The expertise available within the Gender Odyssey conference is among the best in North America. Our experts come primarily from within our own gender communities. The many trailblazers who contribute their time and knowledge are the most valuable resource Gender Odyssey has to offer. The amazing presenters who are a part of Gender Odyssey’s programming each year make up a collective powerhouse of informed, dedicated, and history-making people. You won’t want to miss this powerful life-changing conference!
Confirmed Keynote Speakers for 2014
Gender Odyssey is honored to announce the first of our 2014 keynote speakers, Eli Vasquez, who will offer us an insider’s perspective on transgender issues and advocacy in Ecuador. Vasquez will surely be an inspiration to heart, intellect and soul throughout our 13th anniversary conference in Seattle, Washington.
Elizabeth “Eli” Vasquez is an Ecuadorian attorney and the founder of Proyecto Transgenero (Project Transgender), an organization in Quito that has spearheaded the rights movement for transgender and intersex people in Ecuador. Described as a “political proposal” as well as a non-profit organization, Proyecto Transgenero’s work includes legal, social, cultural and art interventions and aims to strengthen trans identity in Ecuador. Proyecto Transgenero was born in 2002 and includes the programs Legal Patrol, Casa Trans, TransTango, and the Transfeminist Activist Training Program. In addition, Project Transgender promoted the creation of the Ecuadorian Confederation of Trans and Intersex Communities (CONFETRANS).
We hope you are as excited as we are to hear Vasquez share how Ecuadorian trans culture is influenced by tradition, political changes, street families, and so many other factors that differ from and progress beyond our Western medical-centric trans culture.
Workshop presenters for 2014 will be announced later this spring. For a taste of what to expect, check out last year’s presenters below.
Jack Alcantara has presented many workshops at Gender Odyssey with his Latino parents including “Trans Love & Family” and “Trans Sons and their Fathers”. He is also part of Jana Marcus’ photo documentary “Transfigurations.” Jack was born and raised in CA by his parents who are originally from Mexico City. Jack received his JD from Monterey College of Law in 2010 and is currently in the process of passing the CA Bar Exam to become a lawyer.
Danielle Askini (she/her/ze) is a social worker, writer, and trans* activist who hails from all over. She is the former national program director for the GSA Network in San Francisco and was the founding transgender health director for Verbena Health. She has been working for over 15 years on social justice issues on behalf of trans* and gender-nonconforming people including: GLBTQQIIAA youth in schools and in out-of-home placements, prison abolition, immigration and refugee resettlement, hate crimes response, HIV prevention & education, and transition-related medical and mental health care.
Jacqui Beck’s 20-year-old son came out to the family as transgender in 2010. Since that time Jacqui, who is an artist and art educator, has produced a lot of art and poetry focusing on gender and her experience of being the mom of a gender variant son. Jacqui has been teaching about art, painting, and creativity for over ten years and is an adjunct professor of art at Seattle Pacific University. Her artwork is collected and exhibited in the United States, Canada, Europe, and New Zealand.
Beth Barrett Bloom is a partner with Frank Freed Subit & Thomas in Seattle where she represents individuals in employment matters. Her practice includes advocacy for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender clients facing discrimination in the workplace including discrimination related to gender identity, expression, and transition. Beth speaks regularly at continuing legal education seminars on GLBT employment law. AVVO.com recently recognized Beth with its 2012 Client Choice Award.
Misty Blue is a gender outlaw, income-challenged, feminist elder who has “been there, done it, seen it” in walking-the-talk of making a difference from a place of difference. Through photography, poetry, and heart-to-heart discussions, Misty has visited, re-visited, agonized-over, and celebrated her evolving gender identity. Through it all, she has tried to create meaningful social change by volunteering with a wide variety of causes over the years.
Dr. Cristopher Bosted has been practicing medicine for over 20 years. He started his career as an RN working in pediatric psychiatry facilities before getting his naturopathic doctorate (ND). As a naturopathic physician Dr. Bosted completed two residencies in clinical family practice, specializing in physical medicine and detox. He currently runs his own clinic in Seattle, Restorative Health Care, where he focuses on pain management and hormone therapy. He is also adjunct clinical faculty at Bastyr Center for Natural Health.
