Robyn is a proud Genderqueer Transwoman who is a student at John F. Kennedy University College of Law. She grew up in Contra Costa County, where she returned after her service in the United States Navy. Robyn has a B.S. in Business from University of Phoenix, and was a former Gender Voice Facilitator, Food Pantry Manager, and Director of Programs for Rainbow Community Center. She is also a founding member of Lambda Democratic Club of Contra Costa County, the first LGBTQ+ democratic club in the county. In her free time, Robyn enjoys trail running, watching movies, and playing games with friends. She currently lives with her adorable cat Duke. She is excited to contribute her knowledge and skills to an organization that holds such a dear place in her heart!
JC (they/them) is a Product Manager at Google and moved to the Bay Area in 2018. They received their degrees from the University of Chicago, B.A. Economics, B.S. Computer Science, and their M.B.A. from the Booth School of Business. With experience as a consultant at Kearney, JC specializes in applying analytics to improve business operations, and has a wide breadth of corporate experience from finance and data science to strategy and operations. JC is passionate about building LGBTQ community, particularly focused on youth leadership development, and can often be found in career conversations at Lesbians Who Tech, Reaching Out MBA and Grace Hopper. In their spare time, they enjoy hosting family and friends for backyard BBQs and home cooking lessons.
Denisen, her husband Jay and their family have been East Bay residents for over 20 years. With two children who are LGBTQIA, she is a strong ally of the rainbow community. The Rainbow Community Center served as an invaluable resource in offering support and community to their family, and Denisen is now excited to be in a position to offer support to other families like hers. Denisen graduated from Golden Gate University in 2000 with a B.A. in Psychology with high honors, followed by literal decades of working for lawyers and writing for the newspaper. When not chasing teens and her family’s menagerie of pets (2 dogs, 2 cats, 2 bunnies, and one rat … as of 3:30 today, that is, because we never know who’s arriving next …) she loves her career as a full time Realtor in Contra Costa, Solano, and Alameda Counties. Favorite quotes include Ralph Waldo Emerson’s, “To laugh often and much, to win respect of intelligent people and the affection of children…to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better… this is to have succeeded,” followed by, “Hold my earrings.” She has a habit of swearing, a decent right cross, and a welcome mat to all comers to their front door. In her off hours, she - wait, what off hours? But if she had them, she’d be even more enthusiastic about her family, advocating for the LGBTQIA community, and Netflix.
Melitta was one of the founders of Rainbow Community Center; she served on the Board of Directors in the early years and has now rejoined the Board. She believes that every person deserves a safe space to be their true selves and to belong to a supportive community. Melitta has a B.A. in geology and an M.S. in Earth Sciences (Hydrogeology); she spent her career as a project manager in the environmental industry and has recently retired. In her spare time, Melitta loves to travel, hike, do yoga, and tend to her garden. Melitta lives in Benicia with her wife Brande and their two rescue cats.
Valerie (she/her) moved to Contra Costa county in 2000 to flip a house and never left. She previously spent 15 years in San Francisco and has been involved in the community since the early 80s when a bizarre disease began killing the gay men of San Francisco. She started giving blood to help the patients of Ward 5b with a loose knit group of lesbians under the banner "Our Boys Need Blood". She lost rooms full of friends from that era. She has been through all of the battles that the community has fought and previously had won. Unfortunately, in 2022 we are having to fight them all over again and she is back ready to advocate for our community. She has done seven AIDS/Lifecycle Rides and will be doing her 8th in 2022. She is a full time Realtor serving the San Francisco East Bay. When not slaying dragons or slinging houses, she helps the California Doberman Pinscher rescues save surrendered dogs by doing shelter evaluations and transports. She still gives blood every eight weeks so she can be regularly reminded of what started it all. She is a competitive powerlifter and holds many state and national records. She is also a distance cyclist and a pretty lousy golfer. She additionally sits on the board of the Keller Williams Rainbow Network and the Contra Costa Association of Realtors. She lives in Concord with her Doberman Pinschers, Bill, Frida and Kaizen.
Sara is a lesbian wife and mama of three awesome kids, at least one of whom is genderqueer. She was born and raised in the suburbs of Kansas City and spent a few years in Birmingham, AL, but has called the Bay Area home since 2005. She holds degrees in Human Development and Counseling and has spent her career working with children and families involved with the child welfare system. She is passionate about building relationships and advocating for marginalized communities. In her free time, she can be found hiking the beautiful Bay Area trails with her family, cooking without recipes, hanging out with friends, and trying to keep her houseplants alive.
Dee is a wife, mother of 3 adult children and is a Bay Area product through and through. Dee's initial foray into activism, started in Antioch with the burrowing owls. It was here where she learned of city politics and dubbed the “Owl Lady”. At the same time, her children were also activating. They showed her that the nuclear family was not the "end all be all" that many in her generation were aspiring to. In fact, this blind pursuit of the American Dream, which generally leaves out the LGBTQI+ community and POC, can be downright dangerous. Dee's eyes were opened, and she vigorously joined her children's activism.
Dee spearheaded the importance of acknowledging our LGBTQI+ community to the city of Clayton. She reached out to community members, including Rainbow to help her convince the City of Clayton the importance to make June our Pride month and to raise the Rainbow flag in 2020 and the Progress Pride flag 2021. Dee has also been an active volunteer in raising much needed funds for schools, community and medical related causes throughout the 90’s and 2000’s.
In Dee’s spare time, she can be found walking daily with her cattle dog, growing
vegetables in her garden, collecting unique succulents throughout California,
crocheting, making art with wine corks, or having family night with dinner and games.
Dee is grateful and humbled to be a part of Rainbow’s community. She is where she
needs to be, a voice, right here, right now with you.
Jonathan H. X. Lee
Jonathan H. X. Lee, PhD, is a professor of Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University. His family survived the Cambodian genocide and arrived in the United States in 1981 when he was 5 years old. He identifies as Chinese-Vietnamese-Cambodian American. He received his doctorate in religious studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 2009. He has published 16 books, and numerous articles and essays on Asian American histories, folklore, cultures, and religions. Currently, he serves as editor-in-chief of Chinese America: History & Perspectives, a peer-review journal published by the Chinese Historical Society of America. He is dedicated to anti-racist pedagogy in education and has been invited by several Silicon Valley corporations and public institutions to speak on equity, inclusion, and diversity issues. He and his husband are fathers to two adopted sons.