Yeah, it’s HOT!
Campus Pride officially releases the 2011 HOT LIST! The list represents our “Top 25 LGBT Favorites” – lecturers, comedians, musicians. poets, artists, researchers, activists and more. Every year Campus Pride picks the most diverse, provocative, inspiring and enlightening artists/speakers as a resource for your LGBT student organization. The purpose is to provide a recommendation of the BEST OF THE BEST in planning your campus events and activities.
BURNING HOT: Learn more about each artist/speaker and don’t forget to mention the Campus Pride HOT LIST! The artists/speakers listed are not only our SIZZLING HOT PICKS but they also rate highly among recommendations from LGBT young adults at colleges and universities across the country. If you want to create change – PICK FROM OUR TOP 25 LGBT FAVORITES!
Sir Ari Gold (Musician)
Award Winning Billboard Top 10 Recording Artist SIR ARI is that rare artist who with every song, every video and every album unfolds a wholly original story never seen or heard before in quite the same way. People Magazine says his music “takes the listener to fresh places” and music legend Clive Davis says he “writes from the heart.” His latest single, “Make My Body Rock” from his fourth studio album Between the Spirit & the Flesh debuted at #1 on LOGO making him the artist with the most #1’s since the networks launch in 2005. He’s toured Europe, Canada and in over 50 cities across the US. Ari attended Yale University and graduated with honors from NYU. He gives talks across the country at community centers, synagogues and universities about growing up gay and orthodox and is a contributing writer to the anthology CRISIS: 40 Stories Revealing the Personal, Social, and Religious Pain and Trauma of Growing Up Gay and Religious in America.
Mia Mingus (Cultural Identity Speaker/Artist)
Mia Mingus is a a queer disabled woman of color, South Korean transracial adoptee, organizer and one of the Co-Executive Directors of SPARK Reproductive Justice Now (formerly Georgians for Choice) in Atlanta, Georgia. For Mia, reproductive justice is crucial in the struggle for social change and the fight to end oppression. Through her work on disability, race, reproductive justice, gender, sexuality, and transracial adoption, she recognizes the urgency and barriers for oppressed communities to work together and build alliances for liberation. Though her activism changes and evolves, her roots remain firmly planted in ending sexual violence. Further, Mia has been recognized for her work with the 2008 Creating Change Award by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.
Ben Cohen, MBE (Speaker/Lecturer, Sports)
Ben Cohen, MBE, is an England Rugby World Cup champion, and among the world’s greatest athletes. He ranks second in all-time scoring for England, and first among straight professional athletes to focus his philanthropic efforts for the benefit of the LGBT community. In May 2011, Cohen founded the StandUp Foundation, Inc., the world’s first foundation dedicated to raising awareness of the long-term, damaging effects of bullying. The StandUp Foundation funds those doing real-world work to stop bullying, regardless of to whom it happens. Because lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people are often targeted by bullies, the foundation gives particular attention to this community. Cohen and his foundation considers removing homophobia from sports as central to his personal mission.
Lava Love Dance (Performance Artist)
LAVA is a troupe of artists who develop and perform original works that combine dance, theater, and acrobatics. At the LAVA Studio in Brooklyn, NY, ensemble and community members train and teach LAVA’s rigorous, creative, and inclusive movement language to children and adults. The award-winning troupe also performs and teaches throughout New York City and the U.S. LAVA is currently working on a new show which will premiere in NYC at Dixon Place December 2011. The company has served more than 13,000 individuals through its performances and classes, all of which encourage us to investigate our physical, emotional, and social interaction with the world around us. The group has trained at the famed San Francisco School of Circus Arts, in addition to working with master artists in other forms including dance and theater improvisation, swing dancing, and wrestling, while developing new work through an organic process that includes open rehearsals, extended research, and intensive collaboration.
Divas of Diversity (Performance Artist, Speaker/Lecturer)
Divas of Diversity is presented by Hope’s Voice featuring drag queens from the unforgettable cast of the hit show RuPaul’s Drag Race, Season 1, 2 & 3 — Shangela, Bebe Zahara Benet, Venus D-Lite, Morgan McMichaels, Pandora Boxx and Shannel. Each of the divas put on their heels to entertain and educate campuses. The event provides the opportunity for young people to have a platform to embrace their differences and celebrate diversity. Divas of Diversity includes the diva sharing their story of discrimination and acceptance, a powerful drag show performance and an opportunity for workshops (Diva for the Day, Drag 101). Divas of Diversity allows everyone on campus to find their inner diva with a powerful message of love and acceptance for sexual orientation and gender identity/expression.
