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!
This was an open opportunity to hear a variety of experiences and perspectives. Very well facilitated, thank you. — attendee
Confirmed Keynote Speakers for 2016
We are extremely excited to announce our conference keynote speakers for Gender Odyssey 2016: Geena Rocero and Maddie Deutsch!
Geena Rocero, born and raised in Manila, Philippines, is a model, producer, trans rights advocate and host of the new USA Network TV Show ASPIREist. On March 31, 2014, in honor of International Transgender Day of Visibility, Rocero came out as transgender at the annual TED Conference—her talk has since been viewed almost 3 million times. Geena is the founder of Gender Proud, an advocacy and media production company that tells stories to elevate justice and equality for the transgender community. She recently produced and presented Beautiful As I Want to Be, a digital-exclusive series on LogoTV highlighting trans youth, which received a 2016 GLAAD Media Award. Geena has spoken at the White House and the United Nations, and been featured in many noteworthy campaigns and media publications such as on E’s I Am Cait, the CoverGirl #GirlsCan Campaign, CNN, The Today Show, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Vanity Fair, The Advocate, MTV, and others.
Madeline “Maddie” Deutsch, MD, MPH, is an assistant clinical professor in the Department of Family & Community Medicine at UCSF. She is the Director of Clinical Services at the UCSF Center of Excellence for Transgender Health, with her clinic based at UCSF Women’s Health Primary Care, in partnership with the National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health. Dr. Deutsch has been involved in a number of research and capacity building projects focused on transgender health, in areas such as HIV care engagement and pre-exposure prophylaxis, cervical cancer screening in transgender men, effects of hormone therapy, and collection of SOGI data and use of electronic medical records.
Seyi Adebanjo is a queer, gender-nonconforming Nigerian MFA artist. Seyi’s work is the intersection of art, media, imagination, ritual, and politics. Seyi has been an artist-in-residence with Allgo. Seyi is exhibiting at the Longwood Art Gallery and previously at & the Leslie-Lohman Museum. Seyi is currently a fellow with AIM at the Bronx Museum and has been a fellow with The Laundromat Project, Queer/Art/Mentorship, Maysles Institute, & IFP. Trans Lives Matter! Justice for Islan Nettles! has screened on PBS Channel 13 and continues to screen globally.
Christine Aramburu Alegria is an associate professor in the Orvis School of Nursing at the University of Nevada-Reno. She is a registered nurse and nurse practitioner. She holds a doctorate in social psychology with research in issues of the transgender population and their partners/families. She has been published in numerous journals including the International Journal of Transgenderism.
Paulina Angel (she/her) is a trans woman from Southern California. She was the first trans woman to be elected senator for the Student Senate for California Community Colleges in Sacramento, She has been advocating for trans and queer students’ rights since 2007, and previously advocated for the FAIR Education Act and the School Success and Opportunity Act. A songwriter/singer/musician, she is also a journalist & volunteers for Equality California, Human Rights Campaign, and Trans Student Educational Resources.
Danni Askini is one of the founders and the current executive director of Gender Justice League and Trans* Pride Seattle. She was the former national program director for GSA Network in San Francisco, the policy director for Basic Rights Oregon, and the first Transgender Health Program director at Verbena Health where she ran the Transform Health Project.
Kane Assata and his wife, Coral, are part of the newly-formed leadership group for TPOW. Kane and Coral are parents to three teenagers. Kane is a military veteran and has experience with training and leading groups.
Joel Brian Beck, MD, FACS, is a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon who brings the highest standards of integrity and medical excellence to his patients, enhancing the natural beauty of their body, face, and skin. His surgical expertise, innovative procedures, and critical eye have earned him an international reputation for providing patients beautiful, natural looking results. Dr. Beck graduated magna cum laude with a degree in biochemistry from California Polytechnic State University (San Luis Obispo). He attended the University of California-Irvine School of Medicine.
Shannon Bedard, MSW, is a fair-housing specialist with Northwest Fair Housing Alliance, a housing rights organization in Spokane, and is currently lead staff of a National Sex Discrimination grant. Shannon is a Pride Foundation scholar and a graduate of Access to Justice’s Leadership Academy and Western States Center’s WILD program. Shannon has worked with multiple nonprofits as a youth suicide prevention educator, homeless youth advocate, LGBT youth organizer, and AmeriCorps Promise Fellow.
