6 Badass Women Share Their Stories of PRIDE (Free Speech, June 2016)

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Working at Wildfang, we cross paths with a lot of women who—for lack of a better word—are simply f*cking rad. From our collaborators and advisors to our customers, friends, and friends-of-friends, we knew we wanted to take advantage of this incredible community of women we were building; So, a few months ago, we hosted our first evening of Free Speech.

Every month, Wildfang invites 6 of the most badass babes from around Portland to take the stage for a night of intimate and inspiring storytelling. Sharing stories around a common theme, these nights have continued to grow bigger each month as more brave women tell stories of strength, heartbreak, discrimination, vulnerability, growth, humor, and everything in between.

As a way to include our larger community (read: YOU) in these special events, we decided to bust out our AV equipment and start recording. Allow us to introduce you to June’s speakers Eden, Sheida, Michal, Annie, Dawn, and Béalleka, and their stories about PRIDE.


1. Eden Dawn: “The Secret to Fashion”

Part time sartorial queen and full time cat lady, Portland Monthly Magazine’s Fashion Editor Eden Dawn shares the true secret to personal style: everything you need to know, you already knew when you were 5.


2. Sheida Karami: “A Big White Man With a Stick”

UCLA grad and Texas Native, Sheida Karami is majorly allergic to both boys and bread. Her story is about being proud of who you are even in the face of frat dudes, bad grammar, and men carrying large sticks.


3. Michal Mesa: “Living With Pride, Not Shame”

A Wildfang model, LGBTQ advocate, and Marine veteran, Michal Mesa shares her courageous story of sexual assault, survival, and self pride.


4. Annie Vieira: “Annie’s Got Talent”

Annie Vieira is Wildfang’s very own copywriter, social media strategist, and resident class clown. She gives some real talk about elementary school talent shows, being a master of karate, and the stigma of mental illness.


5. Dawn Menken: “A Seminal Moment”

Counselor, educator, and author Dawn Menken shares her story of growing up surrounded by racism, bigotry, and how she learned to let her freak flag fly.


6. Béalleka: “A Mile High Story That’s Not What You Think”

Recovering professor and daily cannabis user, Béalleka tells us what it’s like to encounter racism and sexism when you’re trapped in an enclosed space 7 miles off the ground.

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