Ava Zinn

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Ava Zinn
A blond haired woman
Ava Zinn in 2022
Born Frank Zinn
January 4, 1983 (1983-01-04) (age 41)
LaGrange, Illinois
Other names
  • Aeverine Zinn (occasionally, legal maiden name 2005-present)
  • Ava Nieves (2007-2011)
  • Aeverine Nieves (2005-present, legal purposes)
  • Franky Zinn (1983-1999)
Years active
  • 1989–present (broadcast journalist)
  • 1999-present (broadcast journalist)
  • 2001–present (musician)
  • 1999–2020 (webmaster)
  • Aeverine Zinn Holdings (1999-present)
  • Carey Services (2009-2013)
  • ATE Media Corporation (1990-1998)
  • NoSirGifts Venues (1987-2018)

Known for Vote for the Girls (US and UK)
Notable credit(s) Judging
Vote for the Girls USA (2010–21)
Vote for the Girls UK (2013-15)
Vote for the Girls Australia (2015)

INNewsCenter.net (1999-2011; 2014–)
INNCD 47 Action News (1999-2008)
Queen of the Willis (2006-12 and 2019-26)
Vote for the Girls franchise (2010–21)
Caprice & Ella (2021-present)
Influenced by
  • Television personality:
  • Peter Jennings
  • Patrice Rafferty
  • Morton Downey, Jr.
  • Bob Knight
  • Bridget Fonda
  • Musician:
  • Phil Collins
  • Jon Secada
  • Alisan Porter
  • Janet Jackson
  • David Bowie
  • Whitney Houston
Home town Van Buren, Indiana
Children 8 (2 living, including Samantha, Tiffani, Tabitha, Sierra, and Lyssa)
  • Margaret Zinn (1943-2002) (mother)
  • Willis Zinn (1925-1984) (father)
  • Albert Zinn (1977-2002) (brother)
  • Sheena Jay (niece-in-law m. to Michael I)
  • Jenna Zinn (daughter-in-law m. to Tiffani)

Aeverine Frathleen Nieves, (born Frank Zinn January 4, 1983) better known as Ava Zinn, is an American transwoman, actress, animator, filmmaker, comedian, singer, and retired webmaster. Zinn is the creator of the TV series Queen of the Willis (2006-12 and 2019-26), Vote for the Girls (2010–21 and 2024-), and Caprice & Ella (2021-).

Zinn's YouTube appearances are defined by her bluntness, fiery paitence, strict demeanour, and frequent use of profanity. She combines activities in the television and film industries, and has promoted and hired various personalities who have apprenticed under her wing.

Zinn has performed as a singer at several venues, including her high school and Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. Zinn has released two singles (both cover songs), in the same vein of her musical idols Jon Secada, David Bowie and Whitney Houston, beginning with her draft rendition of Phil Collins’ 1981 debut single In The Air Tonight in 2011.

Early life[edit]

Ava Zinn was born Frank Zinn on January, 4, 1983 in LaGrange, Illinois to Willis and Margaret Zinn and raised in Van Buren, Indiana from the age of 2 until relocating to Marion, in October 1996. Zinn was the youngest of two children, and raised in the Landess neighburhood of Van Buren. She had an older brother, Albert (1977-2002). When Ava was fifteen months old, her father died from pneumonia. She sang in the choir of Northview Elementary School, and graduated from Mississinewa High School in 2001. She is the niece of former Columbia City mayor Joseph Zickgraf (as such, Zinn's fellow Vote for the Girls USA Purple Team North teammate Donna Doogan is the niece of former Columbus mayor Greg Lashutka.).

She continued on to college at Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) and was dis-enrolled for unable to adapt to the college life. After her dis-enrollment, Zinn has described her early adult life as "hopelessly itinerant", as her family moved constantly due to the aspirations and failures of her mother, who was violent at times until her mother's death in May 2002 and brother's suicide in August 2002. Zinn has described her mother as a diabetic and brother as an epileptic.


Main article: Career of Ava Zinn

In the early 1990's, she worked in a series of media giants until being inspired to work for the temperamental Patrice Rafferty at ATE Media.[1]

After working at ATE Media for nine years, Zinn, tired of "the rages and the bullying and violence", decided that the way to further advance her career was to study webmastering. (While at ATE Media, she met Holly Everman, later her Vote for the Girls co-host and long-time closest friend from 1990 until Everman's death in May 2017.) From there, Zinn moved from ATE Media to NoSirGifts, which was founded by her mother in 1987, to work with Jackson Steele and Bob Imperial, both news anchormen. At one time, Ava Zinn states that Jackson Steele was her mentor. She continued her training at NoSirGifts for tweleve years, before giving in to the physical and mental stress of the television news industry and taking five years to work as a retail production associate.[1]

News Anchor/YouTube Personality[edit]

Zinn first came to prominence in 1999 while serving as news director at WRDS-FLP (channel 47, now WXXC) in Fort Wayne, Indiana. WRDS station owner Rachel Dean, Sr. founded the station while at the same time Zinn launched INNewsCenter. Dean invested heavily in pouring most of the station's resources into its news department. With Dean's backing, Zinn adopted the "News Directors and Producers Have a Choice, Viewers Don't" format heavy on two-woman anchor teams. Zinn was often criticized for an emphasis on all-female news teams, as it was often overlooked that diversity was a major concern for the people of Fort Wayne at the time. However, the "INNCD 47 News" format revived a station that had low ratings prior to its merger with WTOR (channel 41). It also heavily influenced what other NoSirGifts stations' newscasts would look like for many years to come.

