Women's History Month 2008

Women's History Month 2008
Lesbian, bisexual and transgender women lead the way to full equality

All the women leaders involved in the social justice movement contribute extraordinary perspective, work and value, and the pro-LGBT movement is richer and more strategic because of the diversity and skills represented by all these individuals and organizations. Each week we can only highlight a small selection. We hope that you understand that these highlighted leaders stand among many more colleagues who, like them, share their energy, passion and vision and promote equality and justice in our world.

Go to: State advocacy organization leaders   Go to: Faith leaders   
Go to: Making the invisible visible
   Go to:Public officials

First Nations Women

Sharon M. Day, Executive Director and Founder
Indigenous Peoples Task Force

Sharon M. Day, an Ojibwe woman enrolled in the Bois Forte Band of the Ojibwe Nation, is an artist and an activist who uses the arts to convey her messages. For more information, read her interview with the Mac Weekly.

Menominee poet and rights activist
Chrystos, a Menominee poet and rights activist, is a Lesbian and Two-Spirit identified writer who focus on themes revolving around the violence that adjoins everyday life in many urban areas. For more information read her bio.

Public Officials

Christine Quinn, Speaker
New York City Council

Speaker Quinn is the first woman, openly lesbian and Irish speaker in the city's history. For more information, read her bio.

Tammy Baldwin, U.S. Representative
Wisconsin 2nd Congressional District
Rep. Baldwin is the first woman to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives from Wisconsin and the first openly lesbian congresswoman in history. For more information read her bio.

Kim Coco Iwamoto, Member
Hawaii Board of Education

Kim Coco Iwamoto is the highest-elected transgender elected official in the United States. For more information, read her bio.

Patricia Todd, State Representative
Alabama House District 54

Patricia Todd is the first openly lesbian elected public official in the history of Alabama. For more information visit her Web site.

Roberta Achtenberg
Former Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity

Roberta Achtenberg is the first openly lesbian to be confirmed by the United States Senate for a major political post. For more information, read her bio.

Lupe Valdez, Sheriff
Dallas County

Lupe Valdez is the only female and the first openly lesbian sheriff in the state of Texas. For more information visit her Web site.

Roll Call: Other Women Public Officials
Ruth Atkin, Councilmember, Emeryville, Calif.
Sally Clark, Councilmember, Seattle, Wash.
Amy Correia, Councilmember, Iowa City, Iowa
Kecia Cunningham, City Commissioner, Decatur, Ga.
Marlene DeChane, State Representative, District 3, Barrington, N.H.
Geri Delevich, Borough Council, New Hope, Pa.
Melanie Hammet, Councilmember, City of Pine Lake, Ga.
Kathy Luz Herrera, Legislator, Thompkins County Legislature, Ithaca, N.Y.
Karen Kellen, Councilmember, Lakewood, Colo.
Amy Kobeta, Board Member, Phoenix Union High School District Governing Board, Phoenix, Ariz.
Lydia Lavelle, Alderman, Carrboro, N.C.
Alice Lightle, Judge, Little Rock District Court, Little Rock, Ark.
Sue Lovell, Councilmember, Houston, Texas
Rosie Méndez, Councilmember, New York City, N.Y.
Jennifer Morales, Board Member, Milwaukee School Board, Milwaukee, Wis.
Gail Morrison, State Representative, District 2, Sanbornton, N.H.
Annise Parker, City Controller, Houston, Texas
Sarah Peake, State Representative, District 4, Fourth Barnstable, Mass.
Dana Rone, Councilmember, Newark, N.J.
Victoria Sigler, Judge, Dade County Court, Miami, Fla.
Debra Silber, Judge, New York Civil Court, New York, N.Y.
Karin Uhlich, Councilmember, Tucson, Ariz.

List compiled by the Gay and Lesbian Leadership Institute. For more information visit their Web site.

Women making the invisible visible

Miriam Yeung, Executive Director
National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum

Miriam is a proud queer, Asian American, immigrant, woman, activist who is committed to social justice movement building. For full details read her bio.

