city is Cairo. Both her scholarly and creative work are centered in Latinx/Chicanx and LGBTQ+ Positive media representation and a Decolonial framework.

LaShawn McGhee

Panels: Queer Lady Business; Queer Women of Color Representation in the Media

LaShawn is a graduate of The American Film Institute and a Co-Founder | CPO of Revry Inc. A Global Queer Streaming Network and digital distribution service. Revry is dedicated to showcasing queer stories that truly represent our unique voice in the world.

Lauren Shippen

Panels: Bisexual Represenation in the Media, Queering the Room

Lauren Shippen is the writer and creator of the popular fiction podcast The Bright Sessions, which she uses to combine her love of scifi, queer stuff, and talking about feelings. When she’s not podcasting, Lauren voice acts, reads and writes YA fiction, and does a lot of karaoke.

Leah Bartels

Panels: 2017: A Year in Review

Leah Bartels is the programming chair for TGIFemslash, an intimate multi-fandom femslash convention established in 2015. Currently based in Brooklyn, she works as an associate producer for a documentary series on PBS, though she spends her free time writing meta on tumblr. She has an MFA in Screenwriting from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Leigh Holmes Foster

Panels: Let the Hear You: Podcasting 101

Leigh is the co-founder and co-host of Lez Hang Out, a podcast about lesbian representation, culture, experiences, etc. In addition to hosting, she writes and arranges the music on the show. She lives in the Bay Area with her wife and dog, and spends her 9-5 hours working as a Scientific Account Manager at a biotech software company.

Linda Crist

Panel: Where are Older LGBTQ Characters?; Xena, Gabrielle and Their Legacy

Lesbian romance writer, Linda ‘Texbard’ Crist, is the author of the reader favorite Kennedy and Carson Series (which begins with The Bluest Eyes in Texas), and 2006 Goldie award finalist, Galveston 1900: Swept Away, as well as thousands of pages of online fan fiction. She is the recipient of numerous online writing awards, including the Royal Academy of Bards Lifetime Achievement Award and Hall of Fame awards, Xippy awards, Bard’s Challenge awards, and Swollen Bud awards. Linda was a writer for the online collaborative Xena Subtext Virtual Seasons, and on the staff of the Xena fandom-based Orlando BardCon, which ran for four years at Walt Disney World.

Lindsey McKeon

Panels: Gay vs. Straight Bitches

Lindsey McKeon began her career at the age of 12 when her mother’s agent suggested she take an acting class. Shortly thereafter, her career took off with an impressive range of roles on both television and in feature films. At 13 she booked a series regular role as Katie Peterson on Saved by the Bell: The New Class. Over the years, Lindsey has been on many of TV’s most popular shows. McKeon is best known for her roles as Tessa, the Reaper on Supernatural, Taylor James on One Tree Hill and Marah Lewis on Guiding Light, where she became a two-time Daytime Emmy nominated actress. In 2018, Lindsey will be seen in the upcoming independent bisexual film Women and Sometimes Men.

Line Boye Danielsen

Panels: Feeling Backward: Losing and Memorializing Queer Female Characters

Line studies Interactive Digital Media at Aalborg University (DK). Last year she conducted a study about grief within Clexa fandom & is currently writing her BA-thesis on queerbaiting & fan/producer relationships. She also works as a Virtual Education Officer for Projekt Sex (P6) where she makes YouTube-videos educating Swedish students about LGBTQ+ & sexual health.

Lisa Cordileone

Panels: Freelancers Anonymous

Lisa recently finished filming the feature comedy Freelancer’s Anonymous (2018) as an actor, writer and producer. She is developing a new digital series, Stale Mate which was a semi-finalist for the Sundance Episodic Story Lab in 2016. Other new works include the adult animated series Disaster Brain, short doc Washington Avenue, and the short film JUMP, an absurd comedy about a woman on a ledge (2018). Lisa performed her one-woman silent comedy, Break In at the Hollywood Fringe Festival in LA and the Sketch show Girl on Gurl (UCB, Second City Hollywood, iO West), and the played Abby in the LGBTQ Web Series Easy Abby (co-producer on Season 1) with 50 Million views online.

Lisa Powell

Panels: Neurodiversity in Writing

Also known online as Johanna’s Motivational Insults, Lisa has been writing fan fiction since 2014. Last spring she branched out into journalism, joining pop culture news site The Fandomentals. She currently serves as a contributing writer and copy editor for the company.