Jeff Brody has a private psychotherapy practice in Braintree MA, is licensed as a mental health counselor and is board certified as an art therapist. He has over 20 years experience counseling adults, adolescents, children and families in school, residential, addictions, inpatient and outpatient settings. Jeff specializes both in working with people on the gender spectrum and on the Aspergers/autism spectrum.
Yadiwa Cain is a returning committee member of Gender Odyssey and is excited to be part of such a positive experience for the transgender/genderqueer community. He shares his life with his 6 children and in his spare time enjoys writing. In addition to his work with Gender Odyssey, he is part of the Washington branch of Black Transmen, Inc. Through the efforts of both organizations, he is glad to be able to help establish safe spaces for transgender and genderqueer people within the community and beyond.
Loree Cook-Daniels, FORGE’s Policy and Program Director, co-facilitates FORGE’s national, online Writing to Heal workshops and co-staffs its Espavo Project and other services for transgender and SOFFA survivors of sexual assault and other traumas, and the professionals who serve them. She founded the Transgender Aging Network in 1998 and GrayPrideParade.com in 2011. Loree helped develop the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging’s consensus training curricula and has contributed numerous publications and webinars to its online archive. She has worked on LGBT-aging issues with the American Society on Aging, the National Association of State Units on Aging, Congress, the New Beginnings Initiative, and the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs. She has a graduate degree in Conflict Management, holds a post-graduate Certificate in Trauma Counseling, and has been a leader in the trans/SOFFA community for 18 years.
Trystan Cotten, PhD, is an associate professor of gender and African American studies at California State University, Stanislaus. His research and teaching focus on gender, sexuality, race, and nationalism in trans migrations and diasporas. He is also the managing editor of Transgress Press and principal architect of its focus as a social entrepreneurial publishing firm devoted to empowering trans communities. His most recent books are: Hung Jury: Testimonies of Genital Surgery by Transsexual Men (Transgress Press 2012) and Transgender Migrations: The Bodies, Borders, and Politics of Transition (Routledge 2011).
Finn Cottom is a filmmaker/writer/musician/magician. They are currently a poetry teacher at Bent, the only queer writing institute in the world. Finn is also on the advisory board of Reteaching Gender and Sexuality which creates media that challenges how we view gender, sexuality and issues of justice. Finn is always plotting fantastical dreams whilst performing, creating and swimming.
Dr. Curtis Crane is the only surgeon in the world to have completed a residency in urology and plastic surgery and fellowships in reconstructive urology and transgender surgery in Belgium, Holland, and Serbia. He took over Dr. Brownstein’s practice in January 2013, and was trained in his specific style of chest masculinizing surgery. Dr. Crane’s office is now one of the few centers in the world that offers all procedures from facial feminizing surgery to free flap phalloplasty.
Cheryl Cristello transitioned from male to female seven years ago, effectively ending her thirty-plus year marriage and professional career as an engineer and construction manager. While Cheryl is now officially retired, she remains engaged in a broad spectrum of activities as a very out and proud woman in her community by serving on advisory boards, and as a volunteer at the Tacoma Rainbow Center, and at OASIS; a drop in center serving LGBT youth. Cheryl is also involved in forming a Tacoma SAGE affiliate.
Sam Davis is a genderqueer adult who has maintained their authentic gender expression at work, school, and other activities through community activism and support networks with others who respect gender nonconforming identity. Sam is one of the original organizers of the San Francisco Trans March, and has facilitated many genderqueer support groups, led Speaker’s Bureau projects, conducted research, and organized trans community events for over 10 years.
