2019 Steering Committee

Founder and Board Chair, Conference Chair

Joe_LeBlanc-1_webJoe LeBlanc is a polyamorous Cajun qenderqueer butch who believes in personal story-telling as a significant method for people to share experiences and solidify a better understanding about LGBTQ identities, issues, and concerns. He finds joy in producing and fostering authentic connections, bringing his big butch woo wherever he goes.

Joe is a community organizer who lives in Portland, Oregon, where he serves as the Board Chair for PDX Bad Girls. He is a prior recipient of the Pride in Action Award with Pride Northwest in 2011, and was honored as a Queer Hero by the Gay and Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest in 2016. Joe has developed and presented workshops at various conferences on issues around identity, community building, event planning, and advocating for trans-inclusive health care. He also enjoys road trips, coffee, taking way too many pictures, and a wide variety of music. Joe can usually be found wearing a bow tie and with a clipboard in his hand.

Board Member, Media Chair

Evolve Benton (pronouns: they, them, theirs, or their name) is the Equity and Inclusion Program Manager at the UCSF School of Medicine. In this role, Evolve provides advising, mentoring, and supporting students. They will also develop and implement programs and curriculum that focus on issues such as social justice and activism, community building, and cultural competency. Evolve was most recently the Assistant Director to both the Multicultural and LGBT Resource Centers at UCSF. Evolve identifies as a black, queer, boi (born obviously incredible). Evolve is a prominent social & racial justice educator, writer, and consultant from Los Angeles, CA. Evolve was welcome to the University of California, San Francisco family in October of 2015 where they served as the Programming Manager for UCSF Student Life.

Board Member, Outreach Chair

Carolyn Wysinger works in the LGBTQ community in a plethora of capacities. As a blogger, she has written for Autostraddle, Everyday Feminism, Black Girl Dangerous and Media Diversified. As an author, Carolyn published her first book, Knockturnal Emissions in 2013. She has also been published in the Sinister Wisdom Literary Journal, and the anthologies Near Kin and Louisiana in Words.

Carolyn has participated in BUTCH Voices as a presenter since 2010, and joined the BUTCH Voices board in 2014. She has served on the steering committee for Black Lesbians United and the board for the NIA Gathering for Same Gender Loving Women of African Descent. In the area of politics, she is the former commissioner of Human Rights & Relations for the City of Richmond. Carolyn currently sits on the Executive Board of the Lambda Democratic Club of Contra Costa County and is one of the founding members of the Black Dems of Contra Costa County.

Carolyn has facilitated workshops at Black Lesbians United, BLAQout Conference, and Gender Spectrum. She is a faculty member at Richmond High School, where she teaches English and African-American Literature, while also serving as advisor for their Black Student Union, the Majorette Squad, and the LGBTQ Student club. As a Masculine of Center model, Carolyn has modeled for Saint Harridan, Dapper Boi, and Kirrin Finch. She has walked the runway for Queer Fashion Week, and is featured in Meg Allen’s photo book, BUTCH. Her latest adventures include being the host of the black queer podcast, The C-Dubb Show.

Board Member, Youth Outreach Chair

Michelle Dixon is an Afro Latina butch lesbian of Panamanian descent, born in Miami but raised in California.  Michelle has worked in the construction industry as a Project Manager for 19 years in and around the Bay Area.  She is an author, public speaker, podcaster and entrepreneur.  She spends her free time angling waters wherever the current flows, spending time with family or calling out blatant injustices on any one of the social media platforms.

Volunteer Chair

Jackson Reinagel is a storyteller, traveler and activist who recently left the Navy to follow his heart and be surrounded by other queer and trans people. After finishing a B.A. in Gender, LGBTQ, and Peace and Conflict Studies, he hopes to continue at the University of Colorado in a Master’s program that teaches media activism for promoting social justice and peace-building. Jackson’s interests include breaking down the gender binary, ending sexual violence, and using his new white male privilege to dismantle white supremacy.