Lise MacTague

Panels: Sapphic Fan Fiction: Resistance, Healing, and Community

Lise is the author of such lesfic speculative fiction titles as Five Moons Rising and the On Deception’s Edge trilogy. She grew up in Canada, then flitted around the US before settling in North Carolina with her wife and kids. Lise crams writing in around work, family, and building video game props in her garage.

Lora Innes

Panel: Making Comics with Lora Innes

Lora Innes was series artist on IDW Publishing’s comic book adaptation of Syfy’s Wynonna Earp TV show. She continued with the series as variant cover artist after her initial run. She is the creator of The Dreamer graphic novel trilogy about a teen who travels back to the American Revolution in her dreams. Her love of history lead to contributions in the Colonial Comics anthology, an installation at the historic Nathan Hale School House, and an appearance on AHC’s The American Revolution documentary miniseries. She co-hosted the Paper Wings Podcast where she taught listens to elevate the craft of making independent comics and interviewed visual storytellers of all kinds. Lora has worked with IDW Publishing, Vertigo/DC Comics, BOOM! Studios, HarperCollins, Fulcrum Publishing, Scholastic and Simon & Schuster.

Luciana Bollina

Panel: RED: The Web Series

Luciana Bollina is a Brazilian actress, singer, dancer, director and writter. She is known for her role as Mel in RED: The Web Series. As an actress, Bolina has played various roles onstage, mostly in musicals and solo performances. Her first book, Clarices, was published in 2013.

Lynn Sternberger

Panel: Lexa’s Legacy; Queering the Room

Lynn Sternberger most recently wrote on Freeform’s hit millennial dramedy The Bold Type, and previously on the NBC medical series Heartbeat. A former book editor, Lynn quit her job and moved to Vancouver, Canada to attend film school (but really to follow a girl). She wrote a pilot, married the girl, and relocated to Los Angeles, where she works to create the queerest television possible.

Mandahla Rose

Panel: Acting In and Directing Sex Scenes

An Australian native, Rose has been seen in a string of Aussie films and is known for her iconic role as E in the lesbian hit, All About E. After making the jump across the great pacific pond and planting her feet in Los Angeles, she has continued following her dreams. Short films: August in the City, Lowland, Don’t Come Over (VR Short), Landed. Feature films: Forever Not Maybe, For The Love Of Jessee. Series: Crazy Bitches. 2018 looks to be a busy year already.

Marcella Kwe

Panel: Decolonizing the LGBTQ Sphere: Indigenous Queer Representation in Media

Marcella Ernest is a Native American interdisciplinary video artist and scholar. Her work combines electronic media with sound design with film and photography in a variety of formats; using multi-media installations.

Maren Maclean Mascarelli

Panel: Crossplay!

Maren has loved acting, instructing, dancing, directing, special-effecting and dramaturg-ing all over the country. She attended Southern Utah University and teaches all kinds of theatre at Scottsdale School of Film + Theatre. She‘s a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association and Arizona’s Actor’s Equity Association’s Liaison Committee. Originally from New York, Phoenix is home with her husband and daughters.

Margaret Newborn

Panel: The Sun: Trans Representation in an Independent Film

Born into a multicultural family, native Californian, Margaret Newborn started performing on stage, in community theater productions at a very young age. Her early works include public television and After School TV projects. She is the proud single mother of four grown children, including one she adopted. An avid world traveler, she has visited several countries, including yearly missions trips. Now that her children are all grown, Margaret no longer works for corporate America, and is focusing on her first passion, her acting career.

Mariel Taren

Panel: Girl Ship TV

Born and raised in Chicago, a die-hard Cubs fan, Mariel began acting at a young age. As she got older, she started to focus more on comedy and in college joined The Second City Chicago improv scene. From there Taren went on to have her own sketch comedy team and performed throughout the city. She moved to Los Angeles in 2015 with her cat Minnie in pursuit of an on-camera career. For me. Not her.

Marina Rice Bader

Panel: Acting In and Directing Sex Scenes; Lights, Camera, ACTION! – The Importance of Lesbian/Queer Films and Web Series; Where are Older LGBTQ Characters?

Los Angeles based filmmaker Marina Rice Bader founded Soul Kiss Films in 2009, an independent company dedicated to producing evocative, entertaining and compelling movies by, for, and about women. She executive produced Elena Undone and A Perfect Ending, and went on to write, direct and produce Anatomy of a Love Seen, Raven’s Touch and Ava’s Impossible Things. Bader is currently developing American Ryder, a female-driven action film and an exciting new series that is currently under-wraps. She also proudly serves on the board of directors for Outfest LA, a year-round organization dedicated to protecting, nurturing and showcasing LGBTQ moving images, and who’s flagship summer festival is one of the most respected in the world.

