Founder, BV Board Chair, Conference Co-Chair
Joe LeBlanc is a Cajun Genderqueer Poly Butch who believes 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, Joe has served as an Advisory Board member for TransActive, a founder and coordinator for Q Patrol PDX, and currently serves as Assistant Citizen Co-Chair for the Alliance for Safer Communities. He has developed and presented workshops at various conferences on issues around identity, community building, event planning, and advocating for trans-inclusive health care. Joe is currently working as the Development Coordinator for Basic Rights Oregon and was awarded the 2011 Pride In Action Award by Pride NW. He also enjoys writing poetry, road trips, coffee, taking way too many pictures, and a wide variety of music.
BV Board Treasurer, Finance Chair
Mary Stockton has been a successful Financial Services Professional with Stockton Financial for more than a decade in San Diego. She has earned the award of top producer and continues to thrive in the financial marketplace. Prior to moving to San Diego in 1996, she owned and operated the women’s bookstore, Crones’ Harvest in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. Her business became a valuable cultural center and she was honored with the Helen Diner Community Leadership Award. Her community involvement also extended to the arts, where she took pleasure in producing plays, poetry slams, concerts, and witnessed the burgeoning talent of many successful progressive artists’. She has served on the Board of Directors at Stepping Stone of San Diego, volunteering for four years in an effort to promote alcohol and drug rehabilitation for the LGBT community. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of The San Diego LGBT Community Center and is Board President of Diversionary Theatre, the third oldest LGBT theatre in the country and recognized as one of San Diego’s best theatre’s.
Mary has been a self identified butch for more than 25 years although she has been living as a butch her entire life. To help create space has been her work as an activist for more than two decades and to now have the ability to devote her energy to her Butch brothers and sisters is a dream come true. Mary is blissfully married to her wife, Alison McManus, a Family Nurse Practitioner and an activist in her own right. They have made their home in the North Park area of San Diego.
BV Board Strategic Impact Chair, Conference Co-Chair
Redwolf Painter is a two-spirit mixed blood Heyoka retired punk from Alaska. Wolf grew up in a poor mixed blood American Indian/White family with deep Alaskan roots which reverberates throughout their writing and social justice work. For the last 15 years Wolf has been writing, performing and producing events for various non-profit organizations, including Sundance Film Festival, CineVegas, San Diego Film Festival and Frameline. Concerned with the disappearing Native Track at Sundance, Wolf founded the Native American Film Series while working for the San Diego Film Festival in 2004 which is still running today. Currently Wolf sits on the original Transmarch Steering Committee in San Francisco, volunteers with Frameline and is working towards a degree in their spare time.
BV Board Media Chair, Conference Media Chair
Sinclair Sexsmith (mrsexsmith.com) has been producing, conceptualizing, and participating in digital communities since 1994. They are well versed in butch/femme, queer, and trans identity studies and hold a deep love of poetry, bringing a combination of heart and geekery to online organizing. They have maintained the award-winning Sugarbutch Chronicles: The Sex, Gender, and Relationship Adventures of a Kinky Queer Butch Top at sugarbutch.net since 2006. Contributing essays and smut stories to more than fifteen anthologies, they are also the guest editor of Best Lesbian Erotica 2012 and editor of Say Please: Lesbian BDSM Erotica, both from Cleis Press. Mr. Sexsmith has Bachelor’s degrees in both gender studies and creative writing. Currently, they travel all over to conduct workshops on sex, gender, and relationships, and serve the Body Electric School as a coordinator.
Board Secretary, Sponsor/Vendor Chair
Born in California and raised in South Africa, Nolizwe Nondabula is a numbers loving, global citizen boi currently living outside of Boston, MA. Lizwe is a graduate from Clark University where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Economics with a minor in Business Management.