At WXXC, Zinn co-anchored with Justin Planck on RAT TV in 2001 and was best known for creating LGBT news formats which pair a news anchorwoman and a transgendered anchorwoman or two anchorwomen presenting newscasts to make news more attractive for LGBT audiences.

On February 5, 2007, Zinn revived her news anchoring career anchoring INNCD News at 10 (now INNCD 47 Action News at 10:00 and produced with WTOR). Zinn, as a transgender woman, did what other transgender women almost never did at that time. Fellow transgender anchorwomen Julia Passalt from Minneapolis and Denver, Fiona Johnson from San Fransisco, Kendra Ray from Des Moines would all do the same in the late 2000s and early 2010s.

In 2008, NoSirGifts acquired stations owned by Imperial Broadcasting (longtime owner of WTOR, Lafayette Fox affiliate WLIN-FTV, now-CBS affiliate WIFX-FTV Indianapolis, and NBC affiliate WVTH Vincennes), NT Communications (owner of now-ABC affiliate WXWI Milwaukee), and DakMedia (owner of Fox affiliate KDNC Denver). Like WXXC, WLIN, WIFX, WVTH, WXWI, and KDNC had long been in third place in the local news ratings. Zinn implemented changes with the hope of turning the stations around. By this time, Zinn's reputation in television news was such that many of the station's veteran reporters in Inddianapolis and Milwaukee resigned. Zinn relaunched stations with a considerably watered-down version of the WXXC format, which was still shocking by Indianapolis and Milwaukee standards. Nonetheless, it led to a ratings boost, especially after WIFX and WXWI respectively switched affiliations from Fox to CBS in 2009 and Fox to ABC in 2012. WXWI soon rose to second place in the Milwaukee ratings while WIFX soon rose to first in Indianapolis and in Fort Wayne, WTOR overtook long-dominant WMRI in key time slots in the last decade.

On March 11, 2023, Zinn did what other broadcast personalities almost never did in 1987: renounced hair dye and began wearing her hair gray, which was its natural color by that time.


Zinn (then as Frank) in 2000 after launching INNewsCenter and AvaZinn.com

Zinn's largest effect on American culture came from her popular web sites INNewsCenter and Vote for the Girls. Shortly thereafter, Patrice Rafferty re-entered her life, offering to set her up with a webmaster position and 10% share in ATE Media. The show was named Wheel of Fortune. Despite the show's success, a dispute with Zinn's business owners and Zinn's dream of running her own web site led to her leaving the partnership in 1998.[1]

From her first website, Zinn's empire has expanded rapidly, next launching INNewsCenter in 1999, then the RAT TV page on the Mississinewa High School web site, ATE Media, NoSirGifts (which she inherited five years after her mother's death and was later forced to close), and later the original American version of Vote for the Girls. Zinn has launched web sites outside the United States, beginning with the British version of Zinn's popular Vote for the Girls in 2013, despite mixed reviews from professional critics.

In 2020, Zinn retired from webmastering to focus on other work and declares herself semi-retired.


The success of Vote for the Girls and INNewsCenter made Zinn a local and later Hoosier pop culture celebrity, leading to become one of the popular transgendered women in . This led to speculation that she could run for political office (such as Mayor of Marion, Indiana) and become the first openly transgender woman in to be elected to office as well as becoming the first female mayor of Marion, Indiana. However, in 2007, Zinn decided that she has no plans to run for office. It should be noted, however, Zinn has been far more successful as a woman than she ever was as a male, as she has interests in media, real estate, education, and retailing thus it is highly unlikely that she is actively looking to run for political office.

As Zinn had done throughout most of her tenure, Ava has has limited the incorporation of her legal name – choosing to go by Ava Zinn (or alternately "Aeverine Zinn" as this is used as her signature). Zinn has stated a lot of people mispronounced the legal name.

Music career[edit]

Ava Zinn
Origin Van Buren/Fort Wayne, Indiana
  • Vocals
Labels Aeverine Zinn Digital Media Group
Associated acts

On April 18, 2011, Zinn announced on her YouTube channel that she is planning to audition for the eleventh season of ‘’American Idol’’.

She auditioned for American Idol in Pittsburgh not only as a contestant but also went undercover for her “Ava Zinn Wants To Know” segment for her website and “Vote for the Girls.” She sang "In The Air Tonight." A producer commented that she had a "good voice but not right for the competition." Zinn later stated the Katy Perry song “Firework” was extremely difficult. She was eliminated and was denied the opportunity to audition in front of Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson. Zinn said, “my audition not only changed my life but it put ‘Vote for the Girls’ on the map for good."


