We’re shaking it up again this year with a roster of spectacular programming that’ll go deep into our hearts and souls and entertain the hell out of you, headed up by these truly talented individuals.
As a singer/songwriter and spoken word artist, Mary Lambert is most known for her heart-wrenching vocals in the 2012 global anthem, "Same Love". Writing and singing the hook led to two Grammy nominations for “Song Of The Year” and “Album Of The Year”, as well as the iconic performance alongside pop legend Madonna at the 2014 Grammys. Mary Lambert isn’t your typical pop artist. Inspired by confessional folk singers as well as spoken-word performers, she is a brutally candid writer who deals directly in her art with her past traumas and lived experience. Lambert was raised in an abusive home, attempted suicide at 17, turned to drugs and alcohol before being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and survived multiple sexual assaults throughout her childhood. With a list of horrors, you wouldn’t expect Mary to be disarmingly joyful, but she charms effortlessly, and the effect on her audience is bewitching. She describes her performances as “safe spaces where crying is encouraged; My entire prerogative is about connection, about being present, and facilitating true and genuine catharsis. Also, fart jokes.”
Jen Richards is a writer & actress, as well as a consultant & advocate. She is the Co-Writer/Star/Producer of the series Her Story, which was nominated for an Emmy and won Gotham and Peabody awards; Co-Producer of the documentary More Than T (Showtime) and Writer of its accompanying Trans 102 series (Refinery 29); a 2016 Outfest Screenwriting Fellow for her feature script Any Given Week; and can be seen in CBS’s Doubt, CMT’s Nashville, FX’s Better Things, Seeso’s Take My Wife, the film Easy Living, and Two Sentence Horror Stories (Stage 13). Jen was a series regular on E!’s I Am Cait, featured in Logo’s Beautiful As I Want To Be and AOL’s True Trans with Laura Jane Grace, covered live events for Logo, has appeared in several videos for BuzzFeed, OWN, and After Ellen, and countless podcasts and YouTube shows. She is a columnist for NewNowNext, has published essays on multiple platforms, and wrote the 2015 Sep/Oct cover story “What Trans Movement?” for The Advocate. She was previously the Co-Founder and Director of The Trans 100, creator of We Happy Trans, a website dedicated to celebrating positive transgender experiences.
Mara Wilson is a recovering child actor perhaps best known for playing the title role in the movie Matilda. She now works as a writer, voice-over actor, and storyteller. Her voice can be heard on BoJack Horseman and Welcome to Night Vale, and her writing has been featured in The New York Times, The Guardian, McSweeney's, The Toast, and many other places. She is the creator and host of the storytelling show What Are You Afraid Of?, and in 2016, her first book, Where Am I Now? was published by Penguin Books. She loves baking, tea, and cats. (Dogs are good, too.)
Website: Mara Wilson Writes Stuff
Be Steadwell is a singer songwriter from Washington DC. Be believes that all people deserve cheesy pop songs-so she writes supergay music and calls it queerpop. In her live performances, she utilizes looping, vocal layering and beat boxing to compose her songs on stage.
In 2017, Be sang in The Women's March behind Maxwell and Janelle Monae. The Astraea Global Arts Fund awarded Be a grant to produce her new album, Queer Love Songs. In September, Be had the opportunity to open for Big Freedia at DC's Honeygroove Festival. The DC Commission in the Arts awarded Be with the 2018 Artist Fellowship. Be is currently touring her music and screening her film Vow of Silence internationally.
Liza Dye is a standup comedian, writer, actress and occasional disc jokey based in Los Angeles, California. You may have heard her on Call Chelsea Peretti Podcast or seen her do standup at Ilana Glazer's Snowbird Series or you may follow her on Twitter where she is very active in the Celesbian Gossip™ world. Previously living in NYC, Liza is mostly known for her insane subway accident story from 2014, which garnered a lot of attention from the elite comedy community. Liza attempts to use the pain from her traumatic injury and transform it into humor for her standup sets, which you can catch around Los Angeles.
Brittani Nichols is a writer, comedian, and actor living in Los Angeles. Prior to her career in television and film, Brittani’s writing could be found in various places on the internet including Autostraddle, Jezebel, Huffington Post, and Buzzfeed. Words With Girls, a comedy pilot (based on the webseries of the same name) which she created and starred, was produced as part of Issa Rae's Color Creative TV and premiered at HBO/BET's Urbanworld Film Festival in 2014. Brittani was a recurring character on Season 2 of Transparent and guest starred on the IFC series, Boxed In. She currently co-hosts Brand New Podcast with her neighbor and friend, Ariana Lenarsky.
Suicide Kale, the feature she produced, wrote, and starred is currently available SVOD after winning the Audience Award at both Outfest and Newfest amongst other festival awards. Some of Brittani’s most recent television writing credits include Take My Wife and Drop the Mic. She just finished writing for the second season of Strangers which will be available on Facebook later this year.
Kim Katrin Milan is an award- winning, internationally acclaimed educator, TED speaker, writer, and artist. She is recognized stateside as a Young Feminist to Watch by The Root, celebrated by the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity as 2016’s Youth Role Model, and recognized nationally as one of Huffington Post’s 50 Most Loved Gay Canadians. Kim is the co- founder and executive director of the People Project, an initiative to bring forth local and international community development for queer and trans folks of colour and their allies through alternative education, art- activism, and collaboration. She is also one of the owners of Glad Day Book Shop, the oldest LGBT bookstore in the world. She has hosted events for the United Nations, acted as the grand marshall for Pride in Hudson, New Yok, opened for Cornel West, interviewed Roxane Gay, and hosted an inspiring session at Dreamforce 2016. She has contributed to Cosmopolitan, MTV, NBC, Larry King Now, Buzzfeed, and the CBC both independently and alongside her husband Tiq Milan. She was featured in Elixher Magazine with Janet Mock, as well as in OUT Magazine’s 2015 Love Portfolio alongside Lee Daniels and Ruby Rose. The Love is Revolutionary series produced by Danielle Moodie- Mills for NBC featuring the Milans has garnered praise from Ava DuVernay and the Advocate. Alongside Gein Wong, Kim co- curated Strange/ Insatiable Sisters, Resistance & Raunch with Vivek Shraya, and, most recently The Cipher Cabaret featuring Patrisse Cullors, co- founder of Black Lives Matter. Her TED Talk with Tiq Milan has been viewed over one million times and has been translated into over a dozen languages.