Gendered Intelligence: Understanding diversity in creative ways

The Gendered Intelligence Team

Gendered Intelligence is made up of a host of highly skilled freelance workers who are facilitators, practitioners, youth workers, mentors, writers, researchers, trainers, educators, artists and designers, cultural commentator, social media-ites and all round talented folk. The team at GI is growing and no doubt will grow more over the coming years.

Trans Youth Work
Professional Services
Public Engagement
Work in Education
Central Support
Special Projects
The Board


Dr Jay Stewart, MBE
CEO / Co-founder of Gendered Intelligence

Jay has been involved in the trans community since 2002. Since then, he’s been passionate about improving the lives of trans and gender questioning people, especially young people. In 2008, Jay co-founded Gendered Intelligence and have been involved in delivering all aspects of GI’s work at one time or another, including projects such as ‘What makes your gender? Hacking into the Science Museum’ – a £10,000 Heritage Lottery funded project in partnership with the Science Museum, and ‘GI’s Anatomy: a life drawing project for trans and intersex people’ – a £30,000 project funded by the Welcome Trust. In recent years he acted as an independent adviser to the Ministry of Justice review into the care and management of transgender offenders, and gave oral evidence to the Trans Inquiry for the Women’s and Equalities Select Committee. He now sits on the National Transgender Advisory Board for trans prisoners with the Ministry of Justice. He’s very enthusiastic about education and learning; his favourite subject is gender – there’s always more to discover.  In 2013 Jay gained his doctorate and has a range of publications in the area of Trans Studies. 

Trans Youth Work

Finn Greig
Youth Work Lead

Finn is the Lead of the Youth Service at Gendered Intelligence. The Youth Service consists of a deputy lead, 9 youth workers, and many volunteers across 10 youth groups, 4 annual residential trips and wider community events. Finn has been a youth worker for both local authority and voluntary sector for 15 years. Finn studied youth work extensively and is passionate about theories of group work and anti-oppressive practice. He teaches regularly on various University courses on gender, cis-normativity and power. Finn was a founding member of GI, working throughout our history as a trans awareness trainer and creative workshop facilitator in schools, youth groups and professional settings. Finn identifies as trans masculine, uses he/ him pronouns.

Annie Brown
Youth Worker and Consultant

Annie is a trans youth worker and consultant with Gendered Intelligence. She is transfeminine/non-binary, and is a passionate artist and trans/disability liberation activist. Annie became involved with Gendered Intelligence as a volunteer in early 2017, and soon started their youth work practice at GI's youth swimming sessions. Following this, they continued working with young trans people in the under 12’s group and the Community Saturday sessions. In May 2018, Annie joined the youth work team, using her experiences in the arts and film to creatively engage with trans young people. Annie also works as a consultant with GI, drawing from her activism to provide professional support to a range of clients improving their trans inclusive practices.

Franki Ayres (he/him)

Mentoring is one of my favourite things to be engaged in. If we weren't called mentors I think id call us “Assistant Transmitter’s” Before becoming a mentor - as my job, I made Theatre. Practitioner, Peter Brook would call this the ‘Empty Space’… in mentoring this is You're - the young persons space! Theirs to explore not only who they are and how they identify… but just how to travel this, is as much a collaboration lead by them. As an Artist, who also lives with a disability, I believe creativity really does take care of many parts to being human in our current society. I will often use this within mentoring work as well as my own life. However my main role here is to listen…and we take it form there. I was very excited to become part GI’s mentoring team early 2018. Alongside this I help cover the remote support service as well as joining in some of the youth work sessions, most often as a listener, supporting our residential’s and hanging out generally at the arts table.

Isa Sallinen
Youth Worker and Mentor

Isa (she/they) is a youth worker and mentor who has been working with GI since 2017. She uses words such as genderqueer, transfeminine, woman and trans to describe her gender. They facilitate youth groups for 7-11 year olds, 11-15 year olds, transfeminine young people (13-25) as well as monthly Community Saturdays. She also provides one-to-one mentoring in educational settings, does admin for the Youth Department and occasionally works at the helpline. Outside GI, when not baking, gardening or hanging upside down on a pole, Isa is training to become a counsellor. They are passionate about transfeminism, queer politics and building collective power and solidarity together through various community-led projects. Previously she has been involved in activism related to mental health, prisons and trans healthcare. As a youth worker and mentor Isa aims to create spaces where young trans people can really be heard, working with whatever they bring to the room. Listening to young people’s voices is really important to them, finding solutions together as groups and as individuals. The approach can be silly or serious, mixing games, discussions, workshops, arts and crafts or just chatting and having a laugh.

