Sara is the education programs director for About Face Theatre, where she manages the education outreach program as well as the About Face Youth Theatre. She is currently directing the youth mainstage production QUEERTOPIA: The Anti-Violence Project, premiering in July. Sara received her B.A. in English/drama & Theatre and Women's Studies from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. Since relocating to Chicago in 2007, she has worked with such theaters as Strawdog, Redmoon and The Plagiarists, among others. She is a curator and regular storyteller with 2nd Story, Chicago's urban storytelling company. Sara also engages students and teachers in discussing LGBTQ-related issues.
Did you know? Sara has a not-so-secret outfit obsession with Canadian tuxedos ( basically, a denim jacket and jeans ) , and openly invites everyone to try one.
TARELL ALVIN McCRANEY
Tarell, 29, was born and raised in Miami, Fla. He graduated from the New World School of the Arts High School in 1999, matriculated into the Theater School at DePaul University in Chicago and hold a masters degree in fine art from the Yale School of Drama. He received the Cole Porter Award upon graduating. Tarell is a member of New Dramatists in New York and D/Projects in Miami, and is the newest member of the Steppenwolf Theater Ensemble in Chicago. Among his many accomplishments, Tarell is the author of the critically acclaimed The Brother/Sister Plays that recently ran at Steppenwolf.
Did you know? Tarell received a shout-out on the HBO TV series Treme as being "hot."
Nicknamed "Patches," Richie, 24, originally moved to Chicago six years ago in search of acceptance and a sense of community after dealing with prejudice and discrimination in his suburban hometown. He went to DePaul University, where he quickly became active on campus by joining the DePaul AIDS Project and working as a teacher's assistant for the Discover Chicago course titled "The Diverse Faces of AIDS." This sparked his interest in becoming a weekly volunteer HIV/STI test counselor at the Broadway Youth Center for three years.
Richie utilized his knowledge of Latin American/Latino studies and Spanish to write on the disproportionate rates of HIV/AIDS in Latino MSM communities. Since returning from the Dominican Republic ( where he provided HIV/AIDS- and sexuality-based education ) , he re-joined Howard Brown as a disease intervention specialist and will be pursuing a master's degree in nursing at DePaul to further serve the LGBT community.
Did you know? Throughout college it became a joke that Richie had created his own ethnicity of "Watino" due to his extensive travel throughout Latin America, fluency in Spanish and love for Latino cultures.
Aurora is a nightspot fixture who made the top five in the 2009 Miss Continental competition. She is the producer of Spin's Trannypalooza ( the only event of its kind in Chicago catering to the transgender community ) and a co-promoter of Glittera new monthly event mixing gays, straights, socialites, queens, models and industry professionals ) at the Gold Coast club Le Passage. Aurora is also a public advocate for transgender rights in the club/bar industry in Chicago and has performed across the country.
Did you know? Sexton is actually very butch and enjoys home remodeling.
Trish, 26, is the managing editor of AfterEllen.com, LOGO's website for and about queer women in entertainment and media. Trish has contributed writing on queer life and art, music and pop culture to outlets such as The Huffington Post, Bitch magazine, OUT and Time Out Chicago, and has an essay in the upcoming Seal Press anthology, "Dear John, I Love Jane." In her free time, she is co-host of the "Chick Habit" podcast and writes short stories.
Did you know? She collects things with typewriters on them and has a tattoo of one on her left arm.
Ryne, 19, grew up in the small town of Petersburg, Ill. He was the first person to come out in his rural school. Although it was a great challenge, Ryan feels that such circumstances helped lead to the gay-rights activist he is today. Moreover, his family was deeply religious but with time and patience they came around to the reality of Ryan's sexual identity. Ryne now attends the University of Illinois at Chicago ( UIC ) , and continues to advance his activist work here in Chicago and elsewhere. Among other things, Ryne has organized anti-Prop 8 demonstrations and led protests against proposed financial cuts to UIC's Centers for Diversity, which includes the Gender & Sexuality Center.
Did you know? Ryne was named after Chicago Cub Ryne Sandbergyet he now has no interest in baseball and sports, although he was quite the athlete in high school.