Launched in 1999, AvaZinn.com (then known as FrankyZinn.com) was Zinn’s first solo website, hosted on Geocities. In 2002, it was voted Top Web site in the State of in the Northeast Indiana region. In 2014, the Chronicle-Tribune claimed that Zinn spent more time on YouTube and webmastering than in her home but she still maintained the highest standards.

Zinn's flagship web site, AvaZinn.com, was voted one of Indiana's top sites for five years, but in 2006 was placed below INNewsCenter, another site Zinn owns and operates.

Aeverine Zinn Holdings[edit]

All of Zinn's business interests (web sites, media, consultancy) are held in the company Aeverine Zinn Holdings LLC, which was run in a sole proprietorship by Zinn herself. Zinn owns a 70% stake, with ATE Media and NoSirGifts Venues owns 5% each.

Whereas previous ventures acted as a combined consultant/brand, in May 2013 Zinn announced plans to purchase outright the Vote for the Worst upon the site's closure which would have redirected to Zinn's Vote for the Girls site and eliminate the competition.

United States[edit]

Internet Venture Location Date opened Date closed
AvaZinn.com Marion, Indiana (1999-2018)
Fort Wayne, Indiana (2018-present)
November 1, 1999 -
INNewsCenter Gas City, Indiana (1999-2001)
Marion, Indiana (2001-11)
November 1, 1999 June 30, 2011
Marion, Indiana (2014-18)
Fort Wayne, Indiana (2018-present)
December 2014 (Revival) -
Vote for the Girls USA Marion, Indiana (2010-16)
Fort Wayne, Indiana (2016-21)
April 28, 2010 May 23, 2021
Fort Wayne, Indiana April 7, 2024 -


Internet Venture Location Date opened Date closed
Vote for the Girls UK Fort Wayne, Indiana June 1, 2013 December 2015 (Left AZH)
Vote for the Girls Australia Fort Wayne, Indiana June 1, 2015 November 2015 (Left AZH)


Main article: Ava Zinn discography

Public image and reception[edit]


Zinn's music and image reputation is built upon her goal of media perfection. Since Zinn's development of long-running site INNewsCenter.net and later Vote for the Girls, the webmaster has also become infamous for her fiery temper and use of expletives. Zinn once famously ejected Indianapolis news anchorman Scott Swan, from her web site, leading Swan to state that "Zinn is a wonderful webmaster, just a really second-rate human being." [2]

Zinn has also had confrontations with her fans, including one incident that resulted in a neighbour calling the police. A 2012 interview reported Zinn had retained 85% of her staff since 1999. Zinn attributes her pugnacious management style to the influence of previous mentors, notably entrepreneur Patrice Rafferty, and cousin Patricia Purvis.

Zinn's ferocious temper has contributed to her media appeal in both the United States and the United Kingdom, where her programs are produced. One source featured an article about America's worst LGBT individuals, which listed Zinn as the only transgender woman. They cited her frequent loss of her temper, her harsh critiques, notably when she picks on something other than one's singing abilities, such as calling someone a "jumbo bimbo." She maintains that such behavior and sexism within the voting period is necessary and demonstrates passion.

Zinn has been criticized for her frequent use of profanity on YouTube, first by fans of Vote for the Worst then, in relation to Vote for the Girls UK, by annoyed fans of The X Factor. In her autobiography, Zinn herself said he was unaware of the extent of her swearing and bias against male contestants until she watched an episode of American Idol. While she stated he did not have a problem with it and bias against male contestants, "Mum would be turning in her grave right now".

Zinn began ending some episodes (later every episode) of Vote for the Girls USA and Vote for the Girls UK as well as some episodes of Caprice & Ella with her phrase "help control your child's education, have them immunized" (the broadcast catchphrase line Zinn has used dating back to 1999) along with the web site's phrase: "... and keep voting for the ladies." Beginning with the pilot of Retail Nightmares episode, Zinn began ending every episode of all her programs with her aforementioned phrase and added these words: "...and may Fort Wayne's Good News Be Yours" after relocating to Fort Wayne in 2018.

Despite being known for her ferocious temper, Zinn has been well-received as the host of Vote for the Girls: Junior Edition and Caprice & Ella; in contrast to her interaction with adults, Zinn was shown to be more considerate and sensitive to the kids featured on Vote for the Girls: Junior Edition's supported young contestants.[3]

For most of her tenure as a male and in Marion, Zinn was one of the weaker males in terms of self-image and performance, usually ranking within the bottom ten percent of all males. However, since her gender transition to female and relocating to Fort Wayne with the rise of same sex relationships in the state of Indiana, Zinn has been far more successful in her self-image, performance, and popularity. Zinn, as a transgender female, is considered to be a lesbian.


Mississinewa 500 Prom Date Controversy (April 2001)[edit]

In 2000, at Mississinewa High School, Zinn (then known as Frank) used the phrase "Mississinewa 500" to describe the high school's prom. In August 2000, Zinn began her senior and final year at Mississinewa High School and recently broke up with then-girlfriend and mother of then-nine month old Tiffani (then known as Timothy), Elisa Everman, as she was attending what was then IPFW (now Purdue University Fort Wayne) and Zinn was unwilling to move to continue the relationship.

