Jack Alcantara – Advisory Council (he)
Jack Alcantara has been a facilitator and presenter at Gender Odyssey since 2006. He was born and raised in Santa Cruz County by his parents who are originally from Mexico City. Jack’s parents and extended family have all been extremely supportive of his transition and often attend various speaking engagements locally to talk about family acceptance during the transition process.
Jack received his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from San Diego State University in 2001. Shortly thereafter he studied abroad in Madrid, Spain, for a year. Upon returning to San Francisco to start law school at the age of 25 he also began his transition. Jack received his Juris Doctorate from Monterey College of Law in 2010 and is currently in the process of passing the CA BAR Exam to become a lawyer. Jack currently works as a criminal defense investigator for a public defender’s office. Jack is also a licensed private investigator in CA. Jack is an active volunteer in his community, and has also been a Court Appointed Child Advocate, a role to which he was court appointed to mentor young boys who are wards of the court due to abuse and neglect in their homes.
Michele Angello – Advisory Council (she)
Dr. Michele Angello works with gender-variant youth as well as adults. She offers individual, couples, group, and family therapy, as well as corporate education and training on a variety of issues concerning sexuality and has presented internationally on her work with transgender, gender-variant, and gender-nonconforming youth. She facilitates several monthly support groups for transgender adults, youth, and parents and offers sessions to people around the world via webcam. Dr. Angello has appeared as a guest expert on Dr. Phil, Larry King Live, The Tyra Banks Show, ABC Primetime, Dr. Oz, and many other television shows and documentaries. She is also an adjunct professor in the graduate program of human sexuality at Widener University, and developed the first graduate course in the U.S. that focuses on clinical issues in transgender communities. Her private practice is in Pennsylvania.
Huddle Blakefield – Administrative Assistant and Parent Support Coordinator (she)
Huddle is the administrative assistant to Aidan Key and the parent support coordinator at Gender Diversity. She helps facilitate the parent support groups, sets up school trainings and conducts parent intakes. In her former life, she was a dental assistant working with individuals going through cancer treatment but most recently a stay-at-home mom. She is a fierce mama-bear when it comes to her trans son & and a reticent but committed activist. Her free time is spent quilting, crafting, hanging out with her family & loving on her dogs.
Jeanette Borunda, LCSW – Advisory Council (she)
As a queer woman of color, Jeanette focuses her activism and her work around issues dear to her heart. She believes in anti-oppressive spaces in order to create safe learning environments for staff, clients, patients, and friends. As a social worker, trainer, and therapist, Jeanette advocates for gender warriors, intersections of identities, military veterans, and healing trauma work.
Evelyn Dickinson – Tech Goddess (she)
Evelyn soldered her first Heathkit H89 PC together back in the days of disco. After a storied career with Commodore Amiga as a wunderkind and a stint for bad behavior at the University of South Florida, she launched her information technology consultancy, the Logical Alternative, with her wife Melissa. She took a few years off for a position with a multibillion retailer as Chief Information and Security Officer.
Evelyn’s hobbies include vegetarian cooking, travel, and burning down the cis/het patriarchy. She’s available in select stores wherever fine wines and rare birds are sold.
Melissa Dickinson – Web and Graphic Designer (she)
Melissa moved to the Seattle area from Tampa, Florida ten years ago. She’s a graduate of Ringling College of Art and Design and George Washington University, and helps run Logical Alternative, a technology consulting company, with her wife Evelyn. In addition to studying history, spoiling her pets, making music videos, and helping to build resources for the trans community, she currently spends her “free” time trying her best to follow her mom’s advice: wake up, kick ass, be kind, repeat.
Jaime Grant – Advisory Council (she)
Jaime Grant is the executive director of the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership at Kalamazoo College. With Jack Harrison and Jody L. Herman, she co-authored “A Gender Not Listed Here: Genderqueers, Gender Rebels, and OtherWise in the National Transgender Discrimination Survey,” published in the 2012 Harvard Kennedy School’s LGBTQ Policy Journal. Previously, she served as director of the Policy Institute at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.
She holds a Ph.D. in women’s studies from the Union Institute. For six years she directed the Union Institute’s Center for Women, the nation’s only academic women’s center dedicated to collaborations between scholars and activists. Her articles on transformational organizations and coalition work have been published in major academic journals and anthologies.
Grant has offered a course in social movements at Georgetown University and workshops on gender expression and sexuality at Whitman Walker’s Lesbian Services Program and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s Creating Change Conference. She has served as a program designer and facilitator for the Ford Foundation’s signature leadership program, Leadership for a Changing World, at the Advocacy Institute.
