PRIDE 2021 Panels & Conversations

2021 PRIDE Panels & Conversations

FREE virtual events
Live on facebookYouTube.

Join our program officers and guest program curators for illuminating and introspective conversations with thought leaders and creators from our community, the wider region, and the national stage. In these dialogues, we’ll tackle issues of racial justice, gender equity, youth empowerment, and more as we advance the conversation and plot a more equitable and just path through turbulent times.

The Center seeks to explore issues that are not being addressed adequately in the broader LGBTQ+ community, focusing on topics that affect our community’s members in often-overlooked ways. Through this intersectional work, the Center strives to elevate the voices of the most marginalized and raise awareness around all aspects of the sociopolitical climate our community members find themselves in.

The PRIDE Panels & Conversations programming was curated by Center staff members Laura Boccadoro, Max Cisneros, Patrick J Dunn, Ala Ochumare, and Eliot Olsen.

Thank you to our PRIDE Presenting Sponsors

PRIDE 2021 Panels & Conversations Schedule

Day of Action : Liberación Queer Latinx
Sunday, Sept 12 @ 10:00a – 7:30p

La creación de espacios latinos/a /x queer y la preservación de las historias latinx queer son una prioridad fundamental del New Haven Pride Center.

En honor al Mes de la Herencia Hispana, el 3er Día de Acción del Centro se enfocará en elevar la voz de la comunidad Latina/o/x/ queer una parte de la comunidad que a menudo es marginada en nuestra comunidad LGBTQ +. Exploraremos en profundidad cómo, como comunidad, podemos trabajar para eliminar la xenofobia, temas clave como la inmigración y las identidades machistas, y cómo convertirnos en una sociedad queer más justa e inclusiva.

Lee Mas
Header _ PRIDE Intersex Panel 1
Panel : Intersex Advocates Speak Out
Monday, Sept 13 @ 12:00p

Intersex individuals are one of the most under represented groups within the LGBTQ+ community – with the recent update to the progress forward flag adding the intersex symbol visibility for intersex people is slowly increasing however there is always more we can do as a community to provide resources and support for our siblings.

Join us as we sitdown with Intersex advocates from around the United States doing the important work to close the gap for the community as they answer some of the most asked questions.

This panel will include perspectives from Marissa Adams, Katerina Azhdaji, Bria Brown-King, Angela Carter and Hans Lindahl. This panel will be moderated by activist, peer support specialist, and founder of PeerPride Kirill Staklo.

Panel : New Haven Familia
Monday, Sept 13 @ 4:00p

Unfortunately this program has been postponed due to an unexpected challenge. This will be rescheduled to a later date. 


Join us for a roundable discussion with New Haven-based LGBTQ+ organizers who are making a difference and advocating on the front lines for our community. With the recent rise of violence and ongoing inequities – what can and should the LGBTQ+ community doing to contribute to the conversation and participate in the important healing work that needs to happen.


Bi+ Talk
Monday, Sept 13 @ 7:30p

Join us as we continue our journey in dismantle inner-community Biphobia through out Bi+ Talk series that brings local and national Bi+ voices together to deconstruct phobic language, challenge bias norms, and work to elliminate biphobia throughout the larger LGBTQ+ community.

This program kicks off a new series of discussions that will be led by the Bi+ community of Connecticut with the goal of elevating the voices of the Bi+ communtiy within the Center’s programming.

This conversation will include perspectives from Joshua O’Connell, Bi+ activist and Center Co-President of the Board of Directors and will be moderated by Center Executive Director Patrick J Dunn.

Header _ PRIDE Queer Black Feminism
Panel : Queer Black Feminism III
Tuesday, Sept 14 @ 12:00p

Join us for part III of our conversation on “Queer Black Feminism” (watch part I and part II).

In part three we are specifically focusing on Black Transgender and Nonbinary women and femme’s experiences and perspectives on feminism. As we continue to explore the unique aspects of feminism when it manifests within Black identity, this conversation will allow us a deeper opportunity to explore this topic. Our big questions are : How does gender identity and expression interact with the traditional and nontraditional ideas of feminism, feminitity, and women’s empowerment? And, is that different when you are Black?

This conversation will include perspectives from Ravyn Ororo Laveau-Moulton and Tiana Maxim Rose. The panel will be moderated by journalist, activist, and athlete Karleigh Webb.

