After a few episode hiatus, Martyn is back to share what he’s been up to the past few weeks. Mai Ling also shares some updates before welcoming this week’s guest, Ruchi Kapila. Ruchi is a Bay Area-based speech-language pathologist, vocologist,...
After a few episode hiatus, Martyn is back to share what he’s been up to the past few weeks. Mai Ling also shares some updates before welcoming this week’s guest, Ruchi Kapila. Ruchi is a Bay Area-based speech-language pathologist, vocologist, presenter, and soprano with experience in acute care and acute rehabilitation hospital settings. They provide gender affirmative voice services privately and is licensed in California and Texas. Ruchi is also co-creator/co-host of the podcast The Hyndsyte Project, an interview series with BIPOC Trans and Gender Nonconforming activists.
Contact Mai Ling: MLC at mailingchan.com
Contact Martyn: Martyn at martynsibley.com
And knowing somebody's gender identity is not as important. But asking and divulging your pronouns is the big key.
Mai Ling 00:13
Welcome to Xceptional Leaders with Mai Ling and Martyn, where we give you front row access to intimate conversations that are shaping the way the world is supporting people with disability. If it's happening, it's being shared here. I'm Mai Ling.
And I am Martyn Sibley. And today we're going to be chatting about Ruchi Kapila and all the important work she is doing in the space of transgender voice, and education. But before we get to that,
Mai Ling 00:37
Yeah, before we get to that Martyn, we have so much to talk about. So, you weren't with me last week, and I'm sure our listener missed you. I sure did. It's difficult to do the intro by yourself, I just want you to know you're like talking to no one. So, I'm so glad that you're here. And I get to see you. So welcome back. I also met with the 14 amazing authors for my next and last book, Becoming an Exceptional SLP Leader. It was so fantastic Martyn, to see everyone. And you know, you've been a part of it, just to see them all come together and introduce themselves and be amazed by each other and their accomplishments. You know, it's just absolutely fantastic. So, I'm really excited about that. And you've had an amazing week, too. I've been following you on social media.
Yeah, first of all, apologies I couldn't make last week and thanks for covering Mai Ling. I was thinking that we both did our own podcast before we joined forces. And it's hard to imagine actually now doing it always on your own, right? It's, it's such a normal thing, first place to be on these interviews together. So yeah, I was away, I was working. But basically, work took over a lot last week. We have been busy at Purple Goat (http://purplegoatagency.com/). We had quite a few pitches for new work, which is exactly where you want to be as a marketing agency. So, a lot went into those proposals and then delivering the pitches to some really, really big, well known household brand names, which is very, very exciting. And just another sort of mention, Disability Horizons (https://disabilityhorizons.com/about/), which is, you know, I'm not as involved day to day, because of Purple Goat. But Liz, who's been the editor, most of the time DH has been running, which is almost well over 10 years now, she took over the CEO role last April, when Purple Goat started. And have been doing some really cool stuff for me trying to innovate the content on the magazine, and they've just launched the HTV. So, there's a sort of more visual video version of the articles that have been on that digital magazine for a while. So yeah, it's lovely to see, at more of an arm's length, how there's a lot of creativity going on at Disability Horizons as well.
Mai Ling 02:42
That's great. Everybody loves viewing video, and congratulations to Liz. I know that that's a really big responsibility to step into.
Yeah, no, definitely. I also, I guess, when we talk about being an exceptional leader, I learnt one of my lessons more recently, is about not having to do everything. So, I always had this feeling that, you know, even when others were doing it, I had to be very there and very involved. And it's kind of actually a bit controlling, right? But it's so delicate, that you realize that growth, that when you've got people around in your company, or just in your, you know, community and general friendship group that, you know, they're just way more talented in certain things than you are. It's been really beautiful to watch how Liz has just grown more and more into that role. And she's actually doing that with me all the way which is really good to see.
Mai Ling 03:33
That's great. That is actually the sign of a true leader Martyn, is when you, I actually saw this, like a quote from Richard Branson is, if you teach people to do their job so well that they can leave you, but they want to stay because they want to, you know, stay with a company. That's amazing.
So true. So true. So, going back to our interview in our episode today, Mai Ling just give everyone a little bit of a teaser, what for you was really cool about this particular interview today?
