Bhattacharyya and Kristal join Board of Directors

Abby Bhattacharyya (left) and Hayden Kristal (right)
Abby Bhattacharyya (left) and Hayden Kristal (right)


LANSING, MI—Today, we’re delighted to announce that Abby Bhattacharyya and Hayden Kristal have joined the Board of Directors of the Midwest Institute for Sexuality and Gender Diversity. 

Abby Bhattacharyya (she/her) brings more than a decade of major gifts work, fundraising experience, and philanthropic strategy to support the Institute’s mission and initiatives. Abby is an alum of Michigan State University (2013), where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication arts and sciences, and Central Michigan University (2018), where she received a Master of Science degree in administration and strategic leadership. Abby currently serves as a senior philanthropy officer at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, where she functions as a philanthropic advisor and relationship manager to high net worth individuals and foundations in the Midwest, Florida, and the Greater New York area. Abby is also a member of the Planned Parenthood North Central States Ambassador Council. Abby currently lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with her fiancée, Hannah, and they enjoy baking and hikes. They have three rescue dogs: Pablo, Mango, and Ponyo.

Hayden Kristal (they/them) is a Colorado-based Deaf queer activist and stand-up comedian. Life at the intersection of multiple marginalized identities has led them to a career as a professional speaker, exploring the intersections of ability, gender, sexuality, and access, particularly within the spheres of activism and social justice. They’ve brought their funny, engaging, and interactive workshops and speeches to dozens of conferences, businesses, and schools all across North America including Harvard, Yale, Columbia, TEDx, Coldwell Banker, the Minnesota Department of Human Services, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and the Connecticut Supreme Court.

“We are grateful to Abby and Hayden for their willingness to share their wisdom and perspective with the Institute,” said Justin Drwencke, the Institute’s executive director. “The skills in advocacy, education, and fundraising they bring to the team will help us advance our vision of creating a liberated future where  queer and trans people live in abundance and their joy, knowledge, and experience guide our shared existence.”  

Please join us in welcoming Abby and Hayden to the Board of Directors.


The Midwest Institute for Sexuality and Gender Diversity builds community among queer and trans youth (and those who support them), expands knowledge of sexuality and gender, and creates lasting change across the Midwest through advocacy and expansive programming.

Contact: Justin Drwencke, executive director (


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