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Tag Archives: personal story

Voices Unheard: Nicolette Rodriguez

Nicolette Rodriguez (she/her) is our next guest on Voices Unheard. She is a 26 year old trans woman of colour who began transitioning one year ago. Nicolette was born in Edmonton, Alberta but grew up in and currently resides in Penticton, British Columbia; her family emigrated to Canada from El Salvador prior to her birth. She is Vice-President at the South Okanagan-Similkameen Pride Society, and currently works at the Penticton YMCA and is studying business. Host Jessica Samuels will chat with Nicolette about her life and experiences as a trans person and how being a woman of colour with immigrant family members continues to shape her world.

About Voices Unheard

Voices Unheard is a weekly livestream series produced by Unicorns.LIVE in partnership with Kelowna Pride Society. The intent of this series is to bring awareness to underrepresented members of society, which includes people of various racial backgrounds, sexuality, gender identity/expression, age, or ability. Host Jessica Samuels will engage a different guest each week in a candid conversation about the challenges they have faced or continue to struggle with, elevating their voice and helping them to tell their stories.

Voices Unheard is filmed and produced on the unceded, traditional territory of the syilx (Okanagan) people.

Voices Unheard is grateful for the support of Castanet Media and the Kanata Kelowna Hotel and Conference Centre.

Voices Unheard: Robert Verigin

Content Rating: PG Parental guidance is suggested for designated age range (7-13 yrs); some material may not be suitable for all children due to content that may be of a mature nature or triggering for viewers. 

Robert Verigin (he/she/they) sometimes uses pronouns, and sometimes doesn’t, because he’s usually just referred to as “that old queen”. On this episode of Voices Unheard, Jessica Samuels is joined by Robert, who is now 68 years young and is widely known by his drag persona, Sophona Dick. Growing up queer in a small BC community in the 60s and 70s, he was outed by his father in 1968, spurring a move to the “big cities” of Vancouver and Seattle where he finally felt free to be himself. The conversation between Jessica and Robert will span decades full of fascinating and at times heartbreaking tales, including how the HIV/AIDS epidemic stole so many lives from this earth. The stories he will share are sure to provide inspiration and hope; Robert strongly believes that no matter your age, sexual identity, where you live, or what your struggles are…it really does get better. 

If you are interested in having your voice heard please submit your information via our online form.

About Voices Unheard

Voices Unheard is a weekly livestream series produced by Unicorns.LIVE in partnership with Kelowna Pride Society. The intent of this series is to bring awareness to underrepresented members of society, which includes people of various racial backgrounds, sexuality, gender identity/expression, age, or ability. Host Jessica Samuels will engage a different guest each week in a candid conversation about the challenges they have faced or continue to struggle with, elevating their voice and helping them to tell their stories.
Voices Unheard is filmed and produced on the unceded, traditional territory of the syilx (Okanagan) people.

Voices Unheard is grateful for the support of Castanet Media and the Kanata Kelowna Hotel and Conference Centre

Voices Unheard: Alyssa Sundstrom

Content Rating: PG – Parental guidance is suggested for designated age range (7-13 yrs); some material may not be suitable for all children due to content that may be of a mature nature or triggering for viewers.

On this episode of Voices Unheard, Jessica Samuels is joined by Alyssa Sundstrom (she/her/hers). Alyssa is a 16-yr old Okanagan Indigenous female who was diagnosed with a very rare but serious illness called Behcet’s Disease when she was 18 months old. Behcet’s Disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes blood vessel inflammation throughout the body; the disease can lead to numerous symptoms including mouth sores, eye inflammation, skin rashes and lesions, along with other ailments. Her illness also caused painful Juvenile Arthritis in 4 sets of her joints. Alyssa’s wish is to discuss how she’s experienced a very different world than most others while overcoming many challenges, and hopes to bring awareness to what Behcet’s Disease is and the battles people of all ages fight.

If you are interested in having your voice heard please submit your information via our online form.

About Voices Unheard

Voices Unheard is a weekly livestream series produced by Unicorns.LIVE in partnership with Kelowna Pride Society. The intent of this series is to bring awareness to underrepresented members of society, which includes people of various racial backgrounds, sexuality, gender identity/expression, age, or ability. Host Jessica Samuels will engage a different guest each week in a candid conversation about the challenges they have faced or continue to struggle with, elevating their voice and helping them to tell their stories.

Voices Unheard is filmed and produced on the unceded, traditional territory of the syilx (Okanagan) people.

Voices Unheard is grateful for the support of Castanet Media and the Kanata Kelowna Hotel and Conference Centre.

Voices Unheard: Taysha Jarrett

Taysha Jarrett (she/he/they) joins host Jessica Samuels for this episode of Voices Unheard. Taysha is autistic, bigender, and queer; growing up they were bullied and beat up and, according to Taysha, at school the “teachers didn’t know what to do with me.” Once their Mom stepped in and demanded certain accommodations, Taysha was able to take a moment to study how the rest of the world interacted with one another, learn from them, and began to emulate others’ interpersonal skills. Taysha and Jessica will discuss these experiences, the tedious process of learning how to blend in, and how at the age of 53, Taysha feels they do a “pretty good job of passing.”

 

This episode of Voices Unheard is produced with the financial support of Krushel Wealth Management of Raymond James Ltd. A proud member and advocate of the LGBT2Q+ community, Krushel Wealth Management of Raymond James Ltd. is one of B.C. Interior’s premiere LGBT2Q+ wealth planning organizations.

 

If you are interested in having your voice heard please submit your information via our online form.

 

About Voices Unheard

Voices Unheard is a weekly livestream series produced by Unicorns.LIVE in partnership with Kelowna Pride Society. The intent of this series is to bring awareness to underrepresented members of society, which includes people of various racial backgrounds, sexuality, gender identity/expression, age, or ability. Host Jessica Samuels will engage a different guest each week in a candid conversation about the challenges they have faced or continue to struggle with, elevating their voice and helping them to tell their stories.

 

Voices Unheard is filmed and produced on the unceded, traditional territory of the syilx (Okanagan) people.

 

Voices Unheard is grateful for the support of Castanet Media. 

 

Voices Unheard: Toni Boot

Toni Boot (she/her/hers), mayor of Summerland, BC since being elected in 2018, joins Jessica Samuels for Episode 4. Originally from Summerland, Mayor Boot has quite the professional resume: she taught at Okanagan College for several years, co-owned Kettle Valley Dried Fruit Company, founded and owned Grasslands Nursery, holds a B.A. in Professional Communication, and entered local government in 2014 when she was elected to Summerland Council. During this 4-year period, she also sat as a director on the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen (RDOS) board. The focus of this conversation will centre on being a woman of colour in government during such a politically-divisive and racially-charged time in modern history.

If you are interested in having your voice heard please submit your information via our online form.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfOZw6Zi5OiZFAfpMFz_T_PhB_IZbg1qlJMcddn8HWWLFw3BA/viewform

About Voices Unheard

Voices Unheard is a weekly livestream series produced by Unicorns.LIVE in partnership with Kelowna Pride Society. The intent of this series is to bring awareness to underrepresented members of society, which includes people of various racial backgrounds, sexuality, gender identity/expression, age, or ability. Host Jessica Samuels will engage a different guest each week in a candid conversation about the challenges they have faced or continue to struggle with, elevating their voice and helping them to tell their stories.

Voices Unheard is filmed and produced on the unceded, traditional territory of the syilx (Okanagan) people.

Voices Unheard is grateful for the support Castanet.