Aaron Devor, PhD, has been studying and teaching about transgender-related questions for 30 years. He is the author of numerous scholarly articles and the widely-acclaimed books Gender Blending: Confronting the Limits of Duality (1989) and FTM: Female-To-Male Transsexuals In Society (1997). He has delivered lectures to audiences around the world, including more than 20 keynote and plenary addresses. He is a nationally-award-winning teacher, an elected member of the International Academy of Sex Research, and a Fellow of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality. He was one of the authors of versions 6 and 7 of the WPATH Standards of Care. Dr. Devor is the academic director of the world’s largest Transgender Archives, a professor of Sociology, and was the dean of graduate studies at the University of Victoria from 2002 to 2012. In 2002, at age 51, he transitioned on the job while dean.
Evan been an Assistant Director of Suicide Prevention Service in Santa Cruz, CA, for five years, and is a graduate of Seattle Pacific University. In between her time at Suicide Prevention and making lattes at Peet’s Coffee and Tea, he mulls over how to raise awareness around suicide locally in the trans* community while also navigating her own journey into the unknown.
Dr. Carolyn Fuller is a naturopathic physician, licensed as a primary care provider, with a private practice in Seattle. She is a family practice doctor with a subspecialty in transgender health. She has worked with the trans* community professionally and through volunteer work for almost a decade. She has lectured to many audiences regarding transgender health. She is dedicated to living and helping others live an authentic, empowered, healthy life! To find out more visit: www.carolynfullernd.com
Kris Gleason is a transformative co-active coach and owner of Sea Change Coaching; specializing in navigating pivotal life transitions, life purpose exploration and discovery, and calling forth your whole and true being.
Susan Golightly graduated from Western New Mexico University with a Masters in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Counseling and Gender Studies. While at WNMU Susan founded the Gay/Straight Alliance, and led numerous workshops and panel discussions on various aspects of LGBTQ&I. She transitioned from male to female six years ago, but self-identifies as gender-queer at the glorious age of 70.
Jane Goto Utilizing skills honed over 20 years as a corporate trainer and adult educator, Jane Goto also draws on her personal experience of “growing up intersexed” in her popular guest presentations at local campuses. In her role as first responder for the Intersex Society of North America and an international diagnoses-specific support group, Jane has assisted adults, teens and families dealing with the secrecy, lies, trauma, and shame traditionally associated with an intersex diagnosis.
Abigale Ada Grace has been a part of the trans* community since 1995 when her crush came out to her at freshman orientation. Since then she has been an educated ally and passionate trans* activist. Currently living near Boulder, Colorado, with her partner and child, Abigale has a healing practice, where she creates visual art and practices multiple healing arts with the goal of nurturing and supporting genuine healing and integrated growth.
Linda Gromko, MD is a Seattle family physician who has worked with the Trans Community for 16 years. An author of three books and numerous shorter publications, Dr. Gromko tackles the challenge of improving our abilities as health care providers.
Jack Harrison-Quintana is a queer Chicano activist currently serving as the manager of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Policy Institute. In 2011, he was part of the team of researchers who published the groundbreaking report, Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, which revealed the first national picture of anti-trans discrimination in the US. Jack’s other publications include Outing Age 2010: Policy Issues Affecting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Elders; A Gender Not Listed Here: Genderqueers, Gender Rebels, and OtherWise in the National Transgender Discrimination Survey; and a series of racial justice publications based on the survey data.
Tobi Hill-Meyer is a multiracial trans activist, writer, and filmmaker. She is the director of Doing It Ourselves, and winner of the Emerging Filmmaker Award at the 2010 Feminist Porn Awards. She started producing media to fill the void of diverse trans characters and to offer an alternative to the overwhelmingly exploitative and exotic ways that trans women’s sexuality is often portrayed. Her work can be found at HandbasketProductions.com.
Leigh Hollowell, MSPT has been an orthopedic manual physical therapist for 25 years. She has specialized in pelvic dysfunction and pain for the last 10 years. At Forefront Physical Therapy, her private practice in Oakland, CA, she provides expert and compassionate care to patients including MTF and FTM individuals.
