Who are we?

Gender Reel, is committed to providing an art space that is inclusive of people from all background and experiences. If you are interested in joining Gender Reels Planning Committee contact genderreelfest@gmail.com.

Listed below are the names and bios of the 2015 Festival Organizers:


National Organizers: 


Joe Ippolito (Founder & Executive Director) 

Joe is also a Doctor of Psychology, clinician, researcher, writer, educator, filmmaker and activist. Joe is currently a Faculty Member at Metropolitan State, clinician for Allina Health Systems and Founder of Gender Reel. Joe transitioned his gender from female-to-male 14-years ago and has been organizing and advocating for the transgender community ever since. He has been on the forefront of the transgender movement, chairing positions with such organizers and groups as The Philadelphia Trans-health Conference and The American Psychological Association. Joe co-authored a chapter in the book, Trans Bodies, Trans Selves, is starting to work on his next documentary film exploring trans masculine culture, is writing a book about the socialization of men and founded TAP (Trans Masculine Abuse Project). Currently, he resides in St. Paul, Minnesota, with his dog Lincoln and cat Gus. 









Vega Darling (Creative Director)

Vega Darling is a punk rocker turned filmmaker. He co-founded Atlanta Riot Grrrl in the mid-90’s, managed the first riot grrrl/queercore band out of the American South and wrote several zines in the 90’s and early 2000′s. Vega has spent 20 years creating space for the underdogs. He has organized feminist, queer, trans, and punk festivals, events, and conferences including Philadelphia Trans Health Conference (2004-2009) where he designed the first of its kind trans youth and family programming, Ladyfest Bay Area (2012), and Gender Reel Film Festival in Oakland (2013). Currently he is the Program Director for Gender Reel Film Festivals, Creative Director for Gender Reel Long Beach, and the Director of the riot grrrl documentary, GRRRL. 







evelynEvelyn Friel (Webmaster)

Evelyn is an administrative assistant by day, computer programmer by night. Her days are kept busy with work, two children Patrick and Russell, and partner. 






leeroyLeeroy Joyce (Long Beach, CA)

Leeroy Joyce is a chef turned film-maker. His history spans activism in high-school to help pass AB537, the California Law that protects California students against harassment based on actual or perceived gender or sexual orientation. He also opened the first Gay Straight Alliance at his high-school, the first one attempted in the 120 years of the history of the school. Leeroy has been involved in organizing events and conferences since he was a young queer himself. From LadyFest Bay Area, to Gender Reel Oakland, Gender Reel Long Beach, and the LATCH Conference. He is currently pursuing a degree in sociology at Long Beach City College, while working on GRRRL, a documentary on the Riot Grrrl Movement.  He lives in Long Beach with his husband and fur-babies, living the dream.





Tammyrae Barr (Festival Co-Chair) 

Tammyrae is a life-long advocate of fairness and justice for all people; an organizer/activist in the Philadelphia LGBT community, she spans beyond gender, race, religion, and politics and tries to connect the dots to form a path to equality for everyone. She holds a Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering from Rutgers University. She believes the power of visual media transcends the population and is a strong vehicle to helping mainstream the existence and understanding of transsexual and gender variant people.







Jen Przewoznik (Durham, NC)

Jen, who obtained her Masters in Social work from Temple University, is a trainer, technical assistance provider, practitioner and program evaluator with over 15 years of experience working with and within marginalized communities. Jen is currently the Director of Prevention and Evaluation at the North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NCCASA) where she provides training and technical assistance to organizations and college campuses working on sexual violence prevention efforts. She also co-chairs the North Carolina Sexual Violence Prevention Team and the NC Campus Consortium.  While Jen is a proudly born and raised New Jersey-ite, she currently lives in Durham, NC with her partner and many rescued animals. 





Ryan Sallans (Omaha, NE)

Ryan is a public speaker, diversity trainer, consultant, publisher and author specializing in health care, campus inclusion and workplace issues surrounding the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) community. Over the past fourteen years, Ryan has conducted over a thousand presentations and trainings to diverse audiences including professionals, students and the general public. After his appearance in the documentary Gender Rebel featured on MTV’s LOGO network, Ryan began traveling to universities where he shares the story of his transition from female to male. His story is told with an intermixing of humor and intricate clinical details surrounding the transition process. Ryan has also been interviewed twice on Larry King LiveRicki: The New Ricki Lake Show, NPR’s On Point with Tom Ashbrook, and HuffPost LiveIn 2012, Ryan released the first edition of his memoir, Second Son: Transitioning Toward My Destiny, Love and Life. In 2013, he founded Scout Publishing LLC and released the second edition of his memoir, Second Son. He is also publisher and editor-in-chief of the quarterly literary journal, The Outrider Reviewwhich explores themes surrounding sexuality, gender and identity and features artists and writers worldwide. Ryan attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he received a Bachelor of Arts in English and Anthropology, Master of Arts in English, and a Master of Arts in Educational Psychology.



Venus DeMars (Graphic Designer)

Venus was born in Duluth, MN. Venus is a performance artist, musician, painter, graphic designer and filmmaker. 








Marin Watts (New York, New York) 

Marin is a queer trans Filipino-American videographer, mixed media artist, and educator living and working in East Harlem, NY. Culturally rooted in the American South, with family ties to the Philippines, he uses video, photography, and textiles to explore the intersections of culture, gender, ethnicity, physicality, and space. Watts also has a long history of working collaboratively with arts, youth, and social justice communities. In 2013, he co-founded Media Masters Alliance, an organization that provides media education and mentorship communities for LGBTQ and allied youth.  









Gender Reel Board Members:


Jayden H.C. Sampson (Secretary)








Cody Poerio (Treasurer)







422864_10150644737753287_669680325_aWallace Burchette (Chair)







Mary Hoffman (Ad Hoc Member)

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