Heir Apparent to Empress Nicole the Great
Emperor Kaleo Tevaitea Ramo
(Brayden Alexander Kaleikuikeolahou Tevaitea Ramos)
PO Box 21
Kane'ohe, HI 96711
Aloha, my name is Brayden Alexander Kaleokūikeolahou Tevaitea Ramos, more commonly known as “Kaleo” and I am the 5th generation on our ‘āina (land) in the ahupua’a (land division) of Kāne’ohe in the moku (district) of Ko’olaupoko on the Island of O’ahu a Lua (O’ahu). I am the eldest of two children born to John Paul and Cynthia “Cindy” Ramos; grandson to John Ramos and Mary Robello on the side of my father and Alexander “Tiny” Spencer and Bernice Mohika on the side of my mother. I am the parent of a 13-year old named, Justice-John Manuli’i’ula Kiaha. Aloha.
I am a graduate of Mid-Pacific Institute and four-time graduate of the University of Hawai’i with degrees in Liberal Arts, Hawaiian Language, Elementary Education and Secondary Special Education and now pursuing my master’s degree in Curriculum Studies with an emphasis on Multicultural Education. I am in my 21st year of working with children and come from a family of teachers. My sister teaches grade K at Ka’ohao Charter School in Lanikai, my mom recently retired from St. Ann’s Model Schools and my father is a retired sheet metal worker and now teaches welding and safety courses at Honolulu Community College. I’m not your average teacher nor do I look like an actual teacher, which makes entering into my classroom an interesting experience. I always wanted to become the teacher who I wished I had as a teacher, that has been my desire. Now, I want to be the best teacher I can be, in my career. I have taught or done field work in many types of schools; e-charter, immersion, Hawaiian focused charter, private and public in the Department of Education (DOE); each type of school offered me an added amount of experiences to flourish within my career.
The last 11, going on 12 years of my life I have dedicated to ensuring safe spaces for all LGBT youth. Years ago I was a panelist at a youth safety net conference at the Dole Cannery Ballroom when I was approached by an individual wanting to start a Hawai’i chapter to GLSEN; the Gay, Lesbian, Straight, Education Network. Together we rounded up a group of interested folk and started Hawai’i’s first GLSEN organization. Through this organization I traveled several times to the continent for national conferences and was able to become a nationally certified facilitator to GLSEN safe space material. I have since left GLSEN to focus mainly on transgender student populations and worked with the Kua’ana Project of the Life Foundation, the Lavender Clinic at Hawk Health Inc., and the Kumu Hina Project to petition the Hawai’i Board of Education and Department of Education to implement our states first ever Transgender Safe Student Policy. The 2016-17 school year was the first year of implementation and many schools have already requested or completed trainings. We still have a way to go, but I am very hopeful because a safe school for our LGBT students is a safe school for all.
My experiences are lengthily as I have sat on numerous boards, was the keynote speaker at the first transgender conference put on my Harm Reduction Hawai’i, and been a panelist and presenter many times. I am a heavy advocate for LGBT youth who has sat at the table with some pretty heavy hitters in our community. I also provide guidance to schools and families on how to help their transgender students/children and am suicide prevention trained. I currently sit on two boards, the Imperial Court of Hawai’i as a former Emperor of Hawai’i and as an advisor to the LGBT Legacy Foundation. Other recent activities include being a member of the sex assault LGBT caucus and the anti-bullying task force.
My most recent experiences have been in politics. I dislike politics, but I do pay attention to mostly LGB and Transgender issues. I have been closely involved in the process of submitting three draft bills to the legislature and guided them as two became law (2015-Birth Certificate Bill, 2016- Transgender Health Inclusions “Health Insurance” Bill). I also sought out an anti-bullying bill we created with the Human Rights Campaign for the 2015 legislative session. This anti-bullying bill we introduced went further in the legislature than any previously introduced bills. Legislatures amended the bill from “schools” to “all state funded programs,” which was ideal for having safe spaces for kids. The bill was deferred indefinitely after the Ways and Means committee failed to find a budget for the task force to oversee implementation of it. We are planning to introduce another safe schools bill soon.
Year after year I have watched as our LGBT kids struggled through school, and suicides and dropouts have been reported to me. I have a good friend who works out of the medical examiner’s office who calls me every so often to say, “Kaleo, we gotta do something- too many suicides this month (or sometimes even in a week).” Our highest drop outs and suicides across the nation come from transgender children, Hawai’i is no exception. I have noticed in the past two years that we had quite a few transgender college graduates and several more enroll into colleges across the state. This is great news as compared to many transgender persons who found safe havens in jobs in cosmetology, retail, fast food, or where they worked from home. The focus of my plan B is to better the conditions for transgender students in schools by finding out what is working and what is not, and what more needs to be done to help our transgender student populations become more successful within our schools, especially college and career ready.
Last, I work part-time in an all-male juvenile group home for youth sex offenders for Catholic Charities Hawai’i. This has been my part-time job for the last 6.5 years. Through working with foster youth I have learned a lot about empathy and through the job I am experienced in clinical work in psychology. In my career I am able to satisfy two passions; education and social work.
Thank you for allowing me the space to share more about myself. I am an open book, literally. Many articles have been written about me and my work, just Google my name, Kaleo Ramos if you would like to learn more about me and what I do.
Brayden AKT Ramos otherwise known as “Kaleo” is from Kane’ohe, O’ahu. He is a licensed general and special education teacher within the Department of Education specializing in mild to moderate disabilities, grades K-12. Kaleo is currently teaching 6th grade in a Hawaiian charter school in Honolulu. Kaleo has an AA in Liberal Studies, a BA in Hawaiian Language, a BA in Elementary Education, and a Post-Baccalaureate in Special Education. He is currently seeking a Master’s degree in Secondary Education and plan to add a graduate certificate in conflict management/peace studies. In addition to Kaleo’s career as a teacher he is also involved in a number of activities and services within the LGBTQIA community.
Since 2007 Kaleo has served as an active part of Hawai’i’s LGBTQIA community through a number of organizations such as being the co-chair and certified trainer to GLSEN Hawai’i, board member with C.R.E.A.T.E. One ‘Ohana, former Emperor and chairman of the Privy Council for the Imperial Court of Hawai’i, 2nd vice president to the Imperial Court of Hawai’i Board of Directors, advisor to the LGBT Legacy Foundation, co-administrator of Trans Spectrum Hawai’i, and council member to the Hawai’i Youth Coalition. Kaleo also serves as a liaison for a number of organizations, which include the Life Foundation, GSA Hawai’i, and Pride at Work Hawai’i. He most recently joined in as an active resource to Family Court LGBT caucus, working to support our LGBT youth within the juvenile justice system. Other involvements include the Hawai’i Youth Suicide Prevention Task Force, University of Hawai’i’s Safe Zone trainings, and advisory committee on effective practices for LGBT persons reporting abuse/LGBT caucus with the Sex Abuse Treatment Center, as well as many as other engagements which provide services for the betterment of conditions for our LGBTQIA community.