Marlene Forte

Panel: Diversity & Inclusion Today: How to Develop PR Campaigns that Foster an Inclusive Communications Culture

Marlene Forte is a Cuban American actress, proudly raised in North Jersey-bridge and tunnel to New York City. A founding member of Labyrinth Theater Company, she credits her acting career to her Labyrinth familia. Over the last 18 years, she has consistently appeared on television, film, and stage. Most recently seen on Netflix’s Altered Carbon, Hulu’s Marvel’s Runaways, The Fosters, Fear The Walking Dead, and Superstore! But her best production to date remains her daughter Giselle Forte-Rodriguez who she credits for saving her life!

Mary Rachel Gardner

Panel: ClexaCon Film Festival Filmmakers

Mary Rachel Gardner, nicknamed MayRay, was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area by a big Greek family. She graduated from USC in 2013 with a major in Acting and double minor in Business and Film Production. Mary Rachel created her own film production company, Kalliste Zoe Productions, to explore, capture, and share the wondrous beauties in life through film and storytelling. She has developed many of her own independent projects including music videos, parodies, comedic shorts, episodics and mid length films. Mary Rachel truly feels at home when creating, whether she is in front of or behind the camera and is eager to contribute her talents as well as collaborate professionally with others in the entertainment industry.

Maya Reddy

Panels: Gaysian: Queer Asian Representation in the Media; The Politics of Representation; Responsibility of Media Makers

Maya Reddy is a queer South Asian professional golfer. She wrote and extensively researched the implications of queer representation on legislation for her undergraduate thesis, and is an active member of the non-profit LGBT organizations Athlete Ally, and OutWOD. She also spent 3 years working in Hollywood on the development side with the Mark Gordon Company and Night & Day Pictures. Passionate about fighting for queer and female inclusivity in sports as well as raising awareness about Asian and Queer Asian issues.

Megan Smith

Panels: A Safe Place: Self Defense for Women and LGBTQ+ Persons; Identity 101: Understanding the Terminology

Multiple Professional Karate Commission State and National Champion with a passion for teaching women and people in the LGBTQ+ spectrum how to defend themselves in everyday situations.

Mey Valdivia Rude

Panel: Latinx Representation in the Media: Invisible Latinx – ClexaCon Edition; Transgender Representation in the Media

Mey Valdivia Rude is a trans Latina lesbian who has been writing about trans issues, pop culture and trans representation in media since she came out. She’s the Trans Editor at Autostraddle.com and has written and spoken across the Internet and the country.

Michelle Lopez

Panel: Fact and Science Fiction Podcast

Michelle is an engineer, podcaster, TV recapper, and semi-professional fangirl who loves philosophical debates about TV. She cohosts a Wynonna Earp podcast, There’s Something in the Heir, and is always available for discussions about Clarke Griffin and her people, why the Earp sisters should run electricity to the homestead, and why Root is most definitely still alive.

Michelle Tavarez

Panel: Online Harrassment and Safety

Michelle Tavarez is a Sergeant with LVMPD and has worked for the department for the last 14 years. She is currently assigned to the Academy Staff within the Organizational Development Bureau, and works in an auxiliary capacity with the Crisis Negotiation Team. Sgt. Tavarez has previously worked such assignments as Missing Persons, Sexual Assault, Mounted Patrol, and Recruiting. She has been married to her wife for the past 6 years. They currently have three children and are expecting their fourth in June.

Michon Neal

Panel: How to Write Cuil

Michón Neal is an impossible black alien Othergender Dragon who tattoos trees with the queerest most sinister ink and hurts all the time. Michón is a public speaker and accountability counselor at Postmodern Woman, a sensitivity editor and Founder of Cuil Press, and a published author and creator of Cuil Fiction.

Mindy Gulati

Panel: Bias in the Media and Stereotype Threat: You Are What You Watch

Mindy Gulati is an attorney, a diversity and inclusion consultant, and equity advocate. Mindy is a change-maker: her legal knowledge and practical business advice offers companies and organizations growth potential and risk minimization. By opening minds to the value of inclusive work places and awareness of bias, she gives her clients and their talent the tools to open new doors of opportunity and growth.