Lizwe has always been actively involved with her community. Since moving to New England, she’s volunteered with organizations such as Queer Women of Color (QWOC), Hispanic Black Gay Coalition (HBGC), Habitat for Humanity, and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). Currently, she serves on the Board of Directors of Brookview House, a non profit with the mission of helping homeless and at risk families learn the skills necessary to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty. Additionally, Lizwe is the Mentorship Program Coordinator for the Hispanic Black Gay Coalition (HBGC). HBGC is one of the few non-profits organizations in Boston dedicated to inspire and empower Latin@, Hispanic and Black LGBTQ identified individuals through activism, education, community outreach, and counseling. When she’s not serving her community, you can find Lizwe on the football field, playing full contact tackle football for the New England Intensity or studying for her GMATs as she plans on pursuing her Master of Science in Finance.
BV Board Member at Large, Volunteer Chair, Registration Co-Chair
Meg is a is a born-and-bred Southerner who enjoys kayaking, shooting things, and having intense arguments. S/he graduated magna cum laude from Temple University, with a BA in Political Science. Meg works in politics, but has also been a concrete factory laborer and a farmhand, and prefers the latter. Her dream is to own and operate her own ranch and have it double as a safehouse/educational facility for queer youth.
Jay Walls is a Butch abstract expressionist artist, social activist, film maker enthusiast, and a proud parent of 6 children. Born and raised in Texas, she and her partner of 13 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 art 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 15 years. Since 2005, she has been the Operations Manager for the Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival. In her spare time, she has 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. In 2009, she presented a workshop and curated the BUTCH Voices art showcase Visually Speaking at the first national conference in Oakland. She joined the BUTCH Voices Steering Committee as the Programming Co-Chair at the end of 2009. In 2010, she was the Programming Coordinator for BUTCH Voices Regional Conference in Portland; she presented a workshop and curated the art exhibition A Taste of BUTCH Flavor. In 2011, she became the Programming Chair for the 2nd national BUTCH Voices conference; she presented a workshop and exhibited in the art show Defining BUTCH – Expressing All Angles. Currently, Jay is working on a series of portraits and continues to be a stay at home parent of 6 adopted siblings; she has never worked harder in her life!
BV Board Member at Large, Outreach Co-Chair
Lex is a trans identified butch and spoken word artist focusing on social justice and spiritual liberation. They are the Communications Directorat Inner Light Ministries, Coordinator at Santa Cruz County Trans Teen Project, and Coordinator at Queer Youth Leadership Awards. They live in the Santa Cruz with their family of five.
Carolyn Wysinger is 30 something soft butch raised in Richmond, Ca currently residing in Long Beach, Ca. She is a social entrepreneur whose goal is to build bridges within our community, which extend out into society at large. She is an educator, activist, writer and event coordinator. She earned her B.A. in English from California State University, Long Beach and her M.F.A. from Antioch University.
Her desire to advocate for social justice started at an early age in school government and church leadership. As an adult she learned how to use those same tools to build within the LGBT community. She has made her presence felt in the community through promoting social events and volunteer work/workshops at conferences and retreats such as BUTCHVoices and Black Lesbians United. She is an active member of Unity Fellowship Church-Long Beach. She is very active in the local Long Beach community as member of the Leadership Long Beach Class of 2013 as well as Member-At-Large of the Lambda Democrats. She is a contributor to the Queer Women of Color Media Wire and she is proud that her first 2 books will be published later this year on Glover Lane Press. Her goal is to create new things and be able to say she left this world better than she found it.
Lea Robinson is a gender non-conforming butch dyke living in NYC. She built her first basketball goal in her front yard and years later landed in the 1992 Final Four National Championship, playing for Western Kentucky University. She had a long career as a women’s basketball coach and continues to works closely with The National Center for Lesbian Rights and It Takes a Team! on transphobia and homophobia in women’s athletics (www.learobinson.com).
Robinson is an actor and wants to see more visibility for queer, gender non-conforming artists. Thanks to the Butch Casting Project, she currently plays “Officer Ruffins,” the town cop, in Room For Cream, La Mama ETC.’s long running lesbian serial (prod. by the Dyke Division of Two-Headed Calf). She played Alma in KS Steven’s Butch Mamas! at WOW Cafe Theater! and recently served as the narrator for a staged reading of Dir. Akiva Peñaloza’s romantic comedy Hannah Henri (Scorpyofilms). She is developing a solo performance about playing basketball and growing up queer and black in Kentucky.
