Joe LeBlanc is a Cajun Genderqueer Butch who is a believer in personal story-telling as a significant method for people to share experiences and solidify a better understanding about LGBTIQ identities, issues, and concerns. Joe is the Founder and Board Chair of BUTCH Voices. He has served as a member of the University of Michigan’s Spectrum Center Speakers’ Bureau and TransGender Michigan. A graduate from the Out in Front Seattle LGBTQ leadership program, he is also one of the founders and the Coordinator for Q Patrol PDX, Portland’s first ever LGBTQ community foot patrol. Joe has presented panel workshops at the 2008 Borders & Bridges Conference, the 2008 Femme Conference, and the 2009 BUTCH Voices National Conference. Joe enjoys endless conversations about gender and sexuality, interlaced with talks about pop culture and fighting prejudice.
Programming Coordinator & Curator – A Taste of BUTCH Flavor
Jay Walls is a Butch abstract expressionist artist, social activist, film maker enthusiast, and a proud parent of 5 children. Born and raised in Texas, she and her partner of 10 years moved to Seattle in 2001 after Jay received a degree in Fine Art/Art History from Texas Woman’s University. Jay enjoys creating art in a variety of mediums, including photography, drawing, painting, and mixed media. Jay’s work encompasses a variety of subject matters and ideas including the concept of her evolving identity through a series of self portraits she has created over the last 10 years. She curated the BUTCH Voices art showcase Visually Speaking at the 2009 conference in Oakland. She joined the BUTCH Voices Steering Committee as the Programming Co-Chair at the end of 2009. Currently in 2010, she is the Programming Coordinator for BV Portland and curating the art exhibition A Taste of BUTCH Flavor. Also, she is the Operations Coordinator for the Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, and she has created two short films Super Speed and On the Cutting Edge. She is currently a stay at home parent of 5 foster/adoption siblings, and has never worked harder in her life!
Assistant Programming Coordinator
Chris Burns is serious about community. Being a part of the Butch Voices programming committee has been a pleasure. Bringing important and diverse programming to community events is what Chris loves to do when not doing other kinds of activism. Previously Chris was president of Seattle University’s Trans and Allies Club. It has been a pleasure serving on the board and I hope you enjoy the conference!
Mel Heywood is a femme butch receiver stud with drag queen ambitions and power drill dreams. Mel is an artist, manager, producer, performer, wino, and ex-Mormon. She went to school in Olympia, played Lucy Van Pelt in the Vancouver, WA community theater production of ‘You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown’, and has co-directed a Chekhov play with her father. Mel is always on the prowl for new projects, and is actively seeking investors for Portland’s Next Great Lesbian/Queer Bar.
BUTCH Buffet Assistant Coordinator
Mendi Menefee is a sissy scenester butch. Originally from south Texas, she has been moving up and down the west coast for the last 10 years. Mendi has a background in animation and a foreground in poorly-planned performance art. She reads too many comic books and hates cilantro.
Renée LaChance is a native Portlander and has been a behind-the-scenes activist for queer rights since the early ’80s—though on hiatus for the past decade. Volunteering with Butch Voices is her way of wading back into the rainbow waters. As an entrepreneur, she has juggled as many as four businesses at once. She co-founded Just Out, produced concerts as Sea Turtle Productions, owned a lesbian coffee bar called Café Mocha, owned the See Vue motel on the Oregon Coast and now does green building and aging-in-place design as Sustainable Adaptations. On the personal side, Renée is a woman-identified butch Amazon virgin grandma. Ask her what the heck that means.
Comic Relief, Right Hand & Conspirator
Belinda Carroll is a Portland based stand-up comic and lapsed Baptist. She became involved with BUTCH Voices through holding one of the first fundraisers in Austin, Texas at the beginning of the organization, and subsequently seducing the founder. She has been a nactivist for 18 years and is one of the founding organizers of Portland’s Q Patrol and has worked with the Lesbian Avengers, Lesbian Community Project, NO on 9 and 13–all motivated by the intent of meeting butches. Joe is her crowning glory.
Nikki Jauron – has been an active member of the Portland queer community since 2000. Nikki is a naive Portlander, an artist and avid performer and prolific community member. She volunteers and supports many local businesses and art groups. Nikki is proud to serve as BUTCH Voices Portland Conference Volunteer coordinator for this year’s conference.