Casey Bent-Callaghan, is a proud, middle-aged, gender-transcending genderqueer. They have been an LGBTQ activist since the 1980s when they were doing actions with ACT-UP. As an out 28-year teaching veteran, they have been a cosponsor of their high school’s GSA for 11 years and worked with their administration to have gender-inclusive bathrooms for students and faculty.
Spencer Bergstedt, Esq. (BA Univ. Washington 1985; JD Univ. Washington 1988) is a general practice attorney whose primary areas include estate planning, elder law, probate, business, bankruptcy, and alternative reproductive technology. He is a nationally recognized expert in transgender-related law. Spencer has served as a board member of the International Conference on Transgender Law and Employment Policy and is a co-founder of the Transgender Law & Policy Institute. Spencer is an FTM transman.
Kai River Blevins is a genderqueer/transfeminine poet and activist living in Northwest Oregon. They have been working on social justice issues in the LGBTQIA+ community since 2011. During their six years in the military, they shifted their activism from an emphasis on equality to their current intersectional approach advocating equity and justice. They are finishing their BA in Political Science and Sociology, with a certificate in Democracy and Social Movements, at the University of Colorado-Denver.
Jeanette Borunda, LCSW, MHP, a queer woman of color, focuses her activism and her work around issues dear to her heart. She believes in anti-oppressive spaces in order to create safe learning environments for staff, clients, patients, and friends. As a social worker, trainer, and therapist, Jeanette advocates for gender warriors, intersections of identities, military veterans, and healing trauma work.
Brenda Bowers has been a longtime contributor to the Gender Odyssey Conferences, the GO Kids Camp, and the Gender Diversity family support groups. She lives in Alaska and is employed by the Alaska Dept. of Health and Social Services. She has two children, Bronze and Olivia. She is also the identical twin sister of Aidan Key, the executive director of Gender Diversity.
Stuart Brewster is a social worker, therapist, trainer, and activist who believes in radical inclusivity and accountable allyship. He has extensive experience co-facilitating discussions of race, gender, and class through the University of Washington’s IDEA Center, the City of Seattle’s Race and Social Justice Initiative, and Soulforce Q’s Equality Ride, among others. He also has an unreasonably intense fondness for queer theory, comic books, and the Spice Girls.
Diwa Cain has attended the conference for many years and has assisted in many capacities such as volunteer, facilitator, panel member, and MC. He is a loving husband, partner, parent, and grandparent.
Mang L. Chen, MD, earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of California, San Diego, where he graduated magna cum laude and was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa national honor society. He obtained his medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh and stayed in Pittsburgh for his general surgery and urology residencies. In the same vein as Dr. Crane, Dr. Chen completed his traumatic and reconstructive urology fellowship in Detroit with Dr. Richard Santucci.
Mister Cris is the executive director and cofounder of Community Kinship Life (CK Life). He is committed to helping individuals of trans experience achieve their goals before, during, and after transition through providing the community as well as providers with the tools necessary for success. He created the CK Life surgery scholarship to help individuals of trans experience achieve their goal of feeling whole through surgical intervention. Mister Cris also does extensive work in sexual health and genital surgery options for transmen. He started the first full surgery program in New York City to address the growing need for gender-confirming surgeries for patients with Medicare and NY State Medicaid.
Cameron Kyle Combs is a trans genderqueer writer, parent, and geek. Cam is active in his community as a facilitator for Pizza Klatch, a group providing support and advocacy for LGBTQ+ youth and their allies in high schools. Along with parenting and community involvement, he contributes to the greater conversation about gender, kink, parenting, and polyamorous relationships on his blog. Cam is passionate about writing, dark beer, and daring greatly.
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).
Sam Davis is a licensed clinical social worker who works in crisis mental health and also runs a sliding-scale private practice specifically for trans and queer clients in the East Bay area of California. Sam has over 15 years of experience as a clinical social worker, as well as another 20 years of experience as a trans community activist. Sam was one of the original organizers of the San Francisco Trans March. In addition, Sam has facilitated three weekly genderqueer support groups, run a Gender Education and Advocacy project educating medical and mental health providers on the needs of the trans community, and produced trans and queer performance events since 2001.
