Bios J-L

JAC Stringer/Midwest GenderQueer [Workshop Presenter, Performer]

JAC Stringer, also known as Midwest GenderQueer, is a trans-genderqueer femme radical activist, writer, and genderfuck performance artist from Cincinnati, Ohio. JAC has lectured and performed across the USA and Canada with his work focusing trans* and queer focused education, social justice, gender identity disorder removal, femme identities, (dis)ability, and trans*/queer artistry. JAC is the founding director of The Midwest Trans* and Queer Wellness Initiative, has founded several projects, and is a member of several organizing boards including TransOhio, The Philadelphia Transgender Health Conference, The Greater Cincinnati Youth Summit, The International Drag King Community Extravaganza, and JAC serves as the Accessibility and Awareness Co-Chair for The International Femme Conference. JAC is a life-long dancer, poet, musician, and rabble-rouser whose work’s purpose is to generate unity, action, and empowerment and achieve rights and recognition for trans* and queer communities through education, art, and other various forms of revolution.

 

Jane Hereth [Workshop Presenter]

Jane Hereth is an educator, organizer, and radical social worker. Jane got her start facilitating and creating anti-oppression trainings in her youth as a member of the Unitarian Universalist Anti-Racist, Anti-Oppressive Trainer/Organizer Program. In college, she co-founded the Coalition of Anti-Racist Whites, a group dedicated to resisting white supremacy through education and identity development. Since moving to Chicago in 2007, Jane worked as a trainer for the Chicago Rape Crisis Hotline, facilitating trainings on sexual violence, rape culture and crisis intervention for staff, volunteers, and community members. Jane is also a founding member of LEAF (Liberation Education and Facilitation) Chicago, a anti-oppression facilitation collective. She also facilitates workshops on the Prison Industrial Complex as a member of the Chicago Prison Industrial Complex Teaching Collective. As a volunteer with Project NIA’s Chain Reaction project, Jane works with youth at the Broadway Youth Center to collect and disseminate stories about young people’s interactions with the police.

 

Janie [Workshop Presenter]

Janie will use any excuse to be super-femme & fearless! Her activism began quietly in the bisexual movement, gained momentum when she helped organize the Transcending Boundaries conference, and burst forth with madFemmePride 7 years ago. She digs radically inclusive events and LOVES how people of all stripes & genders are creating a femme-centric friendly revolution in Boston!! This is what queer community looks like: www.meetup.com/madfemmepride
Jen Cross [Workshop Presenter]

Jen Cross is an Oakland-based queer femme incest survivor and a widely-anthologized writer who has facilitated survivors and sexuality writing workshops since 2002. She offers AWA-method transformative writing workshops in the SF Bay Area and around the country, and writes about bodies, sexuality, trauma, healing and joy at her blog, www.writingourselveswhole.org.
Jenna Brager [Artist, Workshop Presenter]


Jenna Brager is a comics artist and writer who likes penpalling. J.B. is hungry like the wolf.
Jenny Lowery [Skillsharer]

Jenny Lowery aka Pidgeon Von Tramp has been performing and producing Cabaret for over 7 years. She loves to make her own costumes, create performance community, and talk about what it means to be fat, naked, and onstage.

 

Jessica Elaine Blinkhorn [Featured Performer]

Our bodies tell a story. Every story told in a single form is unique to that being. My form tells a story of weakness and strength, and deformity and nonconformity. Yet, my story is not the only story I choose to tell. I speak for those who cannot and define their form through drawing the beauty I acknowledge and know. What constitutes a beautiful body?      Is a beautiful body one with defined muscles? Is it proportional? Does a beautiful body have two arms, two legs, ten fingers and toes, and smooth skin? Is it free of cellulite and blemishes? While a body deemed perfect   is attractive by social standards, my work aims at documenting the beauty and truth found in imperfection.      I take a form not often seen as desirable and I capture sincerity, sensitivity, and, at times, sorrow. Un abashed, I expose my faults and the faults of others in hopes of educating the audience and evoking social empathy through my figurative narratives. “If there’s a narrative, I want it in the flesh.”   -Jenny Saville

 

Jessica Halem [Performer]

Called “Brave and Bawdy” by Time Out Chicago and “Righteous and Chipper” by the Times-Picayune, JessicaHalem was raised by hippie Jewish artists from the East Coast which was anything but normal – or easy – in small-town Ohio, but did help to foster this very funny “on-your-face” comic who puts her queer spin on everything from fisting to the Patriarchy. She was trained in femme queerness at Sarah Lawrence College; earned her chops as a social justice activist working for Bella Abzug; and as a LGBTQ health guru running the Lesbian Community Cancer Project.

