It is our mission to cultivate an Eastern Sierra where 2SLGBTQIAP+ people are celebrated, embraced, and supported. We will work to ensure that our 2SLGBTQIAP+ community is treated with dignity and respect, and has equal access to employment, housing, and all services needed to live a safe, healthy, and meaningful life in all our local settings, including business, cultural, educational, faith-based, recreational and other.
We are an organization of 2SLGBTQIAP+ people and allies, working together to ensure that our area is a safe, healthy, and welcoming place for everyone in the 2SLGBTQIAP+ community and their families and friends.
Deena hails from San Francisco, where she was a hairstylist/salon owner of the legendary Glama-Rama!, a salon heralded for being a transgender/queer safe space since 1997. Deena was heavily involved in theatre, drag and club life, as well as producing the film, Filthy Gorgeous, the Trannyshack Story. Activism runs deep in her history, having been a member of Act-Up Golden Gate and participating in Queer Nation visibility protests. She also was the founder of the still active Valencia Corridor Merchants Association, which was formed to protect small business through relationships with local government and legislation. Deena lives for her solo backpack trips throughout the Sierra and can be found working at her salon in Bishop, called Luxe, next to her wife Gunner and friend Sal.
Catie serves as our Vice President. She is the Addictions Programs Supervisor for Inyo County Behavioral Health and has lived in Bishop since 2018. She loves to run, hike, swim, paddle board, and generally be outside in the beauty of the Eastern Sierra.
Jeff serves as the 2nd District Inyo County Supervisor. He sits on many boards of directors. When he is not volunteering or in meetings, Jeff spends his time wandering around the mountains and desert and crafting. He is the proud father of two amazing boys, the best dog in the world, Romper, five goats and 12 chickens.
Kyle Holland was born and raised in Bishop and graduated from San Francisco State University with a bachelor of Science Industrial Design. He currently works as a full time woodworker in downtown Bishop. Kyle is ecstatic to be a part of Eastern Sierra Pride to advocate for 2SLGBTQIAP+ rights in his hometown, and foster a community where it is safe to be out-of-the-closet.
BOARD OFFICER (She/Her)
Fran came to the Eastern Sierra from the Washington DC area with her Bishop-born wife Ann Strohm in 2014 to be the Sierra Club’s Eastern Sierra Organizer. Born in Virginia, Fran has a Master’s of Environmental Management from Duke University and worked to protect the environment and wild places during a nearly 40 year career. Fran’s also long been active in the queer community, particularly around questions of faith and sexuality. And of course, she played softball; covering second base for the iconic Lammas Women’s Bookstore’s team in Washington, DC. These days, Fran mostly hikes and bikes to spend time outdoors. Fran also serves on several other local community focused committees and boards. She and Ann and their two dogs, Stanley and Louie, live in Bishop.
PUBLIC RELATIONS & COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER (He/Him)
Originally from the northeastern United States, Wils moved to Bishop in 2018 with his Bishop-born husband, two dogs, and two cats. He has since held communications roles with Eastern Sierra Interpretive Association, Inyo County Elections, Sierra Club Range of Light Group, and as a volunteer for Wildcare Eastern Sierra. Previously, Wils worked in corporate marketing and communications for 28 years, 18 of them in Global Marketing Director positions. He is passionate about fighting for 2SLGBTQIAP+ rights, having joined Penguin Place and marching on the streets of Philadelphia in the 90s; volunteering at The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center in Greenwich Village, NY in the 2000s; and now joining Eastern Sierra Pride’s Board. His hobbies include running, hiking, kayaking, snowshoeing, pottery, reading, and petting animals, whenever possible.
BOARD OFFICER (She/Her)
Ann was born and raised in Bishop and moved back with her wife Fran Hunt in 2014. She has a Master’s degree in Public Policy from Georgetown University and a 26+ year career in project management, organizational process improvement, group facilitation, and training development. She is a veteran of the United States Army. Ann is retiring soon and looks forward to being active with Eastern Sierra Pride, including starting a local PFLAG chapter to support queer people and their families. She also plans to spend more time volunteering with Altrusa, cuddling with her tiny dogs, and doing arts and crafts with her great nieces and nephews.
BOARD OFFICER (She/Her)
Jolie Varela is a citizen of the Tule River Yokuts and Nüümü(Paiute)Nations. She currently resides in her maternal homelands of Payahuunadü also known as the Owens Valley. She grew up on the Bishop Indian reservation fishing and swimming the creeks with her cousins. In 2017 she founded Indigenous Women Hike. IWH aims to regenerate the relationship between the land and its original people, while consequently decolonizing the history of Indigenous territories. Jolie is a community organizer, body positive advocate, land defender, water protector, and proud to be a queer Indigenous woman.
BOARD OFFICER & DESIGNER (She/Her)
Born and raised in Canada, Erika moved to Bishop in 2018 after discovering the small town with a big backyard and meeting her wife while here on a climbing trip. She is a former professional hockey player, the creative director of The Hockey News magazine, and a dedicated member (and VP) of Inyo County Search & Rescue. She loves rock climbing and adventuring in the mountains and riding her favorite horse Dragoon and mule Max at the Double L Ranch in Bishop. Because of the positive impact they are having for the 2SLGBTQIAP+ community, the Eastern Sierra Pride logo and website are some of her proudest designs.
BOARD OFFICER (He/Him)
Aaron Ugalde was born and raised in Guadalajara, Mexico and moved to Bishop with his family at the age of 12. He is now a Tattoo Artist at Steel Tiger. In his free time, he expands his craft and spends quality time with friends. Aaron is very excited to be part of the Eastern Sierra Pride Board and looks forward to making a difference in this community.
BOARD OFFICER (She/Her)
Nikki Lanshaw is a public health researcher and advocate based in Bishop, CA. She is currently the Project Director of the Abortion Care Training Incubator for Outstanding Nurse Scholars program at University of California, San Francisco. Her professional interests include health care reform, reproductive health workforce development, health communications, and expanding access to sexual and reproductive health care in rural areas. She serves on the Board of Directors of ACCESS Reproductive Justice and Eastern Sierra Pride. Nikki received her MPH from UC Berkeley and BA in Political Science with a minor in Women’s and Gender studies from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
This is an exciting time for the Eastern Sierra and the 2SLGBTQIAP+ community and our allies! Help Eastern Sierra Pride advance our goals for equity, safety, services – and celebration – by supporting our work as a volunteer or with a contribution. We are stronger together!
Join one of our committees: Book Club, Healthcare, Outreach, PFLAG, Scholarship and Pride EventsCONTACT US
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