I am Trans*, older, a pretty good listener, and I have a decent sense of humor. I have spent most of my life working in social services (mental health, health care, & HIV care). I have been a “professional Trans woman”—paid to develop and run programs and training. I have been involved in social justice and activism since the mid-60s. I continue on the path of heart and creative trouble-making.
Eleanor Doermann, JD, is a cisgender, lesbian, elder law attorney in Tukwila, Washington who has been active in the Seattle-area LGBTQ community since 1982. After 25 years as a physical therapist, she graduated from Seattle University School of Law in 2012 and founded Pathway Law, PC. Eleanor is passionate about being a legal translator and navigator, using legal tools to empower clients, especially LGBTQ elders. She recognizes that even within this community, trans individuals face unique needs and vulnerabilities.
Kori Doty is a bearded femme genderqueer homosteader currently laying roots in Sinixt Territory, the Slocan Valley. They grew up on Vancouver Island and come from a conservative Christian turned PFLAG family. When they aren’t tending to their animals or the other demands of a country acreage, they might be modeling for a drawing class, DJ-ing a fundraiser, facilitating a workshop, or making community radio.
Jess T. Dugan is an artist whose work explores issues of gender, sexuality, identity, and community. She has been photographing within LGBTQ communities for the past decade and is deeply committed to the transformative power of photographic portraiture. Her work is regularly exhibited internationally and is in the permanent collections of several major museums.
Avery Erickson is a non-binary-genderqueer-trans*-etc.-whatever person, and lives in San Francisco. As a Chinese medicine practitioner, they are keenly interested in how that system of medicine can help people meet their internal and external transition/expansion goals. They also have a long-time Zen practice and enjoy exploring how meditation and letting go of labels and language helps one to more fully embody authenticity in each moment. This is their second time attending Gender Odyssey.
Eli Erlick is a student, organizer, writer, and queer trans woman. She is the director of Trans Student Educational Resources (TSER), a youth-led organization dedicated to transforming the educational environment for trans and gender-nonconforming students through advocacy and empowerment.
Kiyomi Fujikawa is a Seattle-based, trans-feminine, mixed-race anti-violence organizer. Kiyomi has been involved with movements to end sexual assault and domestic/dating violence since 2001, and she currently works as the Queer Network Program coordinator at API Chaya.
Brandyn Gallagher is the executive director of Outshine NW, a nonprofit that trains healthcare and service providers on issues of trans-inclusivity. Brandyn is a co-facilitator of the PrEP Facts: Rethinking HIV Prevention and Sex Facebook group, which has been recognized by the World Health Organization and multiple state departments of health for its evidence-based, community-building, grassroots approach to sexual health advocacy. He also founded and leads the Trans MSM: Rethinking Sexuality and Health online support group.
Todd Garrity is a transgender man who is passionate about preventing suicide in the gender-nonconforming community through holistic treatments, educating and empowering individuals on self-care techniques, and providing advocacy and training to medical providers, family members, and the legal system about gender-nonconforming people to demystify the trans experience through transition and beyond.
Lisa Gilinger, Esq. (BS Univ. of Redlands 1982; JD Santa Barbara College of Law 1995) is an attorney in private practice in Santa Barbara, California, specializing in Social Security. Lisa is an MTF transwoman.
Susan Golightly graduated from Western New Mexico University with a master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in counseling and gender studies. She volunteers at Lambert House and as a facilitator for the Ingersoll Gender Center. 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 eight years ago, but self-identifies as agender.
Jane Goto utilizes skills honed over 20 years as a corporate trainer and adult educator, and 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.
Andi Grace is a fishnet femme currently growing food and falling in love on un-ceded Sinixt territory (otherwise known as the west Kootenays of BC). She is a poet, facilitator, tarot card reader, youth worker, sex educator, community organizer, photographer, blogger, gardener, herbalist, amateur astrologer, kitchen-witch, and a formerly extroverted, former yoga teacher. She has facilitated all across BC as well as in Ontario and California for a wide variety of nonprofit, resistance, and community projects.
