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
Over the last six years, Jeff has utilized his skills as a designer, developer and marketing professional to help LGBT, 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.
Rob brings years of experience of as board leadership for other LGBTQ non-profit organizations. In addition to serving as Treasurer, Rob currently practices chiropractic medicine in Oregon.
Kit Ballum Cohen
Kit has 15 years of practice in brand development and digital media for socially, culturally, and community-driven organizations. This work has included Echoing Green, a global accelerator for social entrepreneurs; Housing Works, a pioneer in LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS organizing; and founding Sheepless, an online space by/for/about radical small businesses. As a parent (and a queer kid once, too), Kit is committed to elevating messages of unconditional love and support for trans and queer youth.
Jenilee Dowling is an (MSW) Therapist and Energy Healer. She has dedicated her life to changing the way people feel about their own identities and empowering people to be their authentic selves. Jenilee worked in the social services field for about ten years, 5 of them as a therapist. She’s worked with the LGBT community doing individual and group therapy, advocacy work and creating positive change in schools with a focus on making them a safer place for LGBT students to learn. Today, Jenilee works with the LGBT community as an Energy Healer, via her business Readings By Jenilee, helping clients to release the discordant energies that contribute to them not living as their authentic selves.
Laila Ireland is a 13 year Army Veteran and is one of 15,500 transgender service members to serve in the United States Military. She served as an interrogator and combat medic and has 3 deployment tours to the Middle East. In 2012, she assisted in the establishment of SPARTA (Service Members, Partners, and Allies for Respect and Tolerance for All), a group of LGBT people who currently serve or have served in the military and their families as well as veteran and uniformed allies. An organization built by, for and with members from all parts of the LGBT military community. Which also aided in the policy change in July 2016 to allow transgender people to serve openly. She now serves on the SPARTA Board of Directors as the Membership/ Communications Chair. Laila is a strong advocate for the LGBT community, LGBT military community and LGBT Health Care. As an Advocate, Speaker, Transgender Activist, Laila is excited to be a part of the amazing team that helps positively change and shape the lives of other transgender individuals.
Emily Kaufman is a Senior at the University of Michigan and hopes to pursue a degree in law upon completion of her undergraduate education. Emily is heavily involved in advocacy for LGBTQ+ issues on campus and is a member of the LGBT advocacy board at Michigan. She is also the founder and president of the only campus-wide LGBTQ+ organization at the University of Michigan in order to foster inclusion, lasting friendships, and incurring social change. “From Death to Life” is Emily’s first published work, a collection of poems about her transition. Writing about both fiction as well as academic research are two things Emily hopes to pursue throughout her life.
Having multiple years in the beauty industry, Briana took a stand for inclusion. Generating a detailed Sensitivity Training Handbook as well as specific Transgender services, Bree Safe Zone trained locations in the Boston district. Creating a more welcoming and inclusive space for all, she was able to work towards unveiling a Transgender Class for Confidence country wide.
Meryl is a third-year PhD candidate studying the connections between political thought and aesthetics, with interest in feminism and decolonial thought. She has years of experience working with nonprofits, the LGBT community, and children with disabilities, and is excited about the opportunity to serve the trans community through this role. In her spare time, she enjoys writing, traveling, and drinking too much coffee.
Phunrab has been a fully ordained Buddhist monk for 10 years. He is an atheist, cisgender, celibate pansexual, HIV+ long term survivor, vegetarian, transgender ally. His most recent position was being the Treasurer of a Buddhist temple for seven years in Arlington, Texas. He also has been a Buddhist teacher, a public speaker, and a meditation instructor for many levels of meditation practitioners. He has a diverse background of Business Administration with a degree from the University of Central Oklahoma. His greatest hope is to be able to help all LGBTQ+ people, and especially the transgender community through the many virtuous activities of Point of Pride.
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.
Drew is a 17-year-old trans guy who lives in Ponte Vedra, Florida. He’s an honors student and an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ equality. He works with a variety of local and national LGBTQ rights groups, but he particularly enjoys working with Point of Pride because it’s focused entirely on providing resources to trans people in need. Drew helps out with research, outreach, fundraisers and a variety of other tasks! He hopes to become an adolescent psychiatrist specializing in trans youth health care, and he also intends to continue his activism to ensure all trans Americans have the rights they deserve.
Charley is Point of Pride’s social media volunteer. In 2004 they began volunteering with a group in Upstate New York known as Vitamin L, which sparked their passion for working with nonprofits. They completed their degree in Communication in 2015 and moved to the Pacific Northwest in hopes of pursuing that passion. Since then they have had the privilege of working with several different nonprofits in the Seattle area and beyond! When they’re not creating content for Point of Pride, they spend their time working at a historic theater and volunteering with a local LGBTQ+ center.
Melissa volunteers with Point of Pride’s chest binder program, helping coordinate and ship binders to recipients worldwide. In addition to volunteering with Point of Pride, she spearheads the #TransForTheHolidays project with her husband, an effort aimed at providing comfort and support to folks in the trans community who might need it most during the holiday season. Melissa is also active with Delaware Special Olympics, coaching both football and softball in her free time. When she’s not helping out in the community, Melissa can be found jamming out on her ukulele, gardening, sewing in her craft room, or having an adventure with her husband and dog. Throughout her work with Point of Pride, Melissa hopes to help spread love, awareness, self-assurance, and inclusivity.
Alex is a transgender teacher who seeks to create community and inclusivity through education. He is a regular blog columnist for Point of Pride, covering topics such as how to be more inclusive of LGBTQ+ students and youth and his experiences as a trans educator.