Mona Elyafi

Panel: Diversity & Inclusion Today: How to Develop PR Campaigns that Foster an Inclusive Communications Culture

Mona Elyafi is the founder and CEO of ILDK Media, a boutique Public Relations company specializing in Entertainment & LGBTQ publicity & marketing campaigns. With over 20 years of experience in the field, Elyafi’s portfolio includes The Dinah Shore Weekend, tello films, Marlene Forte (The Fosters), Filmmakers Marina Rice Bader, Nicole Cohn, Francisco Lorite, and transgender activist Michaela Mendelsohn (Transcanwork.org), to name a few.

Morgan Clapp

Panel: Feeling Backward: Losing and Memorializing Queer Female Characters

Morgan is a PhD student in Communications at Georgia State University. Her research focus is representation on television, especially the intersection of gender, race, and sexuality. When she’s not writing 20 page papers, she’s talking about television with her friends, playing video games, and smashing the patriarchy.

Mike Royce

Panel: It Takes a Village: Allies in the Media; One Day at a Time

A former standup comedian and longtime TV writer/producer, Mike wrote for six seasons on the Emmy-winning Everybody Loves Raymond. He later co-created the Peabody Award-winning Men of a Certain Age with Ray Romano. Most recently, he had the immense pleasure of developing and showrunning the new, acclaimed update of Norman Lear’s One Day at a Time for Netflix with Gloria Calderon Kellett.

Nadia Mohebban

Panel: Girl Ship TV

Nadia Mohebban is an actress best known for her queer roles on Unfortunatly Ashly, and Project Inferno.

NancyLee Myatt

Panels: Pitch to Production Presented by Tello Films, Part 1; Creating an Original Web Series

Nancylee Myatt is a writer/producer for television and the web. Television writing and producing highlights include Night Court, Living Single and Social Studies. She also wrote the Nikki and Nora pilot for UPN and served as showrunner & Co-Executive Producer for seasons 1 & 2 of South of Nowhere. She earned an Emmy for Disney’s animated show Teacher’s Pet where she served as writer/producer. With her wife, Paige Bernhardt, and their production company MyHardt, she created, wrote and produced three hit web-series: 3 Way, Cowgirl Up and Nikki & Nora: The N&N Files for Tello Films. Myatt is currently developing several TV and web pilots and promises that none of the lesbian characters will be randomly killed.

Nicole Espinosa

Panels: All in the Family, The Art of Vidding; Gaysian: Queer Asian Representation in the Media; Lexa’s Legacy

Nicole is an undergraduate at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas studying Gender and Sexuality Studies and Sociology. Her research is in queer fandoms as spaces of creative resistance, healing, and community utilizing Asian-American, Black, and Chicanx feminisms as theoretical frameworks. In her spare time, she binge-reads Clexa and SupeReignCorp trash and karaokes at dive bars in the desert. Her latest obsession is bullet journaling.

Nicole Kimberling

Panel: Labels: Why We Need Them – Or Do We?

Nicole Kimberling’s first novel, Turnskin, won the Lambda Literary Award for Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror. She is also the author of the Bellingham Mystery Series, creator of the fiction podcast Lauren Proves Magic is Real! and editor of Blind Eye Books.

Nicole Pacent

Panels: Anyone But Me: Ten Years Later, Bisexual Representation in the Media, LGBTQ Actresses

Nicole Pacent is an out bisexual actress, singer, writer, and host, best known for her role as ‘Aster’ on the web series Anyone But Me (now on Hulu). With a long history of activism and advocacy within the LGBTQ community, Pacent has been featured in multiple lesbian publications, and has written for AfterEllen.com and Curve Magazine. Following her sister’s sudden passing three years ago, she began The Nicole Show on YouTube, which she has used as a vehicle to spread awareness and host discussions about important issues ranging from mental health to LGBTQ rights. For more information on Nicole, please visit iamnicolepacent.com

Nikki Daurio

Panel: Poor Queer Representation and How it Affects Mental Health

Daurio is currently a junior at Harvard University studying Cognitive Neuroscience and Evolutionary Biology with a secondary in Film. To combat depression and self-harm, she created an Instagram and Facebook blog called Stopping the Stigma, where real people can share their stories in the hopes of inspiring others and normalizing the conversation surrounding mental health. From there, Daurio helped start a non-profit called Green Ribbon Club and hopes to make a positive change in the world.