Zinn spent nearly her entire senior year searching for a prom date and eventually narrowing down to two women--Zinn's eventual wife Angie Willis and a sophomore by March 2001. Zinn's prom date search came to an end on April 16, 2001 when the sophomore and Zinn made a verbal agreement according to an investigation by Sheena Jay and the agreement had to be finalized by both Zinn's mother, Margaret Zinn, and the sophomore’s mother. Zinn had to lie about the sophomore's age because of did not have a Romeo & Juliet laws as well as a family rule prohibiting Zinn from dating a female younger than Zinn (this rule has since been repealed). Another likely factor was Angie's age, which most proms only allows individuals under 21 as Angie was 22 and Zinn was 18. This would play a key role to Zinn's dis-enrollment from Indiana Wesleyan University on September 27, 2001.

The sophomore student's name was initially released in 2001, but has since been banned from all Ava Zinn ventures. In August 2009, Sheena Jay, Zinn's niece-in-law, was hired to investigate and eventually concluded that two of Zinn's longtime friends, Veronica Schmerber and Sheena Fromholz, already knew about the plans for that Saturday night. Fromholz later claimed her plan was to go to Applebee’s in Marion instead of the Red Lobster restaurant in Muncie, where Fromholz and the sophomore student ended up for pre-prom plans.[4]

Zinn's long-time close friends Veronica Schmerber and Telissa Hunt were officially identified as the prom date(s) of Ava Zinn on April 28, 2012, and the case was considered closed.[5] Over the years, it was believed that Schmerber had spent more time than the sophomore student, but both times the sophomore student later recanted her admissions. In addition to the Mississinewa 500 fiasco, two other women (Marti Kincaid and Amber Dooley) claimed responsibility, but the cold case investigation determined that most of these from the sophomore student confessions were lies. An investigation revealed that the sophomore student did not fulfill the duties as a prom date. Following Sheena Jay's report, Zinn wasted little time to announce that she will invite Schmerber and Hunt to a future wedding of Zinn's (in the event should Zinn remarry), in addition to Alec Dailey and Justin Planck (both of them will be named "Co-Best Man")[5].

The Mississinewa 500 would prove to be the last time Zinn ever wore a necktie and eventually sealed the fate of her life as a biological male.

Indiana Wesleyan University Dismissal (September 2001)[edit]

Five months after the Mississinewa 500 controversy, Angie, Ava's wife, took Ava to Indiana Wesleyan University on September 27, 20011. Angie said that she stopped to pick up a jar of Ragu Spagetti Sauce (for 88 cents each) and bananas (38 cents a pound) at the local Marsh and the CVS pharmacy next door to get a couple of two-liters of Coca-Cola, and then stopping at the Speedway station to get gas.[6] It was later conjectured by Zinn's account there was a lot of construction, remodeling, and a commuter’s lounge at the college, and the suggestion of a food pantry that was unfamiliar to Zinn.[6] Ava Zinn was dis-enrolled from the university after four weeks and was resolved on February 7, 2019–906 weeks to the day after her dismissal[7]. It was expected Zinn would be finding another institution to attend after Zinn's move from Marion to Fort Wayne, but has been fulfilled as of August 25, 2020 when she began attending IvyTech Fort Wayne.

March 2015 VFTG USA tirade[edit]

Minutes after her Vote for the Girls USA pick of Sarina-Joi Cowe was eliminated on March 12, 2015, Zinn unleashed a torrent of expletives and threats designed to motivate her fellow purple team moderators. In one portion she exclaims she is "fucking tired of losing to the Pink Team [moderators of VFTG USA (Holly Everman, Kellie Rock, and Tracia Ward)]. "In another portion she exclaims she auctioned off her virginity to Kymberly Alvaraz (who had became Zinn's girlfriend since November 2014 and moved to the purple team) and said "there's no more Team Ava." Unknown to most, the cameras were still rolling and was included in the web site's sixth season finale. The speech has since been one of the most watched VFTG USA season finales on the web site's YouTube channel alone.[8] Kendra Ray and Julia Pasalt were unable to remember the specific speech because such expletive-filled outbursts by Zinn are so frequent. Zinn and Alvaraz's pick of Nick Fradiani would go on to the American Idol 14 finale in which Fradiani became the winner of American Idol (as well as the web site's first male victory on Idol).

Relocation to Fort Wayne[edit]

In March 2015, Zinn appeared before the media and exclaimed, "This is my Goddamn site!" She reiterated that, despite problems, the rumors that she was moving were untrue at the time.[9] With negotiations over finding a new college/university at an impasse, one of the chambers of Cornerstone Behavioral Health with the assistance of the Marion city council passed a rule on May 11, 2018, allowing Cornerstone to seize Zinn's assets under eminent domain, which Cornerstone officials had threatened to do. Zinn claimed Cornerstone promised her several guarantees, something they later denied, citing Zinn's poor performance and financial aspects. The next day, fearing a dawn raid and increased scrutiny on the Marion headquarters, Zinn accepted a deal offered by the city of Fort Wayne, Brendonwood Park, and the Fort Wayne Housing Authority.