Mai Ling 04:00
Well, I'm really excited to have Ruchi to say yes, for this month, because May is Better Speech and Hearing month. And it's really important that we continue to be spotlighting information and educating people about the world and how the world is changing. So, this topic in particular is really important and somewhat controversial, and sensitive, but I know that our listeners want to be educated and informed so that they can continue to grow and be connected with people in their world. And you and I are also both learning. There are a couple times in my interview with Ruchi that I asked, you know, really good questions, and I kind of felt like ooh, should I have noticed already? You know, is it okay that I asked? But I want to be the one that's asking right, so that we're all getting the answers.
Yeah, and I know when I've been speaking more and more to businesses, it's a similar thing that they're scared of saying the wrong word about disability more broadly. So, first of all, the topic of today's interview is 100% a new area for me, so like you, it's that being an eternal shooter. And then being really curious, it's really, really fascinating to learn new things and to be up on these really important issues. But there's also that similarity, as I was just saying before about how I think in general society is scared with broader disability of saying and doing the wrong thing. And I'm always saying it's better to engage and make the odd little mistake, but actually learned through doing that, than to just completely ignore and stay away from a topic. So, I think another part of this is around the importance of language. It's sort of around respect of community preference and respect for individual preference.
Mai Ling 05:37
That's why again, it's important we open our hour of religious duty to respect for people as well.
Mai Ling 05:44
Yes. And I interviewed Meredith Herald, she's the leader of the Informed SLP (https://www.theinformedslp.com/team.html). And that's the episode right before this one. So, if our listeners, if you get a chance to listen to that one, she does a great job of touching on this area also. And she says that, you know, we have to respect people to approach them in the way that they're asking to be approached, and that you can't just assume, by the way, somebody is dressed anymore, and that is so important for us to know.
Great. Well, everyone, I hope you enjoy it as much we have, I guess well, one last shout out as you're listening, and do the usual favor of giving us a great like, kind of follow and a review on all the right social channels and on your preferred podcast streaming platform. We really, really appreciate all the support so we can get episodes and our you know, content out to new and bigger audiences. So please feel free to do that while you're listening to this episode. And let's get to it.
Mai Ling 06:45
I'm so excited to have Ruchi here today, because I feel like she is the person holding the torch and really lighting the way to a whole new world of culture, vocabulary, awareness, education, and also teaching us as speech language pathologists, what our role is out there. So, without further ado, welcome Ruchi.
Thank you so much for having me. I'm glad to be here.
Mai Ling 07:08
I am so excited. I have definitely watched you from afar, for about a year now. And as many people usually are, in this very new world of vocabulary, I was confused. And I was, you know, listening in and just trying to understand all of this new swirling culture that has come about and that needs to be normal. Right? But that only comes with education. And I just had to know you, which you know, because I definitely, this is what I do, I stalk people and I finally say, be my friend. And then I say, you know, we've got to get your, your voice and your story out there. So, to give people a little bit more information about you, you're using the term vocologist, which I love. And also, you have a lot of acronyms. And so, I've already asked Ruchi that is, as we're talking, if she comes upon these acronyms that she uses just in everyday speech, if she could expand on those and educate us so that we can all be in the know. So, the first thing I want to talk about is your Hyndsyte project, which is spelled H Y N D S Y T E (https://www.amazon.com/Hyndsyte-Project-feat-Kapila-Marron/dp/B08KMT1QQX). which I love. And we found that because you are a speech language pathologist who also has a podcast, and we have a podcast group on Facebook called SLP Podcasts, and SLP Podcast Hosts Only. So, if anybody's interested, please join us in any or both of those. But please Ruchi can you tell us a little bit about this specific podcast that you do?
