Looking Back: The Fight Continues
InterPod Episode 5
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. Our history as a community is so important to recognize the struggles of those before us.
Dr. Ahmad Qais Munhazim (genderqueer), Tamara Adrian (she/hers), Dédé Oetomo (he/him), Shea Diamond (she/her), Robyn Kennedy (she/her), and Virginia Mansel Lees (she/her).
Dr. Qais Munhazim: Dr. Ahmad Qais Munhazim, genderqueer, Afghan, Muslim and perpetually displaced, is an assistant professor of global studies at the Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. Munhazim was born and raised in Kabul, Afghanistan. As an interdisciplinary scholar, de/colonial ethnographer and community activist, Munhazim’ work troubles borders of academia, activism and art while exploring everyday experiences of displacements and war/conflicts in the lives of queer and trans Afghans in Afghanistan and its diasporas. Munhazim holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Minnesota.
Tamara Adrián: (born February 20, 1954, in Caracas) is a Venezuelan politician elected to the National Assembly of Venezuela in the 2015 Venezuelan parliamentary election . She is noted as the first transgender person elected to office in Venezuela and only the second transgender member of a national legislature in the Western Hemisphere . Some early media coverage credited her as the first transgender member of a legislature in the Americas but was later corrected due to Michelle Suárez Bértora’s election to the Senate of Uruguay in 2014 .
She is a member of the Popular Will party, one of the forces in opposition to the PSUV-led government of Nicolás Maduro . She took her oath of office at the National Assembly of Venezuela on January 14, 2015 . During her term in office, Adrián intends to promote proper access to public records on identity, same-sex marriage, and human rights.
Dede Oetomo: Dédé Oetomo is an independent scholar, educator and activist in research, education and advocacy in the fields of language and society, HIV & AIDS and sexuality, mainly as Trustee at GAYa NUSANTARA Foundation, which hosts the Coalition for Sexual & Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies (CSBR), and as Chair of the Regional Advisory Group of APCOM Foundation. Academically, he is an adjunct senior lecturer at Universitas Airlangga in Surabaya, Indonesia.
Shea Diamond: “Shea” Diamond (born March 17, 1978) is an American singer, songwriter, and transgender rights activist. Her music is chiefly soul and R&B, and includes elements of blues, rock, hip-hop and folk. Her songwriting ability has been described as “demonstrating a rare gift to portray raw, dynamic emotion in a way that moves the body as much as the spirit” Her influences include Whitney Houston and Tina Turner. Her debut extended play Seen It All was released on June 29, 2017.
Robyn Kennedy: is Vice President Global Outreach and Partnerships Regions 12, 15, 18, 19, 20 and a member of the Management Committee of Australian Pride organization First Mardi Gras Inc. and a former member of the Board of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. She has a long history of involvement in Pride and LGBQTI rights activism as well as broader social justice and human rights issues.
Robyn’s career has included senior roles in government, the not for profit sector and consultancy, with a focus on addressing social inequity and disadvantage. Robyn is a frequent international speaker and writer on LGBTQI rights issues, with a focus on grassroots action. Robyn was the 2018 recipient of ACON’s prestigious Community Hero Award in recognition of her contribution to advancing the rights of LGBTQI communities. She has also been recognized for her contribution to LGBTQI and women’s rights by the National Library of Australia in their collection of audio oral histories of distinguished Australians.
For InterPride, Robyn has represented Region 20 on the Global Advisory Council and Co-Chairs the Human Rights and Diversity Committee and the Strategic Planning Committee. Over the last few years, Robyn has worked to better engage Region 20 in InterPride. In 2020, she established Oceania Pride which brings together the 20 countries of the region including those where homosexuality remains illegal.
General Meeting & World Conference. Keeping The Flag Flying: Organizing In Times Of Uncertainty with Virginia Mansel Lees, Social Work Academic.
- Jean Michele : “Beautiful”
- Kai Mata “Where Love Goes”
- Shea Diamond “Smile”
- Piano: Transgender activist from Thailand, Miss LGBT 2020 Thailand
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About Michelle Meow, Producer & Host of InterPod
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 constructing opportunities for people to listen in to 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 serves 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, 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 2014–2018. 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 change we all seek in humanity.”
You can learn more about Michelle and her programming at here.