I’m an author, a mother of five and an active LGBTQAI advocate who has been recognized for my activism by Hillary Clinton, GLAAD, Family Circle magazine, Cosmopolitan magazine, Yahoo, Refinery29, and numerous other outlets. I’m a regular speaker at national and international conferences on a variety of topics including identity, business, parenting and gender. In 2017 I gave a TEDx Talk in Germany entitled, Gender is Obsolete.
I hold the position of Board Director with the Human Rights Campaign, and work closely with HRC’s Parents for Transgender Equality Council. I also sit on the Advisory Board of the Ackerman Institute’s Gender & Family Project, where I advise on strategic partnerships and overall goals for the organization. As well, I sit on the advisory teams of both Mount Sinai’s transgender health center and Community of Unity, a not-for-profit that provides Social Emotional Learning (SEL) programs for underserved kids in NYC public schools.
Professionally, I’m a recognized entrepreneur and distinctive voice within the beauty industry, having co-founded two companies, Doobop—an online beauty marketplace catered to women of color—and Georgia by Jodie Patterson—an all-natural line of skin care. Both brands have garnered wide media attention over the years. “I’m just crazy about this new website,” said Oprah Winfrey when Doobop launched in 2014. My brands have appeared in almost every major mainstream publication, including the New York Times, Glamour, Vogue, Japanese Vogue, Teen Vogue, More, Essence, Ebony, Uptown, and Domino. In 2014, Cosmopolitan awarded me Beauty Skin Expert of the Year.
Before entering the beauty industry, I served as Director of PR for fashion designer Zac Posen, where I oversaw press outreach, public appearances, speech writing, and Fashion Week management for the designer. For a number of years, I ran my own boutique PR agency, working closely with formidable brands like Nike, Virgin Records, Sean John, and Lincoln Center. I’m also the co-owner of the acclaimed Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater and helped develop the marketing and promotion strategy for its groundbreaking launch.
In 2017 I was appointed by the United Nations as a Champion of Change for my advocacy. In 2012, I was honored to be chosen as one of Dell Computers’ “Dell Inspire 100”—a select group of world changers in the fields of entrepreneurship, philanthropy, education and media. Also on my resume: I’m a former circus acrobat who performed with the Big Apple Circus. I live in Brooklyn, New York, where I raise my children with love, education, and family solidarity.