So, I created this podcast, I cocreated it and cohosted with Asher Marron, who is a non-binary poet, educator, and artist in the Bay Area. We met through… there’s going to be a lot of acronyms. We met through Queer Trans Person Of Color or QTPOC open mic, even though Asher is Caucasian, and we've been in the community for a while. And during quarantine or COVID-19, during the summer of 2020, we wanted to find a way to support and elevate voices specifically in black community, but also overarching black indigenous people of color BIPOC community. And you know, I was living with, I am currently, I'm living with my parents who are elderly. Asher was also feeling isolated. We weren't protesting on streets exactly, but we wanted to find a way to elevate and highlight these voices that were excellent to us. Part of it was also selfish because we had a lot of artists who were black and within trans or gender nonconforming community or queer community that are singers, poets, and activists in their own right and we just hadn't heard from them in a long time or hadn't had the opportunity to be in community to hear them sing or share poetry or share any other creative work. So, we thought this was a great way to both highlight voices that weren't necessarily getting a lot of support or elevation in the overarching Black Lives Matter movement and finding a way to have these people's perspectives preserved. And yeah and brought to new audiences. I think my aim for it was to change the way that people navigate society the way people vote, because I think we don't necessarily have direct interactions with how people are cordoned off in ours, or sub sections in our cultural communities. But it's harder to vote against somebody's interest if you've listened to a conversation of their lived experience and get to appreciate the artistry and their perspectives that they bring to a conversation. So, I think, I think we were starting to achieve that with the podcast. And it's something that I'm very, I'm very proud to be a part of.
Mai Ling 10:56
Excellent. We don't typically bring politics into this podcast. And we, you know, we just try to stay as neutral as we can. But it's so important that there are voices and spotlights in the different areas to provide education, as you're saying, and you know, to bring the two sides closer together, I'm going to back us up a little bit, because there's a couple of terms in there, I'd like to see if you could expand on, and one of them is non binary.
Yes. So I won't necessarily give like a textbook definition, I think non binary basically means that we assume when it comes to gender, that there is a framework, right, that either people are male, or they are female, and then there are physical characteristics, personality characteristics, rules that go along with these two. And the idea of having a non-binary identity deconstructs that and says that, you know, it doesn't really say anything in terms of how we code other people. But for us, myself being a non-binary person, I would say that I don't subscribe to the fact that people are I, myself, I'm not one of these two poles. I'm not entirely masculine or feminine. I think there are a lot of people who are cisgender, who will say, Oh, I'm a woman, or I'm a man. And they would also say that they don't necessarily feel like they're 100%, one or the other. But that coding works for them. I think to be honest with myself, I realized that, you know, masculinity and femininity are like archetypes, but they're not necessarily things that can be assigned at birth. From my perspective, we can't code that. Only a person can decide for themselves where they are on a gender spectrum. So, I think non-binary gives the sense of like, you're neither male, you're neither female, you can be in between and there is, there is a whole umbrella of terms into the trans and gender nonconforming umbrella, where people may not subscribe to either gender identity or not even feel gender or something applies to them. That could be a gender, or sometimes people are gender fluid, and they kind of move across the spectrum in ways in terms of what they embody. So, but yeah, I think that is as clear as I can be, about what non binary is to me. But I think other people will have different definitions of that.
Mai Ling 13:15
Excellent. Okay. And then the other one is QTPOC.
So, QTPOC, or Qt POC stands for Queer Trans People of Color, with the idea that there is a unique cultural perspective and overlay when people of color are also queer and trans. There are numerous histories across indigenous populations, I would say even South Asian, I'm Punjabi, American by background, that create a foundation for what I would say gender variation, or gender expansion in terms of identities. So, there are a lot of those perspectives that can make it into the space. And as you know that people have very complex intersectional identities. And so, you know, even if you have, if you go into a space that's, you know, a safe space for trans and gender non-conforming people, you're still gonna find a lot of variations in terms of whether people are white, brown, black, or what levels of access they've had in terms of growing up with generational wealth or not, what kind of family support systems they have or community supports are, so chosen family, all of these things can impact how people move through the space. And so, I think why Qt POC or Qt POC spaces exists is to create a specifically safe space for people to talk and explore, particularly for people of color who are in queer trans community.
Mai Ling 14:49
Absolutely. And this is stemming from your work as a speech language pathologist and I have to bring this up, is a really important role in changing how pro nouns are being taught and being used, especially at, you know, the grammar school level and then hoping that this is continuing, you know, on through an entire generation, and it just becomes normal, I put that in quotes. And so, we are both on zoom. And I see that you have the pronouns she / her and they / them. And you and I've talked about this before, because I want to respect you know, what you want to be referred to as, and so far listener, if you could talk a little bit about that, and how that is also affecting your work in your, your voice training?
