Who We Are
Point of Pride is an entirely volunteer-operated 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. We are a dedicated group of students and professionals, activists, writers, and fundraisers. We are trans women, trans men, queer, non-binary, and allies. We live and work all over the U.S.
What unites us is our passion for bringing about meaningful, enduring change one individual at a time, and ensuring that vulnerable and isolated members of our community are seen and supported.
Board of Directors
President & Co-Founder
Aydian has been speaking out and providing for the transgender community since 2009, with the start of his YouTube Channel, ALionsFears. His continued drive and love to provide for an underprivileged transgender community has lead him to creating Point 5cc and Point of Pride. As a motivational speaker and trans activist, Aydian is beyond ecstatic for the ever-growing programs at Point of Pride that will have a direct impact on our community.
Secretary & Co-Founder
For over a decade, Jeff has utilized his skills as a designer, developer and marketing professional to help LGBTQ, health & wellness, and mental health non-profits of all sizes. Jeff is most passionate about expanding the free chest binder program to provide donations to even more trans folks in need.
Donation Program Director
Tyler is a transgender man that has been involved in healthcare for 15 years. He has experience in both pharmacy and insurance and enjoys working with trans people one-on-one to help them get coverage for gender-affirming surgeries and trans-related healthcare. He is a founding member of #TransForTheHolidays, a project that aims to bring a little more love to homeless or otherwise disadvantaged trans people during the holiday season. In his spare time, Tyler can be found volunteering with his local Special Olympics program or performing random acts of carpentry in his garage.
Rob brings years of experience as a board member of other LGBTQ non-profit organizations. In addition to serving as Treasurer, Rob currently practices chiropractic medicine in Oregon.
Liz has been working to help LGBTQ folks feel supported and affirmed for over fifteen years. They consider their queer identity to be one of their greatest gifts they’ve received, and their life is better for it. Liz also volunteers for Gender Spectrum and is part of a featured panel at SXSW 2019 on Going Beyond the Gender Binary.
Meryl is a PhD candidate in Philosophy. She has years of experience working with nonprofits, the LGBT community, and children with disabilities. In this role, she primarily works on the COVID-19 Emergency Fund and Annual Trans Surgery Fund programs, as well as volunteering at LGBTQ events on the East Coast.
Prounouns: any/all, they/them
Before moving into the tech industry, Nikki worked in Washington, DC for more than a decade on nonprofit and political strategy, fundraising, marketing, and advocacy. During this time, Nikki partnered with some of the world’s most impactful progressive organizations and candidates to drive meaningful legislative and social change.
Chris is a trailblazing hall of fame triathlete, All-American duathlete, and 6-time member of Team USA. In 2015 he became the first known transgender man to make a men’s US National Team, and was the catalyst for change for the International Olympic Committee policy on transgender athletes. His website Transathlete.com is widely regarded as the go-to source for policy and information on transgender people in sport. As a Nike-sponsored athlete, Chris is passionate about using his platform to provide visibility and support to the trans community and is excited to join the team at Point of Pride to create a greater impact.
Blossom C. Brown
Blossom C. Brown is an actress, producer and activist. She is originally from the “Birthplace of Blues” in Greenwood, Mississippi. She got her degree in Public Health Education from Mississippi University for Women where she became the first openly black trans woman to graduate. Her story got the world’s attention when she appeared in Season 1 of Caitlyn Jenner’s docuseries “I Am Cait” and for her appearance on the Ellen Show in season 13. She currently lives in Los Angeles and works at a non-profit as a Prep Retention Navigator and is currently working on her documentary, “One Life to Blossom.”
Samantha Filoso is a mother and transgender advocate from Phoenix, AZ. She has produced and hosted two seasons of Trans IRL – a live internet-based talk show – that allows leaders in the transgender community to share their stories and answer viewer questions. She has shared her transition journey in numerous media outlets including television, print, and on-line. She recently was the first transgender individual to appear on the cover of Curl Magazine. She supports local outreach through work with GSA chapters and in-person speaking events for local universities, LGBT organizations, and religious centers. She continues to share her experiences through her Instagram page, @SuddenlySamantha.
A decorated Army veteran, Hannah Graf left military service as a Captain in the British Army in 2019 to pursue a career fighting financial crime in the world of banking. She became an Army Officer in 2010 and commanded soldiers across the world including in Germany, Canada, Kenya and Afghanistan. Hannah is a transgender woman and a true advocate for equality, who used her public profile to promote a realistic portrayal of transgender individuals in the UK, becoming an inspiration to many. Her work in diversity has won her several accolades including Cosmopolitan Woman of the Year, an honorary fellowship from Cardiff University and most recently she received an MBE in the 2019 NY Honours List.
Queen Victoria Ortega
Queen Victoria believes in leadership through service. As a consultant she provides guidance an capacity through her website www.QueenVictoriaOrtega.com. She also serves as Queen of The Royal Court and she is President of FLUX, both international networks dedicated to raising the profile of trans and gender non-conforming communities. Queen Victoria Ortega leverages her intersectionality to guide organizations and systems toward transformational change that is both meaningful and effective.
Jodie Patterson is a social activist, entrepreneur, writer, and author of The Bold World: A Memoir of Family and Transformation. She has been lauded for her activist work by Hillary Clinton, The Advocate, Family Circle, Essence, Cosmopolitan, and Yahoo!, among others. She sits on the board of a number of gender/family/human rights organizations, including the Human Rights Campaign, and is a sought-after public speaker addressing a wide range of audiences about identity, gender, beauty, and entrepreneurship. Patterson was appointed by the United Nations as a Champion of Change and, perhaps most impressively, she is a former circus acrobat who performed in the Big Apple Circus. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she co-parents her five children with love, education, and family solidarity.
Eric Edward Schell
Eric Edward Schell is the Founder and President of Pride Portraits. Eric is an activist and photographer whose work has been featured in People Magazine, The Advocate, Gay Star News and other national publications. Eric has worked exclusively with the social media platform, Facebook, to promote visibility for the LGBTQIA+ community by appearing on internationally broadcast panels and making personal appearances discussing their work within the LGBTQIA+ movement.
Brian Michael Smith
Actor Brian Michael Smith is best known for his ground-breaking performances on television and in LGBTQ advocacy. His role as Toine Wilkins, a transgender policeman, in Ava DuVernay’s Queen Sugar (2017) on OWN launched him into a series of high-profile roles including political strategist Pierce Williams in Showtime’s The L Word: Generation Q (2019) and, most notably, firefighter Paul Strickland in FOX’s runaway ratings hit 9-1-1 Lone Star (2020). In 9-1-1 Lone Star, Smith became the first out Black trans man in a series regular role. Other appearances include NBC’s Chicago P.D., HBO’s Girls, and Showtime’s Homeland. Since Queen Sugar, Brian Michael has leveraged his visibility and platform to advocate for better trans representation in TV and film, empowering youth to create their own media and storytelling.
Join the Board of Directors
Join us in designing and delivering affirming support programs. Trans women, trans femme/non-binary folks, and trans people of color are especially encouraged to apply.