2017 Keynote Speaker


Rebel Marie

Keynote: “Queer Careers in North Dakota”

Rebel Marie will discuss some of the pitfalls within the queer community and some of the hurdles that queer people face while moving into the work force. Rebel will also look at the importance of policy change in North Dakota and how we can improve quality of life for LGBTQI+ persons in this state.


Rebel Marie is a Transgender Advocate with Tristate Transgender, a school counselor, and a master’s level student at MSUM. She was the Grand Marshall at the Fargo Moorhead Pride Parade in 2018. Rebel works to get transgender people in touch with resources needed to further their transition. Additionally, Rebel works to educate others about gender identity through talks, media interviews, classes, and counselor education. Rebel is passionate about possibilities for LGBTQI+ rights as she became one of the first transgender people to serve as a district chair for the Dem-NPL. Rebel will be presenting her paper “The Incompetent Counselor: A Multicultural Approach in Working with Trans Clientsat the National American Counselor Association in AtlantaThe paper will explore many of the hurdles that transgender people face as they try to receive counseling. She serves on several boards for the FM community including Standing for Humanity, The Living Collective, and National Alliance of Mental Health Counselors. An avid fan of everything Fargo, in her free time, you can find Rebel shopping or eating at a family-owned business.  Rebel lives in South Fargo with her wife and their two children.


Kyle Thorson

Kyle Thorson, MPA

Worldwide CS Program Manager, Amazon

Owner, Archives Coffee House

Keynote: “Building Inclusive Community”

Kyle’s presentation will focus on how to get involved with your local community and make your voice heard, the politics of North Dakota facing LGBT+ communities, small victories, and the upcoming work for our state.


Kyle is a person who believes that the world is what you make it.  He completed his Master’s degree in Public Administration and Social Business at the University of North Dakota.  Following his graduate education, he took over the Archives Coffee House on campus and converted it into a social business to merge his love of coffee with community building.  He also works as the worldwide CS recruiting program manager at Amazon where he improves the candidate experience and simplifies processes for the recruiting teams.

Kyle has hosted three annual Grand Forks Pride celebrations, contributed a chapter to a book on college life and sexuality, spent a year volunteering in Mexico, run for political office, and worked collectively with local community members to implement housing protections for LGBT+ individuals living in Grand Forks.  He also advocated and implemented LGBT+ programming on UND’s campus during his tenure as a programming coordinator in the Student Involvement and Leadership Office.


 Joshua A. Boschee

Born and raised in Minot, ND.  After graduating from Bishop Ryan High School, he attended North Dakota State University where he received his undergraduate degree in Political Science and later earned a Masters in Education Leadership.  He worked at NDSU and Minnesota State University Moorhead for a combined ten years, before starting a career with Hatch Realty, where he serves as the team’s Sales Manager.

Joshua was re-elected by his north Fargo neighbors to serve a second term in the North Dakota House of Representatives where he serves on the Administrative Rules Committee, House Agriculture Committee and House Industry, Business and Labor Committee.  While in the state House, he has worked on legislation to support the LGBT community, low income North Dakotans and advocating for stronger mental and behavioral health services.
When not in Bismarck representing District 44 or helping people buy new homes, Joshua serves on the Board of Directors for the FM Coalition for Homeless Persons, FM Pride Planning Committee, and ND CAWS (formerly Council of Abused Women’s Services).  He has been recognized for his work with the Arc of Justice Award from the ND Human Rights Coalition, the Exemplary Leadership Award from Planned Parenthood MN, ND, SD and 20 under 40: Making their Mark by the Fargo Forum.