Paige Bernhardt

Panel: Creating an Original Web Series; Pitch to Production Presented by Tello Films, Part 1

Paige Bernhardt is a writer/producer for television and the web. Television writing and producing credits include Two Guys and A Girl, Yes Dear, What About Joan? and South of Nowhere. She also produced the documentary series The Ride: 7 Days to End AIDS and Rollergirls. She and wife Nancylee Myatt moved to New Orleans in 2010 where through their production company, MyHardt, they produced Nikki & Nora: The N&N Files for Tello Films. Other Tello Films webseries include 3 Way and Cowgirl Up. Bernhardt is currently working on the 4th season of NCIS: New Orleans for CBS.

Patricia Rae

Panel: Diversity & Inclusion Today: How to Develop PR Campaigns that Foster an Inclusive Communications Culture

Know for her memorable supporting role in the Oscar nominated HBO feature film Maria Full of Grace, which earned her an Imagen Award nomination, Patricia Rae also starred in the Lionsgate feature film The Big Wedding. Rae shared the screen with an impressive ensemble cast including Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton, Susan Sarandon, Katherine Heigl, Topher Grace, Robin Williams and Amanda Seyfried, to name a few.

Rachael Hip-Flores

Panel: Anyone But Me: Ten Years Later

For her work on Anyone But Me, Rachael received the IAWTV, Streamy and Indie Soap Award for Best Lead Actress in a Dramatic Web series. Hip-Flores has also been nominated for her work in Tina Cesa Ward’s Good People in Love and Producing Juliet, and can be seen in several videos produced and distributed by BuzzFeed Motion Pictures. Her most recent on-camera work, the short film Not If, But When, is currently making the festival rounds and she is helping develop the political drama series Liberty Falls this coming year. When not in front of the camera, she is a creative partner of Flux Theatre Ensemble, a freelance researcher, and an active napper.

Rachel Chapman

Panel: Countering the Impact of Heteronormative and Cissexist Media on Young People

Rachel Chapman is a lecturer in early childhood education at RMIT University. She has been a practitioner in a range of preschools and childcare settings. She is currently in the final stages of completing a PhD on early childhood educators’ understanding of gender and how this impacts on young children’s emerging gender identities. Her research, A case study of gendered play in kindergartens: How early childhood educators’ perceptions of gender influence children’s play, has been published in a peer-reviewed international journal.

Rachel Paulson

Panel: Gay vs. Straight Bitches

Rachel Paulson was born in the small town of Eustis, Fl. but she tells everyone Orlando, since no one knows where Eustis is. The youngest sister in the Paulson clan, (Sarah Paulson American Crime Story and Liz Paulson, SVP of casting at Fox), acting and writing is in her blood, as she grew up acting in plays with her older sisters.

Rae D. Magdon

Panel: Sapphic Fan Fiction: Resistance, Healing, and Community

Rae D. Magdon is a writer of queer and lesbian fiction. She believes everyone deserves to see themselves fall in love and become a hero: especially lesbians, bisexual women, trans women, and women of color. She has published over eleven novels through Desert Palm Press, and is the recipient of a 2016 Rainbow Award (Fantasy/Sci-Fi) and a twice-nominated GCLA finalist (Fantasy/Sci-Fi). In addition to her novels and short stories, she has written a fictional podcast, Room 13, and is putting together a queer webseries. When she isn’t working on original projects, she spends her time writing fanfiction for Clexa, The Legend of Korra, Wynonna Earp, and Mass Effect.

Rebecca Barrick

Panels: Queer Lady Business; Wynonna Earp Fan Panel

Rebecca Barrick is the co-founder and Canadian half of Fangirl Shirts, a company that makes awesome shirts by, for, and about awesome women. A love of strong female characters and positive LGBTQ representation in television and movies has morphed her into a semi-professional fangirl.

Rebecca Hall

Panel: (I’m Queer and…) Intersectionality and Why It’s Important; Queer Women of Color Representation in the Media; Xena, Gabriel and Their Legacy

Rebecca Hall, JD, PhD is an attorney, historian, published author and life long activist. She has taught at Berkeley, U.C. Santa Cruz and U of Utah on intersectionality, critical race feminism, law and history. She is an African American lesbian, a mother and a direct descendant of slaves.

Rebecca Shoptaw

Panel: Creating Your Own LGBTQ+ Representation on YouTube

Rebecca Shoptaw is a college student (Yale ’18) and the creator of a number of award-winning tender LGBTQ+ short films on YouTube, along with the critically-acclaimed LGBTQ+ web series Middlemarch: The Series. More than anything, she is determined to continue creating the positive LGBTQ+ representation she so desperately wants to see.

Reign G.

