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GO Spotlight – Drian Juarez

Drian Juarez

Drian Juarez. Photo: GLAAD

Drian Juarez is joining us at Gender Odyssey LA this coming week!  Juarez works as a consultant on transgender issues in the workplace and assists in developing programs for communities endeavoring to help transgender people get back to work. Juarez has served as the program manager for the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center’s Transgender Economic Empowerment Project (TEEP). Building a solid foundation for TEEP, Juarez established cross-organizational/cross-functional teams to assist in the mission of developing substantive employment and business opportunities.

Guest blogger, Nathan Tabak caught up with Juarez to talk about their two-part workshop.

What workshop are you bringing to Gender Odyssey?
I am presenting a workshop in two parts, “The New Normal: The Trans-Inclusive Workplace,” with my colleagues Carolyn Weiss and Michaela Mendelsohn.

Part 1 will focus on cultural competency best practices and what workplaces can do to be more trans-inclusive. Part 2 will focus on how employees can transform their workplaces to make them more inclusive, by means of inclusion training and more.

What main takeaway would you like to see attendees of your presentation come away with?
I would like attendees to see increasing inclusion and to feel empowered to advocate for more inclusive workplaces. I also want them to come out with the skills to advocate for their own rights and be able to advocate in their own community.

In a climate of unprecedented visibility and new challenges confronting our community, what makes your topic particularly relevant?
We are in interesting times. There were many positive changes we were able to get from the Obama administration and some we weren’t, but there can be no doubt that the Trump regime threatens all the progress we have made. It’s vitally important to empower employers to create diverse, inclusive workplaces, and to make diversity part of how they function regardless of what the administration is saying.

What do you hope to take away from this year’s conference?
I’m looking forward to connecting with other community members, as this is the first GoPro conference in LA. I’m excited to see the mixture of community members that will show up.

What would be your advice to people attending for the first time?

Drian Juarez

Drian Juarez aka DJ Tranity. Photo via @drianica

Come with an open heart and an open mind. Share your expertise, learn from others’ expertise, and see what they can bring to your own local community.

Do you have any additional thoughts on this year’s conference or the state of the trans community to share?
It’s exciting that this conference is coming to LA. I hope this continues to happen, not only for our trans and GNC community, but also for our families, friends, and allies.

The election of Trump was a scary thing for our community. There are a lot of unknowns right now in terms of our rights, in terms of states trying to criminalize our access to facilities, and more. But that means it’s all the more important to come together, get to know each other, share each other’s work, and ultimately work together to advance our rights.


To join the conversation at Gender Odyssey Pro in LA (June 28-29), register at www.genderodyssey.org. Tickets are also available at the door.

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