Michael Huffington, PT, DPT, CSCS is an orthopedic physical therapist practicing in the Washington, DC, area. He is also a certified strength and conditioning specialist and has experience working as a personal trainer and wellness coach. He has a clinical interest in transgender wellness and orthopedic health.
Eleanor A. Hubbard, Ph.D. and Cameron T. Whitley, Ph.D. candidate co-edited Trans-Kin: A Guide for Family and Friends of Transgender People, a resource guide for Significant Others, Family members, Friends and Allies (SOFFAs). Cameron a trans male and Eleanor a trans ally work separately and together on trans issues like inclusion policies and educational reform. They are excellent presenters, providing safe space for the discussion of difficult topics while encouraging thought-provoking discussion.
Kevin Jefferson is a white gay transguy studying public health. He is committed to examining power and privilege in academia and his own life. He gets excited about health research that challenges oppression. He refuses to leave his trans-ness at the door of the academy and will be starting a public health doctoral program this fall.
Kyle Jones is a bi-gender writer, parent and geek. Kyle is active in his community as a board member and facilitator for Pizza Klatch, a group providing support and advocacy for LGBTQQIA youth and their allies in Olympia area high schools. Along with parenting and community involvement, Kyle contributes to the greater conversation about gender, kink, parenting and polyamorous relationships on his blog, Butchtastic.net. Kyle is passionate about writing, dark beer and daring greatly.
Kristen Knapick, MA, LMHCA, is a psychotherapist in private practice in Seattle. She specializes in working with those for whom kink/poly/sex work/queerness/gender variance are a part of life, whether the source of a problem or not. With 20 years of experience as a member of all of these communities, Kristen has a unique, nonjudgmental perspective on mental health within them, and her professional training has sharpened her skills.
Kristopher works for student accessibility services at Dartmouth College. He is pursuing a master’s degree focused on LGBTQI youth homelessness and shelter accessibility. Jackson is also a graduate student, and is currently working an oral history manuscript on trans* experiences in activism. Both Jackson and Kristopher have experience in sexual assault response and prevention as well as queer safer-sex education.
Arran Liddel has been working in LGBTQ communities in Ireland and Canada for almost 20 years. Strongly influenced by popular education and theatre of the oppressed, Arran has provided training and facilitation on a wide range of topics, as well as co-created a live queer interactive soap-opera. He is currently co-facilitator of The B-Side, a support group in Toronto, for people attracted to people of more than one gender, a mediator, and a Humanist officiant, and is studying love-based community building at York University… He is rarely bored.
Josh Lowe is an Indian and Chicano trans male. However, he doesn’t agree with society’s cissexist ideas about what constitutes a “male” or a “female” body, and thus he identifies as a male, without feeling the need to change his body to conform with society’s idea of a “male” body. Josh moved to Seattle to find new opportunities and currently resides in transitional housing. He works at Queer Youth Space and volunteers with Health Education Youth Outreach.
Kory Martin-Damon has worked on almost every Gender Odyssey Conference since its inception. Kory has also had too many jobs to list. Currently she is an adjudicator for the Employment Security Department in Washington State. Her hobbies include reading M/M romance and writing.
Catherine Mateo started her transition in a small city with no trans* resources. After heading to Vancouver to access care, she returned, advocated for resources, started a support group and worked to compile, develop and maintain resources, despite financial issues and a short period of being homeless. She also participated in online projects, such as compiling the largest list of informed consent providers, wrote numerous resource documents for trans* people in BC and launched transresources.ca.
Dr. Toby Meltzer graduated from LSU Medical School in 1983 and is board certified in both General and Plastic Surgery. He is an active member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. He started practicing at Oregon Health Sciences University in 1990 and began private practice in 1996 in Portland, Oregon. He moved to Scottsdale, Arizona in 1993. He has privileges at Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Campus at the Greenbaum Surgery Center and Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Campus. He has a private practice located in Scottsdale. Dr. Meltzer performs approximately 200 Genital Reconstruction Surgery (GRS) cases per year. He performs both MTF and FTM genital reconstruction surgery; facial feminization; chest surgery; and repairs and revisions.
