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GO Spotlight – Keynote Speaker: Kris Hayashi

by Nathan Tabak

Welcome to the Gender Odyssey Spotlight!  As we approach the Gender Odyssey Los Angeles (June 28-29) and Gender Odyssey Seattle (August 23-27) conferences, we are using our blog to spotlight some of the presenters, sponsors, and attendees of these conferences. We hope these Q&As will illuminate how Gender Odyssey is not only speaking to the issues central to transgender and gender-diverse people today, but also making a difference in the lives of those who participate in our programs.

If you are sharing this article on social media, we encourage you to do so with the hashtags #genderodyssey and #genderdiversity.

Kris Hayashi is the executive director at the Transgender Law Center, and will be a panelist on Thursday afternoon at Gender Odyssey Professional Los Angeles, alongside Bamby Salcedo and riKu Matsuda. His organization, Transgender Law Center, works to change law, policy, and attitudes so that all people can live safely, authentically, and free from discrimination regardless of their gender identity or expression. Kris has been active in social, racial, and economic justice organizing for over 20 years. Kris served as the executive director/co-director of the Audre Lorde Project, a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Two Spirit, Trans and Gender-Nonconforming People of Color organizing center based in New York City, for ten years. Previously, he served as executive director of Youth United for Community Action, a youth organizing group in California led by young people of color organizing for social and environmental justice.

Q: What will you be speaking about at Gender Odyssey?

A: I am presenting on the state of the transgender and gender-nonconforming (TGNC) movement.

Q: What main points would you like to see attendees of your presentation come away with?

 A: I would like attendees to come away from the plenary with a better sense of the TGNC  movement nationally–both the challenges we face and the incredible resilience, power, and leadership we are demonstrating across the country.

Q: In a climate of unprecedented visibility and new challenges confronting our community, what makes your topic particularly relevant?

A: In this time of crisis, a crisis that is unfortunately not new for TGNC people, it is important that we are informed about the attacks we face and the many ways in which TGNC people and our allies can continue to fight back against these attacks, build community, and keep each other safe.

Q: What do you personally hope to take away from this year’s conference?

A: I am so excited to meet TGNC young people and their families, people who are really on the front lines of advancing rights for all of us.

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