Header _ Queer Immigration
Panel : Queer Immigration
Tuesday, Sept 14 @ 4:00p

Many LGBTQ+ immigrants face unique challenges when they arrive at the United States border. From the lack of affirming legal documentation, unique medical needs, and the challenge of migrating through South and Central America as a LGBTQ+ individual, the path to American citizenship is long and difficult. Join us for a conversation about immigration and it’s intersection with LGBTQ+ identity.

This will be a conversation between Transgender immigrant rights activist Jennicet Gutiérrez and Latinx Program Officer Max Cisneros.

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Panel : Decolonizing Gender
Wednesday, Sept 15 @ 12:00p

Gender is complicated. It is further conveluted by gender norms that were forced on communities throughout the world by colonizing nations. How can we un-center these ideals around binary feminity and masculinity and find our true selves? How can we deconstruct colonization and recognize that expression and identity are far more complex than just straight boy and straight girl?

This panel will include perspectives from staff members Devanté Dodgens, Max Cisneros, Joseph DiMaggio, Ala Ochumare, Eliot Olson, and Juancarlos Soto. This panel will be moderated by the Center’s Executive Director Patrick J Dunn.

Panel : Queer & Muslim
Wednesday, Sept 15 @ 4:00p

Every LGBTQ+ person has intersecting identities and cultures that they are connected to. At times these identities can feel at odds with eachother or can feel oppressive as we try to live with one foot in two very different world. Join us for an in-depth conversation with LGBTQ+ muslims from around Connecticut and hear from them first hand how the navigate the often complicated relationship between the LGBTQ+ community and the Muslim community.

This panel will include perspectives from Shaamsuldhin Ashiq. This panel will be moderated by International Queer and Muslim rights activist Ahmad Abojaradeh.

Panel : Beyond the Binary II
Thursday, Sept 16 @ 4:00p

Join us as we continue our exploration of the gender spectrum, the Center hosts part II of “Beyond the Binary.”  In this deep dive, we we will further discuss concepts from our first conversation including nonbinary gender identities and terminology as well as explore the relationship between the Transgender community and the Nonbinary communtiy that are both interconnected but uniquely distinct from eachother. How can we create the spaces our nonbinary siblings need and want? What does being inclusive of all gender identities really mean?

Ruby Melton Header
Discussion : Exploring New Haven’s Lesbian History & Culture
Friday, Sept 17 @ 12:00p

New Haven has been the birth place of many social justice movements in our State. It has also been the place where important moments in LGBTQ+ history has taken place. It is Connecticut’s queer culture capital and the city with the most LGBTQ+ owned businesses in our State. It is also a place with a rich Lesbian history. From the A Lesbian Position (1972-2007) publication to many Lesbian and LGBTQ+ women centric spaces to the LGBTQ+ women who are now leading movements and community organizations, we invite you to join us for an afternoon of stories about this past and present.

This program will feature perspectives by long-time New Haven resident and philantropist Ruby Melton. This program will be moderated by the Center’s Interim Women’s Program Officer Laura Boccadoro.

Panel : Queer Identities in the AAPI Civil Rights Movement
Friday, Sept 17 @ 4:00p

Anti-Asian sentiment continues to reverberates throughout the community and since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic we have seen unprecedented increases to hate speech and vicious attacks. In this panel we will discuss and explore the stigmas and racism faced by Queer Asians, including anti-Asian racism and the fetishization of Queer Asians’ sexualities and bodies. Panelists will share personal histories and perspectives as we discuss the ways in which Queer Asians experience racism, both within the queer community as well as from external forces and try to answer the question – where do we go from here?

Panelists and moderator to be announced. 

Meet Our Speakers

If you are interested in reading more about staff members who are participating in our panels click here. Read more about the Day of Action speakers here

Hans Lindahl – Panel : Intersex Advocates Speak Out

​​Hans (hans/hans) is a writer, comics artist, and creator known for accessible and colorful commentary on intersex issues. While serving as Communications Director for interACT, Hans’s groundwork and digital strategies played a pivotal role in passing and advancing California legislation denouncing genital surgeries on intersex infants. Hans’s YouTube videos on intersex topics have been translated into three languages. As one third of the zine collective Neighborhood Comix, Hans enjoys telling stories from unique corners of contemporary trans, nonbinary, and intersex life.

