Elders Panel


KYLAR BROADUS  

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Kylar W. Broadus is a Black man of trans experience that has been a pioneer in the movement as an attorney, long-time activist, public speaker, author, lobbyist, and professor. Broadus is known worldwide for his work in the LGBT and Trans movements.

Kylar has advocated for Trans/GNC/Non-binary and LGB clients in the court, before legislatures and the U.S. Civil Rights Commission and the U.S. Congress for decades. Recognized for his more than 30 years contribution to the movement a few years ago by GLAAD and Liberty Mutual. He is the founder of the Trans People of Color Coalition the only national organization dedicated to the civil rights of all transgender people of color. Broadus is on the board of the National Black Justice Coalition, where for three years he was board chair. He currently serves on the Freedom For All Americans board of directors. He was awarded a Proclamation by the City Attorney’s Office of Los Angeles. He was recognized by the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office of King’s County in Brooklyn, New York in 2018 for his contributions to the legal field. He has been in various documentaries and media as he continues to fight for social justice.


JOANNA CLARK  

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Joanna is an 81-year old who has had a full life. An only child, she struggled through the 1940s, 50s, and 60s with her gender identity. In 1957, she joined the US Navy, and over the next 14 years served on P5M Seaplanes based in Bermuda, taught basic and advanced electronics at the Naval Air Technical Training Center, Millington, Tennessee, and flew as a instructor/evaluator on P3 Orions, based at NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii, with deployments to Okinawa, Philippines, and Vietnam. In 1969, Joanna returned to civilian life, employed as a support saturation diver and project coordinator on the Safeguard/Sprint ABM, while continuing to serve in the Naval Reserve until 1974, when the Navy abruptly discharged her following her acceptance into the Stanford Gender Program.

She underwent surgery in 1975 and three months later, was invited to join the Army Reserve. Joanna raised her gender identity with the recruiter and was told that if she could pass a physical examination, she would be accepted. She did and was sworn in as a Sergeant First Class, becoming the first person to serve as both a male and a female in the US military. Sixteen months later, her commanding officer nominated her for promotion to Warrant Officer. Despite passing another physical by five Navy physicians, all board-certified in their specialities, her enlistment was voided. A four-year court battle ensued, ending with her receiving an honorable discharge with credit for time served and an undisclosed monetary settlement.

Joanna returned to school and met Jude Patton, who nudged her to become an activist. She attended a support group one evening with Jude, where the participants were complaining they couldn’t get a job because they couldn’t change their birth certificates. Joanna asked why they couldn’t change their birth certificates, and she was told it was because of the law. She flippantly replied “Well, change the law.” She was quickly put in her place. The next morning Joanna set out to change the law, and on January 1, 1978, Governor Brown signed bill AB385 into law. Joanna continued as a trans-activist until 1988 when she made vows as a religious sister and became Sister Mary Elizabeth. Her focus changed abruptly from trans-activist to AIDS activist, with the founding of the AIDS Education Global Information System (AEGiS), which became the largest free-access HIV/AIDS general and clinical information library on the planet. AEGiS lost funding in 2014 and closed in 2015.  Today she is an environmentalist.


SUSAN GAPKA 

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Susan Gapka is a dedicated campaigner for social justice. She has worked for affordable housing, homelessness, mental health, harm reduction, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans issues since coming out as a community leader almost 20 years ago. As founder and chair of the Trans Lobby Group, Susan helped lead a lengthy campaign to persuade the Ontario Minister of Health to fund sex reassignment surgery for trans people.  She also helped change the Ontario Vital Statistics Act so that trans people's legal documents can more accurately reflect their lived identities.  She also worked on the campaign to amend the Ontario Human Rights Code to include "gender identity" and "gender expression."  

Susan has served on the Toronto Local Advisory Committee and as Toronto representative on the National Consumer Panel of the At Home/Chez Soi Research Demonstration Project, the Housing Component for the Mental Health Commission of Canada. She also served on the Board of Pride Toronto which hosted World Pride 2014 and is past Fierté Canada Pride's Central Regional Director for Ontario. Susan has been employed at The 519 since 2015 in the Education Department as an Education and Training facilitator. She was elected to CUPE Ontario Pink Triangle Committee in December 2017 and appointed to CUPE National Pink Triangle Committee in January 2018. Susan was elected to CUPE Ontario Women’s Committee in December 2018.

Susan has a degree in Political Science from York University and a diploma in Community Work from George Brown College.‎ Susan Gapka is a proud recipient of the City of Toronto Pride Award (2004), CAMH Courage to Come Back Award (1999), and Canada 150 Difference Maker in Mental Health (2017) and holds a Key to the City of Toronto (2018).


JUDE PATTON 

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Jude Patton LMFT, LMHC, PA is a member of WPATH, USPATH and CPATH. He served on the Board of Directors for WPATH (then HBIGDA) from 1979 through 1985, and again from 1999 through 2001. He was Vice President of the Southern California Section of AASECT from 1986 to 1988. He was Treasurer of FTM International in San Francisco from 1997 to 2000. He served on the Board of Directors for Ingersoll Gender Center in Seattle from 1997 to 2004. 

Jude currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. He is a member of GLMA’s Behavioral Health Task Force Committee. He serves on the Board of Directors for Servant Hearts, a non-profit group that sponsors The Wisdom Circle, a support group in Sacramento, California, for elder LGBTQI2S people. He is a member of the American Institute of Aging, serving presently on their Diversity and Inclusion Committee. He is a member of Transgender Aging Network. He is a SAGE Educational Ambassador. He is a member of the Community Advisory Board for Gender Health Center in Sacramento. He volunteers as a researcher for Trans Lifeline. Jude is employed as a Psychiatric Physician Assistant at Hope Collective, a Community Mental Health Agency in Sacramento serving homeless, chronically mentally ill and dual-diagnosis clients.

He maintains a private practice as a consultant in end-of-life care for LGBTQI2S clients, and their families and allies. He is an avid life-long student, collector of LGBT history ephemera and books, a conservation and environmental advocate, an animal welfare advocate, and a social justice advocate. Contact Jude at judepatton@aol.com


CHASE WILLIER 

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Chase Willier is a nehiyaw (Cree) Two-Spirit trans man who was adopted as part of the Sixities Scoop and grew up in Syilx territory of Vernon, BC. He joined the RCMP as the second indigenous woman in BC in 1979. He was out as lesbian since 1991 and towards the end of his service he openly identified as trans although he didn’t transition until after he retired in 2010.

After 30 years service, he finally took some time out to address his PTSD, something he writes about in The Remedy. He is passionate about health and wellness, particularly that of the Two-Spirit trans community and, as such, was involved in numerous initiatives. His work in Vancouver also extended to the areas of justice, safety and reconcilation, which was incredibly satisfying.

He is a husband and stay-at-home Rad Dad to his four-year-old daughter. Chase wants to complete the draft of his memoir later this year as well as continue his elder-in-training under the guidance of nehiyaw elders: Phil and Betty Gladue from his home territory in Treaty 8.