Kyle Jones is the genderqueer author of Butchtastic, a blog about his life as a suburban butch dad, the polyamorous lover of two wonderful women and a kinky, dirty-minded pervert. Along with hot erotica, Kyle writes about gender, kink, D/s and relationships. Kyle spends his off screen time playing soccer, gardening, cycling and hanging out with family and friends. Kyle and his wife of 17 years have two daughters, a fifth grader and a one year old. Drinking dark beer, having good conversations, laughing and taking naps are among his favorite activities. As a genderqueer individual, Kyle acknowledges and embraces the female and male identities within him, viewing the exploration of sexuality and gender identity as a continuous life journey. Kyle blogs at www.Butchtastic.net and can also be found cavorting on Twitter as @ButchtasticKyle
Rachel and Ben Indigo Cerise Baum is a walking miracle@15 years sober. AKA bykegrrl7nBen, visionary, pretty boi byke, alter native trans sport, cyclist, poet, writer, drummer, visual artist. Mama mountain” to C, g-parent to K. Lifelong LGBTQI activist. Trained w/ Nadia Telsey in Self Defense from the Inside Out thru Breaking Free. Studied creative writing w/Evelyn C White + Ariel Gore, (Gore said, “You are one bad ass writer”)
Earned Bachelor of Arts degree in Womens Studies, Art History minor, Queer + Gender Studies + Substance Abuse Prevention, University of Oregon. Volunteered: prevention info to Oregon jails + prisons, Disability Services Advisory Committee, Rock Camp for Girls, Write Around Portland, SHARE, Community Family Dinners + more. 2005-2010, headed up Elder Resource Alliance, (ERA). During R+B tenure, ERA won 2007 award for Innovation in Cultural + Ethnic Programming from National Association of Area Agencies on Aging. Additionally R+B seeded concept, launched annual “Gay and Grey PDX” a fun filled health, wellness, resource info event + also serves as ERA fundraiser. Worked w/ former ERA intern Dale, launched first PDX culturally specific Loaves and Fishes mealsite + w/Quince and Peg, launched VIEWS support group for LGBTQI seniors. Find R+B blog “15 Reno Winter Highway” on the road kicked out trans youth at:
Diane Young transplanted from St. Louis, Mo. to Portland, OR 20 years ago. She is the Client Relations Manager for Rasmussen BMW, where she has to do a “Rachel Maddow” transformation for work during the week. She worked on the No On 9 campaign, primarily speaking to professional groups and church groups, beginning shortly after moving to Portland. She remembers thinking “Wow, I thought this place was fairly liberal.., WTF?”
Aleks Stefanova is a poet, activist, and a full time dreamer. The creator of Q Poetry, a network for queer poets, artists, activist, and other folk she is on a journey to unite all queers through the art of poetry and spoken word in one safe but free for all zone. In July 2010, she recorded her first poetry CD titled 9 tales of love and loss. Recent Portland transplant she runs the monthly Q Poetry Night Slam that features some of the best queer artists around the nation.
Housing and Transportation Coordinator
Adrienne “Aj” Davis is a self-described geeky butch intellectual. She has spent the last 15 years working in information technology as a Linux/UNIX administrator and technical support maven. She is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in clinical lab science and hopes to do graduate work in public health or bioinformatics. She is an aficionado of jazz and blues, a lover of the satire of Terry Pratchett, an avid cyclist and home-brewer. She lives in Portland with her wife, Jaime, and their animals—a dog named Angus, three cats—Willow, Cerridwen and Liam, a bearded dragon; Gytha, and a rat, Nobby Nobbs.
Evan is a butch-about-town who currently facilitates Butch Crew PDX, a monthly gathering for people on the butch spectrum in Portland, OR. She has been active in many communities for lots of years. She has been involved in such fun organizations as Califia Community, San Diego Lesbian Organization, The Great Peace March (1986), The Exiles and Bad Girls. Evan is committed to all people being their full, wonderful selves in a world that supports this.
Aaron Bong is a Portland native and has been involved in the LGBTQ community for many years. Early on he attended the once popular youth group Windfire!, worked with Multnomah County to establish the Oregon Sexual Minority Youth Network, was a freelance writer for Just Out for 2 years and his alter-ego Daphne DeVille hosted the GLBT cable access show Nightscene for 4 years. In 2009, after a year and a half of volunteering for Peacock Productions, Inc., Aaron joined the AME Board of Directors working on photography, graphic design and networking for Peacock Productions, Inc. Aaron enjoys taking photographs of queer, andro and genderfun performers. He is currently working on a book, a calendar, three commemorative posters, several portraits and a collection of image transfers to black velvet . You can find him face down in a computer, under a cup of coffee or hiding behind a camera.
Kole Render studied filmmaking at the -now defunct- FilmArts Foundation in San Francisco and produced short narratives “All The Difference” and “Radio.Roulette” for the Frameline 29 and 30 LGBT film festivals respectively. In Portland, Kole worked as a trapezist, and as Director of Media and Development for Portland-based nonprofit The Circus Project. Having run away from the circus, Kole currently teaches animation -and other enriching subjects- to K-12 students, and volunteers for various queer causes.