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Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & Queer Commission

The Denver Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender & Queer Commission (LGBTQ) Commission partners with the community to advance social, economic, and polkitical equality for lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer people using our unique position within the City and County of Denver.

Purpose Statements

  • Advise the Human Rights and Community Partnership's Executive Director and the Mayor on the critical issues and opportunities facing the LGBTQ community. 
  • Recommend legislation, policies, programs, procedures, or administrative actions that advance social, economic, and political equality for the LGBTQ community, or oppose those that do not.
  • Support efforts to organize, educate, and mobilize the LGBTQ community through coalition building, and coordination with allied individuals, groups, and organizations.

 

Commission Informational Documents

 

Commission Meetings

The LGBTQ Commission meets on the 2nd Tuesday of each month. 

Time
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.  

Location
RATHOD | MOHAMEDBHAI LLC (in the Laundry building) | 2701 Lawrence Street, Suite 100

Contact the Commission

To apply: 
Complete the application
 and send it to barry.burch@denvergov.org.

For questions, comments, or more information please contact:
Anthony Aragon, GLTBTQC Liaison
720-913-8496
anthony.aragon@denvergov.org

 

Denver LGBTQ Commission News

Commission Members

Brian BrantBrian Brant is the Adolescent Services Administrator at the Colorado Division of Child Welfare where he oversees services for youth and young adults in foster care and emancipating young people.  Brian is the Project Director of the Pathways to Success grant focused on reducing instances of homelessness among young people exiting foster and he co-chairs the Human Trafficking Task Force, working to design a collaborative child welfare response for child victims of sex trafficking. 

Brian’s 20 years of experience in the field of Child Welfare include work with both public and private agencies, providing direct services in the areas of foster care, adoption, family preservation, residential treatment and day treatment. Prior to working for the Department of Human Services Brian spent more than 10 years with the Child Welfare League of America and Casey Family Programs. Brian is a past member of the Board of Directors for the GLBT Community Center of Colorado and presents often on working with transition age youth and young adults and on the needs of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning youth in foster care.

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Lauren CikaraLauren Cikara is a Community and School Liaison for the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Lauren's background is in student leadership, health education, policy/advocacy, and diversity and inclusion. She has spent the last 17 years advocating for youth and youth programming in K-12 education, higher education, and with community organizations. Prior to working at on the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey team, she worked was One Colorado's Safe Schools Manager, supporting gay-straight alliance programming and working with school districts to adopt LGBTQ inclusive policies. She enjoys hiking, exploring the Denver art and music scene, and craft beer. 

Dawn CrosswhiteDawn Crosswhite holds a Masters Degree in Social Work and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She has been in the clinical field over 24 years. She has vast experience in private practice and child welfare. Dawn is a national and statewide trainer and consultant for child welfare, adolescent female programming and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) curriculums. Dawn helped develop Colorado’s statewide curriculum on how to best work with the LGBTQ youth population and is a member of the statewide initiative “No Time to Lose—Safe Zones” for youth. She has a private practice that engages participants through experiential techniques.  Currently Dawn is an instructor at University of Denver- Graduate School of Social Work and Arapahoe Community College. 

Robert FarolAfter moving back to Denver just over three years ago, Rob Farol is currently an Auditor for the Audit Services Division of the City and County of Denver Auditor’s Office and has worked on audits of Public Safety Departments, DMV, Board of Zoning Adjustment, Sustainability, and revenue contracts.

He also has extensive work experience leading audits of the international affiliates of Berlitz International, Bertelsmann Music Group, SONY BMG, and Sony Music Entertainment; visiting a total of 40 countries, while living in New York City for nearly 20 years.   He has also held IT, Business and Financial Analyst positions at BMG and SONY BMG.  Most recently, before returning to Denver, He consulted for Viacom, Inc. and DreamWorks Classic Media in IT Controls Compliance and Royalties, respectively. Rob has a Bachelor’s Degree of Science of Accounting from the University of Denver.

Outside of the office, Rob enjoys food, music (rap to classical), film, pop culture, technology, reading “Monocle’ and “The Economist” and travelling. He lives downtown near Coors Field.

Megan FowlerMegan Fowler identifies as genderqueer and uses “They and Them” pronouns. They are the Administrative Assistant for the Institute for Women’s Studies and Services at Metropolitan State University. Megan has worked with LGBTQIA communities since 2010 in professional, academic, and community settings. As the former Program Coordinator of LGBTQ Student Resource Center, they personally trained over 600 people to become stronger advocates for our communities.