Carolina Alcoser Ramos, Latino Services Program Coordinator
San Diego LGBT Community Center

Carolina is an organizing pioneer in the work around HIV/AIDS, LGBT youth and families, immigration, education and many other issues. For more information visit the San Diego LGBT Center Web site.

Robyn Ochs
Bi activist, author

Robyn is a long-time bisexual activist, and the editor of the Bisexual Resource Guide and the new anthology Getting Bi: Voices of Bisexuals Around the World. For more information visit her Web site.

Andy Marra, Transgender activist
Asian-Pacific Islander (API) Media Strategist for GLAAD

Andy has worked tirelessly to strengthen the media portrayals of API LGBT people and to advance full equality for transgender people. For more information visit the GLAAD Web site.

Barbara Satin, LGBT aging activist
Founder, GLBT Generations

Barbara is a faith leader, a transgender activist and organizer around aging and elder concerns. Go here for more information on her recent award at Creating Change.

Mia Mingus, Co-executive Director
SPARK: Reproductive Justice Now!

Mia is a queer disabled woman of color, South Korean transracial adoptee and organizer toward the liberation of oppressed communities. For more information visit the SPARK! Web site.

Barbara Smith
African-American lesbian feminist

Barbara is an innovative critic, teacher, lecturer, author, independent scholar, and publisher of Black feminist thought. For more information read her bio.

Coya Artichoker, Logistics Specialist
Sacred Circle

Coya Hope Artichoker, a Sicangu Lakota born and raised on the Rosebud Reservation, has been an activist in social justice movements since the age of 15. For more information visit the Sacred Circle Web site.

Mara Keisling
Executive Director
National Center for Transgender Equality

Mara is the founding Executive Director of NCTE. Mara is a transgender-identified woman who also identifies as a parent and a Pennsylvanian. For more information read her bio, and visit the NCTE Web site.

Faith leaders

Bishop Yvette Flunder, Presiding Bishop
Refuge Ministries/Fellowship

Refuge Ministries/Fellowship 2000 is a multi-denominational fellowship of 50+ primarily African American Christian leaders and laity. Bishop Flunder also founded the the City of Refuge Community Church UCC. For more information read her bio.

Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, Senior Rabbi
New York City's Congregation Beth Simchat Torah (CBST)

Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum has been the Senior Rabbi of New York City's Congregation Beth Simchat Torah (CBST) for more than 15 years. For more information read her bio, or visit the CBST Web site.

Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson
Moderator of Metropolitan Community Churches

Rev. Wilson joined MCC as Associate Pastor of MCC Boston in 1972 and became Moderator in 2005. She received the first “Lazarus Award” from the Presbyterian Church. For full details read her bio.

Sylvia Rhue, Director of Religious Affairs and Constituency Development
National Black Justice Coalition

Sylvia Rhue, Ph.D., is a Bible scholar, licensed clinical social worker, writer and sexologist. She’s one of the cofounders of the National Black Lesbian and Gay Leadership Forum and a board member of the ONE Institute. For more information visit the NBJC Web site.

Mary E. Hunt, Co-Founder/Co-Director
WATER (Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual)

Mary E. Hunt, Ph.D., is a feminist theologian and Roman Catholic active in the women-church movement. She lectures and writes on theology and ethics with particular attention to liberation issues. For full details read her bio.

Swami Dhumavati
Kashi Ashram

Swami Dhumavati has been deeply involved with service work in the HIV/AIDS community. She also operates the Ashram spiritual gift store, serves on the Board of Directors, and runs Kashi Rainbow, the Ashram’s Gay and Lesbian organization. For more information read her bio.

Rev. Dámaris E. Ortega, Outreach Coordinator for Faith Communities
For the Bible Tells Me So

Rev. Ortega is currently the outreach coordinator for faith communities for the film, For the Bible Tells Me So. She formerly served as the coordinator for Pride in the Pulpit, which elevates the voices of leaders of faith who support equality and justice for LGBT people. For more information visit the film’s Web site.

Mina A. Trudeau
Al-Fatiha Foundation

Combining her academic, progressive grant-making and community organizing experience, Mina recently became the leader of Al-Fatiha Foundation, which is dedicated to Muslims who are LGBT, intersex, questioning, those exploring their sexual orientation or gender identity, and their allies, families and friends. For more information visit Al-Fatiha’s Web site.