Panel: (I’m Queer and…) Intersectionality and Why it Matters, Queer Black Representation in the Media, Anyone But Me: Ten Years Later

Reign is a nerd by trade, geek at heart. She is the editor and co-founder of Latinx Geeks, and has been a writer/reviewer for NiceGirlsTV, AfterEllen, and other online publications. When she is not advocating for more diverse representation in media, or lecturing someone on animal health care/rights, she spends her time watching obscure LGBTQ* films, reading, or playing video games (when her crew of furbabies allow it).

Rin L.

Panel: How to Use YouTube as a Platform 2.0

Australian youtuber. Reaction videos with a side of gaming. Small and shouty.

Robin Lowey

Panel: Game Changers – How These Outliers Impacted Queer Culture

Robin Lowey was born into a family of artists and designers. Her success in designing award-winning design work & creating effective strategies all stem from her passion for graphic design. She founded Epochalips.com – Smart Lesbian Commentary and has been editor and creative director since 2010. Her writing has appeared in Epochalips, Lesbian.com and More magazine. She was creative director of Girlfriends Magazine, and as a member of the LGBT Speakers Bureau, she has been invited into the local high schools to help dispel myths about LGBT people.

Robyn Vie Carpenter-Brisco

Panel: Diversity & Inclusion Today: How to Develop PR Campaigns that Foster an Inclusive Communications Culture

Robyn, aka The Lesbian Socialite, began her publishing career at Essence Magazine more than 20 years ago. After spending time in Condé Nast Publishing’s hallways, she wrote her successful The Lesbian Socialite lifestyle column for Out Front Colorado in her hometown of Denver. Throughout her career, Robyn has covered red carpets for high-profile events and encouraged volunteering and nonprofit giving through the motto “partying with the purpose”. Her marriage to her ‘wusband’ Veronica was featured in the New York Times. Robyn has written for curvemag.com, Desert Outlook magazine and was a contributor to the Huffington Post Queer Voices blog.

Rolla Selbak

Panel: Creative Activism; Lights, Camera, ACTION! – The Importance of Lesbian/Queer Films and Web Series

Rolla Selbak is a Sundance 2017 filmmaker, and a triple-minority in the film industry: a queer, Muslim-American woman. Her most recent credits include co-producing American Paradise, a reflection of a desperate man in today’s America, and helming the internationally-acclaimed feature film Three Veils, a first of its kind to confront homosexuality within the Muslim-American subculture. She is also the creator of the virally popular online series, Kiss Her I’m Famous, which satirizes our culture’s relationship with fame. Through the San Francisco Women’s Film Institute leadership team, she’s involved in initiatives specifically geared towards nurturing a generation of young female filmmakers. Selbak’s latest project, A Day With a Muslim, a social experimental docu-series where she brings unlikely groups of people together.

Roz Bellamy

Panel: Countering the Impact of Heteronormative and Cissexist Media on Young People

Roz Bellamy is an Australian-based freelance writer and high school English teacher. She has written for Archer Magazine, Daily Life, Everyday Feminism, Going Down Swinging, Kill Your Darlings, SBS and Seizure, and her writing was shortlisted for the 2014 Scribe Nonfiction Prize. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Technology, Sydney, and a Master of Teaching from Monash University.

Sage Anastasi

Panel: Quantify Your Gays: The Statistics of Queer Death in TV

Sage Anastasi is a third year student at the University of Otago, New Zealand, double-majoring in Statistics and Communication Studies. He got introduced to statistics through the local science fair, which he won twice at ages 12 and 16. When the Bury Your Gays trope started gaining notoriety in 2016, he turned his independent research skills towards looking for hard evidence that the spike in the number of deaths was unusual – and he found it! Alongside his studies he also works for Mirror Services, a local mental health NGO, as a youth representative and policy adviser.

Sally Heaven

Panels: Empowerment Through Fandom; Queer Lady Business; Wynonna Earp Fan Panel

Sally Heaven is a co-founder of Fangirl Shirts. They make awesome shirts by, for and about awesome women while donating a portion of proceeds to nonprofits working to make the world a better place for girls and women.

Sam Campbell

Panels: Decolonizing the LGBTQ Sphere: Indigenous Queer Representation in Media; Identity 101: Understanding the Terminology

Sam Campbell holds three National Phi Rho Pi speaking awards and uses their platform to raise awareness in the community about race, gender, and sexuality. As an indigenous student Sam dedicates their time to advocating for indigenous rights and the removal of indigenous imagery from logos. Sam is two spirit and is hoping to raise representation for the two spirit community in the media.

