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Trans Rights Are Human Rights

InterPod Episode 4

The InterPride podcast series, InterPod, is proud to launch our 4th episode, Trans Rights Are Human Rights, in honor of Transgender Awareness Month.

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. Countries around the world have experienced Stonewalls, whereas some have not. Hear from people in different parts of the world on how their Stonewall Riot moment happened (or has yet to and why).

Hear from individuals who know firsthand about it. Want to hear new episodes monthly? Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter! Make sure to follow us on social media to stay in the know about future guests, episodes, and how you can make a difference in the fight for LGBTQIA+ equality.

Want to sponsor an episode or a season? Click here to learn more!

Speaker Biographies

Guest speakers include Aria Sa’id, Donna Personna, Monica Roberts, Toni D. Newman, Tamara Adrian, and Jannat Ali.

Aria Sa’id (she/her)

Aria Sa’id is a transgender advocate and award-winning political strategist in San Francisco Bay Area. She is a founder and the Executive Director of the Transgender District- the world’s first transgender district, celebrating the resilience, culture, and presence of transgender people in San Francisco’s famed Tenderloin neighborhood. She is the founder of Kween Culture Initiative- a social and cultural empowerment project for Black transgender women. Ms. Sa’id and her efforts have been featured in numerous media platforms, including Forbes, CNN, The Daily Mail, OUT Magazine, Marie Claire, The Guardian, Huffington Post, CBS, Vice, and San Francisco Chronicle.

Donna Personna (she/her)

Donna Personna is an artist and activist for transgender rights who got her start with the Cockettes. She has served on the Trans March and Transgender Day of Remembrance boards and on the committees to name streets after Vicki Marlene and Compton’s Cafeteria in San Francisco’s Transgender Cultural District. In 2018, she raised San Francisco’s first transgender flag at City Hall with Mayor London Breed. Donna was the Iris Prize-winning 2013 short film My Mother and featured in Beautiful by Night. Donna has been covered in outlets such as Out, The Advocate, the San Francisco Chronicle, and The Daily Beast. The immersive play she co-wrote, The Compton’s Cafeteria Riot, recreates San Francisco transgender history and received many accolades, including SF Weekly’s Best of 2018.

Monica Roberts (she/hers)

Monica Roberts is the founding editor of the award-winning TransGriot blog and is an award-winning human rights advocate. She is a sought-after collegiate and conference speaker who has been advocating for the human rights of transgender people for more than 20 years, with a focus on the issues affecting black trans people. Her writing has appeared at, The Advocate, Black Girl Dangerous, and OutSmart magazine. Roberts has also received the 2018 GLAAD Media Award, the Robert Coles “Call of Service” award from Harvard University’s Phillips Brooks House Association, the Virginia Prince Transgender Pioneer Award, and the Barbara Jordan breaking barriers award from Harris County Democratic Party.

Toni D. Newman (she/her)

Toni D. Newman (born December 3, 1962)[1] is an African-American transgender author, sex workers’ rights advocate, the Interim CEO of the Black AIDS Institute, and the former Interim Executive Director/President LYRIC in San Francisco. She was the former Executive Director of St. James Infirmary in San Francisco [2][3][4][5]. She is the author of I Rise-The Transformation of Toni Newman, a 2011 memoir about her gender transition[5][6][7], which was nominated for multiple Lambda Literary Awards[8][7] and became the basis for a short film, Heart of a Woman [9].

Newman was raised in Jacksonville, North Carolina [1][10]. She graduated from Wake Forest University in 1985 [9]. Before becoming Executive Director of St. James Infirmary in May 2018, Newman worked as interim director of development and communications for the To Help Everyone Health and Wellness Center in Los Angeles, as a strategic fundraiser and legislative aide for Equality California, and as a development officer for Maitri Compassionate Care [10][11].

Tamara Adrian (she/hers)

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 [1]. 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 [2]. 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 [2].

She is a member of the Popular Will party, one of the forces in opposition to the PSUV-led government of Nicolás Maduro [2]. She took her oath of office at the National Assembly of Venezuela on January 14, 2015 [3]. During her term in office, Adrián intends to promote proper access to public records on identity, same-sex marriage, and human rights.

Jannat Ali (she/hers)

Jannat Ali is an MBA Gold medalist Trans woman and also has a performing arts research degree. She is the first transgender Artivist (Artist + Activist) in Pakistan and Executive Director of Track-T (Trans Lead Community based organization) working for Trans Rights’ advocacy and capacity building. Jannat organized the first Trans Pride in Pakistan in December 2018. She has successfully run a literacy program as an educator/consultant regarding the primary education of transgender people by mobilizing and motivating the community members. She is a professional Kathak dancer with more than ten years of working experience and is one of the six transgender women who worked as an actress in a theater play “The Third Tune” based on real stories of transgender persons. She has worked on many different projects, Dua-e- Reem directed by Shoaib Mansoor and Mahira Khan, Films Poshida and Katchi; her upcoming national and International Films are Rung Ishqay da, Trash “The Film” and Mela Jaloos. She has conducted lectures and workshops in Denmark and has sensitized 400 students and teachers on Gender diversity, norms, and Performing Arts. She has also won several international awards Queen AIR 2015, Best Activist 2016, Inter Pride Best organization in Asia 2021, and been nominated for South Asia biggest Trans Hero Award. She was one of the key people who presented the bill, which has been passed and become Transgender Rights Law 2018, currently working on new Trans Bill going to table in Punjab. Her Dream is to be the highest educated transgender in the world and make this world inclusive. She is also hosting an infotainment show — Journey with Jannat on the YouTube channel “Jannat Ali official.” Recently appointed as Trans Representative Member of Women Peace Council Chair by the Government of Punjab.

Music Credit

  • The Cockettes: John Rothermel and Peter Mintun: “Aint Misbehavin”
  • The Cockettes: Sylvester and Peter Mintun: “Stormy Weather”
  • The Cockettes: Sylvester and Peter Mintun: “Happy Days are Here Again”
  • Tookata Barbie Topline: “Two Minutes”

Want to hear new episodes monthly? Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter!

Make sure to follow us on social media to stay in the know about future guests, episodes, and how you can make a difference in the fight for LGBTQIA+ equality.

Follow us on social media:

Facebook (InterPride) | Facebook (WorldPride)

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InterPride Empowers Pride Organizations Worldwide!

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.




The official podcast publication of InterPride.

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Advancing The Global Pride Movement. Licensor of WorldPride. Producer of InterPod by InterPride podcast.

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