I have worked very hard to become the woman I want to be, and this still ongoing journey would be impossible without the support of my community. Below are some accomplishments I am proud of, including my attempts to give back to the people who make the achievement of these dreams possible. This list is not intended as bragging, but rather a catalog of accomplishments I can look to when I wonder where the last twenty years have gone, and whether I’ve made anything of them worthwhile.
Awards & Recognition
Academy Award Mentionee (ha ha) – I was personally thanked by name in Jared Leto’s Oscars acceptance speech when he won for his lead actor performance as “Rayon” in “Dallas Buyers Club”, a role for which I served as a consultant to him.
Peabody Award (“Soldier’s Girl”)
GLAAD Media Award (“Transamerican Love Story”)
NGLTF Leadership Award (The NGLTF is now known as The Task Force)
SLDN Randy Shilts Visibility Award
Named on the OUT100 List, three times
NGLTF Board of Directors (1 year)
NoH8 Campaign (Print & Television)
Laurence King PSA (Television)
LA Commission on Assaults Against Women/Peace Over Violence (Beneficiary of our VDay LA 2004 event)
Countless fundraisers for Marriage Equality, HIV/AIDS, GLBT youth, anti-violence protection for women/girls/GLBT people and more
New album of original music, Testimony, out in 2017
Self-taught multi-instrumentalist (Fiddle, harmonica, autoharp, harp, dulcimer, accordion and more)
International and US tours, recordings and/or performances with Patrick Wolf, Our Lady J and Pauley Perrette
Writer/performer of popular underground dance music such as “Stunning”, with remixes produced by brilliant artists like Jer Ber Jones, Lucian Piane, Matthew McPeck and others
Writer/performer/arranger of original and traditional acoustic music, opening for and touring with multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter and indie sensation Patrick Wolf, opening for Our Lady J.
10th Anniversary Vagina Monologues Performance at New Orleans Superdome with Eve Ensler and Jane Fonda for victims of Hurricane Katrina
V Day LA 2004 – The first all-trans cast performance of Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues”, mentored by Eve Ensler and Jane Fonda, who also attended. Funds raised were donated to The National Gay & Lesbian Task Force (now The Task Force) and LACAAW (now Peace Over Violence)
Transamerican Love Story – The first out transsexual dating show, and one in which I comported myself in such a way that I am still proud of it. No drunken oiled up bikini slap fights on this show.
Mark 947 – My first published book, a memoir of growing up in Tennessee and transition
I competed in and won several pageants featuring drag and trans entertainers during the early days of my transition. These competitions required nerves of steel, marshaling of scarce resources and mastering skill sets which helped to foster confidence and heal a lifetime of self hatred. These pageants were as difficult, if not more so, than many non-trans systems, especially in a world which punishes and trivializes femininity both in and outside the GLBT community. The multitude of skills required to win, and the value they bring to marginalized communities, should not be underestimated.
Tennessee Entertainer of the Year (And went to to make Top 5 at National EOY)
Nashville Entertainer of the Year
Dreamgirl Entertainer of the Year
Miss Heartbreaker Entertainer of the Year