    Shannan Leigh Reeve

    Panel: Producing a Low-Budget Indie Project; Venice: The Making of a Web Series

    Shannan Leigh Reeve is a filmmaker, writer, editor, producer, actress and cinemetographer. She is the co-owner of Beleeve Entertainment, which she co-founded in order to give a voice to stories that need to be told. Recent projects include the feature film Penumbra (awarded Best Screenplay at Chelsea Film Festival), the short rom-com Speed Date, and The Visit, a short that aimed to give lesbian protagonists a happier ending than those that were being depicted in movies and television series at the time. Shannan is currently in development on a web series, two narrative features, and three new short films for Beleeve.

    Sharon Belle

    Panel: Swerve: The Web Series

    Born and raised in Keswick Ontario, Sharon Belle moved to Toronto to study Acting on Film and Television at Humber College. Since then, she has been in numerous web series including Streamy-nominated Couple-ish and three seasons of Canadian Screen Award-winning Carmilla. Belle is known for her starring role of Elise in the series Swerve directed by Jason Armstrong, where she recently took on the role of producer. She has also starred in many shorts and feature films including the award winning short Fuck Buddies directed by Nate Wilson and her up-coming feature The Control directed by Mike Stasko.

    Sheila Allen

    Panel: Swerve: The Web Series

    Sheila Allen was born in Germany, being raised as an Army brat she has seen quite a few locations she has called home through her life. Currently she resides in Savannah, Georgia and hopes to still see more of the world. Sheila has spent the majority of her career in IT and computer technology. Season two of Swerve is Sheila’s first foray into producing.

    Shelbie Cohen

    Panel: LGBT Fans Deserve Better Presents: TV Scoring; Where are Older LGBTQ Characters?

    Shelbie is an engineer, military veteran and contributor to the LGBT Fans Deserve Better organization. An important part of her work is participating in gathering statistics and scoring canon f/f representation in a variety of TV shows. This provides the organization and community with clear numbers to help illustrate the discrepancies of representation in media.

    Sofia Rojas

    Panel: How to Use YouTube as a Platform 2.0

    A reactor from Toronto, Canada that fangirls over all things f/f. Rojas has reacted to Supergirl, Wynonna Earp, The 100, and ‘fan made’ videos and is to be back at ClexaCon!

    Somer Rutledge

    Panels: Identity 101: Understanding the Terminology; Safe Place: I’m Coming Out

    Somer Rutledge takes the utmost pride in being called a fangirl. As a queer woman, she primarily takes part in fandoms that cater to open minded individuals. Having attended Atlanta’s famed Dragon Con for the past 6 years she has recently started to branch out and focus more on LGBTQ-related conventions. A professional pet caregiver, she currently lives in North Carolina with her many furry and scaled family members.

    Stacy Calvert

    Panels: ClexaCon Film Festival Filmmakers

    Stacy Jill Calvert is a Media Maker/Artist from Los Angeles, CA. She works in several mediums including digital media, film and television and her work focuses on themes of family and identity. She is currently working on her second narrative short film, “The Bra Mitzvah” and her first feature-length documentary called “Jake, Janie & Me”.

    Steph Ouaknine

    Panels: It Takes a Village: Allies in the Media; Lights, Camera, ACTION! – The Importance of Lesbian/Queer Films and Web Series

    Steph Ouaknine is an award-winning producer specializing in digital-first features and series, branded content, and fan engagement. All of her films and digital series feature queer characters driving the narrative, which is something she’s passionate about. It’s time to write ourselves back in the canon. Steph has co-created, developed and produced Carmilla, the award-winning multi-platform series that ran for 108 episodes and spawned a global and engaged community. Steph’s entrepreneurial spirit and passion for the future of television has landed her a spot in the Canadian Media Producers’ Association ‘New Generation of Producers’ list. She has spoken at WIFT-T, British Film Institute, TIFF, OnScreen Manitoba, Buffer Festival, New York Comic Con and Toronto Fan Expo.

    Steph ‘Orange’ Jay

    Panels: All in the Family, Behind the Voices

    Easily manipulated by food, spends a lot of time crying over TV shows, and maybe a bit high sodium; Orange is an avid lover of all things geek. When she’s not punching people for fun in a dojo, she’s shipping the nice one with the grumpy one in as many anime, sci-fi, and comic book-based shows that she can consume within a 24 hour period.