Marissa Adams – Panel : Intersex Advocates Speak Out

​​Marissa (she/her) is a queer intersex woman and advocate. She has been involved in intersex advocacy since 2014 when she joined InterACT‘s Youth Program. Since then she has talked and written about her intersex journey including what it is like to be intersex and experience an eating disorder. She is currently the Communications and Support Coordinator at InterConnect Support Group, a youth advocate at interACT: Advocates for Intersex Youth, and serves on the board of Intersex and Faith. She advocates for intersex bodily autonmy and increased access to gender affirming medical and mental healthcare.

Katerina Azhdaji – Panel : Intersex Advocates Speak Out

​​Katerina (she/her) is an LGBTQ+ and Rromani rights activist currently living in Albuquerque, NM. She is a single mother of a teenager, and owns a small business as a contract refugee services coordinator, helping recently displaced people gain access to such services as English classes, work placement, training programs and many others. She spends her personal time serving on the board of several local non-profits and Leftist political and Labor Organizations, including as an editor for a Socialist newspaper, the Red Wheel. She is an intersex awareness speaker and has spoken on a number of other topics ranging from acrylic painting to 21st century Marxist theory. She enjoys reading, writing (both prose and poetry) and spending time with friends and family.

Bria Brown-KingPanel : Intersex Advocates Speak Out

Bria (they/them) is the director of engagement at interACT Advocates for Intersex Youth. They work to build and cultivate relationships with stakeholders and raise awareness about intersex issues. Bria started doing intersex advocacy work as an intern with interACT, where they published articles for the ACLU, TeenVogue, and Them Magazine. They were also the first openly intersex person to speak about intersex issues on the steps of the Supreme Court. Bria also serves as an advisory board member for multiple organizations — representing intersex people nationally and internationally.

Dr. Angela Carter – Panel : Intersex Advocates Speak Out

Dr. Carter (they/them) is a queer, transgender, and genderqueer naturopathic primary care physician, midwife, sexual assault examiner, and trans health advocate. They currently work as the program director for Oregon’s Measure 110 implementation and management. They have lectured extensively at medical schools and conferences nationally and internationally on transgender and non-binary health care. Dr. Angela has had the privilege of providing physical and mental health care and hormone therapy to over 1000 trans and non-binary community members over their last decade in practice. They founded, then clinically directed the Marie Equi Institute 2014-19. Dr. Angela has organized and volunteered with the Portland LGBTQ Meaningful Care Conference, National Trans HIV testing Day events, the C3PO houseless villages, Outside In Clinic, and Mercy and Wisdom Clinic. They have volunteered for 10 years as a medic with Burning Man Emergency Services and was a founding volunteer with the Queerdome psychedelic support community. In this capacity and others, they have been honored to sit with many people experiencing psychedelic journeys. They currently serve as vice-chair of the Oregon Psilocybin Advisory Board, volunteer as a supervisor with Fireside Project psychedelic support line, and chair the OHSU Transgender Health Program community advisory board. They are a dirt-worshiping witch; they enjoy mycological forays to the Oregon woods, making botanical medicine, crocheting unique sculptural hats, and the company of cats.

Kirill Staklo – Panel : Intersex Advocates Speak Out

Kirill (he/him) is a trans and intersex rights, Rrom liberation, anti war & anti racism activist based in New Haven, CT. He is a crisis and peer support expert and directs programs at PeerPride, a trans and BIPOC led equity consulting and peer support organization. He is a vocal advocate against nonconsensual surgeries and for the right to self-determination for trans and intersex young people across the US. Kirill volunteers with the New Haven Pride Center and ANSWER CT and is a board member at Life In My Days. He regularly speaks and presents on intersex and trans issues for legislators, educators, healthcare providers and more. Kirill’s current major project is the creation of accessible, confidential, open-source peer support software for free use by organizations led by and for marginalized people. You can learn more about Kirill’s work at

Joshua O’Connell – Conversation : Bi+ Talk

Joshua (he/him), Board Co-President, started volunteering with the Center in 2006, and joined the board in 2007. For many years he served as lead facilitator for GLANCE, a group focused on 18-28 year olds at the Center. During his time on the board he served as co-president for nearly six years, and has been a Dorothy Awards co-chair for 10 years. Today he runs the Center’s board/card games group. Outside of the Center, he serves as board president for the Imperial Sovereign Court of All Connecticut. By day, he works at an ecommerce technology start-up.

Ravyn Laveau-Moulton – Panel : Queer Black Feminism, Part III

Ravyn (she/her) is a former sexual deviant, a Trans women of color and a victim advocate for the LGBTQ+ community at, particularly for Trans women of color. She is active in many activist and organizing circles and recently was appointed to Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families’ Youth Advisory Board.