She performs with her partner, Elizabeth Whitney, as part of Bitches With Barrettes, the campy drag/cabaret hooping duo, as regulars in The Femme Show (www.thefemmeshow.com). Lea and Elizabeth also collaborate on The Miscegenations Project (www.miscegenations.org)—a digital storytelling performance and workshop facilitating dialogue about intersections of identity, with a focus on race, sexuality, and gender identity.
Adrienne M. Thomas is a sociologist, who after 15 years in Boston, has very recently relocated to Atlanta, Georgia. She admits that she does miss Boston- a LOT. She is simultaneously excited, and petrified about, being Black and gay in the “Age of Obama”. She is a native of Beaumont, Texas, which is approximately equal distance between Houston, Texas and Lake Charles, Louisiana. She describes herself as having an east coast vibe with a southern mind.
She has studied at Spelman College and Clark Atlanta University, and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Texas Woman’s University, as well a Master’s degree in Sociology from Texas Southern University. She is a distinguished George Marshall Scholar, having studied at University College London. She is a former Ph.D. student in the sociology programs at Northeastern University and Boston College.
Known as a proven and sought after fundraiser, Thomas’ work experience in the development field includes positions as Director of Development at several community based non-profit institutions. She is an adjunct instructor of sociology at Northeastern University and Roxbury Community College in Boston.
In addition, Thomas held a national position as a governor with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and served as the Boston HRC board co-chair. She is the co-founder of Provincetown’s Women of Color Weekend, held summers on Cape Cod, in Provincetown, Massachusetts. She is a member of the proud sisterhood of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Adrienne is an avid salmon nigiri sushi fan, a mommy to two energetic and adorable Pugs- Lulu and Lucas, and is quite tickled at having been selected by Sugarbutch Chronicles as one of 2011’s “Sexiest Butches” and being honored by GO Magazine as a member of the 2012 “100 Women We Love” class.
Michelle “Mac” Mapp is originally from Toronto, Canada. S/hy served as the chair of W.R.I.B. (Women for Recreation, Information and Business) and was the chair of Toronto Black Pride and a former board member for The International Federation of Black Prides. Mac brings over 15 years of experience working with and on behalf of underrepresented communities. Continuing a passion for Human Rights and issues that impact the LGBTQ community and communities of color, Mac heads up a small non-profit that endeavors to bridge the gap.
Virginia native Debra Guy is a butch lesbian musician, wife, mom, blogger, and event manager. With over a decade of event management experience, Debra is a currently an event coordinator at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia. Before coming to UVA, Debra spent many years at both George Mason University and American University, in roles varying from scheduling and event services to on-site event production. She has a keen eye for managing event logistics from both an organizer and facility manager point of view.
From her undergraduate days at George Mason University, Debra has been involved in the LGBT community – from co-chairing GMU’s LGBT student organization to performing with her band at Pride Festivals in DC, Baltimore, Delaware, and Charlottesville. Since 2009, she has authored the blog “Butch…and Pregnant” (http://butchandpregnant.wordpress.com/) which chronicled her pregnancy, and now her life as a butch lesbian mom.
She is the frontwoman for the Washington, DC-based band Honeychuck (http://www.honeychuck.com/), performs solo acoustic music (http://debraguy.tumblr.com/), and records and performs children’s music locally in Charlottesville. Living in rural Virginia, she enjoys the serene country life of hiking, gardening, mowing her lawn, and cohabitating with the Blue Ridge Mountains, along with her hot librarian wife, enthusiastic toddler daughter, and devastatingly handsome dog.
Youth Outreach Co-Chair
Jay-Marie Hill is a Mixed (Black/White/Puerto Rican) Masculine of Center Woman, originally hailing from the East San Francisco Bay Area. She is a recent graduate of Stanford University where she received a B.A. in Drama and a minor in African & African-American Studies. She was the Co-President of Black and Queer at Stanford for three of her four years on campus and is proud to have increased visibility of Queer issues as they pertain to communities of color on and off the Stanford campus. She served as the Executive Director of Stanford’s Blackstage Theater Company and wrote a senior thesis and stage play on the topics of Gender non-conformity and queer identity in South Africa versus The States. Jay is currently attending the University of Southern California for a Masters Degree and California Teaching Credential and will finish in May 2011.