 

Jessica Rosenberg [Workshop Presenter]
Jessica Rosenberg is a queer femme who intentionally strokes her beard when she notices people are looking. She enjoys biking, beards, beers, bears, and BDS.
Jessie Dress [Caucus facilitator]

Jessie Dress is a queer fat femme hailing from Austin, Texas. Mundane IT professional by day, she moonlights as a drag king and radical queerleader. A true glitter unicorn princess, she also co-founded and organizes for Femme Mafia ATX and keeps busy with meandering zine writings, her personal project (fatshionfebruary.tumblr.com), and as the sole lady-member of Austin’s premiere mustache gang, The Upper Lips. She has a great sense of humor about herself, and wants to be a lesbian goat farmer when she grows up. Find her online at jessiedress.tumblr.com.

 

Jodie Zisow [Skillsharer]

Jodie is a Jew-witch, curvy, semi-sporty, sexuality educator into social justice and dance and movement and circus.
Jolie Harris [Workshop Presenter]

Jolie Harris is a black, genderqueer filmmaker, performance artist, educator, and social justice consultant currently living in Oakland, CA. They have used “artistic justice” as a community organizing tool to educate and generate dialogue on a variety of topics, including prison abolition, transformative justice, intersectionality, abundance practices, wellness as resilience, resisting homonormativity, disrupting gender binaries, economic justice, and much more. They currently work as Executive Director of Thrive Social Justice Consulting and spend the rest of their days and nights tap dancing and leading a working group for QTPOC artists.

 

Julia Eden Ris [Workshop Presenter]

Julia Eden Ris is a queer thick high femme (with some macha tendencies) of mixed Spanish/Gypsy/Irish ancestry. Originally from the Boston, Julia loves to combine East Coast realness with Bay Area femme-inspired sass. She is a mixed media artist, cultural and youth worker fueled by the fierce resiliency of young people. Currently, Julia is spending her time learning about the healing justice movement, getting excited about her latest high heels, drawing inspiration from her roots, teaching digital storytelling, listening to lots of dancehall music, investing in community and personal health, and embracing change.

 

Kathleen Delaney [Workshop Presenter]

Kathleen Delaney is a Stone High Femme spoken word writer based in Atlanta whose provocative & smutty performances ignite, shock, challenge, and eroticize Butch/Femme, Queer, and BDSM dynamics. A National touring veteran, Kathleen is the founder & producer of BODY HEAT: Femme Porn Tour, a collective of Femme porn performance artists now in it’s 5th year. A 1950′s Housewife at heart, Kathleen is celebrating the summer as a newly-wedded bride.

 

Kim Crosby [Workshop Presenter]

Kim Crosby is a daughter of the diaspora, Arawak, West African, Indian and Dutch, hailing from Trinidad and currently working between Toronto & New York. She completed her artist residency under D’bi Young and also was a student of the Buddies In Bad Times Young Creator’s Unit, touring with her play, “Hands In My Cunt” a biomythographical account of her resistance and experience of sexual violence. In 2009 she was the Youthline Award Winner for “Outstanding Contribution To Community Empowerment”. In 2010, named one of YSEC’s 100 Young Changemakers. In 2011, she was recognized as one of 12 of the City Of Toronto’s Cultural Champions among such brilliant activists as Lillian Allen. In 2012, she has already been recognized three times, most recently as one of Go Magazine’s 100 Women We Love, sharing the list with the likes of Ellen Degeneres and Wanda Sykes. She has spoken on panels and at conferences internationally as well as facilitated transformative community dialogues including Queer As Black Folk hosted by The Black Daddies Club and was the keynote speaker at Dartmouth Pride. Through her work cofounding and co-directing community organizations, she has consulted and supported organizations the world over including Brown Boi Project, The Grassroots Youth Collaborative, Stolen From Africa as well as the Toronto District School Board and The City Of Toronto Cultural Arts Division. She has developed and co-developed over 50 distinct resources and tools and delivered over 150 workshops around race, gender, privilege, consent, intersectionality and entrepreneurship.

