What is “Speaking of Happy”?
Web Documentary Channel
Speaking of Happy is a virtual outlet documenting the amazing stories of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning or queer, and intersex (LGBTQI) people and our community allies! These stories will be part interview, encompassing stories from all walks of life, and part real world as we follow these courageous people in their lives. We will hear from their family and friends about who they are in the community and share with you some of their trials and triumphs! We will also be publishing our weekly podcast called Speaking Of Happy which will originally air on RadiOmaha and then move to our site and can be found by navigating to the Radio Show page.
If you or someone you know has a life story that is inspirational and would help others, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can connect and capture that story to celebrate and share with others.
Eli Rigatuso is an Omaha, Nebraska Native and has more than 30 years of experience in video production/photography as well as in the broadcast news and production arena. He has owned and operated a video production company since 1995 and has worked for local TV affiliates KMTV 3 and KPTM Fox 42. Eli has also spent a year helping Omaha residents make their way safely to and from work doing Air Traffic reporting!
He is an outspoken Equal Rights Activist who has served his community in a variety of ways since the mid 90’s. Eli served on the board and as the President of Heartland Pride from 2009-2013, a local 501c3 non-profit. Heartland Pride hosts The Pride Festival in Omaha. Eli was one of the founders of the organization and was an active board member for 4 years. Currently working full-time at Bellevue University and spends most of his free time on Speaking Of Happy. Rigatuso is serving on the Mayor’s LGBTQ+ Advisory Board and mentors young transgender/nonbinary youth in the Omaha area.
He is writing a book about his own transition as well as producing videos which will be found here documenting his journey. Eli is determined to make a difference and use his skills to tell the amazing stories of our local LGBTQIA Community.
Mr. Rigatuso is a highly trained public speaker and facilitator and has done a variety of presentations to local businesses and organizations interested in creating open and affirming spaces for transgender/nonbinary folks living in the Omaha area. He has presented at College Possible, College of St. Mary’s, Cox Communications, Union Pacific, and Oath (formerly known as Yahoo).
“Eli Rigatuso brought an incredible perspective to the employees at Oath and myself. He’s a natural speaker, who captivates his audience and undoubtedly compels them to understand and empathize with individuals of the LGBTQIA+ community. He spoke passionately on his personal life story, his work in the Omaha community, transgender issues, and rethinking the social constructs of gender. Not many understand the struggles and frustrations of non-binary, transgender, and two-spirit identifying humans, but Eli brought these diverse identities to light in hopes that we can all become more open-minded, knowledgeable, and able to make a positive impact in the lives of LGBTQIA+ folks.” ~Austin Christensen, Creative Solutions Manager, Ad Creative Tech
“Eli brings an authentic voice and courageous spirit to his work and advocacy. He has an uncanny ability to speak to his audience in a way that makes you feel you have known him your entire life. That level of comfort allows people to lean in and open their hearts and minds.” ~Alexis Sherman, Director of Multicultural Initiatives, College of St. Mary’s
“Eli Rigatuso’s training on GLBTQIA issues was simply fantastic. He is such an authentic presenter, who really tried to make each and every person in the training feel safe, while discussing a sensitive topic. Eli helped us to understand what it feels like as a GLBTQIA person through words. I feel that everyone walked away with a greater understanding of what it is like to walk in the shoes of somone who may have a different sexual orientation. I can’t thank him enough for such a thought-provoking presentation.” ~Megan Moslander, Development Officer, College Possible.
“Eli Rigatuso’s presentation and discussion around the topid of Transgender lives was very powertul and important. The topics concerning transgender folks lives can be stressful and uncomfortable at times but Eli did a wonderful job helping people to challenge their preconceived expectations and grow in their knowledge while still feeling comfortable and not guilty. Eli did a great job of helping peole feel comfortable asking questions and not feeling stupid or ignorant.” ~Sinjhen Campbell, Tech-Connected College Coach, College Possible.
“I feel Eli’s presence and educational discussion is a welcome approach to a sometimes stressful topic in any group environment.” ~ Jill M., Mutual of Omaha
News & Entertainment Programming (LAUNCHING: Soon)
Along with our mini-documentaries, we’re producing a half-hour news and entertainment show. This show will focus specifically on what is happening within the LGBTQI & Ally community. From community events to political action plus you’ll meet local LGBTQI owned & operated & LGBTQ friendly businesses. There is nothing like it available in Omaha! Speaking of Happy is also publishing an online LGBTQI Magazine. Be sure to check out our advertisers and sponsors because with their help Speaking Of Happy will be a HUGE success!