Robin Gray has lived and worked in small towns and rural areas for mostof her life. She knows what it’s like to have to be silent, solitary, and wear a mask to survive in such places. She’s been gradually coming out as a woman in her small town for over a year now and began fully presenting as a woman in 2015.
Linda Gromko, MD, is a board-certified family doctor who has worked with the trans community since 1998. A nurse practitioner before completing her MD and family practice residency at the University of Washington, Dr. Gromko has operated an independent family practice since 1988. She is the author of four books, the latest of which is Where’s MY Book? A Guide for Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Youth, Their Parents, & Everyone Else.
Kevin Hatfield, MD, is a family doctor at The Polyclinic’s downtown Seattle satellite. He joined The Polyclinic in 2002 and has taken care of Trans* patients since 1999. He sees a large number of gender-questioning/variant children and adolescents. Dr. Hatfield is an advocate for individualized patient care and helping patients make informed decisions regarding their health and well-being.
Lucas Hedrick is a trans-masculine licensed acupuncturist from Seattle, WA. His interest in being stealth came from wanting to learn the ways of true manhood without any biased behavior. For the last two years he has been living stealth in about 95% of his life and is now contemplating what it truly means to be your “authentic” self. His journey from butch to mother to now father has brought him many insights and opportunities for self-reflection.
Sandy Hirsch, MS, CCC-SLP, is a clinician internationally renowned for transgender voice and communication training. She has over 25 years of experience working with transgender and gender-nonconforming clients. Sandy has coedited Voice and Communication Therapy for the Transgender/ Transsexual Client (Adler, R.; Hirsch, S.; Mordaunt, M.; 2012, 2006). She is featured in media nationally, presents annually at the transgender conference Esprit, and has given trainings to clients and clinicians at workshops internationally.
Leigh Houghtaling is an Espavo Project photographer for FORGE, an organization that improves the lives of transgender individuals by building stronger connections, providing resources, and empowering growth. Their photography captures trans and gender-nonconforming people through queer-centric art activism. Their work has been featured across the country in multiple galleries and utilized in resource publications for transgender survivors of violence.
Mary Irons is a board member and facilitator for the Washington Gender Alliance (WGA) which provides peer support for transgender and genderqueer persons 16 years of age and older. Mary is the founder of the Shoreline WGA meeting and is also the founder of the Washington Transgender Parents Support Group which provides a place for trans* parents to meet for support and for their children to make positive social connections.
Allison Jansen holds a PhD in political science and has taught at the university/college level since 1988. Since 2009, she has also taught gender studies. She is a 61-year-old trans woman, who is married and the “co-mama” of two young adults. She has been active in many causes over many years. Other work experience includes airline flight attendant, journalist in Central America, and instructor of English and Spanish in Japan.
Abby Louise Jensen is an attorney, trans woman and activist. She is Vice-President, General Counsel, and a director of the Southern Arizona Gender Alliance, and Co-Chair of the City of Tucson’s Commission on GLBT Issues. She is also a former member of the Arizona State Bar’s Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Committee, and co-founder of Prescott Area Shelter Services. Currently, she works as an appellate attorney for the Pima County Public Defender’s Office.
Lane Kaiser, 21, is currently earning a bachelor’s degree in social work at Portland State University. He has been living with chronic illness as long as he has been transitioning after a car accident at 16 left him with a back injury and chronic myofascial pain syndrome. He has spent the last five years learning how to transition without exacerbating his injuries, including learning to bind and workout within his limitations.
Kristin Kali, LM, CPM, is a genderqueer midwife who has specialized in queer and trans fertility for over a decade. She is the owner of MAIA Midwifery and Fertility Services, providing preconception care, home insemination, prenatal care, and birth at home or birth center in Seattle, WA. Fertility and family-building consultations and preconception care are also provided via web. Kristin works tirelessly for gender inclusion and LGBTQ-sensitive practices in the profession of midwifery. She is a trainer and consultant for state, provincial, and national midwifery associations and midwifery education programs throughout North America.
Mara Keisling is the founding executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality and has been engaged in the bathroom fight for more than a year now in a whole range of states. She was part of the research team for the National Transgender Discrimination Survey and for the US Transgender Survey, set to be released later in 2016.
Seth Kirby is the executive director of Oasis Youth Center and has a background in youth leadership development, civil rights implementation. Seth frequently facilitates workshops about LGBT inclusion.