Now at 21 years old, Jay-Marie’s life experiences and her new career path in education have inspired her to use her resources to help spark a network that reaches out to other young Masculine of Center women. She hopes to use her knowledge and awareness of Art, (Her)story and Struggle to reach out to Youth and eventually bring more people into the overlaps of academia and queer (folk of color) community. As a member of the Brown Boi Project Spring 2010 Cohort, Jay’s mission now aligns with theirs: to bring about gender and racial justice. She also strives to help spread the word that we gender non-conforming and queer folk come in all shapes, sizes, colors, backgrounds, gender identities and religious beliefs. Oh, and that some of us have a bit of style, too.
Youth Outreach Co-Chair
“Young, radical, non-conformist, free-thinking, spiritually searching, soft stud/Black,queer, female bodied, masculine energied, curvy, social justice advocate,” Zir RahZami – Rev. L.A. McCrae is “an advocate for all persons who live on the periphery of society.”L.A.’s self-designed project as a recipient of the Fund for Theological Education Ministry Fellowship focused on issues of Black, Lesbian, Same-Gender Loving Womyn who had been excluded from main-line Protestant Churches. L.A. has taken a personal interest in creating a Black female bodied, masculine energied, trans fraternity to craft a safe-environment for young Black queers in the lifestyle and questioning their sexual identity. L.A. embodies the lifestyle, androgyny, personalities, and commitment to justice as James Baldwin, Zora Neale Hurston, and Audre Lorde. She is a Co-Founder and Senior Consultant of ThreeSisters Consulting.
Reverend L.A. McCrae seeks to create the Beloved Community and educate the community regarding these important and pressing issues. A theologian and pastor, Rev. McCrae seeks to challenge the status quo and bring light to this issues of darkness pervading the community. As a facilitator, Rev. McCrae, known affectionately as “L.A.” or “Rev. Latte” has worked engaging groups of all ages, races, national identities, and sexual orientations.
She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and Wesley Theological Seminary. Among many other honor societies, L.A. is most proud to be a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society. She was selected as a 2008 Ministry Fellow from the Fund for Theological Education a highly competitive opportunity. Additionally, L.A. was selected as a 2009-2010 recipient of the World Communion National Fellowship from the General Board of Global Ministries.
L.A. has served as the Director of Youth and Young Adult Outreach Ministries for five churches – United Methodists of Dundalk and Edgemere (UMODE). She continues to work as an advocate for social justice as the Co-Founder and Senior Consultant of ThreeSisters Consulting. This spring, Laura will be a participant and workshop leader at many upcoming conferences dealing with the intersectionality of gender, class, race, and theology. Laura, known as “revlatte” by her youth, tirelessly fights for radical inclusion, social justice, and prophetically bringing forth the love of the Most High Divine here on earth.
Art Show CuratorTy Chance is a 30-something, Asian, adopted, Italian/Scotch-Irish, New England, queer artist, writer and bicycle safety educator who has resided in Portland, Oregon for over 12 years. He was formally educated in New York City and San Francisco art schools and feels more comfortable in a pageboy cap and tie, than in a dress and heels, any day of the week… usually. Ty’s gender is not apparent at first glance and people often get flustered when searching for a pronoun when addressing him. He doesn’t mind because any opportunity to open up a discussion about gender identity is a good one. Help Ty to obliterate the binary roles we were raised to embody by joining him in his mission to erase those little white boxes forever.