Nazia Junejo – Advisory Council (she)
Nazia is a thoughtful and compassionate person who is also the mother of three beautiful children. Her eldest daughter is trans and her youngest was born with a heart condition. Nazia is an equity advocate for social justice and trans rights. Her passion for changing hearts and minds began within her own family and continues to spread to the communities around her. She works in the Edmonds School District, volunteers as a Community Advisory Board member for Seattle Children’s Gender Clinic and will soon start her graduate program in education. Nazia was born in Pakistan and she has strong connections to her Muslim community in the “North End.” She has lived in Seattle since her family moved here in the 1980s.
Aidan Key – Founder and Executive Director (he)
Aidan Key is the founder and director of Gender Diversity, an organization dedicated to providing support and educational services with respect to transgender and gender-diverse children. He leads the largest network of parent support groups in the nation and produces the longest-running annual conference for families and professionals seeking to support trans children.
Key has served as a consultant to hundreds of schools and other youth-based agencies across the United States and has provided districts with strategic planning, policy development, and staff, parent, and student education.
Key is the co-author of Trans Bodies, Trans Selves (Oxford University Press) and Gender Cognition in Transgender Children (Psychological Science). Past speaking/keynote engagements include the Children’s Justice Conference, the National Women’s Judges Conference, the Adolescent Medicine Conference, and the University of Alaska’s Power & Privilege conference. He is currently authoring a book, Trans Children in Today’s Schools (Oxford University Press), expected publication in early 2019.
The Greater Seattle Business Association honored Key as the Humanitarian of the Year (2017) and The Pride Foundation, Ingersoll Gender Center, Chicago Black Pride, Seattle Out and Proud, have praised Key’s work as well. He has often been featured in the national media, including the Oprah Winfrey Show, NPR’s Diane Rehm Show, Al Jazeera America, Larry King Live, and Fresh Air with Terry Gross.
Aleksa Manila – Advisory Council (she)
Aleksa Manila is Seattle’s Sweetheart of Drag! Drug counselor by day, drag diva by night, she holds many prestigious drag titles like Miss Gay Filipino, Miss Gay Seattle, and Empress of Seattle. She is a favorite emcee for various charitable events in the northwest, a host at queer shows at colleges and universities, a panelist at various LGB and Trans* events, and a speaker on LGB and Trans* issues. When not “in-face,” s/he is pursuing their MSW at UW and is the addiction supervisor at Seattle Counseling Service, an LGBTQ behavioral institution that offers mental health therapy and addiction treatment, including case management and group counseling.
Sam Miller – Tween Group Lead (they/them)
Sam is a transmasculine/non-binary Seattleite originally from the Midwest. Sam is very excited to take on a more active role with the Gender Diversity Tween Group after serving as a volunteer for the past year. In their spare time, Sam enjoys playing guitar, drinking too much coffee, nerding out about anything from science to Harry Potter, and hanging out with their very sassy dog. Sam is currently in the PharmD program at UW and is particularly passionate about being a possible model to the next generation of trans and gender diverse youth. Sam is also the Volunteer Coordinator for Gender Odyssey.
Kory Martin-Damon – Advisory Council (she)
Kory Martin-Damon is a dual-language adjudicator for the State of Washington Employment Security Department. She enjoys volunteering for Gender Odyssey and has done so every year since its inception. She is currently writing a fantasy novel about dual-sexed beings in a galaxy far, far away.
Nikki Neuen – Associate Director (she)
Nikki gleefully joined the Gender Diversity staff on January 1, 2017, having been part of the parent support groups and Gender Odyssey conference since 2014. She brings over 20 years of experience in administration and communications from the fields of non-profit, finance, medical administration, and academia. She is solo-parent to a trans teen, and a mad dabbler in all things arts and crafts. You also might find her volunteering at a 3DollarBill Cinema event, a civil rights rally, working with Washington Advocates for Youth Safety, or the NW Conference for Teaching Social Justice.
Asaf Orr – Advisory Council (he)
Asaf Orr joined NCLR in February 2012 as a Staff Attorney and works on issues related to families and youth. Prior to joining NCLR, Asaf was a solo practitioner in Los Angeles where he represented students in education-related matters including special education, discrimination, constitutional rights and discipline.
Asaf began his legal career as a Staff Attorney and Tom Steel Fellow at a non-profit legal services organization, where he directed the Rainbow Rights Project, a project that represents youth in education-related matters who are denied their right to an education on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity. In addition to his work on the Rainbow Rights Project, Asaf also represented students with disabilities in special education matters before the Office of Administrative Hearings and federal court.