Tiana Maxim Rose – Panel : Queer Black Feminism, Part III

Bio coming soon. 

Karleigh Webb – Panel : Queer Black Feminism, Part III

Karleigh (she/her) has been in sports journalism and sports broadcasting for 26 years. She is currently a writer-contributor to Outsports in addition to doing varied freelance editing/videography and producing projects through her firm Karleigh Webb Video in Connecticut.

When not chasing a story, Karleigh is a crisis operator for Trans Lifeline. North America’s only 24-hour-a-day, 7-days-a-week hotline dedicated to the need of transgender people. She considers her service as an honor as great as her awards and commendations she has earned as a journalist. It is this work that also fuels her work as a activist centering around human rights, anti-war issues, and the fight against economic violence placed upon working people.

Sports is not just a piece of her craft and passion, it is also her hobby. A lifelong athlete, Karleigh is an active, budding duathlete-triathlete, and love to get behind the plate in softball and be the signal-caller behind center in flag-football.

Jennicet Gutiérrez – Conversation : Queer Immigration

Jennicet (ella/she/her) is a transgender Latina organizer from México. She was born in Tuxpan, Jalisco. She is an organizer Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement. Jennicet believes in the importance of uplifting and centering the voices of trans women of color in all racial justice work. Jennicet will continue to organize in order to end the deportation, incarceration and criminalization of immigrants and all people of color. She currently resides in Los Angeles.

Ruby has traveled widely and has lived in New York, New Orleans, Athens, Rome, Paris and London. She now lives in West Haven with her wife, Gail McAvay, an epidemiologist by training and a Senior Research Scientist on the faculty of Yale Medical School‘s Program on Aging.

Shaamsuldhin Ashiq – Conversation : Queer & Muslim

Bio coming soon. 

Ahmad Abojaradeh – Conversation : Queer & Muslim

Ahmad (They/Them) is a disabled, trans, queer, Muslim, indigenous Palestinian focusing on creating transformative work around displacement, decolonization, equity, and centering lived experiences of individuals most impacted by injustice. Currently, they are working as an Equity and Transformation consultant, supporting various organizations in four continents. They are working on their MA in Conflict Transformation and Social Justice from Queen’s University Belfast. They have worked in over two dozen countries, and specialize in global and community vision building. Ahmad is an engineer, with a specialty in sustainability and social engineering, a peer support specialist, has a traumatic stress graduate certificate, and is currently working towards a MA in Conflict Transformation and Social Justice. They are the Founder of Life in My Days, an international non-profit that supports individuals and their communities on their journeys for self-actualization through mutual aid, transformative justice, and disability justice. For the last few years, Ahmad has also been a Master Recovery Educator, facilitating the RI Peer Support Certification training nationally to certify individuals as Peer Support Specialists.

Additionally, they are an Equity Coach with Sustainable CT, supporting municipalities in the State in engraining equity practices into any sustainability work. Ahmad brings together engineering, peer support, and trauma to support their vision of more equitable and accountable communities that lead to individuals’ self-actualization. Ahmad currently serves as a board member for TransLifeline and is the previous co-chair of the International Association of Peer Supporters board. In their free time, Ahmad is a world traveler and novelist, having visited over 70 countries and written over a dozen books.

Heather Kim, MD – Panel : Beyond the Binary

Heather (she/her/they/them) is a non-binary child and adolescent psychiatrist specializing in working with trans and gender diverse youth. They have been involved in health justice advocacy since medical school and works to provide gender affirming, LGBT inclusive psychiatric care. Academic interests include social psychiatry, medical humanities, and history of medicine, especially from a historical materialist perspective. They live in Boston with a cat and many plants.

Devin Atlas Marlow – Panel : Beyond the Binary

Devin (they/them/he/him is a 27 years old member of the bisexual+ and nonbinary community. They are a barista and cashier at Atticus Market in East Rock, and day to day he does more than serve customers. As a queer person, they contribute to the space being queer friendly- for both fellow queer coworkers and customers in the lgbtq+ community. Some work they’ve been involved with the New Haven Pride Center in the past few years includes doing drag at events, helping organize the clothing closet, and providing assistance with nutrition programs. They enjoy listening in on the New Haven Pride Center’s panels and hearing minority voices centered in their conversations. He’s seen positive outreach within these panels and aim to be a part of that theirself. they are really excited to be on the panel, and am looking forward to talking to other nonbinary people.