 

Kirya Traber [Workshop Presenter]

Kirya Traber is a nationally awarded artist and a Black (gender)Queer High Femme of mixed heritage. As a performer she has appeared before President Bill Clinton, the rock band Massive Attack, incarcerated convicts at San Quentin Prison, and classrooms of kindergartners, among other notable persons. Kirya has been featured at the San Francisco National Queer Arts Festival, and in 2009 she toured United States and Canada with Sister Spit: The Next Generation. Her work was received awards from the Astraea Lesbian Writers Fund, California Congresswoman Barbara Lee, and Robert Redford’s Sundance foundation for her activism in the arts. She can be found in the pages of Other Tongues: Mixed Race Women Speak Out by Inanna Press and her chapbook black chick. Though originally from the San Francisco Bay Area she is currently pursuing an MFA in Acting at the New School for Drama in New York City.

 

Krista Burton [Workshop Presenter]

Krista Burton writes the award-winning blog Effing Dykes (www.effingdykes.blgospot.com), a humor blog about activating your lesbian gaydar. She is also a staff writer at Rookie Magazine (rookiemag.com), a new online magazine for teenage girls that’s edited by Tavi Gevinson. She lives in Chicago.

 

Kentucky Fried Woman [Performer]

Kentucky Fried Woman is an Oakland, CA based burlesque, tap-dance and drag performer/emcee/producer and social justice activist. She co-founded and performs with several groups including ButchBallet, ButchTap & Titland. She also played Hermoine Granger in Hogwarts Express: The Musical and collaborates with many bay area queer performance artists. KFW is known for her wacky events like the always themed Kentucky Fried Woman Show. KFW started performing in the queer drag/burlesque community with the Santa Barbara based troupe the Disposable Boy Toys in 2000 and went on to found the Seattle-based ground-breaking, fat postive, queer performance group the Queen Bees before relocating to Oakland. She is available to produce, perform and emcee events and also teaches classes and facilitates workshops on a variety of subjects related to bodies and identity. She has been on the Femme Conference Steering Committee since 2005 and is currently serving as our co-Chair.

 

kyisha williams [Workshop Presenter]

kyisha williams is a Black, queer, high femme, ma’star, who is sex and sex work positive. she writes, makes film/video and she supports the self-determination of all living beings. kyisha began to use community organizing and art as survival at 15 years old. she has been organizing for over 9 years both locally and globally around violence and intersecting oppressions as they relate to colonialism, poverty, incarceration, gender (presentation), status, sexuality and sexual/mental health(status). She currently works at PASAN as the Women’s Community Program Coordinator, providing support to women prisoners and ex-prisoners around harm reduction, (sexual) health and systemic barriers. She is the director of a badass Black femme, anti-PIC film called Red Lips [cages for Black girls].

 

Lady Monster [Performer, Workshop Presenter]

Celebrating 20 years as a performer, Lady Monster is A Queen of the Fire Tassels, spreading her wings across continents. From Heather MacAllister’s Big Burlesque troupe to Leonard Nimoy’s Full Body Project photos to records with the Revolting Cocks and Jello Biafra – Lady Monster is Tour de Force Artiste and A Force of Nature. A repeat feature of Femme Conference, she is performing burlesque and teaching her body image workshop, Positively Lovely.
Lasha Mowchun
As a performance and video artist I am interested in the breakdown between stage and audience. I am interested in the way socialization changes the human identity and in my work I seek to explore artifice. In order to explore identity I perform on the stage of regular life and costume myself in the masks of popular archetypes of culture. I am interested in performers who are unaware of themselves as performers, who are unconscious of the social and cultural ceremonies that surround them. My works attempt to engage the static viewer in something that resembles a structured social interaction, whether it by pleasantries or repulsion. Through the use of costume I mine the social fabric to uncover the hidden code, to dissect identity. In my performances and video work I aim to reassemble myself. Beneath each mask another mask.

