Dr. Jane Rigby is an astrophysicist in the DC area, who regularly uses the Hubble space telescope and observatories in Hawaii, Arizona, and South America. She studies black holes in the hearts of galaxies, as well as galaxies that are rapidly forming new stars. As a queer woman in science, Dr. Rigby has a unique perspective on how science works, how it fails, how barriers have fallen for women and gay people in science, and the obstacles that remain. She regularly speaks to youth groups, and encourages young people from diverse backgrounds to consider careers in science and technology
Laya Monarez is a transgender bisexual latinx artist, musician and transgender activist. She studied art at the George Washington Corcoran School of Art and Design where she received her BFA in Fine Art focusing on Painting and Sculpture. Laya has had many art shows through the DMV area and has worked on several murals as well. Her artwork is inspired by science, surrealism and social justice movements. Here activism is rooted in her need to uplift transgender people and educate the public on transgender issues.
Laya’s LGBTQ Activism started with her volunteer work with the DC Trans Coalition where she helped to train police on Trans sensitivity. While working with the Human Rights Campaign on their membership and operation teams Laya trained new employees on Transgender issues. Laya has also given presentations at the bisexual Because Conference in Minneapolis, the Capital Building, Princeton University and the White House Among others. One of her proudest moments is helping to introduce a bill to decrminalize sex work in Washington DC. A bill she thinks will especially help keep black and brown transgender sex workers safe and healthy.
Please send her an email if you’d like to invite her to speak at your event or train your team on transgender and gender issues. You can also view her artwork at layamonarez.com
Alexandra is a Policy Advocate at Protect Democracy, where she leads the National Election Advocacy Team and coordinates the activities of the National Task Force on Election Crises, a cross-ideological group of over 50 civil society leaders who worked to ensure free and fair elections in 2020 and 2022, and now seek to prevent election crises in 2024 and beyond. Previously, Alexandra was a career national security professional for 13 years. Inspired by living in NYC as a law student through the 9/11 attacks, Alexandra started her career as an intelligence analyst in 2004. In 2006 she was the first employee ever to complete a gender transition while working at the Office of Naval Intelligence. She ultimately led the Intelligence Community analytic effort to disrupt the proliferation of WMD by sea, and supported many successful U.S. policy initiatives while working at ONI and at the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence. After leaving government in 2017, Alexandra was the first openly transgender candidate to run for Congress from Massachusetts.
Alexandra enjoys providing her perspective on leadership and communication as a transgender woman, mentoring younger LGBT and national security audiences, and discussing the stakes of the U.S. and global effort against authoritarianism. She has presented on leadership, career development, LGBT and transgender issues for private corporate clients as well as the Out and Equal Executive Leadership Forum, Leadership Summit For Women in National Security, the Rainbow Families conference, Columbia University SIPA, Rutgers University, Yale University, and Capital Trans Pride.
Alexandra is a board member of GLBTQ Advocates and Defenders (GLAD), a member of the Truman National Security Project Defense Council, and previously served on the board of Whitman Walker Health and the Steering Committee of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition. Alexandra was named by Out in National Security and New America as an Out Leader in 2021, and her writings have been published in the Washington Post, The Hill, the Yale Journal of International Affairs, and the Boston Globe. Alexandra is a graduate of Brown University with an A.B. inInternational Relations, and received her law degree from Brooklyn Law School.
Dana Beyer, M.D., a retired eye surgeon, is a well-known advocate for health issues as well as gender rights. She practiced medicine and surgery in D.C., Miami, Mississippi, Africa and Asia. She is currently a candidate for Maryland State Delegate, having first run in 2006. She is Vice President of Equality Maryland, former Executive Vice President of Maryland NOW, founding member of the Progressive Working Group, Maryland?s newest progressive alliance, member of the Board of Governors of the Human Rights Campaign, and board member of Mobile Med. She recently co-authored The Dallas Principles. She is currently on leave as Senior Adviser to Councilmember Duchy Trachtenberg of the Montgomery County Council, to run her campaign. She lives with her two sons in Chevy Chase.
Sean Bugg is co-publisher and editorial director of Metro Weekly, Washington, D.C.’s gay and lesbian news magazine. A founding writer for the 14-year-old publication, Bugg took the editorial helm in 2000. During his tenure, Metro Weekly has grown into a major voice for the LGBT community, winning numerous awards for writing, design and community service. In addition to his journalism career, Bugg has worked in social marketing and HIV prevention programs for the Whitman-Walker Clinic and the National Alliance of State & Territorial AIDS Directors. A member of the D.C. chapter of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, Bugg received his journalism degree in 1989 from Washington & Lee University in Virginia.
Patrick Wojahn is a lawyer and advocate for civil rights. Patrick has years of experience in management and leadership and has served since December 2007 on the City Council of College Park, MD. Patrick has served on the Boards of Directors and as staff of various organizations advocating for people with disabilities and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, and for protection of the environment. From 2005-2010, Patrick worked in Washington, DC, with University Legal Services, a disability rights organization, investigating complaints of abuse and neglect against people with mental illness and ensuring District officials provide appropriate services for some of the District?s most disadvantaged residents. Since 2010, Patrick works as a Public Policy Analyst with the National Disability Rights Network, a national advocacy organization for people with disabilities.
Elise Roy lost her hearing at the age of 10 and doctors have never been able to explain why. Determined to continue to live the normal life that she had already begun, she refused to lower herself to the new sub-par standards that society began placing on her. Teaching herself using only her textbooks, Elise was accepted to Brown University. While at Brown, she was recognized as one of the nation’s elite athletes. At 24 she became one of just 44 deaf lawyers in the United States. At 25 she became an advocate working at the United Nations, where she helped to author the first international Human Rights treaty of the 21st century. Since then, she has traveled the world working with diverse groups, speaking, motivating, and advocating on their behalf. She has had her personal essays published in Curve magazine, in Eyes of Desire 2: a Deaf GLBT Reader, and has spoken at Pride events.
Cornelius Baker has been a committed advocate at the local and national level for nearly two decades. He is currently a senior communications advisor and project director for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease?s National HIV Vaccine Research Education Initiative at AED. He also serves as the National Policy Advisor for the National Black Gay Men?s Advocacy Coalition which is dedicated to addressing the exceptionally and unacceptably high rates of HIV infection among black gay men. From January 2000 through December 20004), Cornelius served as the Executive Director of Whitman-Walker Clinic. Previously, Cornelius served as the Executive Director of the National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA), an appointee at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under President George H.W. Bush and as an aide to Washington, DC City Councilmember Carol Schwartz. He is currently a member of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services? Panel on Clinical Practices in the Treatment of HIV and serves on the boards of the Black AIDS Institute, Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and the Center for Nonprofit Advancement. In January 2006, he was nominated to serve on the Washington, DC Taxicab Commission by Mayor Anthony Williams and confirmed by the city council to a three-year term.
Michele Zavos is a long-time LGBT activist and attorney who has represented thousands of clients in her 30-year career. She is a pioneer in creating legal protections for members of the LGBT community and their families. She speaks often on legal issues regarding marriage, adoption, estate planning, children, and contested domestic matters. She has received numerous awards for her work in the LGBT community, including from Wanda’s Wills, the Whitman-Walker Clinic, Capital Pride, and the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club. American University’s Washington School of Law also named her Outstanding Adjunct Professor in 1999.