Randi Driscoll (Musical Act)
Randi Driscoll is a singer and songwriter whose original music, voice and passionate stage performances have earned her many accolades including; Campus Activities Magazine’s, “Female Performer of the Year 2004″ and “Best Small Venue Performer 2004″. Randi is an independent artist who tours and performs year round at colleges, clubs, festivals, and benefit concerts. Randi says that her greatest personal accomplishment is her song, “What Matters”, written in response to the death of Matthew Shepard, a young man killed in a brutal hate crime. She has been touring North America for several years entertaining large and small audiences with her blend of powerful music and words, inspiring praise for her musical talents and her dedication to social justice.
Vidur Kapur (Comedy)
Vidur Kapur was selected as a New York finalist by NBC’s “Stand Up for Diversity” initiative and performed as part of the famous New York Comedy Festival where he was described as “A comedian to remember.”
After an phenomenally successful showcase at the NACA National convention, Vidur’s act is being demanded by colleges all over the US and he is likely to be one of the top 3 acts booked on US college campuses for ’08 -’09.
Sue Rankin, Ph.D. (Speaker/Lecturer)
As an Associate Professor in Education Policy Studies and Research Associate in the Center for the Study of Higher Education, Dr. Rankin has constructed an understanding of student affairs within the broader context of higher education. She has worked closely with students, staff, faculty, and administrators on dozens of college campuses to assess campus climate and to create strategic actions for equity and community. Examples of her work include consultations with public and private higher education institutions in Pennsylvania, New York, Oregon, Minnesota, and North Dakota; state agencies in Pennsylvania; and non-profit organizations across the United States.
Jonathan D. Lovitz (Music/Performance Artist, Speaker/Lecturer)
Called “The Accidental Advocate” by OUT Magazine, Jonathan D. Lovitz took a stand for gay rights at jury duty in NYC that led to a life of activism. Lovitz was excused from jury duty in New York because he said that discrimination against gays makes him a second-class citizen and therefore he couldn’t be impartial. Lovitz who is also an actor, model, and singer, is not afraid of expressing his opinions on LGBT fairness and equality. Lovitz is one of the Stars of LOGO TV’s reality hit show “Setup Squad.” In the show Lovitz is in charge of giving clients a dating makeover and boost their confidence transforming them into ideal daters. As a brilliant and insanely talented stage performer, Lovitz has also dedicated countless hours to organizations such as Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and The Ali Forney Center, housing for homeless LGBT youth.
Kit Yan (Spoken Word, Performance Artist)
Recently Featured in the HBO Documentary Asians Aloud, Kit Yan tell stories through slam poetry from the lens of a transgender Asian American from Hawaii now lost in the big city of New York. Through touching love poems, dirty sex accounts, and comedic tales of his childhood –Kit takes you on a journey that is raw, real, heart-wrenching, and unforgettable. Kit Yan’s spoken word tackles race and gender with candor, eloquence,and humor. Hailed by the press as“a slam force to be reckoned with”, Yan’s resolute delivery packs a mighty punch, leaving his audience completely transfixed. Wittily crafted and genuinely passionate, his pieces are rare treasures amongst a new generation of slam poets.
Hudson Taylor (Speaker/Lecturer, Sports)
Hudson Taylor is a competing athlete and Division I college wrestling coach at Columbia University. He graduated from the University of Maryland as a Division I three-time All-American wrestler in 2010 and currently ranks among the top-five pinners in NCAA history. Hudson grew up in an Evangelical Christian family with missionary roots. Committed to civil rights and social justice, Hudson wore a Human Rights Campaign sticker on his wrestling headgear in college to show solidarity — as a heterosexual athlete ally — with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community. This single act drew media attention around the country and prompted thousands of inspiring, personal messages. With this encouragement, Hudson became committed to speaking louder as an athlete ally and created the Athlete Ally Pledge and Whydoyoufight.org blog to gather support from athletes and advocates around the country.
Judy Shepard (Speaker/Lecturer)
As Executive Director of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, Judy oversees the overall management and strategic direction of the organization, while traveling across the nation speaking to audiences nationwide about what they can do as individuals and communities to make this world a more accepting place for everyone, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, sex, gender identity and expression, or sexual orientation. Speaking from a mother’s perspective, Judy focuses her efforts on the prevention of hate crimes and respect for everyone.
Under Judy’s leadership, the Foundation has become a well-established, highly effective and much respected institution in the civil rights community. She has spoken to over one million young people about the impact of hate speech and violence, the importance of understanding and appreciating diversity in all of its forms and has inspired countless individuals and communities to play a role in making the world a safer place for all of us.
BeBe Zahara Benet (Music, Performance Artist, Speaker/Lecturer)
Bebe Zahara Benet, born Nea Marshall Kudi Ngwa, hails from France by way of West Africa’s Republic of Cameroon. As a child in Cameroon, Marshall realized his affinity towards make-up, clothes and hair were considered taboo. There was no drag culture in Cameroon. Marshall made his way from Cameroon to the runways of France. When one of the female models failed to arrive, Marshall stepped out of his trousers and into an elegant evening gown then walked the runway impersonating a female. It was at that moment when the gorgeously-graceful, creatively-elegant, Bebe Zahara Benet was born.
