Emerge! Keynote: Leadership Panel

Members of the TRACTION Advisory Council and Board of Directors share their perspectives on and experience with Trans Leadership and Advocacy in the greater Seattle area and beyond. Join us at Emerge! for what promises to be an eye-opening and inspiring discussion! Facilitated by TRACTION board member Colleen Ogi.


Photo by Shann Thomas

“Drug counselor by day, drag queen by night.” Aleksa Manila is Seattle’s sweetheart of fundraising and everything fabulous! She’s been Miss Gay Filipino, Miss Gay Seattle, and Empress of Seattle among many of her crowns. She’s recognized for her social activism and community leadership by Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, the Greater Seattle Business association, Seattle Women’s Pride, Public Health – Seattle and King County and so on. Follow her journey at www.AleksaManila.com.

PG (he/him) is a techie nerd who moonlights as a board member of Trikone NW, which is a social support network for queer and trans South Asians. PG grew up in India and has called Seattle home for the last few years. You will often find him zooming in and around the city on his broom motorcycle.

Tanya Rachinee was born in Thailand and migrated to the United States in 1999.  Since then she has learned and adopted the new culture but still remains true to her indigenous traits and roots.  She has been involved in the LGBTQ community ever since she won her first LGBTQ “Miss/Mr Gay Asian & Pacific Islander” pageant in 2001, and 10 years later she won another title as “Miss U.T.O.P.I.A. Seattle” (now known as Miss U.T.O.P.I.A International) in 2011, she also served as the president of the U.T.O.P.I.A.  (United Territories Of Pacific Islander Alliance) Seattle organization. 

Kalisto Zenda Nanen, affectionately known as Listo (Spanish for ready) by friends and family, was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. Kalisto, who uses he, ze, and they pronouns, received his associate degree in Fine Arts with a focus in dance, found object and mural design, and anthropology from McHenry County College. In 2012 they moved to Missoula, Montana with their then fiancé/now husband where he studied Journalism & Anthropology, with a focus on topographic surveys and cultural analysis of grave markers. Raised to be open and unashamed, Listo realized his interest in storytelling, communication, and historical preservation at an early age, and uses that in his daily life and work by creating holistic counseling and oratorical pieces.
When they are not supporting Community Members or doing outreach, they can be found mountain biking, snowboarding, or gardening as well as performing in Seattle’s theatre scene. Most recently, they performed in Kathya Alexander and Tyrone Brown’s piece Black D*ck Matters and as their drag and burlesque personas Foofie Amadeus and Beenah Starchild. Listo has lived in Seattle for six years and has been socially and physically transitioning since 2014. He is an actor, activist, visual and performance artist, philanthropist, advocate, adoptee, and a Queer Black Indigenous Person.

Isyss Agaiotupu Honnen is a Pacific Islander queer trans femme from Samoa. She is a fa’afafineist, descendant of celestial navigators, cat mama, and lover of all things Pasifika. Isyss is the Project Director for TRANSform Washington and the Finance Associate for Pride Foundation. Isyss is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting with plans to become a CPA and start a small firm run by QTPIs ÛÒ Queer and Trans Pacific Islanders. She is the co-coordinator for the Alphabet Alliance of Color in Seattle. She serves as the Co-Chair for UTOPIA, a fa’afafine and trans womxn of color-led organization in Seattle that serves the QTPI community, after having served 6 years as part of the organization’s Executive Leadership. She is a co-facilitator for [trans]ACTION, a monthly support group for former and current Pacific Islander trans and gender diverse sex workers in Washington affected by inequities in access to healthcare, education, employment, housing, and more.

Photo by Stuart Isett

C. Michael Woodward, MPH (he/him) is the Community Health Development Specialist in the Transgender Medicine Department at Borrego Health Systems in Southern California. He’s also the founder of lgbtQ&A Inclusion Consulting, former director of the international Gender Odyssey conference, and adjunct faculty instructor at Tacoma Community College. Michael represented Mayor Robert Walkup on the City of Tucson Commission on GLBT Issues for five years and is a founding member of the University of Arizona President’s LGBT Advisory Council, where he helped to develop the nation’s first trans-inclusive public university restroom access policy. In 2014, he received the Skip Shrader “Spirit of Activism” Award from Equality Arizona. Michael has published myriad books, articles, and blogs on a variety of non-fiction topics, most notably contributing the title essay to the FTM anthology, Manning Up: Transsexual Men on Finding Brotherhood, Family, and Themselves (Transgress Press, 2014). By night, Michael is a singer and entertainer, and former lead singer of the classic rock cover band Too Much Information.


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