Lesbian Visibility Week: Pat Tietgens And Michelle Zhang
Special Episode 15
The LGBTQIA+ community has come a long way in the fight for acceptance. Our voices matter and will be heard. Many of our LGBTQIA+ community members have fought for decades for the right to be seen and heard.
Pat Tietgens and Michelle Zhang share their love story as a lesbian Chinese American immigrant couple.
Michelle Zhang was born and raised in China, where she practiced law for nearly ten years. Michelle met her American wife Pat at a lesbian bar in Southwest China in 2012. Pat Tietgens was born and raised in San Jose, California, and she worked for the University of Washington in China, where she lived for nearly seven years. Michelle and Pat share a passion for cross-border and cross-cultural LGBTQ advocacy and community work.
Thanks to marriage equality in the US, they were legally married in San Francisco in 2016. Before leaving China, they held a uniquely open wedding ceremony to help raise awareness, and 150,000 people watched live across mainland China. This bold decision was the subject of multiple articles and a short film that reached over 5 million viewers in China. Michelle continues her passion for representation and belonging as the founder of a nonprofit called Society of Heart’s Delight. Pat serves on the LGBTQ PAC Bay Area Municipal Elections Committee board. Michelle and Pat are small business owners who run an event/consulting business in the Bay Area.
Listen in as we hear from Michelle Zhang!
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Michelle Meow is the host and producer of “The Michelle Meow Show.” The program’s tagline is: ‘Your A-Z, covering the LGBT, LMNOP, and everyone in between.’ Michelle’s mission is to construct opportunities for people to listen in too deep conversations to develop understanding and empathy. She shares, “We simply don’t have enough opportunities to talk and not enough moments to listen.” Michelle’s show can be heard in San Francisco and nationally on the Progressive Voices Network and her local TV show can be seen on KBCW TV and Channel 44.
Michelle also produces programs at the iconic Commonwealth Club, where she has also served on their Board of Governors. There she is dedicated to conversations around social justice with an intersectional lens. She has interviewed notable thought-leaders such as Olympic medalist Adam Rippon, NFL’s first out LGBTQ coach Katie Sowers, the first American woman in space, and Sally Ride’s widow Tam O’Shaughnessy. Since 2006, Michelle has been a co-host of the San Francisco Pride Parade broadcast and she was the President of their Board of Directors from 2014 to 2018. She is a self-described LGBTQI+ history geek, information sponge, and a lover not a fighter.
Michelle shares, “Exchanging thoughtful dialogue can create change. We are all different, but in our differences, we find similarities and hope. Exchanging thoughtful dialogue can create the change we all seek in humanity.”
You can learn more about Michelle and her programming here.