BeBe was the winner of the inaugural season of RuPaul’s Drag Race and has used her platform as America’s Drag Superstar to educate individuals on the pride and dignity found in the art of drag and letting her audience know that dressing up for a living does not make him less of a man. She challenges people to stand tall and find excitement in what they do.
LZ Granderson (Speaker/Lecturer, Sports)
LZ Grandson is a senior writer and columnist for ESPN the Magazine and ESPN.com, as well as a regular contributor for ESPN’s Sports Center, Outside the Lines and First Take. A member of the National Association of Black Journalists, Mr. Granderson was a Columbia University Hechinger Institute Fellow, a 2009 GLAAD Award winner for online journalism and won first place in the opinion writing category for the 2008 Excellence in Journalism awards given by the National Lesbian Gay Journalist Association. He recently ignited an intense national community debate with his op ed piece, “Gay is not the new black” on CNN.com.
Ben Lerman (Comedy, Musician)
If the Flight of the Conchords and Stephen Lynch had a gay lovechild, it would be NYC’s ukulele comedian Ben Lerman. Lerman is a rising star of the New York Comedy scene, playing at all the top New York Comedy clubs and theaters like Caroline’s, Gotham, Comix, and The Upright Citizens Brigade Theater.
Ben tours internationally playing theaters and festivals. His career has been propelled by appearances on Logo TV, Here TV, and Sirius Satellite Radio, where he is recurring guest on the Frank DeCaro Show. Ben has become a regular guest on “Keith & theGirl,” the most popular independent podcast in the world with more than a million downloads per month. In 2010, podcast fans voted him “Best New Guest” from among a pool of other amazing comedians like Marc Maron and Ted Alexandro.
Brian Sims (Speaker/Lecturer, Sports, Politics)
In 2000, Brian Sims was the captain of the Bloomsburg University football team in northeast Pennsylvania, and following the greatest season in the Division II school’s history he did the unthinkable: he came out of the closet! In doing so, the regional All-American and team captain became the only openly gay college football captain in NCAA history and the most notable college player to ever come out. Sims is currently running for the Pennsylvania State House and was formerly the Staff Counsel for Policy & Planning at The Philadelphia Bar Association. In addition to his practice, Sims serves as the former President of the Board of Directors of EqualityPA and as the Chairman of GALLOP (Gay & Lesbian Lawyers of Philadelphia). In 2009 he was selected as a State Political Leaders Fellow by the Center for Progressive Leadership and joined the National Campaign Board of The Victory Fund. He also travels and speaks about his experiences in college level athletics for LGBT students and allies.
Shane L. Windmeyer, MS. Ed. (Speaker/Lecturer, Social Justice)
Shane is a leading author on gay campus issues, national leader in gay and lesbian civil rights and a champion for LGBT issues on college campuses. He is cofounder and executive director of Campus Pride, the leading national organization for student leaders and campus organizations working to create a safer college environment for LGBT students. Released Fall 2006 by Alyson Books, Windmeyer is the author of The Advocate College Guide for LGBT Students, the first-ever college guide profiling the “100 Best LGBT-Friendly Campuses.” He is also the editor of Brotherhood: Gay Life in College Fraternities and co-editor of the books Inspiration for LGBT Students & Allies, Out on Fraternity Row: Personal Accounts of Being Gay in a College Fraternity and Secret Sisters: Stories of Being Lesbian & Bisexual in a College Sorority.
Robyn Ochs (Speaker/Lecturer, Workshops)
Robyn Ochs is a professional speaker and workshop leader, award-winning activist, and the editor of the 42-country anthology, Getting Bi: Voices of Bisexuals Around the World. An advocate for the rights of people of ALL orientations and genders to live safely, openly and with full legal equality, Robyn’s work focuses on increasing awareness and understanding of complex identities, and mobilizing people to be powerful allies to one another within and across identities and social movements.
Mara Keisling (Speaker/Lecturer)
Mara Keisling is the founding Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality. Mara is a transgender-identified woman who also identifies as a parent and a Pennsylvanian. She is a graduate of Penn State University and did her graduate work at Harvard University in American Government. She has served on the board of Directors of Common Roads, an LGBTQ Youth Group, and on the steering committee of the Statewide Pennsylvania Rights Coalition. Mara has almost twenty-five years of professional experience in social marketing and opinion research. Mara works towards the goal of transgender equality through lobbying, public education, and building coalitions with other progressive organizations and causes.
