I’m Dan!

I’m a performer, activist, and educator with roots in Seattle, WA and Cincinnati, OH.

I’m also a survivor.

The Accident

Early on the morning of Thursday, April 13, 2017, I was leaving one of my regular gigs (WTF Wed. at R Place in Seattle, WA)—dressed as my alter ego Sparkle Leigh—when I was hit by a drunk driver while crossing the street. It was a hate crime; I was targeted for being gay and for being in drag.

But the show must go on!

Changing The World

It’s been a long road to recovery—one I’m still navigating daily—but this experience has inspired me to give back to my LGBTQ community in a more meaningful way. With Storytime with Sparkle and JurYASSic Park, I’m providing a theatrical experience which introduces concepts of empathy, self-advocacy, and imagination while breaking down gender/orientation stereotypes for children and their families.

If the drunk driver who hit me had learned these lessons, I might be in a much different place. I hope that no one else has to live through a similar experience—especially a child—but the reality is that queer and trans youth deal with violence, aggression, extreme guilt, self-hate, and more on a daily basis.

As we forge ahead into new and exciting frontiers in gender and sexuality, we must do it WITH the next generation and FOR the one after that. We must work to provide safe spaces and communities for diverse and beautiful “untraditional” families to thrive and survive.

Thank you for being here and being part of that change!