Em Lane - President
Em Lane is a public librarian, gardener and dog dad. They hold a master’s degree from the University of Arizona and have called Tucson home for many years. Em has been working with trans and gender non-conforming youth for the last 7 years as an active volunteer for Camp Born This Way. They have also been a librarian for over a decade, focusing their work on advocating for teen voice. Em has a passion for social equity and justice and is looking to put that energy into their role on the SAGA Board.
Lanay Lindsey - Vice President
Lanay is a proud Tucsonian whose love for their community drives their work as an advocate, community organizer, and intersectional activist. Continuously working through the lense of intersectionality, Lanay focuses their work on deconstructing social constructs and systematic oppression through policy and systems change. They are currently a Tucson Pima Collaboration to End Homelessness (TPCH) committee member and Youth Violence Prevention Coalition Ambassador.
Judee Squeer - Treasurer
Judee, born and raised in Tucson, her roots are deeply imbedded in the local Queer Community. She started her career, as a Community Organizer, using tools she gained from local queer focused programming like harm reduction, advocacy, and trauma informed care.
Andrés Bautista is a first generation undergraduate at the University of Arizona. His experiences growing up as a trans Chicanx have greatly influenced his politics and involvement in movement building spaces. Currently, Andrés is a member of the National Trans Youth (TRUTH) council under Transgender Law Center and GSA Network. In the past he has worked with Planned Parenthood on their LGBTQIA+ youth advisory board, as well as with Leading for Change AZ. He hopes to use his knowledge and experiences to advocate for trans youth and create a leadership pipeline for trans youth living in Southern Arizona.
Dante Celeiro, Originally from NYC, has been involved in social activism & the arts community for more than 25 years. After 12 years of working with the Gays Men’s Health Crises, Callen-Lorde Health Center, CDC & heavily involved in the underground Ball Scene, Dante was in need of a break & was brought to the Southwest. It was a short lived break & jumped right back into social activism & the arts.
While starting the Tucson AIDS memorial quilt panels @ SAAF, Dante began managing Boys R Us, Arizona’s First Gender Performance Troupe. While performing in local bars & traveling the country, a need for creating safe spaces was clear & the first & only Cultural Community Arts Organization in the Southwest was born named Fluxx.
The doors of Fluxx may have closed two years ago after a massive burglary; however its mission continues today with the hopes of building a Cultural Community Arts Campus for the entire LGBTQ+ Community.
I was born and raised in Mexico City but have considered Tucson my home for the last 15 years. I have been fortunate to be involved in community organizing efforts both in Mexico and here in Arizona and strongly believe in advocacy and grassroots work from the perspective of human rights. I also believe in the power of connection and of having a supportive community. As a parent I’m committed to helping open up more spaces of support for families of queer/trans youth of color, especially immigrant families. I am the proud mother of two wonderful children. In my day job I work at the UA as part of a research and evaluation unit. I am also a doctoral student in public health.
Lias Gallardo is honored to be on the SAGA Board and has found the resources, groups and services provided by SAGA invaluable to navigating a legal name change, finding a doctor and meeting others in the Transgender community. Lias looks forward to putting their marketing, video and web experience to use supporting and promoting the SAGA mission. Lias currently works for a local municipality as a web developer.
Lizette Trujillo is a Tucson small business owner and community advocate for transgender youth and families. She spends much of her time volunteering for the Southern Arizona Gender Alliance, where she and her spouse facilitate a local support group for families of transgender, gender creative/non-conforming youth. Her local efforts have brought her national attention and she now serves as a member of the Human Rights Campaign Parent Trans Equality Council. Lizette is a proud mother to an 11 year old trans child, and enjoys being a mother above all else. Lizette has learned so much through her child’s experience, and is committed to creating awareness and change around trans youth and their needs.
As a mom, I’m a strong advocate for transgender and gender creative youth and the adults who mentor them. I believe that all kids have the right to a healthy, safe and joy-filled life, and that they deserve to have family and mentors who fight for those rights with them. I have facilitated the SAGA Transparents group, and started the Fierce Pride soccer team. I am honored to be the 2018 recipient of the Alliance Fund’s Straight Ally Award, and of the Pioneer in Service and Giving Award from the LGBTQ+ Integrated health Coalition of Southern Arizona and the Queer Resource Collective. In my day job, I am an Associate Professor in Family Studies and Human Development at the UA, and the Evaluation Specialist for UA Cooperative Extension.
Erin Russ - Director of Programs
Erin Russ is SAGAs Director of Programs for the past three years, and has been an integral part of growing SAGA from an infant grassroots organization into a thriving non-profit corporation. She has over forty years experience as a trainer/educator, training manager, operations manager, planner, data manager and fundraiser in corporate, community non-profit and military environments. In addition to training and consulting with executives, managers and line staff in Human Resources departments, community and government organizations and in the non-profit sector to be more inclusive of transgender, gender non-conforming and non-binary people, Erin has helped to create over a half dozen private and government offices and programs.
Erin has spoken to combined audiences totaling over 15,000 people including the initial training of the Southern Arizona Veterans Administration Health Care System primary care medical and mental health and Vocational Rehabilitation teams across Arizona. She is currently collaborating on growing a support community in Cochise County, a job-training network, and a training program to certify supportive homeless shelter programs for the transgender, gender non-conforming and non-binary community.
Erin began her transition 19 years ago and currently identifies as a trans women, using primarily feminine pronouns (she/her). However, she acknowledges that for many, including herself, the gender journey is often more complicated than male or female and so she continues to explore the reality that is non-binary gender.