    Susan Miller

    Panel: Anyone But Me: Ten Years Later

    Susan Miller is a two-time OBIE Award winner and Guggenheim Playwriting Fellow. She was a Consulting Producer/Writer on Showtime’s The L Word and ABC’s ThirtySomething. She and producing/writing partner Tina Cesa Ward won the Writers Guild of America Award for their hit Indie web series, Anyone But Me with over 50 million views worldwide. Miller, nominated for the WGA Award again in 2016, also created the branded web series Best Sellers and her latest play, 20th Century Blues starring Polly Draper, just completed a successful off-Broadway run.

    Susan SurfTone

    Panels: Diversity & Inclusion Today: How to Develop PR Campaigns that Foster an Inclusive Communications Culture; The Politics of Representation

    SurfTone is a retro rock guitarist and vocalist with several CDs released over the years, playing mostly surf and rockabilly music with a modern edge. Also a lawyer and a former Special Agent for the FBI, she writes political columns mostly for The Advocate and appeared on several LGBTQ podcasts and in many LGBTQ publications.

    Terre Steed

    Panel: Crossplay!

    Terre is an award-winning makeup, hair, and costume designer for print, TV, and film. His passion for superheroes and design has no bounds and has spilled over into the world of cosplay.

    Tina Cesa Ward

    Panel: Anyone But Me: Ten Years Later

    Tina Cesa Ward is one of the most awarded writer/directors working on the web today. Tina’s work has been hailed by DIGIDAY as “a new milestone for online video series.” She won the first-ever Writers Guild Award for Original New Media for the immensely popular Anyone But Me, which has over 50 million views and can be streamed on Hulu, Amazon Prime, Fullscreen, and YouTube. Ward also won an International Academy of Web TV Award for Best Directing in a Drama and later an IAWTV Award for Writing in a Drama for producing Juliet. Recently, Tina has been busy as a comic book writer and the Chair of the International Academy of Web TV.

    Toni Taiwo

    Panel: How to Use YouTube as a Platform 2.0

    Hi I’m Toni. I started reacting in May 2016. I also have a podcast called Reactors Review where I break down episodes from a reactors point of view.

    Valerie Anne

    Panel: Wynonna Earp Fan Panel, Super Girl/SuperCorp Meetup

    Valerie Anne is a TV Writer and Social Media Co-Editor at Autostraddle, recapping shows like Wynonna Earp, Orphan Black, Supergirl and more. One time Emily Andras rated one of her recaps an A-, saying, “Beautifully written…could use two more boob jokes.”

    Valerie Complex

    Panels: Attack on Titan; (I’m Queer and…) Intersectionality and Why it Matters; Korrasami is Still a Breath of Fresh Air

    Valerie Complex, is a military veteran, freelance writer and professional nerd. As a lover of Japanese animation, comics, and all things film, she is passionate about diversity across all entertainment mediums. Along with being a writer for Black Girl Nerds and an approved Rotten Tomatoes film critic, she has written for well-known sites such as The Nerdist, The Mary Sue, IGN, Geek & Sundry, and many others.

    Vanessa Piazza

    Panels: Lost Girl Reunion; Pitch to Production: Presented by Tello Films, Part 2; Queering the Room; TV Production with Vanessa Piazza

    Piazza has worked with top creators/showrunners in the television business, including Michelle Lovretta (Lost Girl/Killjoys), Emily Andras (Lost Girl/Wynnona Earp), Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie (Stargate/Dark Matter) and Michael Grassi (Lost Girl/Supergirl/Riverdale). In addition to her television credits, Piazza recently produced the feature film The Other Half starring Tatiana Maslany, in association with Motel Pictures and JoBro Productions.

    Winny Clarke

    Panel: Swerve: The Web Series

    Winny Clarke is passionate about three things: acting, animals and spreading love! With eight feature films and multiple tv shows that have aired around North America and Europe under her belt, she’s recently made the leap into stand-up comedy!

    Zara Barrie

    Panels: Let’s Get Cliterate; Let’s Talk About It: A Mental Health Workshop; Queer Lady Business, Queer Representation in the Media and How it Affects Mental Health; Speed Pitching

    Zara Barrie is a The Executive Editor of GO Magazine, one of the most widely distributed lesbian magazines in the nation. She’s the former Senior Sex & Dating writer at the popular digital publication, Elite Daily. At Elite Daily Zara founded, edited and oversaw Elite Daily Queer Culture, the website’s first ever LGBTQ+ vertical. She’s a board member of The Stonewall Inn Gives Back Initiative, a non-profit that works tirelessly to help the underserved youth of the LGBTQ community. Her work has been picked up by Cosmo, The Huffington Post, The Real, The View, The Talk and The Sex With Emily Podcast.