Geri Jewell (Speaker/Lecturer, Performance Artist)
Introduced to millions as “Cousin Geri”, Geri Jewell has risen to become a leading force in disabilities advocacy. Geri started her acting career as the personal choice of famed producer Norman Lear for her role as Cousin Geri on the ground-breaking NBC sitcom, The Facts of Life. With this role she became the first person with a visible disability to become a regular performer on a national, prime-time television show. During her run on the show she broke barriers by addressing issues of disability awareness. In her new book ‘I’m Walking As Straight As I Can’ Geri comes out as lesbian and talks about her life living with cerebral palsy. Geri is not only an exceptional actress and comedienne, she is internationally recognized as a powerful and motivational speaker and trainer. She is famous for her uncanny ability to captivate the hearts of audiences by using humor to facilitate attitude changes. Geri brings to her presentations personal experience of having her behavior and actions misunderstood because of her cerebral palsy.
Cathy Renna (Speaker/Lecturer, Media)
Cathy is nationally recognized as a media relations expert and as a leader within the LGBT community. As a major force behind the success and growth of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), where she worked for 14 years, Cathy served as a primary spokesperson for GLAAD, as well as its first National News Media Director. She contributed to the strategic, crisis communications and community relations components of the organization’s most visible campaigns. Since leaving GLAAD, Cathy has worked to increase the visibility of clients such as 2004 Nobel Peace Prize recipient Wangari Maathai, the Matthew Shepard Foundation, Campus Pride, the Point Foundation, Family Pride and the Williams Institute. In her 17 years working in media relations, Cathy has garnered placements in every major newspaper and television outlet in the country, including The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, the New York Times, USA Today, the Washington Post, Newsweek and a cover story of Time magazine.
Michael Holtz (Lecturer/Speaker, Sports)
Michael Holtz is an inspirational public speaker, inspiring people how to live their best lives and to embrace their uniqueness, empower themselves, and enrich the lives of others. He is also the founder and race director for the Swim for Equality series which has a race in June from Swim for Equality from Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay and in September 24 in Malibu, California. Through it all, Michael has trained, competed and achieved numerous prestigious honors to date. These include: Compete magazine’s Athlete of the Year; Mr. Gay USA 2011; and first runner-up Mr. Gay World 2011. International Olympic and US springboard diving legend Greg Louganis describes Michael as, “A very committed, young, energetic man and a wonderful role model for what is good in the LGBT Community in Sports and Awareness.
Emanuel Xavier (Spoken Word, Activism)
Emanuel Xavier is an American poet, spokenword artist, author, editor, literary events curator, activist, actor, and house music recording artist born and raised in the Bushwick area of Brooklyn. He transitioned himself from being a street hustler and a drug dealer to become one of the most significant, daring, and unlikely voices to emerge from the neo-Nuyorican spoken word movement using political, sexual and religious themes throughout his work. Regarding his seedy past, in an interview with CNN he stated, “I became all those things society expected me to become. I thought that was the only thing I could be.” He has conducted spoken word poetry workshops and produced benefits and events for youth organizations throughout the country. His new poetry collection, If Jesus Were Gay & other poems, was published Spring 2010 by Rebel Satori Press.
Daniel Hernandez, Jr. (Speaker/Lecturer, Activism, Politics)
Intern Daniel Hernandez, Jr. quickly rose to the rank of folk hero after rushing to the aid of Representative Gabrielle Giffords when she was shot in January 2011. Stanching her bleeding with his hands, he became the first in a string of people credited with saving the Congresswoman’s life. The actions of this young, gay, Hispanic student were especially poignant for minority groups, and many — including President Obama — have pointed him out as an example of true heroism. Hernandez, a University of Arizona student who started his internship with Giffords the Monday before the shooting, is, at 20, a political veteran. He volunteered for Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and as a volunteer helped Giffords get re-elected in 2008. After working for Clinton, Hernandez tells TIME, “I tried to find someone else who I could admire and help them get elected. Gabby immediately stood out.” He has also served as a campaign manager for a state representative and teaches young people how to run effective races.
Rev. Dr. Jamie Washington (Speaker/Lecturer)
Rev. Dr. Jamie Washington serves as the President and Founder of the Washington Consulting Group, a Multicultural Organizational Development Firm based in Baltimore, MD. He is also a senior consultant with The Equity Consulting Group of California, and Elsie Y. Cross and Associates out of Philadelphia. Dr. Washington has served as an educator and administrator in higher education for over 20 years. He most recently served as the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC). He has been an instructor in Sociology, American Studies and Education, and an Assistant Professor of Women’s Studies at UMBC. He has over 30 years of experience in music ministry, is an ordained minister and currently serves as an Associate Minister at Unity Fellowship Church of Baltimore. Rev. Dr. Washington sees himself as an instrument of change. He works everyday to help people find the best in themselves and others.