A mom of five, a beauty executive, entrepreneur, LGBTQI ally, author and speaker -- a woman who does it all.
Jodie Patterson first and foremost is a mother of five. But, it was her son, Penelope, 8, assigned female at birth, who became the catalyst for Patterson to develop into the dynamo she is today.
Patterson's book, "The Bold World: A Memoir of Family and Identity," is a personal reflection on identity, her lineage, and the deep connections of civil rights to race and gender.
In Patterson's TEDx talk she covers the rocky terrain of parenting a transgender child and the realization and questions she has about discovering what gender really is.
Patterson has been recognized by quite a few big players for her LGBTQI activism -- Hillary Clinton, The Advocate, GLAAD, Family Circle magazine, and Cosmopolitan magazine among others. She's a regular participant at transgender and LGBTQI conferences, including the Trans Health, Gender East, and Transcending Boundaries conferences, and sits on the Advisory Board of the Ackerman Institute's Gender & Family Project, where she advises on strategic partnerships and overall goals for the organization.
The fascinating thing about Patterson, is the intersectionality of issues in her life, and she's filtered them into and through the lens of the many careers she's had. From publicist to beauty expert, CEO to author, black mother of five children, and even state-champion gymnast and circus acrobat; Patterson doesn't allow any one career define her, and she imbues all of the hats she wears with a color of compassion, and desire for deeper understanding of herself and others.