Prof. Diane Klein (AB Harvard 1987; JD UCLA 1997; LLM (tax) USF 2015) teaches Wills & Trusts, Property, Antidiscrimination Law, and the Legal Construction of Sex & Gender at the University of La Verne College of Law in Ontario, California. Diane is a cisgender woman.
Mary Lasher has been married to her partner, Dana, for 30 years. After 25 years of marriage, her husband came to her and said he wanted to become a woman. She supported him while he made the transition, and today is still married to Dana. They have two grown sons who have also supported their father. Mary and Dana live in the Bay Area.
Dr. Ellie Zara Ley is a plastic and reconstructive surgeon. She is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. She left her private practice to join the office of Dr. Toby Meltzer in December of 2015. She has extensive training and a passion for working with the community, and performs gender confirmation surgery in addition to other plastic surgery procedures.
Erika Laurentz: My partner says that I’m an overachiever. She’s probably right. I survived years of rape and ritualized torture, and later, beatings by schoolyard bullies, to become a police officer who protected people in similar situations. I went to law school and became a prosecutor. Later, I taught and then ran a criminal justice program for a community college. Now, I’m an advocate for trans people and their families while finishing a master’s degree in psychology. I began socially transitioning to the woman I am in 1985.
Lisa MacLeod has a master’s degree in leadership and organizational development from LIOS graduate college of Saybrook University, and chairs a local community coalition to prevent underage substance abuse. She also runs her own design and communications business and is the parent of two teen boys, one trans and one cis.
Dr. Tony Mangubat, MD, a native of Seattle, graduated from the University of Washington Medical School, studied surgery at the University of Kentucky, and trained in cosmetic surgery with Dr. Richard C. Webster, a legend in the field of cosmetic surgery. He performs a full spectrum of cosmetic procedures including many trans procedures. He lectures worldwide on body sculpting procedures and is a leader among his peers. He has served on several Academy boards.
Lee Maranto, Esq. (BA, UCSC 2002; JD, Golden Gate Univ. 2012) is currently the Independent Hearing Officer at UC Berkeley. Lee presides over student conduct hearings; trains panel members in the student conduct process; and ensures that constitutional and institutional due process are provided to students charged with violating the campus code. Lee is an FTM transman.
Kory Martin-Damon has had too many jobs to list here, but is currently an adjudicator for the Employment Security Department. For the past two years, she has been working on a book of fiction and works daily to balance her creative life with her career in order to create a harmonious and satisfying reality for herself. She has learned all about balance from her journeys through her complex gender expressions, her class, and racial identities.
Rona Matlow is a transwoman, ordained rabbi, and disabled veteran. She is a credentialed educator and counselor working to help people find peace in their lives through education, counseling, and religious practices. With a broad base of experience working with Jewish topics and with people grappling with life, she seeks to merge the two for the benefit of workshop participants.
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 and the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH). Dr. Meltzer began practicing at Oregon Health Sciences University in 1990. He started private practice in 1996 in Portland, OR, and moved his practice to Scottsdale, AZ, in 2003. He has privileges at Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Campus, Greenbaum Specialty Hospital on the Osborn Campus, and Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Campus. He performs approximately 200 genital surgery cases per year—both MTF and FTM surgeries, including but not limited to: genital, facial feminization and masculinization, chest, repairs/revisions, and body contouring.
Dr. Scott Mosser is a board-certified plastic surgeon who regularly performs FTM and MTF top surgery as well as body contouring, and who performs all of the known techniques for FTM mastectomy surgery. He has successfully gotten insurance coverage for dozens of FTM top surgery patients, as well as some MTF breast augmentation patients and even body contouring (liposuction) patients.
Jean Myers is a cis-gendered partner of a trans woman and a parent of two young adults. She hopes to continue to actively learn and grow and support each other toward a more open and respectful culture.
Landyn Pan is a Los Angeles-based artist, activist, and graphic designer/development director of Trans Student Educational Resources.
Jude Patton is a pre-baby boomer and early FTM pioneer who has forty-plus years of providing education and advocacy for LGBTI folks. He is licensed as a PA-C, LMHC, LMFT, and as a veterinary medical assistant. He also has specialized training and experience as a sex educator and sex therapist.
