WE ARE THE
We are a queer community congregator and facilitator of local, national, and international collective action to affect lasting change and community resilience.
Kai Walsh (they/them) founded the Queer Umbrella in 2020 after their own experience being non-binary trans masculine and trying to find community. After graduating from the University of Denver, their mission has been to find and create LGBTQIA+ community locally and globally — whether that be through conversation, grassroots action, or supporting national legislation — and to ultimately promote social change that helps queer people feel seen in today’s world. They are the youngest member on the Queer Business Alliance Board of Directors, Founder and CEO of Kai Consulting, a digital marketing consulting agency committed to social entrepreneurship and change. When they’re not challenging the status quo, you can find them skiing and looking for excuses to strike up French conversation.
Hannah Bibbo (she/her) joined the QU team in mid 2020 as the Content Project Manager, after moving back to Denver, to be a part of creating open and safe spaces for the LQBTQ+ community. She graduated from the University of Denver with a bachelor’s degree in Strategic Communications and Psychology and is currently the Email Marketing Specialist for the Eating Recovery and Pathlight Mood & Anxiety Center. When she’s not working to take down all the things diet culture and the patriarchy have taught us, she’s teaching her dog how to destroy it, too. She also loves long runs through the park, skiing in the backcountry, and switching back and forth between trash TV and murder tv shows.
A mushroom enthusiast and fierce plant mother, Mareka Tsongas (she/her) plays with her puppy by day and takes down the patriarchy, also by day. She graduated from the University of Denver with a bachelor’s in Strategic Communication that launched her into the Queer Umbrella Team to help strengthen the Queer community during the 2020 pandemic. Combining her fight for social equity and Queer visibility, she strives to make an authentic impact for the Alphabet Mafia. Beyond the gay agenda, Mareka’s passions take root in the intersectionality of people and the environment. She recognizes the importance of Indigenous sovereignty and alternative economies for an environmentally just and sustainable future. Mareka loves dogs, hates bigotry, and is always looking for the perfect yolk pop.
Isabel Forward (she/her) joined the QU team in 2021 as During her time at Villanova University, Isabel dedicated her studies to English and Education. Here, she regarded the classroom as a space of transformation and inclusion, both in her research and in her practice as a secondary school educator. With her time outside of school—when not reading, running, or sharing stories over coffee—she engaged in grassroots work at the U.S.-Mexico border, in Pennsylvania prisons, and in local organizations addressing education inequity. Isabel joined the QU to extend her ideas of inclusive community beyond the classroom and to find these spaces for herself as a queer woman. For the 2020-2021 school year, she is serving as an English Teaching Assistant and U.S. Cultural Ambassador in Norway as a part of the United States Fulbright Student Program. Upon her return, she will attend law school to pursue a career in public policy reform.
K. Neville (they/them) is a trainee perfumer with a special interest in creating fragrances that reflect and hold space for the queer and trans community. They are expected to graduate from the University of Massachusetts Boston in Fall 2021. Neville currently holds a Certificate in Advanced Perfumery from the Pratt Institute as well as a Diploma in the Art of French Perfumery from ISIPCA. In working with the QU, Neville hopes to share their insights into the world of fragrances well as their experience navigating the perfume industry as a queer consumer and student of the craft. Join Neville as they go in search of a fragrant world less bound by gender.
Tim Carpenter (he/him) is a Colorado native trying to help those in his community. After graduating from the University of Denver, he joined the QU to do research in hopes of finding the issues most pressing to the LGBTQ+ community in Denver, Colorado. He also helps find LGBTQ+ or ally owned businesses and resources in the Denver area for the QU community. He spends most of his free-time exploring the outdoors with friends and finding new types of food to enjoy.
Gabby Recny is an activism-driven artist currently based in Denver, Colorado. She creates work that expresses stories unheard by deaf ears and beauty unseen by blind eyes to create social inclusion through creativity. She joined the Queer Umbrella in 2020 as a Creative Producer to work with like-minded folks who wanted to expand and strengthen the queer community despite our distance. When she’ not hustling, you can find Gabby laughing by a fire, reading folklore by the ocean, or listening to podcasts while painting.
Mari Meier (she/them) is the one her friends come to with their sex questions. Despite graduating from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in advertising and moving to Denver in 2019 to find a job in the creative ad industry, her growing passion for sex education has officially taken over and she is studying to become an AASECT Certified Sexuality Educator. She is stoked to be on the QU team, exploring the intersections of sex and sexuality within the queer community. In addition to geeking out about sex, Mari enjoys thrifting, skiing, and perfectly ripe mangos.
Michaela (she/they) is currently a graduate student at the University of Chicago. She plans to get her master’s degree in Anthropology, focusing on the potential expansions of human institutions through digital media techology. Micaela loves analyzing social media, listening to psychedelic rock playlists, and trying new recipes.
& our contributors