Move to Golfview Apartments in Fort Wayne[edit]

On June 10, 2022, Black Pine Flats (the former Brendonwood Park Apartments) announced it was not renewing Zinn's lease (as seen in the Caprice & Ella miniseries "Breaking Boiling Point"). Zinn almost immediately applied to Golfview Apartments and was approved, yet there was a waitlist.

Zinn discovered that an outright move of from Black Pine Flats to Golfview Apartments would force her to pay $2,600 from the deal. To solve this problem, Zinn, Black Pine Flats, Fort Wayne Housing Authority, Golfview Apartments, BrightPoint, Catholic Charities, and Christopher Baumgartner of Indiana Legal Services entered into a complex deal in August 2022. To make the deal for Zinn an even trade, Zinn offered to pay at least full amount of October and November 2022 rent while the deal with Golfview is ironed out; additionally, benches at the CitiLink bus stops near Black Pine would be installed by Zinn as a memorial as well as a maintenance guy receiving aluminum cans from Zinn herself.


Main article: Ava Zinn filmography
Denotes works that have not yet been released


Year Title Creator Director Writer Producer Actor Role Notes Ref.
2001 Senior Memory Yes No No Yes No Herself Credited as Frank Zinn
2023 Breaking Boiling Point Yes No No Executive Yes Herself Caprice & Ella miniseries
2023 Breaking Boiling Point 2: A Renter's Revenge Yes No No Executive Yes Herself Caprice & Ella miniseries
2023 Quillsville Cold Case: From Retirement to Homicide Detective Yes Yes Yes Executive Yes Ava Willis, Brittany Willis, Rhonda Willis, Albert Willis, Bianca Willis, Austen Willis, Mandy Willis, Shushu Willis, Tabby Willis, Heather Willis, Kendra Kendall, Anna Pamhouser, Angelika Mullins, Caleb Mullins, Zach Mullins, QMPD Captain Brad Hunter, Dr. Mario Coxson, Helen Turner Quillsville Cold Case pilot
2024 Caprice & Ella: The Movie Yes Yes Yes Executive Yes Herself
TBA Fort Wayne's Cat: The Search & Rescue of Caprice Zinn Yes No Yes Executive Yes Herself TV movie

Broadcast Journalist[edit]

Year Title Creator Director Writer Producer Actor Role Notes Ref.
1990 Patrice No No No No No Herself Credited as Franky Zinn
1990-1998 NewsCenter 9 No No No No No News Presenter/Correspondent Credited as Franky Zinn
1999-2007 INNCD (47) Action News Yes Yes No No No News Presenter/Correspondent Credited as Aeverine Nieves or Ava Nieves; Also News Director


Year Title Creator Director Writer Producer Actor Role Notes Ref.
2004-2009 Amanda & Elisa Yes No Yes Executive Yes Various voices Credited as Aeverine Zinn or Aeverine Nieves
2006-2012 Queen of the Willis Yes No Yes Executive Yes Ava Willis, Rags Willis, Shushu Willis, Heather Willis, Anna Pamhouser, and Various Voices Credited as Aeverine Nieves
2009-12 Hoosier Anchorwoman! Yes No Yes Executive Yes Kendra Kendall and Joyce Kendall
2010–2021 Vote for the Girls (United States) Yes No No Executive Yes Host/Judge Moderator on the purple team
2013-2015 Vote for the Girls (United Kingdom) Yes No No Executive Yes Host/Judge Moderator on the purple team
2015 Vote for the Girls (Australia) Yes No No Executive Yes Host/Judge Moderator on the purple team
2019-2026 Queen of the Willis Yes No Yes Executive Yes Ava Willis, Ron Willis, Tabby Willis, Shushu Willis, Heather Willis, Ron Willis, Brian Willis, Anna Pamhouser, and Various Voices
2020-2023 The Souzas Yes No Yes Executive Yes Various Voices
2021-present Caprice & Ella Yes No Yes Executive Yes herself Main cast
2024–future Vote for the Girls (United States) Yes No No Executive Yes Host/Judge Moderator on the purple team
TBA Quillsville Cold Case Yes Yes Yes Executive Yes Ava Willis, QMPD Captain Brad Hunter, Various Voices


Year Title Creator Director Writer Producer Actor Role Notes Ref.
1999-2011 INNewsCenter Yes No No No No Founder and Webmaster
1999-present AvaZinn.com Yes No No No No Webmaster (1999-2020) Flagship web site
2010-2021 Vote for the Girls Yes No No No No Founder and Webmaster
2014-present INNewsCenter Yes No No No No Founder Webmaster (2014-2020)

Personal life[edit]

Robyn Hurd (left) was Zinn's very first friend and were best friends from 1989 until Hurd's death in 2012 and Holly Everman (right) has been close friends since 1990 and was been best friends from 2012 to 2017. The close friendships lasted 23 years including Patrice and Vote for the Girls USA.