In addition to representing parents of children, Asaf also provided trainings to students, parents, educators, health care providers, and lawyers on special education issues and the rights of LGBTQ youth in schools. He has provided those trainings in California and around the country.
After graduating magna cum laude from Rutgers School of Law in Newark in 2008, Asaf clerked for The Honorable Virginia A. Long on the Supreme Court of New Jersey.
Michael Peña – Advisory Council (he)
Michael is a social justice and civil rights advocate based in Edmonds, WA. He teaches middle school, and together with his wife, is raising three incredible humans – one of whom is trans. Michael is heavily involved in union policies and activism. Nonetheless, he and his wife are always willing to make time to drive several miles out of their way for a good street taco.
Gil Rich – Teen Program Director, Teen Group Lead, and Board member (he)
Gil oversees the Gender Diversity Teen Programs and youth support groups. He has over 15 years’ experience developing leadership and community-building programs that help youth recognize their potential. His background includes teaching within the Seattle and Atlanta public schools and serving in leadership roles with Camp Ten Trees, Lambert House, the YMCA, and the WSU-4H Challenge Programs. Gil has presented workshops on supporting trans and GNC youth at Creating Change and the HRC Time to Thrive conferences, and also facilitates transgender awareness training for corporate audiences. Gil had the unique opportunity to grow up as a gender-nonconforming kid with an identical twin who was also gender-nonconforming. Growing up knowing there was someone else like him in the world provided a foundation of self-confidence and pride that he hopes to pass on to the youth he works with.
Joshua Riverdale – Web Manager (he)
Joshua is a web developer and marketer with more than 18 years of professional experience. He has been working on the Gender Odyssey websites since 2008. That year also marked the beginning of his gender transition, which he continues to chronicle on his popular blog, Gender Outlaw. Joshua lives in rural British Columbia, Canada.
“Vatsa” Sri Sreedhara – Youth Program Manager (he)
Vatsa is an HR professional who recently relocated from India to Seattle with his husband, and started working full time with Gender Diversity in early 2018. He has always been passionate about diversity and equity, including gender, orientation, identity, disability, and intergenerational diversity. He continues to volunteer with organizations that promote social dialogue and change, and that provide resources and support to communities, in India and Seattle. He is also on the board of Trikone Northwest, a support group for queer South Asian folk in and around Seattle.
Cooper E Stodden – Little Kids Group Lead (they)
At their first Gender Diversity event in 2014, Cooper enjoyed the people so much that they resolved to hang around them as much as possible. Using various Gemini superpowers, they have succeeded! Cooper loves volunteering with Kids Play Group in Seattle for the pure joy of helping to create and getting to enjoy a little slice of kid-focused, gender-affirming heaven. In their day job, Cooper provides training and capacity building assistance to health and human service organizations with Cardea Services. Their areas of expertise include gender-affirming health systems, adolescent sexual health, and trauma-informed education.
Tai Vo – Advisory Council (they)
Tai Vo is a trans, disabled person of colour who migrated to Canada as a refugee during their childhood. Tai supervises Griffin Centre’s reachOUT program, an accessible program in Toronto, Canada, that centers the needs of trans, gender-nonconforming, two-spirit, and gender non-binary and queer youth, with a focus on newcomers, disabled folks, and people of colour. Tai also directed and produced the documentary Our Compass, which was co-written by queer and trans youth labelled with intellectual disabilities.
Kristin Wilson-Key – Parent Services Supervisor (she)
Kristin Wilson-Key is the Parent Support Services Supervisor at Gender Diversity. She serves as consultant to hundreds of parents who are new to the revolutionary act of parenting trans and gender diverse children of all ages. Kristin facilitates Gender Diversity’s parent groups, the nation’s largest and longest running network of support. In addition to parental support, Kristin leads trainings and forums for those navigating questions and concerns regarding transgender youth inclusivity.
Nadja Dee Witherbee – Teen Group Lead (she)
Nadia Dee is a graduate of the telecommunication and film department at San Diego State University. She has spent 12 years working in the film industry and became a member of the Local 600 Camera Union. She left Burbank to transition in Seattle and has volunteered for Gender Odyssey, Gender Diversity, Camp Ten Trees, and Lambert House and served on the board of directors for Ingersoll Gender Center and Camp Ten Trees. Combining her love of film and the community, Nadja Dee created SOLD: Examining the T in TV Commercials, presented at Gender Odyssey and Translations Film Festival. Currently working with the Teen Program, Nadja Dee brings her love of film and television, art, music, and special-effects film make-up to Gender Odyssey. She resides in the Pacific Northwest and can often be seen playing guitar or ukulele with her husband David and their two furry Yorkie-Poo daughters, Noe and Nico.