Sure, um, I might, I might have to change the order of it now. And I found that I'm preferring they/them more, she/her does not bother me. So, if anybody meets me and uses, she/her, it's not going to cause me to be impacted. But not everybody is that way. And I know a number of non-binary speech language pathologists who are specifically they/them and it's really important to use those pronouns. How does it impact my work? I think, we've talked a little bit about me being a vocologist or having some specialty and voice habilitation or optimizing the voice. And I've had maybe 20 some odd years as a soprano. And with classical singing background, I do some cross training in terms of commercial singing or contemporary music styles as well. When I work with clients, I work a lot with specifically gender affirming voice. So, anybody who is under the trans and gender nonconforming umbrella, if they come to see me, I can work with them on singing and speech voice considerations. And I think it's been a complicated journey because I think I came to the realization that I'm non binary through a Trans Voice training with I think was, Leah Helou, Christie block and Sandy Hirsch, who have been established in the field for some time, in terms of providing gender voice modification services. And yeah, it was very strange to have this happen, you know, kind of post-graduation and later, are relatively later in life. And it is going through realizing and coming to terms of my gender and identity, involves me being in communities like the Oakland LGBTQ center, like their OT POC or Qt PSC open mic. And it took me a very long time to feel comfortable, despite all of the vocal, you know, subspecialties that I have to work in community. I had to really come to terms and deconstruct what gender coding I had growing up with, what really applied to me, What, what I wanted to do in terms of my expression, how I wanted to honor myself, because whenever you're meeting a client in this community, you're having to sympathize and empathize with their position and navigating and being culturally responsive to them and understanding things that a lot of cisgender folks just won't deal with. And we have, but that's but cisgender SLPs are the majority of the people who are working in this space just because of numbers. And just because of recruitment.
Mai Ling 18:03
Recruiting trans and gender nonconforming clinicians is going to be really important if speech language pathologists want to maintain this specialty, I am of the opinion that if there is no vocal full pathology, and there's no medical compromise, and there's no cognitive, communicative, or speech and language impairment, or deficit, I don't know if it's necessary for a speech language pathologist to provide this work… they can. But we also see a lot of voice teachers, diction coaches, theater voice, folks, singing voice specialists across the gamut providing services to these people. I'm in support of that as long as the cultural responsiveness piece and accountability is kept intact, and that's something we're still working on.
Mai Ling [Sponsor Ad] 18:52
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Hyndsyte Podcast Introduction 19:49
Hi, I'm Ruchi Kapila, and I'm Asher Marron, welcome to the Hyndsyte project (https://www.amazon.com/Hyndsyte-Project-feat-Kapila-Marron/dp/B08KMT1QQX), an interview series that provides an unedited platform for black and bipoc, trans, non-binary gender spectrum and queer activists and artists in the Bay Area. We wanted a platform to celebrate black queer excellence, as demonstrated by people we know locally in our communities. Exactly. Some may ask why Hyndsyte? The name Hyndsyte came from the year 2020. And the outcry during the pandemic and protests regarding racial inequity, which we feel is a direct result of our nation ignoring our most marginalized communities. At the same time with this series, we want to share joy and bond with the guests we interview. Our hope is that our audience can learn from the varied experiences shared here and implement that knowledge in their daily lives and socio-political action. We also wish to highlight local BIPOC LGBTQIA+ artists that are dear to us and promote their work and vision, in addition to causes they support. We look forward to you joining us on our journey, it's time to listen.
Mai Ling 20:49
Now let's get back to our amazing interview. For somebody who's not a speech language pathologist, because I'm hearing a lot of just professional, and I don't want to say jargon, but you know, are similar. Can you explain that to somebody who has a child, let's say they're in sixth seventh grade, and they are now you know, really coming to really terms with what type of personality and gender and culture they want to connect with, right? And that's where I'm seeing, you know, where this is our place now to come in and support them. And so, I'm hearing like, this is not a disorder, you know, this is a vocal training or vocal health, you know, these are all like the mainstream words that I want to be using. So, can you help to, like to clarify that a little bit?
