Tuesday, October 10th
Woman on Fire
“Woman on Fire is a moving portrait of a New Yorker who’s never been afraid to run where she needs to go, regardless of the dangers that might be waiting for her on the other side.”
Following the film, informational and inspirational panelists to include:
Kiran Kaur Bains
Kiran Kaur Bains is the first Chief Equity Officer for the City of San Antonio, where she leads a citywide strategy to advance equity and inclusion in all functions of local government. Prior to joining the City organization, Kiran worked in international development and peace-building in South Asia and East Africa. A proud first-generation college graduate, Kiran teaches a course on equity at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Kiran holds a bachelor of arts in international relations from St. Mary’s University and masters in peace studies from the University of Notre Dame.
Nikki Araguz Loyd
Recently recognized by President Obama, Nikki Araguz Loyd was the first adolescent to appear on national television in the 1990’s and discuss being transgender. Nikki has been advocating for HIV and Transgender awareness since 1995, when she told the world on the Sally Jesse Raphael show she was raped at 13 and infected with HIV. Following the July 4th 2010 death of her firefighter husband, Nikki was sued for the death benefits and her marriage was subsequently invalidated by a Texas judge based on her birth as a transgender person. After a half decade long battle the case was overturned on appeal and the Texas Supreme Court denied a further appeal by petitioners, sending the case back to the trial Judge for a historic reversal, creating marriage equality for transgender people in Texas before it was national law. Araguz Loyd has taken her struggles and turned them into a triumph for all transgender people by setting an example of success while assuring the legislative, judicial and procedural changes in all forms of government for the improved lives of all people regardless of their gender identity. Acknowledged as the inspiration by Harris county Sherriff Adrian Garcia for his monumental and comprehensive changes to the process with which transgender inmates are handled, Araguz Loyd uses her voice and public persona to ensure that all people are treated with equal respect regardless of their circumstance. Having been featured on ABC’s 20/20, NBC, CBS, PBS, Inside Edition and print media around the world, Nikki is happily remarried to American contemporary artist William Loyd, their family is the subject of a digital docu-series called Nikki’s American Dream focusing on the families activism and her life as a transparent. Last but not least Nikki is the founding director of TNA, Transgender National Alliance, helping families heal while focusing on trans identified people achieving the transitioned status they desire including access to name, gender marker changes and hormone therapies. She is known throughout social media as @AmericanNikki for her compassion, wit and unrivaled honest opinion. www.americannikki.com
Ashley Smith grew up in a conservative Alabama family that made academic achievement a high priority. She attended Cornell University and graduated with a B. Architecture. After working briefly in San Francisco, Houston, and Hong Kong, Ashley settled in San Antonio in 1997, where she has worked for several design firms, including her own. Her specialty is planning research laboratories and higher education projects, and her clients have included institutions such as UT Austin, Texas A&M, UT Health San Antonio, UTSA, Texas State, and the US Army Corps of Engineers. Currently, she is a Senior Project Manager at Alamo Architects and is the parent of two young women.
After struggling with gender identity issues from childhood, she transitioned and has not looked back. Recently, Smith drew attention to the Texas bathroom bill controversy when she took a photo with Gov. Greg Abbott, a proponent of the legislation, at a 2017 San Antonio event announcing his re-election campaign. Her photo became widely popular, and she continues to appear in local and national media. She testified before the state legislature in efforts to stop the discriminatory legislation and has encouraged other transgender people to engage with their lawmakers. She also is the founder of Texas Indivisible 35 San Antonio and has been active in several local political campaigns this year.
LAUREN AND KERRY FARRIS
Married as a cisgender straight couple nearly four decades ago, Lauryn and Kerry Farris have remained in love and committed as Lauryn transitioned and presented as a woman. They share two biological sons and an adopted daughter. You may have seen Lauryn Farris and her family in a recent interview that appeared in the Huffington Post as part of their Let Love Define Family series. The occasion for the interview was the final adoption of a 17-year-old transgender girl by Farris and Kerry. In addition, they have a gorgeous grandbaby!
Those who know Farris well will tell you she is passionate about a cause that is very personal to her: transgender rights. She has twice served as president of the San Antonio Gender Association, is a board member of the Transgender Education Network of Texas and has been a national educator for the Human Rights Campaign’s workshop series, Gender Identity and Our Faith Communities.
Farris is one of the very few persons from Texas to be selected as one of the Trans 100, an annual listing of individuals from across the country “who are active in the work of making the lives of trans people better.”
Farris is a devout Christian. In her interview with the Huffington Post she says, “Many of the trailblazers in our community come from some very strong faith backgrounds and they continue with their faith even when rejected by the church.”
Farris and her family run a photography studio, Farris Family Photos. She can often be seen around town with camera in hand, chronicling LGBTQ community events and snapping shots of local newsmakers. She is a frequent contributor to Out In SA.