Film Night Curator
A proud café con leche queer, Des Buford has been a life-long gay-for pay and homo-for-hire. Des is currently the Director of Exhibition & Programming at Frameline where she leads the organization’s programming team for the San Francisco International LGBT Film Film Festival. She has also managed the inner workings of Frameline’s signature Festival, as well as strengthened the organization’s ties with local and national partner organizations. She earned her B.A. from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, with a minor in LGBT Studies. In 2012, Des was featured in The Advocate’s Forty Under 40, a list of influential LGBT figures in media and politics. Des can also be found performing around the Trans Francisco Bay Area as award-winning drag king Delicio Del Toro.
Assistant Film Curator
A Chicago native with Oakland flair, Alexis Whitham has been rocking the Bay Area film scene for the past four years, including working at the Frameline Film Festival, managing a movie theater, programming for Butch Voices, and watching a lot of shamefully bad mainstream films in dark theaters. Alexis can often be found at Mosswood Park or any bar with a great selection on tap.
Accessibility & Awareness Co-Chair
An events planner by trade, Kawana S. Bullock served as the Special Events Coordinator for Development & External Affairs at Teachers College, Columbia University before relocating to the Northwest. Besides managing events for the College’s annual fund, planned giving and government affairs departments; Kawana had the privilege of coordinating international events on behalf of the Office of the President as well as convocation and commencement ceremonies. Some of the coolest events they have aided in producing to date: Butch Voices NYC; House Dance International; Activists Mobilizing for Power (AMP) Conference; Queer Black Cinema; 24-Hour Plays on Broadway; The CipHER Project’s Zami like Me Conference; and Teaching the Levees Curriculum Launch, co-sponsored by the Ford Foundation & HBO Documentaries.
A studio arts graduate of Hamilton College, Kawana has had the opportunity to study with their favorite filmmaker/ butch icon, Cheryl Dunye. Kawana’s film short, A Letter to You, not only won the college’s prestigious J. Barney Moore Prize in Art and the Samuel F. Babbitt Kirkland College Fellowship. They became one of four women filmmakers to be selected as a keynote speaker at the 12th Annual Women of Color Film & Video Festival presented by Dr. Angela Davis‘s The Research Cluster for Women of Color in Collaboration and Conflict at UC Santa Cruz. Kawana is an alumnus of the Third World Newsreel Film & Video Production Workshop, IFP New York as well as Yvonne Fly Onakeme Etaghene’s Breath like Graffiti Workshop. A firm believer in arts and media for social change, Kawana spend their time as a guest blogger for dapperQ.com and this year’s Pride Foundation Fellow at Western States Center.
Besides fedoras, jean jackets and vests (Oh My!), Kawana is a hip-hop & classic house music junkie. Kawana loves all things “butch blue” and has been branded by friends and family as “a socially-conscious butterfly and fairy futch godmother.”
Amber Phelps is a Black Masculine Woman of Color and a true Midwesterner. Born and raised in Ohio, she graduated summa cum laude from THE Ohio State University with honors bachelors’ degrees in Political Science and Public Affairs Journalism.
At 25, she now resides in Baltimore and attends Johns Hopkins University to earn her Masters of Science in Education. She has been teaching English Literature to a wonderful group of gifted high school students in Baltimore for over three years and is looking forward to one day earning a Masters in Public Policy and working toward the national effort of ensuring quality education for all of our youth.
Miriam just started the website butchonbutch.com, which is not a hookup site but might help you get laid nonetheless. She is skeptical of positioning herself as an expert on butch fag culture, although she does own a cashmere argyle vest. She has other interests and qualities too, but there’s no room for them in this short bio.
Kaye Hayes is a native North Carolinian who now resides in the southern metropolis of Greensboro, N.C. Hayes graduated from Elon University’s School of Communications and for more than 10 years worked professionally in the media field, acquiring skills in writing, reporting, editing, research and design. Hayes is currently a freelance writer and self-taught designer, managing projects through her personal ventures The Writing Studio and Letter K Freelancing. She is a blogger for Examiner.com and House 90.1 FM and contributes to other online publications. Additionally, she works with journalism students at North Carolina A&T State University’s Department of Journalism and Mass Communication and serves as the co-chair of the Communications Committee for Elon University’s LGBTQIA Alumni Network. Follow her on Twitter: @quietscribe