One of the first people I met when I was beginning my journey toward getting involved at a national level in trans advocacy work was a Colorado resident by the name of Dainna Cicotello.
I met this veteran and trans elder during the 1999 Southern Comfort Conference I attended, and got reacquainted with her during the 2000 SCC event and the 2000 IFGE Conference, but her work in the community in the late 1980’s early 1990’s predates my encounters with her.
I also met her amazing daughter Laurie during that 2000 IFGE Conference in Washington DC, and we still are friends to this day. During the 2015 Creating Change event that was held in Denver, one of the Denver area peeps I got the opportunity to have dinner with were the Ciccotellos. They were also present at Fantasia Fair when I received the Virginia Prince from that organization .
Dainna attended the Houston based ICTLEP conferences, taught seminars on various subjects, and was part of the working group that sought as a goal to create a precise definition under the transgender umbrella that would satisfy the constituent groups at the time.
Dainna has taught Trans 101 for many organizations and colleges in the Denver area, and was one of my trans advocacy mentors.
She’s had a rough couple of years in terms of losing her longtime spouse after 47 years together, and as I write this is currently hospitalized. She’s proven to be a tough cookie with remarkable bounceback powers in addition to being a wonderful human being.
Today is Dainna’s milestone 70th birthday, and I wanted to take a moment to wish her a very happy birthday and express the hope that she celebrates many more of them in the near future..