FEATURED SPEAKERS, MODERATORS, BREAKOUT FACILITATORS AND ENTERTAINERS
Aiden Aizumi is a Japanese American transgender activist living in Los Angeles. He is currently working on his Masters in Educational Counseling at the University of La Verne. In his spare time, he travels with his mother, sharing his story in hopes of providing education and insight to LGBTQQ issues.
Marsha Aizumi is an author, speaker, educator and advocate for the LGBT community. She serves on the board of directors for PFLAG National, is co-founder and current president of PFLAG San Gabriel Valley Asian Pacific Islander, and the author of Two Spirits, One Heart, a memoir that chronicles her journey with her transgender son to find unconditional love and acceptance.
Colleen (Coke) Tani is a queer sansei writer, dancer and facilitator. Her writing has appeared in Under Her Skin: How Girls Experience Race in America, ONTHEBUS and Moving Pictures: Nine Los Angeles Poets. Her performance works have been presented by APICC, the San Francisco Theater Festival and Stanford University.
Colin Boon is a fourth-generation Japanese American activist. He is a board member of the Silicon Valley chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL). Boon spends his time finishing up a programming certificate and working on the Tadaima committee. He has also been a mentor, preaching the importance of Asian American and LGBTQ issues. Boon has a BA degree in politics from University of California, Santa Cruz.
Elaine Donlin is a lesbian priest at the Buddhist Church of San Francisco. She serves as a Buddhist community clergy chaplain for several San Francisco hospitals and facilitates Buddhist meditation and studies in the San Francisco County Jail. She has been involved in LGBTQ activism since the early 1980s.
Suzie Endow is on the planning committee for the Network on Religion and Justice for Asian Pacific Islander LGBTQ People. She grew up in a small rural community where there were few Japanese Americans. She went to college, got married, raised a family, and only recently came out. Her faith and courage in claiming her true identity enable her to share her story with others who might relate to this her life journey.
Melvin Fujikawa, a Los Angeles native, received his Master of Music degree in voice at USC. He has served as music and worship pastor at the Evergreen Baptist Church of Los Angeles and the executive pastor at Christian Layman Church in Oakland. After publicly coming out in 2011, Fujikawa joined the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus and has performed many solos at Davies Symphony Hall and Nourse Auditorium. He and his soon-to-be-husband, Mark Hamner, live in Berkeley.
a.t. furuya is a trans Japanese American community organizer. They work with queer youth in San Diego, focusing on those who are transgender. furuya is finishing their master’s degree in U.S. History and LGBT studies at San Diego State University. They volunteer with the JACL and Japanese American Historical Society.
Komo Gauvreau is an active organizer in the Japanese American community. She has had lead roles on several projects, including Tadaima: A Japanese American Gathering of LGBTQQ and Allies (co-chair) and San Jose J-Town FilmFest (core committee). In addition, she has organized more than fifty public programs at the Japanese American Museum of San Jose (JAMsj).
Mioi Hanaoka grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and identifies as a queer Japanese American. She is a software engineer at a tech company and is an active volunteer with Asian Pacific Islander (API) Equality–Northern California. Her latest passion is diversity and inclusion in the tech industry.
Rev. Nobu Hanaoka was born and raised in Japan. He came to the United States to study for the ministry. After graduating from a seminary in Rochester, New York, he remained in the United States and served several United Methodist congregations. He is now retired and lives with his wife Ayako in Daly City, California.
Chiaki Hirai is a journalist based in Contra Costa County. She began her gender transition as a college student but returned to living as a male after moving back home to live with her father, to whom she has not yet come out. In her free time, Hirai counsels other trans women online and complains about municipal transportation on social media. You can follow her on Twitter at @Chiaki747.
Michelle Honda-Phillips and her husband, Travis, are raising a 9-year-old affirmed daughter, and 7- and 11-year-old cisgender sons. Her family’s journey has been featured on the NBC Nightly News, The Today Show, the Human Rights Campaign, local media coverage, and a feature article in Elle France.
Nick Hori is a founding board member of the Silicon Valley chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL). He is a core committee member of Tadaima: A Japanese American Gathering of LGBTQQ and Allies.
Rev. David Ko was born and raised in South Korea but moved to the United States in 2006. At Wesley United Methodist Church, Rev. Ko has helped his congregation to deepen their understanding on human sexuality and provided adult Bible studies related to LGBTQ issues. He obtained his Masters of Divinity at Emory University in 2009 and also completed a Master’s degree in education at Stanford University in 2014.
riKu Matsuda works for the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations as a senior intergroup relations specialist. He has organized events in the areas of youth development, immigrant/refugee rights, media justice, gender justice and sexual rights. Matsuda currently serves on the governing board of Gender Justice LA.