Jake Kelly
Residentials Lead and Assistant to the Youth Service

Jake became involved with GI in 2009 as a participant in the ‘Brief Encounters’ theatre in education programme. In the years after, he co-delivered some training sessions for GI in schools, presented at conferences and even facilitated the youth groups for a while in 2012. In 2011 he volunteered on the second GI camp and has been back every year since– fitting camp around his work in schools as pastoral support. He began his current role with GI in May 2018. Outside of his work with GI, Jake is lead youth worker for an LGBTQI+ youth group.

Michael West
Youth Worker

Michael is the assistant worker for the under 12’s Saturday group and former GI youth. He started working for GI in September 2018, but previously took part in the level 2 Youth Work course in 2016/17. Alongside working for GI he is studying a degree in Sociology and hopes to go on to carry out research around the challenges young trans people face in formal education and the rates of homeschooling in trans populations.

Sabah Choudrey
Youth Worker and Mentor

I've been with GI since 2014 as a Trans Mentor and Trans Youth Worker, and currently support the 16-20 group and Colours (BAME 13-25 group) in London. I'm a hairy brown transgender Muslim and I'm passionate about inclusive spaces for trans and non-binary youth and intersectional approaches to youth work. In the youth space you can find me facilitating discussions, playing games, speaking to newcomers and usually dancing (not at all the same time). Outside of GI I'm training to be a psychotherapist and forever trying to find the perfect selfie angle. 

Professional Services

Simon Croft
Director of Professional and Educational Services

Simon is a trans man who transitioned over 20 years ago and has been active in the trans community since 1997. He joined GI in 2009, and in 2013 formalised the fledgling Professional Services training and consultancy function, growing the service rapidly such that GI has now trained over 20,000 people across more than 1,000 sessions and numbers diverse household names amongst its clients. In his current role as Director of Professional and Educational Services, Simon is responsible for all GI’s sold services including the Professional Services training and consultancy work, Work in Education and Public Events. A qualified professional trainer, he has over 18 years’ training and consultancy experience and draws on broad based community knowledge to ensure GI provides authentic, knowledgeable, effective support and thought leadership. As well as working for GI, he is an internationally exhibited practising artist, has a background of 12 years in commercial manufacturing as a qualified engineer and another 12 as a not-for-profit governance specialist.

Jason Barker

More information coming soon.

Jezza Donovan
Trainer / Consultant

Jezza has been involved with GI since 2015, and is lucky enough to work across all four strands of the company.  They travel the country delivering Trans Awareness Training sessions to a wide variety of clients from theatres, to schools, and has delivered presentations to medical and educational conferences.

They also work in the education department delivering presentations to young people in schools and colleges, and through this work they also mentor young people who need GI’s help.

Jezza has also been trained as a Youth Worker by GI and has been on some of the legendary summer camps which were always a blast!

Outside of GI Jezza is a very creative soul and has their own theatre company; often performing cabaret, comedy, drag and something along the lines of stand-up!

Lee Gale
Senior Trainer / Consultant

Lee joined Gendered Intelligence (GI) in 2013 and delivers GI’s training sessions, presentations and consultation.

Lee has extensive experience of training and group facilitation, based on various Train the Trainer courses and honed through work within trans communities since 1999. When he’s not at GI, Lee does community work with TransBareAll and this grass roots work is his passion and has given him a valued insight into the issues and experiences trans people face.

GI is a trans-led organisation and Lee is trans himself – he started transition in 1999 to live a more masculine identity. Being visible in the work he does for GI and in his life is important to him in being proud of who he is.

Rahil Virik (they/them)

Rahil has been working at GI since 2019 primarily as a Trainer delivering training to a variety of organisations. Having began their transition in 2015 as part of their journey to live as their authentic self, they value the importance of Trans led services.