Yeah, I for one thing, I want to also demystify for people that speech language pathologists, or any allied health care person needs to be prepared to see somebody who's in trans and gender non-conforming community, there tends to be a framework where we think about trans and gender nonconforming youth and adults and we think automatically, oh, they want to change voice when it comes to us, or they're going to want this particular intervention, instead of thinking about, okay, they're, they're a person, they have holistic needs, maybe their speech language considerations. And so, making sure that you're remembering that the student is still a whole person, irrespective of this trans and gender, nonconforming community involvement, or maybe an emerging identity that, like, places them under this umbrella. And to learn more a little bit about cultural responsiveness, I do want to plug AC Goldberg who is a good friend of mine, colleague who does translating, which is a, an educational platform for all kinds of practitioners, educators, SLPs. And I think very helpful for anybody who's in allied health as well. And we can talk about that a little bit later because they do have a course on his platform. But I have to be honest, I haven't worked in educational settings very much in my career and haven't had to run into a student necessarily coming out or deciding to use different pronouns. From my perspective, and I think AC has a lot of content on this, which is really valuable. But for my personal perspective, when we start teaching pronouns really early, setting it up, so that there is consent. So, and setting it up that like whenever you see someone like their physical markers and characteristics, what they wear, how they dress, what their voice sounds like, does not tell you their gender identity. And honestly, knowing and knowing somebody's gender identity is not as important. But asking and divulging your pronouns is the big key, you know, gender identity can be very personal. I'm very open about mine. But part of that is because of the work that I do and ensuring that I'm establishing a safe space and accountability around that, and creating visibility, but not everybody's going to feel that way. And that's fine. So, if we start to create a culture with younger children, where they're saying, Hey, you know, I use he/him, and she uses she/her and she uses she/her and they/them or ze/zir. Any other additional pronouns, the people can start getting comfortable with that practice really early on.
Mai Ling 24:05
And, and be consensual about this is the information that I want to know. And then we're not going to delve into anybody's personal stuff unless they want to share that with us. And we can set up you know, those kinds of norms.
Mai Ling 24:18
Yes, excellent. I love this. And it makes me think about the importance of mental health. We have so many students and people who are, you know, dealing with depression. And this is part of the holistic person that you're talking about. And it's so important to have people on the team that really understand, you know, this, all of the parts of the person that are involved in just I'm so excited to be plugged into you. I hope that our listener is picking up on the resources that you're making available, because I know that this is all new. And I also want my listener to know that I actually took a class with my husband, and it was through the SLP toolkit, you know, they do their amazing events, and it was incredible, and we watched it twice. Because I was furiously taking notes, you know, and there was just so much to catch up with. So, I really encourage everyone to just be open minded. And I would say listen to the segment twice, because Ruchi is just giving us so much rich information. And it's, it's really important for us out there as parents and friends and colleagues, educators, leaders, you know, family members, we just, we need to educate ourselves so that we can support. And I feel like that is what's going to raise the awareness, you know, and make this all common and mainstream as it should be.
Absolutely. And I want to highlight since we have a second, you know, I do have a course called Preparing for Intersectionality, that's available on several bundles on AC Goldberg's transplanting platform. So, I, I give a good kind of basis for what intersectionality really is, I think a lot of people say it doesn't necessarily apply to them. And it's something that applies to everybody, it kind of guides everything in terms of their access, how they move in the world, and how to work more conscientiously with other people. And that was my intention with the course. So please go check that out. And I get into some of these other considerations as well.
Mai Ling 26:13
Excellent. And while we were talking, I renamed my name. So, I usually have Mai Ling Chan, and I just put my pronouns on here. And I realize yes, because I've kind of been holding out because I've had this probably totally ignorant feeling of Oh, they know, I want to be she her, right. Yeah. But that's not true.
Well, I mean, and none of the listeners can see me but I address in what would be considered a pretty like femme presentation, or, like, more stereotypically feminine presentation, and nobody would know that I'm nonbinary based on that. I'm comfortable with this, I don't necessarily feel the need to. And it's fine. If people do right, it's fine. If people want to have more of an androgynous look, or in a way that isn't stereotypically feminine, but I'm comfortable this way. And so, the only way that people can know what pronouns to use is if we're, you know, transparent. Zoom makes it super easy because you can just keep it in your, your title, name. But another way that people can start to create those safe spaces is putting it in your email signatures. Whenever you introduce yourself to someone in person. It's, it's just another short sentence. So, you know, for me, it's like I'm Ruchi Kapila as they/them, and she/her pronouns. How about you? And then that's, you know, it.