Laurin Mayeno is the proud mother of a gay son and founder of Out Proud Families. She works to build acceptance of LGBTQ and gender-expansive children and youth within families and communities and is especially committed to making resources and education available for mixed-race families and families of color.
Mia Nakano, a fourth-generation Japanese American and queer woman of color, is the director of the Visibility Project (visibilityproject.org), a national photo and video archive dedicated to the queer, Asian American women and trans community. A freelance photographer, videographer, and web designer, Nakano is a seasoned, self-taught artist who advocates strategic and ethical use of visual arts to create social change. She has contributed to the Smithsonian, Salon.com, and the de Young Museum.
Robert Nakatani worked for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) from 1991 until 2015, when he retired as senior strategist for the ACLU’s LGBT & AIDS Project. In the 1980s, he was a partner in the law firm of Coles & Nakatani, which primarily served San Francisco’s LGBT and AIDS communities. Nakatani graduated from Honolulu’s McKinley High School (1963), Stanford University (1967), and earned a Master’s in Education (1972) and a J.D. (1981) from the University of California, Berkeley.
Rev. John Oda is ordained in the United Methodist Church. He holds a MSW from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Masters in Divinity (San Francisco Theological Seminary). He is the chair of Reconciling Ministries Network Board, serves on the National Board of PFLAG and is part of the adjunct faculty at the Pacific School of Religion.
Queer Taiko is a San Francisco Bay Area-based group of LGBTQs and allies interested in learning the art of taiko (Japanese drumming). Formed in 2014 by professional taiko artist Kristy Oshiro, the group aims to build community and camaraderie by learning and growing together.
Journalist Curt Sanburn has written about Hawaii affairs for more than 20 years. Raised in Honolulu, he graduated from Honolulu’s Iolani School (1973) and Yale University. Sanburn now lives in San Francisco but returns to his home state frequently. He writes weekly architecture and urban affairs columns for Civil Beat, Hawaii’s online daily newspaper. Sanburn was also managing editor of the Honolulu Weekly and an editor/writer for several award-winning photojournalism book projects (e.g., A Day in the Life of Hawaii, published in 1983).
Dr. Amy Sueyoshi is associate dean of the College of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University and holds a joint faculty appointment in Sexuality Studies and Race and Resistance Studies. She is the author of Queer Compulsions: Race, Nation, and Sexuality in the Intimate Life of Yone Noguchi. Dr. Sueyoshi is a founding member of the GLBT History Museum, the first queer history museum in the United States.
Lynn T. Sugihara is a third-generatio, Asian American (Japanese/Chinese) queer woman born in Berkeley, California. She is a filmmaker, community activist and dental hygienist. Sugihara is a steering committee member of the Asian Pacific Islander Queer Women & Transgender Community (APIQWTC) , a board and founding member of the City of Richmond Rainbow Pride and a board member of Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project (QWOCMAP).
Bonnie Sugiyama is the director of the San Jose State University PRIDE Center and Gender Equity Center. She has worked in higher education for more than 10 years, serving students of multiple identities through various capacities. Bonnie also serves as the vice president of the board of directors for Adolescent Counseling Services (ACS), the parent organization of Outlet. She is a board member of the Bay Area Municipal Elections Committee (BAYMEC), an LGBT political action committee.
Gerald Takano, born in Honolulu, is an architect/ planner and a KGGV 95.1 FM radio station deejay in Guerneville, California. He graduated from Honolulu’s McKinley High School (1966) and Syracuse University in 197. After working in Boston and Honolulu private architectural and planning offices, Takano worked for the National Trust for Historic Preservation and settled in San Francisco. He organized and chaired the nation’s first conference held in San Francisco on the GLBT preservation of significant places.
Tina Takemoto’s filmography includes Looking for Jiro, Memoirs of Bjork-Geisha, Arm’s Length, and Her/She Senses Imag(in)ed Malady. Looking for Jiro received the Best Experimental Jury Award at the Austin Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival and was presented at numerous festivals, including Frameline, Ann Arbor Film Festival, MIX NYC, CAAM, Fusion, MIX Milano, MIX Mexico, Hamburg Queer Film Festival and Rio Gay Film Festival.
Ellen Tanouye is on the planning committee for the Network on Religion and Justice for Asian Pacific Islander LGBTQ People. She grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and attended Stanford University, Columbia University Teachers College and the San Francisco Theological Seminary. While married and raising four sons, she served as pastor at a Japanese American church in the Central Valley, where she met her now partner Suzie. Together, they came out in 2011.