They have presented at local, state, and national conferences including Creating Change on subjects including LGBTQIA leadership, intersectionality of identity, Non-monogamy, and surviving interpersonal violence. In 2016 they published their first academic article in New Directions Folklore. They are particularly devoted to advancing Transgender rights and inclusion.

In 2015, They graduated with a double major in Queer Studies and Psychology from MSU Denver.  It is their ambition to become a therapist and researcher specializing in Trans and Non-binary communities. Megan enjoys writing, reading, and petting their gem of a dog, Todd. They have lived in Colorado all their life apart from a year spent as a Rotary Youth Exchange Student in Hungary and they love the forest most of all.

Tristan GormanTristan Gorman is a partner at Gorman & Zuckerman, LLC in Denver, where she practices criminal defense and family law. Her practice includes criminal defense ranging from municipal and traffic matters to first-degree murder cases, as well as a focus on LGBTQ family law. She is a member of the GLBT Community Center’s Direct Referral Network and Access to Justice Program.  

Ms. Gorman is also a member of the Colorado LGBT Bar Association and the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar and is active with the Public Policy Committees of both organizations. She was a fellow for New Leaders Council Denver in 2017.

Ms. Gorman received her B.A. in English from Colorado College in 2002 and her Juris Doctor from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law in 2010. Prior to joining Gorman & Zuckerman, she was a Deputy State Public Defender in the Denver Trial Office, where she was appointed to represent the indigent accused of crimes in more than 1,100 cases. She continues her zealous defense of those in need by balancing court-appointed counsel work through the Office of Alternate Defense Counsel with her private practice.

 

Nikki HatchNikki Hatch, a Colorado native, serves as Deputy Executive Director of Operations and Chief of Staff of the Colorado Department of Human Services.  She oversees the day-to-day operations of a Department of more than 5,000 employees deployed statewide. 

Nikki has nearly 20 years of public service experience in human services, local government, and law enforcement. She has spent her career using data analysis and performance management to improve outcomes for disenfranchised, underserved and vulnerable populations.

Nikki holds a Master’s of Public Policy degree from the University of California-Berkeley, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Macalester College.  She lives in Denver and is the proud mother of two middle schoolers.

Jeffery Hoyle Jeffery Hoyle is a public relations and marketing professional. Most recently he was a principal partner in Biscuit Communications, Inc. Prior to that he was Owner and Chief Advisor at Emphasis Marketing & Communications, LLC, focusing on the public relations and marketing needs of Denver’s small business community.

In addition to his role as Chairman of the Denver Mayor’s GLBT Commission, Jeffery lends his support to a number of other charitable organizations including the board of directors for The Alexander Foundation, the advisory board of Cooking Matters, and as a member of the host committee for The National LGBTQ Task Force Creating Change Conference hosted in Denver in February 2015. Also in February 2015, Jeffery was appointed to the National Board of Directors of The National LGBTQ Task Force.

Practically a Denver native, Jeffery graduated from Denver’s own East High School, and attended Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado studying Communications and Journalism.

Jeffery currently resides in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Denver. When not working in the trenches of the self employed, Jeffery enjoys spending his time with good friends, good food, good wine, and good conversation.

Arash JahanianArash Jahanian is a civil rights and employment attorney at Rathod | Mohamedbhai LLC.  His practice includes fighting discrimination and harassment, as well as police brutality and prison abuse.  Arash was also one of the attorneys representing the plaintiffs in the Wyoming marriage equality cases.  He is the Vice President of the Colorado LGBT Bar Association.

Arash received his BA in psychology and journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2003, and his JD from Georgetown University Law Center in 2008.  From 2003 to 2005, Arash taught middle school in Chicago Public Schools as a Teach For America corps member.  Prior to joining Rathod Mohamedbhai, Arash was an associate in Crowell & Moring LLP’s Washington, DC office and a judicial clerk for the Honorable Wiley Y. Daniel of the United States District Court for the District of Colorado.

Dana Juniel is a marketing and special events professional and co-owner of Paparazzi, a special event services company in Denver.   Prior to that, Dana spent 10 years as the Director of PR & Marketing for Family Tree, a metro area non-profit organization helping individuals and families overcome domestic violence, child abuse, and homelessness.  Dana is a proud DPS graduate of Montbello High School, and holds an MBA and Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Colorado State University.

As a true Denver native, being active in the community has always been important to Dana.  Prior to serving on Mayor Hancock’s LGBTQ Commission, Dana was Marketing Chair of the Denver Juneteenth Celebration Planning Committee, and a member of the Mile High United Way Emerging Leaders Council.