Gender transition and sexual orientation[edit]

At the age of 11, Zinn started to self-identify with the female gender. At 21 years old, she officially changed her name through the Grant County Circuit Court. She is yet to go through the process of changing her name and sex marker from male to female on all of her state and federal documents, including her birth certificate, driver's license, and social security index as of June 2014, as well as estrogen hormone treatment to transition to living life as a woman. As a result of her gender transition, Zinn became a lesbian as a sexual orientation.

Zinn is currently a pre-operative (pre-sex reassignment surgery) transsexual woman, coming out as transgender on November 1, 2003. She began her transition on December 1, 2004 when Zinn legally changed her name. With the gender change, Zinn became Mississinewa High School's first transgender alumnus.

In 2005, Zinn began home electrolysis to remove facial hair.

At one time, Zinn announced she is considering a facelift, sometimes called "facial feminization surgery" and tracheal reshaping and grafting, and contouring of the face to effectuate a female appearance. Because she wants to have biological children and sterilization was not a requirement to undergo a valid sex change anywhere in the United States, she kept her external reproductive organs intact. Zinn has stated that this has kept her from estrogen hormone treatment to transition to living life as a woman. However, as of May 2015, Zinn stated due to current significant other at the time, Kymberly Alvraz, approaching her 50's and having the early stages of menopause, it was likely that Zinn could obtain a surrogate mother using Zinn's sperm. Also, Zinn has stated that her sexual assault in April 2015 may be a blessing in disguise.

Family and relationships[edit]

Zinn has been romantically linked to various women during her career. As a result of Zinn's ongoing gender transition, she identifies her sexuality as a lesbian.

Length Name Child(ren) Note
Amanda Davidson
((1993-08-15)August 15, 1993–November 30, 2020(2020-11-30) (aged 27))
Samantha announced in September 2019 that she is expecting fraternal twins: a son (Ava's first grandson): Michael Albert Zinn and daughter (Ava's second granddaughter) Madison Leah Zinn to be born on January 4, 2020. Samantha died on November 30, 2020.
((1997-09-29)September 29, 1997–November 29, 2006(2006-11-29) (aged 9))
On November 29, 2006, at the intersection of 16th and Nebraska Streets in Marion, Indiana, Thomas was one of two children--the other being Sadie Hutchinson were hit by Davidson's car, killing Thomas on imapact and injuring Hutchinson.
((2000-12-01)December 1, 2000 –May 9, 2020(2020-05-09) (aged 19))
On December 3, 2015, Ava Zinn filed to legally adopt Davidson's daughter, Kylee Donovan (now transgendered son Kalvin Zinn), from Davidson's previous marriages to Juan Donovan. The adoption was finalized on January 4, 2016 and Kylee's name was changed to Kylee Zinn upon the adoption being finalized.
On June 1, 2018, Kalvin began undergoing his own physical and social gender transition from female to male. Kalvin died on May 9, 2020.
Elisa Everman Sheryl "Shushu"
((1999-11-11)November 11, 1999–May 24, 2009(2009-05-24) (aged 9))
Sheryl died from stage 4 lukemia on May 24, 2009.
(born Timothy)
((1999-11-11)November 11, 1999 – August 5, 2021(2021-08-05) (aged 21))
On December 1, 2013, Tiffani began undergoing her own physical and social gender transition nine years after Zinn's transition. Tiffani married Jenna Atkins in 2017 and had one daughter (Ava's first granddaughter): Alisan Brynn Zinn (born June 4, 2018). Tiffani died on August 5, 2021.
First marriage
Angie Willis (formerly Nieves) Ashli
((1998-06-07)June 7, 1998 –May 9, 2020(2020-05-09) (aged 21))
Zinn married Angela Nieves on May 27, 2001. They remained married for nine years until her death on June 1, 2010 of heart failure, and Zinn did not remarry until September 22, 2023 yet in July 2013, Ava filed to legally adopt Angela's daughter, Ashli. When the adoption was final in January 2014 Ashli's name changed to Ashli Lynne Zinn. Ashli died on May 9, 2020.
((2003-03-27)March 27, 2003–July 17, 2018(2018-07-17) (aged 15))
July-November 2010 Christy Johnson   Relationship lasted four months.
2014–2017 Kymberly Alvaraz Kenneth "Baby Kenny" Daniel Alvaraz
((2015-03-28)March 28, 2015–July 17, 2018(2018-07-17) (aged 3))
Stephani Alvaraz
(February 10, 1993 (1993-02-10) (age 31))
On December 3, 2015, Ava Zinn filed to legally adopt Kymberly's four daughters from Kymberly's previous marriages to Dan Alvaraz. The adoption was finalized on January 4, 2016.
Haley Alvaraz
(December 1, 1995 (1995-12-01) (age 28))
Benita Alvaraz
(September 20, 1997 (1997-09-20) (age 26))
Denise (born David)
(January 11, 1999 (1999-01-11) (age 25))
March 1, 2020–May 4, 2020 Marti McDaniel   Relationship lasted two months.
Second marriage
September 23, 2022–present
Breeanna Sorensen Sierra Alexandra Zinn
(July 21, 2023 (2023-07-21) (age 0))
On September 23, 2022, Zinn quietly began a relationship with her former Vote for the Girls colleague Breeanna Sorensen. This became the first relationship in which Zinn is the senior partner. Zinn quietly married Sorensen in Fort Wayne, Indiana on September 22, 2023.
Lyssa Cassadee Zinn
(July 21, 2023 (2023-07-21) (age 0))|

