Calpernia Addams

Honorary Board Member

Calpernia Addams has been entertaining for over 20 years, on stage and screen, for straight and gay audiences in venues such as the New Orleans Superdome, the Hollywood Palladium, the Hollywood Forever Masonic Temple, Bimbo’s 365 classic Jazz venue in San Francisco, Hollywood’s Henry Fonda Theatre, Nashville’s The Parthenon, the Tennessee Performing Arts Center and countless others.

As an entertainer, her business partner Andrea James and she put on the first all trans-women cast production of Eve Ensler’s international hit play fighting violence against women and girls: The Vagina Monologues. They were mentored by Eve and legendary actress Jane Fonda, with whom Calpernia went on to perform the monologues at the 72,000 seat New Orleans Superdome to raise money for the women and girls affected by Hurricane Katrina.

As a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Calpernia has toured the US and Europe playing original acoustic music opening for out gay indie superstar Patrick Wolf and celebrated New York performer Our Lady J. Her music was featured in Facebook’s first national television commercial, in which she also starred. her IMDB credits reflect a diverse profile in film and television, including starring in the first out transsexual dating series on television, Transamerican Love Story.

Her weekly Pop, Jazz and Standards cabaret show featuring original arrangements of classic Old Hollywood music made famous by Marilyn Monroe, Mae West and others alongside original dance and pop music is now in its fifth year. “Calpernia Presents: Goddess” is consistently sold out and standing room only.

Calpernia has spoken across the USA and internationally on many topics at major Universities, schools and organizations, most recently at Oxford University in the United Kingdom. She has been a Grand Marshall of the San Francisco Pride Parade as well as Hollywood, Las Vegas and many others. She’s hosted and presented at events from the GLAAD Media Awards to the annual Lavender Law conference. Calpernia was the national face for PFLAG’s outreach to the transsexual community. She has been presented with a GLAAD Media Award, a Peabody Award, the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network’s Randy Shilts Visibility Award, The National Gay & Lesbian Task Force’s Leadership Award, and is also a decorated military war veteran recognized by the US Congress for assistance in rescuing a downed Chinese airliner in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands.

Calpernia has spoken extensively on trans representation in Hollywood, and has worked with top celebrities and directors to consult on projects that went on to be nominated for or win Academy Awards (Oscars), Golden Globes, Emmys and even a Peabody Award, among many other awards. She has spoken on LGBT issues concerning the US military as a former combat medic herself, veteran of the 1st Gulf War and partner to murdered Army PFC Barry Winchell. Her relationship with Barry and his subsequent murder by homophobic fellow soldiers was depicted in the film Soldier’s Girl, which has gone on to open many hearts and minds to trans and gay stories and reportedly influenced President Bill Clinton to express regret at the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Calpernia has also spoken at the Veteran’s Administration on healthcare and elder-care for trans veterans who seek care at the Veteran’s Hospitals. She has delivered seminars on workplace policies concerning trans and lesbian/gay/bisexual employees to major multinational corporations such as Procter & Gamble and Warner Brothers.

In addition to the work listed above, her activism work has included fundraising for all major LGBT causes, with specific focus in the past on work with GLAAD, SLDN, The Task Force (NGLTF) and women’s causes such as VDay and Peace Over Violence (LACAAW).

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