They bring their own experience of being an Asian Non-Binary person into their work and our passionate about developing support for the LGBTQIAP+ and POC communities.

Alongside working at GI they are Trans Counselling Lead at Spectra where they work with individuals who are Trans/Non-Binary or are exploring their gender identity. As well as supporting LGBTQ+ young people as a youth worker.

Public Engagement

Cara English
Public Engagement Lead

Cara English is the Public Engagement Lead at Gendered Intelligence, having started as GI's Policy Engagement Officer in January 2018. Cara’s work at Gendered Intelligence is centred on improving the lives of trans people in the UK, especially young trans people, by effecting changes to the policy landscape surrounding trans equality and by seeking out opportunities where Gendered Intelligence could offer valuable insight. She also manages all research that Gendered Intelligence takes part in, as well as our media work. Cara is an Irish feminist campaigner, born and bred in Belfast before studying at The University of Glasgow and working in France for a few years before moving to London. Outside of work at Gendered Intelligence, Cara runs open lavs (a site where people can find unisex toilets close to them) as well as continuing her work on funeral poverty.

Ambra Venturini
Communications Assistant

Ambra is the Communications Assistant in the Public Engagement team, and looks after all things communication both internally and externally. She has been campaigning for LGBTQ+ and youth rights for several years, including as Global Campaigner for Amnesty International, leading on street art and artivism projects. She has a wealth of experience in social change campaigns strategy and facilitation, and loves finding creative and innovative ways to shift and transform systems. Ambra is passionate about art of all kinds, especially as means of self-reflection and growth.

Work in Educational Settings

As an organisation we are doing a lot of work making educational institutions safer spaces for trans, non-binary and gender questioning students. We also work closely with general health and mental health professionals to help support trans and gender questioning young people in their care.

We offer four types of services that may be of interest to you: One-to-one mentoring for young people; Training and CPD for staff in educational settings; Workshops, Lectures and Assemblies; and Consultancy. Please contact us for more details about each of these on

Sasha Padziarei
Work in Education Lead and Youth Worker More information coming soon

Dex Grodner
Facilitator and Mentor

Dex works in education for GI and is also a mentor. They have been a youth worker since 2010, working with young people aged 5-14 with experience working 1;1 with young people with Special Educational Needs. They are a also a theatre practitioner who's work focuses on gender, religion and migration. Dex has a BA in English Literature from The University of Warwick and an MA in Cultural Studies from London College of Fashion.

Francis Ray White
Speaker and volunteer Youth Worker

Francis has been a freelance speaker for GI since 2015 and is also a member of the Work in Education team and volunteer youth worker. Their work at GI includes delivering talks and lectures in higher education institutions and at conferences. They have also been on two GI camping trips, only one of which was rainy. Outside GI Francis is a senior lecturer in sociology at the University of Westminster where they lead modules on gender, sexuality, bodies and LGBTQ studies. Their currently research projects are on fat/trans embodiment, trans pregnancy and being non-binary in HE. Francis is non-binary and uses they/them pronouns.

Central Support

Moya Wilkie
Director of Public Engagement and Central Support Services

Moya started volunteering for GI in 2016, creating our Annual Report, and joined the team more formally in October 2018. As GI has grown massively since 2015, her role is to ensure appropriate systems and policies are in place so that colleagues can continue to deliver excellent services in a safe and productive environment. Moya is responsible for HR, Finance, Office Management, Compliance and Public Engagement. Prior to GI, Moya worked in the charity sector and Higher Education, in a wide variety of roles including Volunteer Management, Fundraising, Communications and International Business Development. She has been involved in the queer community since the 90s, and was founder and Chair of the LGBTQ & Friends network in her last workplace. Moya has been a trans ally for many years, attending GI events since our inception.

Cathy Leech
Professional Services Administrator

Cathy joined GI in February 2018 as Administrator for the Professional Services Team, working to provide admin support across our training and consultancy services. Prior to joining GI, she worked as an administrator at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, and at International Planned Parenthood Federation.  She has also been a volunteer for Switchboard, the UK's oldest LGBT+ helpline.