Roll Call: National Religious Leadership Roundtable Women Members
Rabbi Leila Gal Berner, Jewish Reconstructionist Federation
Rev. Nadeen Bishop, CLOUT: Christian Lesbians Out Together
Kyla Bollens-Lund, Human Rights Campaign
Jamie Curtis, P-FLAG
Swami Dhumavati (featured above)
Marianne Duddy-Burke, DignityUSA
Emily Eastwood, Lutherans Concerned/North America
Patricia Kevena Fili, The Pagan Alliance
Rev. Elder Dianne Fischer, Metropolitan Community Churches
Rev. Ruth Garwood, United Church of Christ Coalition for LGBT Concerns
Heather Grace, American Friends Service Committee
Rev. Debra Haffner, Religious Institute on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing
Mary E. Hunt, Ph.D. (featured above)
Idit Klein, Keshet
Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum (featured above)
Debra Kolodny, ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal
Rev. Dr. Cindi Love, Metropolitan Community Churches
Rev. Eily Marlow, That All May Freely Serve
Rev. Dr. Irene Monroe, Writer, Speaker, Theologian
Vanessa Prell, National Union of Jewish LGBTIQQ Students
Dr. Sylvia Rhue (featured above)
Rev. Susan Russell, Integrity
Sally Sparks, Reconciling Ministries Network
Rev. Dr. Mary Ann Tolbert, Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry
Mina Trudeau (featured above)

State advocacy organization leaders: Activists leading in the states

Toni Broaddus, Executive Director
Equality Federation

Toni Broaddus became Equality Federation’s first executive director in January of 2005, leading the growth of this national alliance from a volunteer coalition to a $1.5 million organization that will provide resources and technology to 60 state-based organizations in 2008. For more information go to the Equality Federation Web site.

Nadine Smith, Executive Director
Equality Florida

Nadine has been executive director of Equality Florida since its inception in 1997, and was executive director of its predecessor, the Human Rights Task Force of Florida prior to that. For more information go to the Equality Florida Web site.

Roey Thorpe, State Services Director
Equality Federation

Prior to joining the Equality Federation, Roey worked at Freedom to Marry, Empire State Pride Agenda, and served as the executive director of Basic Rights Oregon. For more information go to the Equality Federation Web site.

Maureen "Mo" Baxley, Executive Director
New Hampshire Freedom to Marry

She serves as the Executive Director of the New Hampshire Freedom to Marry Coalition, and is a representative in the New Hampshire House of Representatives, 2006–present. For more information go to the NHFTM Web site.

Paulina Hernandez, Co-Director
S.O.N.G. (Southerners on New Ground)

Paulina Hernández is a queer femme cha-cha girl, artist and political organizer from Veracrúz, Mexico, with a background in farm worker and immigrant rights organizing, youth organizing and anti-violence work. For more information go to the S.O.N.G. Web site.

Caitlin Breedlove, Co-Director
S.O.N.G. (Southerners on New Ground)

Caitlin Breedlove is a Queer Femme Organizer. Close to her heart are the struggles of the working class, sex workers, survivors of sexual violence, immigrants, the incarcerated, and LGBTQ people. For more information go to the S.O.N.G. Web site.

Roll Call: Other Women Executive Directors
Alexis Blizman, Equality New Mexico
Lynne Bowman, Equality Ohio
Maggi Cage, LGBT Center Advocates/Milwaukee LGBT Center
Ann DeGroot, Outfront Minnesota
Kara DeLeonardis, RU12? Community Center
Christina Gilgor, Kentucky Fairness Alliance
Carolyn Jenison, One Iowa
Kathy Kelly, MEGA Family Project
Dyana Mason, Equality Virginia
Barbara McCullough-Jones, Equality Arizona
Kate Runyon, Triangle Foundation
Eva Shiffrin, Fair Wisconsin
Betsy Smith, Equality Maine
Stacey Sobel, Equality Advocates Pennsylvania
Anne Stanback, Love Makes a Family
Jennifer Steinfield, Marriage Equality Rhode Island
Connie Watts, Equal Rights Washington