 

Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha [Performer, Workshop Presenter]

2012 Lambda Literary Award winner and 2011 Pushcart Prize nominee Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha is a queer disabled Sri Lankan writer, teacher and cultural worker. The author of Consensual Genocide and Love Cake and co-editor of The Revolution Starts At Home: Confronting Intimate Violence in Activist Communities (South End, 2011), her work has appeared in the anthologies Persistence: Still Butch and Femme, Yes Means Yes, Visible: A Femmethology, Homelands, Colonize This, We Don’t Need Another Wave, Bitchfest, Without a Net, Dangerous Families, Brazen Femme, Femme and A Girl’s Guide to Taking Over The World. She co-founded Mangos With Chili, North America’s queer and trans people of color performance incubator, is a lead artist with Sins Invalid and teaches with June Jordan’s Poetry for the People. In 2010 she was named one of the Feminist Press’ “40 Feminists Under 40 Who Are Shaping the Future.” She co-founded Toronto’s Asian Arts Freedom School and loves femmes of colour more than any other group of people on the planet.

 

Leah Mae [Workshop Presenter]

Leah Mae is a young, queer, hard femme with roots in the Midwest and love in the South, who semi-recently grew wings, packed 3 bags, and landed in San Francisco, CA. Currently settling deeper into the Bay Area, she works by day as an art model and does crisis counseling and peer-support work by night. She is intensely invested in developing and maintaining an active, radical critique of Bay Area sex culture and plans to continue her exploration and commitment to creative performance-based sex-education; primarily in a peer-peer context. Leah is particularly interested in talking about and working to create a culture of mentorship as well as nerding out about art theory. She is also a self-proclaimed Theatre-Slut, and you should ask her about that.

 

Leanne Dawson [Lecturer]

Dr Leanne Dawson has written a range of articles on queer femininities in German literature, theatre and film. Her monograph, Femme: Queer Femininities in German Culture will be published by University of Chicago/University of Wales Press in 2013. She is Editorial Assistant for journal, Studies in European Cinema and a literature reviewer for a number of other publications. Housed within Modern Languages and Cultures at the University of Leeds, UK, she teaches numerous German Studies modules as well as teaching and supervising research students in the Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies, the Centre for World Cinemas and the Centre for Translation Studies. Outside of the academy, she works as a freelance translator and academic text editor, teaches people of all ages about German cultural studies and gender, and is a consultant on the representation of gender and sexuality to advertising and new media agencies, theatre productions and radio shows. She recently received funding to organise a cultural programme to run alongside Leeds Pride UK, an annual LGBTQ pride celebration. Her impact project, Queer Identities is a series of arts and cultural events which aims to: create ongoing links between the University of Leeds, Leeds Pride events and organisations across the city, both commercial and third sector; disseminate research to wider audiences and engage in knowledge transfer in both directions; and offer an alternative strand of entertainment during Pride celebrations.
Lily Divine Productions [Performer]

Lily Divine Productions is a small non-profit production company. We are committed to cultivating a vibrant and prosperous queer community by:

*Establishing sex-positive spaces that celebrate the identity and experience of each person present

*Supporting the work of queer artists by providing opportunities for performance, shared resources and mentorship of developing artists.

*Connecting our audiences with nonprofits providing health and social services within the queer community, and raising funds to support these organizations’ work.

 

Liz Suellentrop [Lecturer]

Pansexual, Multi-ethnic (Latina, Native-American, European Descent), middle femme (my high femme tiara is on layaway, I’m accepting donations) working-class member of the non-profit industrial complex, fat, Pagan, feminist, abuse survivor with mental (depression, anxiety, PTSD) and physical disabilities (fibromyalgia), certified Swedish masseuse, Leo with a Pisces rising and moon hence the multi-faceted, otherwise known as conflicted, nature that is mine. Onto the herstory, I remember my life by geography though I can’t read maps: Born in the land of Dorothy (Kansas), never did consider it my home, but I always have had a hankering for some red glitter shoes and I do love lions, tigers and bears. I spent some formative years there (toddler and undergrad). Raised by second-wave hippie feminist parents in Alaska who dressed me in flannel and Carharts *shudder*. I came to DC to get my master’s in women’s studies and intern and work with some fabulous non-profits. I’m happy to say I’ve done that and met some incredible people along the way – hence why I am still here in the mid-Atlantic region.

 

loree erickson [Workshop Presenter]

loree erickson is a a poly queer femmegimp porn star academic community organizer. her work is a synthesis of theoretical engagement and critical artistic creation, both of which are motivated and shaped by personal experience and activist ideals. she wants to replace the gawking, gazing, and glaring people with disabilities encounter on a daily basis with beholding, recognizing, and reacting when people with disabilities are red fucking hot.

 

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