Mai Ling 27:28
Okay. So that's how you introduce that, I think that's really important. So, I've never even considered saying that,
Right. And also striking the idea of preferred or current or anything like that, there is no caveat around it. It's your name, it's your pronouns. Whenever we talk about names that people have before, sometimes people will call that dead naming. So, it's a name that was assigned to a person, but they don't use it anyhow, you don't invoke that. And it's not anybody's right to know or inquire about what that is. Anything that can be personal and triggering, in that sense, needs to be disclosed by the person. And so that's why I like to say as much as you can keep it to pronouns, and let people share what they feel comfortable with. And also acknowledge that they may not feel comfortable, and that's okay. That's something that I really want to leave the listeners within terms of dealing with community at large.
Mai Ling 28:21
So excellent. I love that. So, I have really exciting news to share with our listener is, Ruchi is joining us as a coauthor in my third book in The Becoming Exceptional Leader series, this one is focused on SLPs. And I'm really so excited, Ruchi for you to be the voice. And that's actually really funny because that is your focus. But I know that this has been a journey for you to be able to, you know, be the face and the voice and the leadership in this position. So, I'm really excited to share your story with everyone.
Yes, thank you for having me, in that, I mean, I think it's daunting because I know that there's going to be evolutions and changes in my life going on. Moving forward, I think so much for me in the last, even in the last five to six years. And also coming to terms with a lot of things that came up in terms of looking back at childhood and how I've developed has really changed my framework and also changed how I work in community and work as a speech language pathologist. So yeah, I'm excited to delve into it. It's definitely daunting to get into all of it for sure, but I'm excited.
Mai Ling 29:26
Excellent. All right, well, how can we stay in touch with you and everything that you're up to?
You know, I have a few engagements coming up. You can register for the Northwest Voice Conference (https://www.northwestvoice.org/), I think for speech language pathologists it's sold out, but if you're if somebody's interested in voice or voice professional, you can sign up for free. So just check out Northwest Voice, Dr. Kari Ragan, I believe is organizing this with a number of voice professionals and I do a breakout session on working with trans masculine singers. The other piece is you can follow us on Hyndsyte project podcast you. We have an Instagram at Hyndsyte project (The Hyndsyte Project @hyndsyteproject). And you can also find us on basically any major platform. So, Google podcasts, Apple podcast, iTunes, Stitcher, I believe there are a number of them. But you can definitely find us online and are hosted on pod bean. And if you want to follow me, there are a lot of things that are cooking. So, your best bet is following me on Instagram @KAPRU909. That's KPRU909. And I'll post any updates. There are some pieces that are changing in terms of voice practice that I want to keep people abreast of and as well as any conference engagements are, pleased to say to catch me speaking and collaborating with other fantastic folks. And again, if you want to check out preparing for intersectional thinking, which is of course, I'm really, really proud of go to AC Goldberg's transplanting platform and check out some of the other courses too. I have some amazing colleagues that have posted on there as well.
Mai Ling 30:57
Excellent. Well, thank you so much, Ruchi. I know I learned a lot and I'm sure that our listeners did too. And we look forward to continuing to learn from you in the upcoming book. Thank you. Thanks so much for joining us for this episode. And I invite you to connect with me directly at MaiLingChan.com. We also want you to let us know what you think about the show, ideas and how we can continue to help you or referrals to a great guest through our Facebook group at Xceptional Leaders podcast or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yes Mai Ling, I totally agree with that. I know we're both really mission driven people. And for me, it's always been this big mission to have a world that's fully inclusive for all people. And in the end, that's probably why we've bonded and come together so well on this podcast, Xceptional Leaders podcast, because we get to meet cool people, give them a platform to share their story and really just make such an impact in the disability world. I love it. Also, for everyone listening please do head over to DisabilityHorizons.com. This is the magazine that I cofounded about 10 years ago and we've got a free mailing list there for all the latest article, news, and discounts for the shop if that's your kind of thing. And definitely do get your copy of Becoming an Exceptional Leader book. We want you to get as much information as you need and to be as successful as you can be.
Ruchi Kapila (she/they), M.S., CCC-SLP is a Punjabi-American, Bay Area-based speech-language pathologist, vocologist, presenter, and soprano with experience in acute care and acute rehabilitation hospital settings. They provide gender affirmative voice services privately and is licensed in California and Texas. Additional roles include serving as co-creator/co-host of the podcast The Hyndsyte Project, (an interview series with BIPOC Trans and Gender Nonconforming (TGNC) activists) and as social media coordinator, EDI committee member, and board member for Festival Opera in Walnut Creek.