In her spare time, when she’s not spending time with her wife and 2-year-old son, Dana can be found participating in Denver’s Gay & Lesbian Flag Football League and Dodgeball League.

D. Lance KingLance King is the Chief Development Officer at Denver Zoological Foundation and oversees philanthropic fundraising for the benefit of Denver Zoo. Lance has  spent more than 25 years in nonprofit management and fundraising, including leadership positions in health care, higher education, arts and culture, civil rights/LGBTQ equality, and philanthropic management consulting.

A passionate advocate for equal protection under the law, Lance graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a degree in pharmacy and completed a post-graduate residency in nonprofit management in Washington, DC. He resides in Denver with his dog Molly, who rescued him while he was visiting a local shelter.

Jason MarsdenJason Marsden is the Executive Director of the Matthew Shepard Foundation with eight years’ experience providing outreach, advocacy and resources in support of equal rights for all people regardless of difference, with a particular focus on the LGBTQ community and its allies. A former Wyoming-based journalist and wildlife advocate, Jason’s work with the Foundation has included extensive public speaking at schools, community organizations, governmental bodies and workplaces nationwide and in Mexico. He currently serves on the boards of directors of the Equality State Policy Center and the Colorado Governor’s Residence Preservation Fund and previously served on various Wyoming environmental and historic preservation boards. 

Leah Pryor LeaseLeah began her professional life working with youth aging out of foster care and homeless youth and she has dedicated her career to addressing the needs of under-served communities.  She worked for over a decade in the nonprofit and public sectors at organizations such as The Hetrick-Martin Institute, Harvard University, and the New York City Department of Education, where she oversaw a broad range of community partnership and external relationship work.

After moving to Colorado, Leah served as the Strategic Partnerships Officer with the Gill Foundation strengthening partnerships with allied foundations, individuals, and institutional partners to advance progress nationwide. She currently serves as a Program Officer with Voqal, an organization dedicated to building a more engaged public to effect progressive social change.

Leah holds a bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University. In her spare time, she and her wife try to wrangle their toddler twins and 100 pound dog.

Andy Putman (they, them, theirs) is a student graduating from Metropolitan State University of Denver in the Spring 2017 with a BA in Gender, Women’s and Sexualities (GWS). Andy is the assistant to the director of the Institute for Women’s Studies and Services at MSU Denver, where they teach Feminist, Queer and Critical Race Pedagogy for the GWS department. Andy served as President of the Gender and Sexualities Alliance student organization for two years hosting educational and social events such as Queer Sex Education. They are also a member of the Human Trafficking Academic Response Team at MSU Denver, which works to coordinate services on campus to support current and future students who are victims and survivors of human trafficking.

Before going back to college to complete their degree, Andy worked with homeless youth and families in the Denver Metro Area where they saw first hand the need for comprehensive services and how compounding identities such as being homeless and LGBTQ inhibited access to those services. In their spare time, Andy enjoys camping and kayaking with their wife and chosen family.

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Shawn TurkShawn Turk is a land acquisition and regulatory professional for the wireless telecommunications industry. His professional background includes: regulatory compliance for oil and gas operations; environmental health, safety policy and training for scientific research; and urban planning for a small Colorado municipality. Prior to venturing into the corporate world, Shawn spent 5 years working with at-risk teens and disabled adults in assisted living and group home settings in New York and Colorado as a treatment counselor. 

Shawn holds a Master's of Science in Energy Law from Oklahoma City University, a Master's of Science in Environmental Policy and Management from the University of Denver, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of California-Davis. He's currently pursuing a PhD in Public Policy and Administration from Walden University.

Shawn also serves as the current President of the Board of Directors for the Gender Identity Center of Colorado and District 6 Representative for the Colorado State Board of Health. When he's not working or studying, Shawn is an out and proud transgender husband and father of five.

Darrell VigilDarrell Vigil is the Chief Executive Officer of Colorado AIDS Project, a statewide community based, not for profit organization headquartered in Denver, with offices in Colorado Springs, Denver, Fort Collins and Grand Junction

Darrell earned his Master’s Degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance and Accounting from Regis University.  In July 2013, Darrell completed UCLA’s Health Care Executive Program.  In addition to serving on Mayor Hancock’s GLBT Commission, Darrell is a member of Governor John Hickenlooper’s HIV Care and Prevention Coalition.  Darrell currently serves as President of the board of directors of La Clinica Tepeyac, a clinic providing medical services to the underserved population.

Darrell enjoys running, biking and other outdoor activities.  He resides in Denver with his long-time partner, Ken.