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My name is Lierre Kandel and I was born in 1982 in a valley of the Appalachians in Pennsylvania. I grew up with six younger brothers and sisters and we all pulled our weight working to keep such a big family afloat. One kid is a handful, I don't know how our mother kept the household together with six, she has done an incredible job and continues to be an amazing and loving mom. Our father was a technical genius who had gotten his degree in electrical engineering and went on to pursue various entrepreneurial endeavors, at some point working with Ford and at another time even with NASA. As we learned to walk and talk and he started focusing on his own companies, we were brought into the businesses and learned to do everything from programming to manual labor and construction. He passed away rather suddenly in 2009.

As a teen I moved to Germany on a government scholarship and eventually ended up staying and marrying. After a few years, three wonderful boys were born, each 19 months apart almost to the day.

For several years I worked as a watercolor artist, creating over 500 original pieces which were auctioned on eBay and licensed for products, until I suddenly developed vestibular failure which left me with a rare condition called unilateral nystagmus, triggered by following movement of anything close to my eyes, such as a paintbrush or a pencil. Something of a workaround at first had been using an eyepatch to cover the affected eye but I was eventually advised that if I continued to do this long term I would likely lose my sight in that eye. This effectively ended most of my artistic endeavors in non-digital media. (Update: After about 5 years of not painting, I've been trying at it again! With much dizziness, many headaches, and breaks along the way.)

In 2010 I founded a small, nameless company in Germany to encompass services I offered as a newly-single parent of three small boys, making myself officially self-employed in an area of Germany with a very high unemployment rate. I offered German-English translation services for websites and promotional materials, relevant content creation for business websites, and web/graphic design as a self-taught freelancer and contractor, and soon thereafter began working for LiveWorld as a bilingual social media moderator. From 2012-2014 I tried to get a startup off the ground but have had to focus on more immediate sources of income again for now.

From a homeless shelter to a small apartment of our own, I worked from home on a second-hand laptop I got on eBay until I was able to afford something better and continue developing various projects as my complicated health allows. For the past year I have split my time between Germany and the US, and on the 345th day of the year on 11.12.13 at 11:12:13 I married my soulmate at the Boston Museum of Science.

Our family also includes a precious little Prague Ratter named Jasper whom we adopted when he was a little over a year old and needed a new home. He has a habit of getting people to fall in love with him but we're definitely his forever family.

I identify as agender / gender neutral, and have been out since November of 2014. My pronouns are they/their/theirs and I am currently in transition. For more information about what it means to be non-binary transgender, please visit the Non-Binary Transgender FAQ.

My hobbies include photography, speed cubing, rollerblading, and shotokan karate. I identify as Buddhist (no particular school) and like to meditate.