Braedyn ‘Rae’ InmonPanel : Beyond the Binary

Rae (they/them/he/him) is a new transplant to Connecticut, originally hailing from Texas. They are a board certified music therapist and aspiring mental health practitioner. Rae embraces a special and unique approach to their work with trans clients as a speech therapist that sets their methodology apart from most other professionals in their field: they work holistically with each client, providing support around identifying the elements of vocal pitch, tone, mannerisms and other features that clients individually desire to retain, enhance or alter depending on the circumstances they are in. “Most ‘vocal training’ type therapists are focused on ‘this is how you do masculine’, ‘this is how you do feminine’ speech patterns,” says a new client who met Rae at a New Haven Pride Center trans social. “Braedyn’s approach is about smashing those stereotypes and really getting to the heart of what gender euphoria looks like for each person, as well as how we move through the world in a survival sense. They would never tell me what my voice should or shouldn’t sound like — that’s up to me to determine and they help me get the results I want, regardless of what they are.” Rae is passionate about discussing the harmful effects of binarism and cisnormativity on people’s social transitions — particularly how they impact nonbinary trans individuals.

William LovePanel : Beyond the Binary

Will Love (they/them), is 42, Non-Binary and Genderqueer. A lifelong resident of Danbury and leader of the Danbury Area Justice Network, as well as a leader of Action Together Connecticut, they have volunteered their time for the past five years fighting for a more equitable society by engaging in the political sphere. Will is a current member of the Danbury Democratic Town Committee as well as a Justice of the Peace. Having worked most of their adult life in customer service in various retail positions, Will also was an advisor to the Western Connecticut State University Gender and Sexuality Alliance. It was at an intergenerational meeting with that group, 2 years ago, where they came out as Non-binary for the first time in public. Will is still exploring what being Non-binary and Genderqueer look like for them, although they do have a penchant for a cute makeup lewk, with a cute dress.

Jo ParkerPanel : Beyond the Binary

Bio coming soon. 

Lindsey Pasquale – Panel : Beyond the Binary

Lindsey Pasquale (she/her/they/them), Board Secretary, joined the Board in 2018. In addition to co-coordinating the Transgender Adult Support Group at the Pride Center, they are a facilitator at Hartford PFLAG and active in support groups around the State. Lindsey has curated many large non-binary spaces on Facebook and is the creator of the new space “Older and Non-Binary”. They are a regular panelist for the Yale residency program on the topic of transgender identities. She has worked on magazine articles including “Coming Out”, aimed at parents of LGBTQ+ youth, and presented workshops including “We Are All Genderfluid: These and Other Myths About Non-Binary People”. Lindsey took part in Facebook@Stonewall at the Stonewall Inn as a panelist as part of the 50th Anniversary, to speak about about building meaningful communities on Facebook and reflect on its impact on LGBTQIA+ activism. Lindsey has moderated/participated in numerous panels for the Center such as “Right to Play : Standing Up for Trans Athletes”, “Beyond the Binary”, and “Community Conversation : Trans Visibility”. They have a BS in Marketing and an MBA in Finance, and currently work as a consultant in the Insurance Software Industry.


Ruby Melton – Conversation : Exploring New Haven’s Lesbian History & Culture

Ruby (she/her) practiced maritime and international law at the New York firm of Nourse & Bowles before joining the Switzerland-based Louis Dreyfus Group, one of the world’s oldest commodities merchants. Earlier, she had begun her career with the company as an ocean freight manager and arbitration specialist for its international shipping and grain exporting businesses. Upon re-joining Louis Dreyfus in the law department, she focused on joint ventures and the development of new product areas, including energy trading in North America and Europe; orange juice processing in Brazil; and cotton exporting to China. She retired in 2008 as Deputy General Counsel of Louis Dreyfus Highbridge Energy, overseeing all legal and compliance functions for the company’s worldwide energy activities.

​Ruby earned a B.A. in English and French Literature from Hollins University and a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law. She serves on the Advisory Council of Women’s Health Research at Yale, the National Council for the American Theatre, and the Boards of the Long Wharf Theatre, the Shubert Theatre-New Haven, Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame and International Festival of Arts and Ideas. Ruby also volunteers as a mentor with the First Generation Mentoring Program at Gateway Community College.

Ruby has traveled widely and has lived in New York, New Orleans, Athens, Rome, Paris and London. She now lives in West Haven with her wife, Gail McAvay, an epidemiologist by training and a Senior Research Scientist on the faculty of Yale Medical School‘s Program on Aging.