Performance Chair

Damnyo Lee is an Los Angeles native. Born and raised. She’s been performing poetry and spoken word since 2001, within that time, she’s performed at many universities, festivals, schools, radio shows, podcasts, slams, and poetry events all over the country. Damnyo is also a decorated U.S. Navy Sailor, serving since 2011. Her experience doesn’t only include just performing, she has hosted several Los Angeles open mic venues, produced and curated numerous shows, retreats, and festivals; including: Elements, El le Mental Sol, BLU, and the Damn Slam. Damnyo was Slam Master/Coach for the LA Slam Team in 2006 and Slam Master/Team Member of the Damn Slam in 2010 – 2012. The Damn Slam has been featured in the Los Angeles Times. Currently, Damnyo is host and producer of the film podcast “The Wrap Party.”

Programming Chair

Jaye Kesler-Walls is a Butch heavy equipment operator, abstract expressionist artist, social activist, film maker enthusiast, and a proud parent of 5 adopted siblings. Born and raised in Texas, Jaye moved to Seattle, WA in 2002 after receiving a B.A. in Fine Art/Art History. Jaye has been involved with BUTCH Voices since the beginning, organizing art shows, presenting workshops and coordinating the conference programming. Jaye enjoys creating art in a variety of mediums, including photography, drawing, painting, and mixed media. Jaye’s art work encompasses a variety of subject matters and ideas including the concept of evolving identity through a series of self portraits created over the last 20 years. Jaye has volunteered as the Operations Manager and House Manager for the Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival from 2002 to 2017. Jaye has also created two short films Super Speed, presented at the 2006 SLGFF, and On the Cutting Edge, which was featured at the 2010 Seattle Erotic Art Festival. After spending 7 years as a stay at home parent, Jaye started a new career as heavy equipment operator and is living the dream.

Sponsor/Vendor Chair

Mo Pritchard is an all-round gentlebutch, who puts hys energy into a variety of organisations including the Glide Pride Team in the role of fundraiser and logistics coordinator; the Citadel where hy is fast getting a reputation for quality education on the newbie nights; and at IMsLBB, the bootlounge wouldn’t be the same with you hym. Hy has been a drag show organizer and stage manager, vendor outreach and organization for events and educator.

Accessibility & Awareness Chair

Julia Cohen is a Butch-loving Femme who is passionate about Access and all things Butch, and is proud to be joining Butch Voices as Accessibility Chair. Julia is Director of Accessibility Services at Mills College in Oakland, CA, where more than half the student population identifies as Queer and at least 30% of students have a disability.

She brings more than a decade of experience working in Disability Services and is fortunate to have worked with diverse student and client populations in a variety of educational contexts. Before joining Mills, Julia was a Disability Specialist at the University of California, Berkeley. She has taught courses on Disability, Literature, and Composition at several colleges in the United States and abroad. Julia is a proud alumna of UC Berkeley, where she earned her master’s degree in English and continues to research Disability and higher education as they relate to issues of social justice.

Julia is also a book collector, and maintains a quaint archive of ephemera, periodicals and books on Butch (et al.)

Media Team Member

Tootie is a masculine of center, lesbian woman of mixed ethnicities born and raised in the bay area of Northern California. She is a foodie, animal lover, and sci-fi fanatic. She received a B.A. in Digital Media Arts from Cal State Dominguez Hills and is a multimedia designer based in the bay area. She specializes in graphic design, sign production, video editing, audio editing, and web design. She has done graphic design work for BUTCH Voices and the Brown Boi Project. Tootie holds high enthusiasm for gender justice and finds it important to build community among LGBTQ folks. She is passionate about digital media art and helping to share important information and advocate for the community through multimedia.

Graphic Designer

Audrey Gilles grew up in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. A tomboy, a misfit that didn’t fit in with either the boys or the girls, not to mention one of only five Jewish families in town, she left as soon as possible. Audrey spent her formative years in New York City in the early 80’s and stayed for the next 20 years. She moved to the Bay Area in 2005 continuing a long career in marketing until transitioning to design and property management ten years later. Audrey identifies creatively first, and from a gender perspective as a tweener. She finds herself attracted to the stories, experiences, and energy of masculine women.