Dr. Robin Nussbaum (Doc Rob) identifies as a white, genderqueer, pronoun-switching, queer woman. She has recently returned to Seattle, where he grew up. They have 20+ years of experience in social justice, diversity advocacy, leadership, and youth development. Ze has a doctorate in social psychology and is passionate about diversity inclusion and empowerment. Doc Rob most recently was the assistant director of the LGBT Center at UCSD and served for over 5 years as the coordinator of the Gender & Sexuality Resource Center at SUNY Oneonta.
Dr. Kate O’Hanlan is a gynecologic laparoscopic cancer surgeon and has published on the outcomes of her procedures for trans men. She is former president of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, and has researched the multiple disciplines of endocrinology, embryology, pediatrics, gynecology, orthopedics, phonation, and others to understand the multifactorial process of imbuing a fetus with an individual palate of sexually dimorphic features.
Jude Patton is a pioneer (out FTM since 1972), advocate, and support person for the LGBTIQ? communities. He served on HBIGDA (now WPATH) Board of Directors as a “consumer advocate/advisor” for six years when the first Standards of Care were suggested in 1979, and again from 1997 to 2001, contributing to several revisions of the SOC. He is a psychiatric physician assistant, marriage and family therapist, and mental health counselor. He currently works for Shifa Health in Mount Vernon, WA.
Cole Arden Peake is a poet, Transman and Texan who spends his time thinking queer thoughts, penning coffee stained poems in rain soaked journals, and pulling oppression up by the roots just like his grand dad taught him. Since first entering the spawning pool of his Bent classroom in 2008 he has sidled up to such stages as the Seattle Slam, Transgender Day of Remembrance, and as a featured performer at Seattle Spit.
Angie Perone is a civil rights attorney at the National Center for Lesbian Rights in San Francisco where she oversees the Elder Law Project. She has assisted transgender and gender-nonconforming persons in cases involving discrimination and harassment in housing, healthcare, employment, school, and sports. She has also presented workshops on law and policy for LGBT elders and helped organize one of the first trans-specific elder law clinics. Angie is also a member of the LGBT Advisory Committee to the San Francisco Human Rights Commission.
Patricia Brown Peterson, MA, is a mental health counselor practicing in Bellevue, WA, treating anxiety, depression, grief, and trauma, using Psychodynamic, strength-based, and holistic therapies, and EMDR. She provides individual therapy and support groups for transgender individuals and their families including parents, spouses, significant others, children, siblings, extended family, and friends. Patricia believes that sharing our experiences of a loved one’s gender transition with others on a similar path teaches us useful information about the process, and helps us understand and accept our own feelings and experiences.
In solidarity with the new Japanese youth trend of “de”-generation, Johnnie is a farmer with permaculture overtones, a poet and performance artist with a social justice message of “Opening the Heart and Erasing Restrictive Stereotypes.” He lives out his wholeness with his wife and little dog too on a farm on Vashon Island, WA, complete with goats, pigs, chickens, and colorful out buildings.
Micah R – Fueling their passion for anything trans* through online research and offline advocacy, Micah volunteers for the SF LGBTQ Speaker’s Bureau, blogs at www.neutrois.me under the pseudonym maddox, presents at lots of transgender conferences, workshops, and panels, takes “strange and unusual” as a complement, and is a closet idealist. Micah resides in San Francisco with their lovely spouse and has a day job in the web tech industry as a Product Designer/Developer.
Ignacio Rivera is a Queer, gender-shifting, Trans-Entity, Black Boricua, lecturer, activist, filmmaker, and performance artist. Ignacio has shared their poetry, spoken word and storytelling for over 10 years. As a lecturer/ trainer, Ignacio has spoken on such topics of racism, sexism, homo/transphobia, transgender issues, trans 101, sexual liberation, anti-oppression, anti-violence, multi-issue organizing, and more. Ignacio also consults with various LGBT and nonviolence organizations in New York City. Ignacio is one of the founding board member of Queers for Economic Justice; a progressive nonprofit organization committed to promoting economic justice in a context of sexual and gender liberation.