Sascha-Amel Kheir
Volunteer Coordinator

Sascha Amel-Kheir joined GI in February 2018 as our Volunteer Coordinator. They are a part of the Public Engagement team and support our events management and fundraising work as well. They are also involved with our policy engagement work, dealing with international policy matters. They have previously lived in Morocco and Ukraine and have a specific interest in LGBTQI+ policy and queer rights movements in West Asia & North Africa and Eastern Europe.

Outside of their work with GI, Sascha is also the Co-Editor of ‘Beyond the Binary’, an online magazine for the non-binary community in the UK. They were the founder of ‘Breaking the Binary’, the first project supporting non-binary people in Wales. They have also been involved in interfaith work, as well as work supporting LGBTQI+ asylum seekers and refugees.

Special Projects

Serge Nicholson
Helpline Coordinator & Wellbeing Practitioner
Therapist. Therapist & Counsellor Network Supervision Group Facilitator

Serge joined the GI team in January 2018 to set up a pilot project: The GI Support Line  For Trans & Gender Questioning People, a  3 day a week telephone support line for patients of the Nottingham Centre for Transgender Health. The support service offers confidential, informed, independent support and advice on how best to manage the sometimes very difficult lengthy waiting time  between an initial GP referral and a first gender clinic assessment appointment.The service receives calls and contact from trans, non-binary and gender questioning adults from all over the UK. Providing practical advice, information, and emotional support to patients navigating their medical and social transition.      Serge has also worked as a Supercamp Listener and as a speaker at the Queer and Now: Intergenderational panel discussion at Tate Britain in 2018.

The Board

Dr. Chryssy Hunter
Chair of the Board

I am currently honoured to be Chair of GI. I began working here as a volunteer back in 2011 and was involved with promoting film nights, fundraising and helped with a couple of amazing projects such as the i:Trans project at the Science Museum and with GI’s Anatomy, a life drawing project which challenged cisnormative interpretations of bodies in art over the centuries. Most recently I facilitated a workshop on prison abolition at the GI Supercamp and gave a paper at the Transforming Spaces Conference about the politics of trans prisoners. And on the board we are preparing for the ongoing application for charitable status, a key next stage in the development of GI as an organisation.

Outside of GI I work in the LGBTQ charity sector for Opening Doors London, helping over 50s in our communities overcome isolation and loneliness. And I am involved in grass-roots organising with The Bent Bars Project an LGBTQI+ prisoner pen pal project, and with TAGS, set up specifically to create safe swimming spaces for trans and sexgender nonconforming people.

During the time I have been involved with GI I have been awarded a PhD on the effectiveness or otherwise of the Equality Act in recognising and supporting trans and sexgender nonconforming people in Great Britain. And in parallel with this I have been involved with my colleagues Mijke Van Der Drift and Nat Raha in promoting an academic and activist position of Radical Transfeminism, which we inaugurated at the London Conference of Critical Theory in 2015 and the first International Transgender Studies Conference in Tucson, Arizona in 2016.

Dr. Catherine McNamara

Catherine McNamara is co-founder and on the Board of Directors at Gendered Intelligence. She was Project Coordinator for Trans Youth Arts project Sci:dentity - What's the Science of Sex & Gender? (a 12-month Wellcome Trust funded project exploring gender and sexed identities) and the collaborative play-writing project Brief Encounters, run in conjunction with Fringe Benefits Theatre Company (Los Angeles, US). Catherine is the Child Protection and Safeguarding Lead for Gendered Intelligence. Catherine’s ‘day job’ is Pro-Dean (Students) at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (University of London). Catherine's own PhD was titled 'The Constitution of Transgender Masculinities through Performance: A Study of Theatre and the Everyday' (University of London, 2009). In 2013 Catherine co-edited a themed issue (on gender and sexuality) of the international peer-reviewed journal Research in Drama Educations: a Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance.

Publications include: ‘International collaborations: A Theatre for Social Justice project in the UK’, in Staging Social Justice: Collaborating to Create Activist Theatre, eds. N. Bowles and D. Nadon, Southern Illinois University Press, 2013 and ‘Using Men's Changing Rooms When You Haven't Got a Penis: The constitutive potential of performing transgendered masculinities’ in Performing Ethos: International Journal of Ethics in Theatre and Performance, Volume 2, Number 2, pp. 95-107 2011.

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