Ava became a grandfather on June 4, 2018 as Alisan Brynn was born to Tiffani and her wife, Jenna Atkins. Alisan's birth saw Zinn, along with Lindsey McClure and Nicole King from the Mississinewa High School Class of 2001 to become grandparents at age 35.

Health and personal incidents[edit]

Zinn has suffered some minor physical plus major mental and psychological health problems as well as other incidents. Around 1994, she had suffered from child abuse that went unreported.[citation needed] Greater health and personal problems began in 1995 after she was falsely accused of theft. After a visit to her doctor in Hartford City, Indiana, she was sent to see a neurologist and a psychologist in 1986, the latter of whom told Zinn's mother she had Autism (the autism diagnosis has since been improved to Asperger's a year prior to her gender transition in 2003). Greater mental and psychological health problems began in 1991 after Zinn lost a jump rope contest and beat up some girl that resulted in her expulsion from J.C. Knight Elementary School in 1991. After an 18 month stint to a group home/psychiatric institution in New Albany ending on December 25, 1992; she recovered and went back to school.[citation needed]

On December 4, 2009, Zinn experienced a mild heart attack in Marion, Indiana; but returned to work as scheduled in January 2008.

Zinn has had several back injuries dating back to her sophomore year of high school beginning in 1999. In 2009, Zinn suffered an on-the-back injury after lifting a 50 pound bag of bird seed. Four more occurred in March 2017, January 2018, October 2021, and November 2022. The latter two injuies required the use of a cane.

On August 20, 2020, Zinn escaped major injury after being run off the road while behind the wheel of her bicycle while biking from Waynedale on Decatur Road. The bike went off an embankment, and came to rest against a sidewalk in a ditch. Zinn was not cited for the accident and began attending IvyTech Fort Wayne five days later.

In August 2022, Zinn revealed that during the summer she has had 15 near-heart attacks after June 2022. As of August 2022, Zinn does smoke almost two packs of cigarettes per day, and she could be even seen smoking on some episodes of Vote for the Girls and Caprice & Ella. Though Zinn states she smoked two and a half packs of cigarettes on January 19, 2018 and three packs of cigarettes a day for two days in July 2022.

Zinn experienced a second yet minor heart attack on April 15, 2023,[10] but was able to return to work the following day. Two days earlier on the early afternoon on April 13, 2023, Zinn was mentally injured during a confontation between one of her neighbors and what Zinn revealed to be as a "bullying maintence guy."


In July 2017, KBYF anchorwoman Fiona Johnson along with Elisa Everman and Sabrina Everman filed a lawsuit against Zinn with Kymberly Alvaraz, WTOR-FTV, and NoSirGifts Fantasy Television Stations alleging wrongful death following Carlygate II with Holly's suicide and Perri's heart attack, and later received out-of-court financial settlements. A month later, it was revealed Alvaraz personally made a deal with Elisa, Sabrina, and Perri to pay $250,000 to drop the lawsuit as a settlement, and Zinn decided to end the three year relationship with Alvaraz (also settling for $150,000 Alvaraz paid Zinn three years earlier, with Zinn effectively refunding Alvaraz) as an out-of-court settlement.

In October 2017, VFTG villain Clark Jones left Vote for the Girls and immediately filed suit against Zinn for wrongful termination and malicious persecution claiming Zinn had launched a media attack against him, allegedly stating that he was disruptive to the working atmosphere of the show.

LGBT, Education and Vaping rights[edit]

Zinn became a vegetarian on March 1, 2014. That same year, she began promoting vaping and LGBT rights in Indiana. On NoSirGifts' On-Air Biography Story program, she credited her first girlfriend, Amanda Davidson, with causing Zinn to become more aware of LGBT rights and becoming a transgendered woman, because Davidson had came out as a bisexual. Ava remarked that Amanda was way ahead of her time as far as LGBT rights were concerned and ten years before Amanda's death Ava began her own gender transition.

Sports involvement[edit]

Zinn is a devoted fan of women's sports, the Indianapolis Colts, Chicago Bears, Indiana Pacers, Indiana Fever as well Notre Dame Fighting Irish and her alma matter's Missisinewa High School. Zinn has shown her support for the Colts by occasionally wearing a "Believe in Blue" sweatshirt and a Super Bowl XLI shirt, often on Vote for the Girls UK.