Ryan K. Sallans, MA is a public speaker, diversity trainer, consultant, and author specializing in health care and workplace issues surrounding the LGBTQIA community, eating disorders and body image. Since 2005, Ryan has traveled the nation sharing his story about transitioning from female to male with diverse audiences. His memoir, Second Son: Transitioning To My Destiny, Love and Life was released in April of 2012. His educational background includes a BA in English and Anthropology, MA in English and MA in Educational Psychology.
Cory Silverberg is a sexuality educator, author, and trainer. He received his Masters of Education degree from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education and trains across North America on topics including access and inclusion, sexuality and disability, and sex and technology. He is currently writing a series of three inclusive books about sexuality for children for Seven Stories Press. The first, What Makes a Baby, was released in May 2013.
Megan Smith-Sallans, MS, LMHP, CPC, is a psychotherapist in private practice. For over a decade, Megan has specialized in working with queer communities and has received and administered training both nationally and internationally in the area of queer sexualities and gender identity. Megan works with children, adolescents, adults, families, and partners. Furthermore, Megan is the proud partner of a transgender man who is an activist and author.
Al Stafford’s comedy focuses on his transition from female to male over the past four years. Subjects can range from going through puberty (again!) in your mid twenties to growing up as a chubby girl to “packing” for the first time. He believes that telling comedy about being a transman introduces the audience to a world they are often unfamiliar with, as even when an audience is largely queer, the trans population and their ups and downs are often little known and little acknowledged. Through laughter, Al guides people to better understand the difficulties and perks of being outside the gender norm, so that we laugh at the situation together, and thus reach a better place for acceptance and respect, bringing all people in the queer community, as well as our allies, together.
Dr James Thomas is a laryngologist, an ENT surgeon who limits his practice to voice disorders. He trained in Pennsylvania and Illinois followed by a fellowship at Loyola University in Chicago. His laryngology practice is in Portland, Oregon. His current involvement with Vocal pitch change is as a surgical specialist of the voice. He has been developing the above procedure over the past 6 years and has presented preliminary results at previous meetings.
Marcus Waterbury has worked as a trusted adviser for over 18 years, helping people create financial roadmaps to realize their goals and personal values. A top producer with Morgan Stanley, he transitioned on the job 9 years ago. He also serves the transgender community nationally on the board of the National Center for Transgender Equality.
Dr. Burt Webb graduated from Tulane Medical School in 1980. He did his residency at Good Samaritan Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona. He is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology. He started working with Dr. Meltzer in January of 2003. He started his private practice in 1984. From 1987 to 2000, he was an OBGYN professor for the Scottsdale Memorial Hospital Osborn Family Practice Residency Program. Since 1994, he has been an assistant professor of OBGYN at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. From 1996 until 2003, he was the designated on-call OBGYN trauma physician at Scottsdale Memorial Hospital Osborn. As of 1999, he has been a designated instructor and advisor for the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program. As of 2000, he is an OBGYN Physician Advisor to the Mayo Clinic Family Practice Residency program. In 1997, he received the distinction of an Arizona Top Doc of the year. In 1998, he was awarded Medical Professor of the Year from the Family Practice Residency Program. Currently, he is an OBGYN for the Scottsdale Center for Women’s health.
Fresh! White is a certified professional coach, writer, speaker, and facilitator. Principal of Affirmative Acts Coaching, Fresh! helps you align with your inner resources for your professional, personal or spiritual growth and change.
Adam Yerke, PsyD, is a clinical psychologist licensed in California. In his career, he has provided individual and group psychotherapy, as well as performed psychological and forensic assessments. As a transgender man, Dr. Yerke is devoted to improving conditions for his community by contributing to the field of transgender literature and education. He has presented at several professional conferences and published peer-reviewed articles about transgender people. He currently serves as an adjunct faculty member for three universities in Southern California and performs clinical assessment and treatment with forensic populations.