Outreach Directors

At Kentucky Equality Federation (who is also the sponsor of Marriage Equality Kentucky and other member organizations include the Kentucky HIV/AIDS Advocacy Campaign and Kentucky Equal Ballot Access), Outreach Directors focus on educating the public about LGBTI issues within targeted communities – providing information and sharing our message in specific ways, as well as contributing information regarding their communities to our statewide organization. The Outreach Directors carry the responsibility for reaching members of the larger LGBTI community that too often have not been included, either in positions of leadership or in public education.

LGBTI Communities in Kentucky:

Kelly Gill, A.D.
Mental Health Outreach Director

Ms. Gill holds an Associate’s Degree in Psychology and is currently working on her B.S. in Clinical Psychology. Her goal is to counsel gay teens. "Growing up gay in rural Kentucky can be hard, many of us face ridicule daily; the ones who try to ignore their feelings suffer greatly and we are at a time when teens are going to extreme lengths, including suicide, to get away from their troubles."

Julia Spiegel-Oiler
Children of LGBTI Parents Outreach Director

 - For additional information about Ms. Oiler and her efforts at Kentucky Equality Federation as the Children of LGBTI Parents Outreach Director, please read a front-page news-article from the Lexington-Herald Leader. (read the article)

Jillian Hall, Esq.
Allies (Straight) Community Outreach Director & 
Vice President of Legal

Attorney Jillian Hall serves as Kentucky Equality Federation's Vice President of Legal in additional to its Allies (Straight) Community Outreach Director.  Ms. Hall also has an extremely supportive husband in her role at Kentucky Equality Federation.

Ms. Hall is a member of the Kentucky Bar Association.  Ms. Hall is also a member of Kentucky Equality Federation's Discrimination, Hate Crimes, and School Bullying Committee.

Laura C. Drake (UK Law Student)
Assistant (Straight) Community Outreach Director &
Legal Assistant to the Vice President of Legal

Lara Clay Drake's hometown is Lexington, Kentucky, and she is pleased to return to the Commonwealth after four years at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. She earned her BA cum laude in 2009 with a major in Asian Studies and a minor in Spanish Language. In 2011, she joined the University of Kentucky College of Law and is now pursuing a J.D. degree. Motivated by her constitutional law and civil rights classes, she is excited to be working with Kentucky Equality Federation and hopes to promote social and political equality for all Kentuckians.

Ms. Drake served as an Intern to Judge Karen K. Caldwell (Chief United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Kentucky), and a Legal Assistant for Golden and Walters, PLLC.

Tyler Watts
Transgender Outreach Director

Katrinna Alexandros  
Assistant Transgender Outreach Director

Many transgender people need to talk to someone who is also transgender or intersex.  If you need someone to talk to, please contact me.  We stand united as a community, and Kentucky Equality Federation fuly supports the T in LGBTI. Transgender however is a general term applied to a variety of individuals, behaviors, and groups involving tendencies to vary from the usual gender roles.

Transgender is the state of one's "gender identity" (self-identification as woman, man, neither or both) not matching one's "assigned sex" (identification by others as male, female or intersex based on physical/genetic sex).  "Transgender" does not imply any specific form of sexual orientation; transgender people may identify as heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, pansexual, polysexual, or asexual; some may consider conventional sexual orientation labels inadequate or inapplicable to them. The precise definition for transgender remains in flux, but includes:
  • "Of, relating to, or designating a person whose identity does not conform unambiguously to conventional notions of male or female gender roles, but combines or moves between these."
  • "People who were assigned a sex, usually at birth and based on their genitals, but who feel that this is a false or incomplete description of themselves."
  • "Non-identification with, or non-presentation as, the sex (and assumed gender) one was assigned at birth."

Transgendered people are often the most misunderstood throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the United States.  

Tyler Watts - Growing Up Transgender in Southern Kentucky:

PICTURES: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kentuckyequalityfederation/sets/72157626654931002/

Tyler Watts remembers having a happy childhood with his parents. Comments and jokes -- both from strangers and even some members of his own family -- about "gays" and "fags" would jolt right to the pit of his stomach, but at the time, Watts wasn't quite sure why. "I remember when I first started school and in my mind I related to myself as a little boy," he says. "When I went into first grade I'd get ready to use the bathroom the boys used and the teacher told me 'no no no -- this way'." I felt so uncomfortable in a dress, even as child. I hated it with a passion. In my head I was thinking 'You're dressing me like a girl and I'm not a girl'."

Today Tyler Watts is the Transgender Outreach Director for Kentucky Equality Federation.

Our partnership with StoryCorps made news around the Commonwealth, national news, and International news. It made the front page of the Lexington-Herald Leader and The Atlantic magazine. It was also broadcast on National Public Radio (NPR) and local radio stations.

For additional information, visit http://news.kyequality.org

The The Atlantic special report.

Kentucky Equality Federation President Jordan Palmer hopes the oral history project will make people realize LGBT people are contributing members of society. "We have jobs, we pay our taxes. To me it's no different from being born blind. I was born this way and that's the way God intended me to be. It's about tolerance and acceptance. If they hear these stories -- stories of real people who have faced discrimination, harassment and name-calling, they may think twice about opening their mouths and saying something derogatory or negative."


    Keith Eversol - Kentucky School Bullying

    For additional information, visit http://news.kyequality.org

    The The Atlantic special report.

    Our Outreach Directors are our front-line activists, working within their targeted communities to change minds and hearts, one conversation at a time. These volunteers work with their families, co-workers and neighbors, elected officials and local media – they build coalitions with other organizations in their targeted community – they are a driving force behind our Federation.

    Outreach Directors service are non-officer, non-director volunteers who reach out to targeted communities in many different ways:
    1. Kentucky Equality Federation's Outreach Directors focus on educating the public about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) issues within specific communities – providing information and sharing our message in specific ways (including elected officials, appointed officials, other organizations, etc.), as well as contributing information regarding each community to our statewide organization. Outreach Directors will report problems and/or issues their targeted community is facing to the Office of the President, as well as the Discrimination, Hate Crimes, and School Bullying Committee.
    2. Outreach Directors increase the networking ability of the organization by doing outreach work on a statewide level such as building coalitions with organizations across the Commonwealth.
    3. Outreach Directors also reach out to members of the LGBTI community that too often have not been included, either in positions of leadership or in public education.