Zinn's eventual gender transition to female eventually provided a major windfall five years before the transition, to which Zinn picked up the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Tournament, which has traditionally ranked among the highest-rated fan-base during tournament season due to 's traditional status as a college basketball hotbed and local Notre Dame being longtime fixtures in the tournament, NCAA Tournament games had long been among the highest-rated programs in the market during tournament season. This ended when Zinn dropped Bright House in 2008, which now (through ESPN) holds the exclusive television rights to the NCAA Tournament.

As the girlfriend of Kymberly Alvaraz from 2014 to 2017, Zinn occasionally supported the Denver Broncos (due the popularity of now retired quarterback Peyton Manning in both Denver and Indianapolis, Ava Zinn generally watched Colts, Broncos, and/or Bears games when Vote for the Girls UK is not in production) and the NBA's Denver Nuggets, though neither have been able to attend or even watch NBA games since most Pacers and Nuggets games have since moved to cable. Coincidentally, both the Pacers and Nuggets were two of the four ABA teams that joined the NBA in the ABA-NBA merger in 1976. For the 1976–77 season. Although Indianapolis and Denver both have NFL and NBA teams, Indianapolis does have the Indiana Fever of the WNBA yet does not have an MLB nor a NHL team while Denver has the NHL's Colorado Avalanche and MLB's Colorado Rockies (both supported by Kymberly), but Denver doesn't have a WNBA franchise. At one time, Zinn has stated after her American Idol audition in Pittsburgh, "I have a future in Pittsburgh... as a Pirtates fan" since the Pirates are the Triple-A affiliate of the Indianapolis Indians. Zinn's first and only NHL game was the Avalanches' loss against the Detroit Red Wings on February 27, 2016.

With Breeanna Sorensen, Zinn occasionally supports Sorensen's Carolina Panthers and her alma matter's North Carolina Tar Heels as like Indiana, North Carolina's status as a college basketball hotbed and Sorensen's North Carolina and Duke Blue Devils being mainstays in the NCAA Men's basketball tournament and to an extent Women's basketbal, in addition to Zinn's Notre Dame (it is interesting to note that Zinn's Vote for the Girls Purple Team Noth teammates attended Big Ten schools as Kendra Ray, Rachael Passalt, and Donna Doogan respectively attended Iowa, Minnesota and Ohio State Universities). Zinn's first Carolina Panthers game was the loss against the Arizona Cardinals on October 9, 2022. Until April 2023, Ava rarely watched MLB but after it was revealed by Breeanna she is a fan of the minor league baseball team Durham Bulls, Zinn began to watch Pittsburgh Pirates and San Diego Padres games due to their respective minor league baseball teams of the Indianapolis Indians and Fort Wayne TinCaps. Additionally, Sorensen's Durham Bulls are a minor league affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 [citation needed]
  2. ??
  3. "Ava Zinn gets sensitive on 'Vote for the Girls: Junior Edition'". 
  4. Zinn, Ava (August 19, 2009). "Sheena Jay Hired to review 2001 Mississinewa 500 Preparedness and Response/". AvaZinn.com. http://avazinn.com/2009/08/19/sheena-jay-private-detective-agencies-associates-hired-to-review-2001-mississinewa-500-prepardness-and-response/. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Zinn, Ava (April 28, 2012). "Mississinewa 500 Cold Case Resolved and Closed after 12 years". AvaZinn.com. http://avazinn.com/2012/04/28/mississinewa-500-cold-case-resolved-and-closed-after-12-years. Retrieved 2012-04-28. "According to Sheena Jay, yours truly [Ava Zinn], Marshall Davidson, and Veronica Schmerber, the latter of which actually spent more time than the sophomore at the Mississinewa 500, has received scrutiny for their roles in the incident. Sheena Jay Private Detective Agencies Associates examined yours truly's actions on the evening of April 28, 2001. In their report, Sheena Jay Private Detective Agencies Associates stated Davidson attempted to convince yours truly to postpone the date with sophomore student several times, though he stated that Ms. Zinn and the 18-year old sophomore (not Zinn's fiancee) were in a relationship, while Schmerber tried to convince yours truly to allow her to take over prom date duties in case sophomore student did not show up. However, yours truly did not feel it was necessary." 
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Indiana Wesleyan University dismissal 10 Years later". AvaZinn.com. 2011-09-27. http://avazinn.com/2011/09/27/iwu-dismissal-ten-years-later/. Retrieved 2014-10-25. "There were many services that should have been available for yours truly, such as a commuter’s lounge at IWU (that was not available), and the suggestion of a food pantry. It was around 9:00 a.m. There was a tons of construction at the IWU Student Center which lacked a Commuter’s Lounge. Also hampering were family budget trouble (at least with yours truly and Angie), which did not help matters at all." 
  7. "IWU Cold Case Cracked after 906 Weeks". AvaZinn.com. February 7, 2019. http://avazinn.com/2019/02/07/iwu-dis-enrollment-cold-case-cracked-after-17-years-following-ava-zinn-investigation/. Retrieved February 7, 2019. 
  8. Ava Zinn - Epic Tirade after Sarina-Joi's Elimination. YouTube.
  9. ??
  10. "'Caprice & Ella' cretor Ava Zinn hospitalized with mild heart attack". April 16, 2023. 

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