Melville Petrosky is an experienced public interest law attorney. He is also a professor of philosophy, psychology, politics, and law in Seattle. In 2010, Melville founded the nonprofit organization TransFTM, a private social-media-based networking group for AFAB individuals that began as a local Washington project, and has now spread nationally. TransFTM is a growing, grassroots, volunteer effort to inform and connect non-female-identified and male-spectrum-identified trans individuals, digitally and on-ground.
Micah R is a published writer, engaging advocate, and expert educator whose mission is to contribute positively to everyone’s experience with gender. The popular site neutrois.me is a public examination of what it means to live in a world that makes no room for non-binary gender. Micah presents humorous workshops involving cookie metaphors, reluctantly talks to journalists for media interviews, and is a closet idealist.
Cathy Renna is a managing partner at Target Cue, an LGBT- and HIV-focused public interest communications and marketing firm. Prior to that, she was a founder of Renna Communications. During her seven years with the firm, Renna Communications partnered with more than 50 different organizations on diverse issues of importance to the LGBT and allied communities and HIV-related issues. Cathy is nationally recognized as both a media relations and communications expert and as a leader within the LGBT community. She lives in Montclair, NJ, with her partner Karen and is the proud parent of her daughter Rosemary.
Kristin Roberts is a counselor who enjoys working with transgender clients and their partners. She has been in a transgender relationship for the last 10 years.
Jessica Rosas es una mujer trans originalmente de Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mejico. Ella se mudo a Seattle en 2002 y comenzo a trabajar voluntariamente con Entre Hermanos, una organizacion que provea servicios de salud y bienestar a la comunidad LGBT Latina. En este momento, ella es coordinadora del programa para personas trans con Entre Hermanos. Ella tambien es miembro de la Trans Latin@ Coalition, un programa nacional.
Jessica Rosas is a trans Latina woman originally from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. She moved to Seattle in 2002 and began volunteering with Entre Hermanos, which provides health and wellness services to LGBT Latinx people. She now serves as their transgender program coordinator, and also is a member of the national Trans Latin@ Coalition.
Erin Russ, currently the Director of Programs for Tucson Southern Arizona Gender Alliance, has been speaking on Trans issues, coordinating unique community support programs, and leading trans support groups for the past 16 years. Erin is a former Army Captain, parent of three grown children, and pastored a small church for six years. In her spare time… Wait she doesn’t have any spare time. Oh, and she also has a quirky sense of humor.
Bauback Safa, MD, MBA, is a reconstructive microsurgeon and hand surgeon at the world-renowned Buncke Clinic. He obtained his MD from Stanford, MBA from UC Berkeley, residency in plastic and reconstructive surgery at Stanford followed by a fellowship in microsurgery at The Buncke Clinic where he has been on staff since 2007. He is board certified in plastic surgery (ABPS) and hand surgery (CAQ) and is on faculty at both Stanford and UCSF. Dr. Safa and his team have performed over 240 phalloplasties over the past four years, representing one of the largest experiences in the world.
Dr. Javad Sajan
Ryan Sallans is a public speaker, diversity trainer, consultant, publisher, and author of the book Second Son. Ryan specializes in healthcare, workplace, and college campus issues surrounding the LGBTQA community, with a specialized focus on the transgender community. His educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts in English and anthropology, Master of Arts in English, and a Master of Arts in educational psychology.
Thomas Satterwhite, MD, obtained his bachelor’s degree (Human Biology with Honors) and medical degree at Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA. He remained at Stanford Hospital to complete his residency in plastic surgery, a highly regarded training program. His expertise in facial surgery was further refined with the completion of a craniofacial fellowship in Miami, FL, under the tutelage of Dr. S. Anthony Wolfe, a world-renowned craniofacial surgeon.
Seattle Partners is a group of partners of trans-identified people in the Seattle/ Puget Sound area that has been meeting for over a year at Ingersoll gender center. We are open to folks of all genders, gender expressions, sexualities, and relationship structures. As agroup, we bring together multiple years of experiences and varied perspectives.
Jen Self, PhD, MSW, is the director of the Q Center at the University of Washington. Jen’s secret identity is that of renaissance queer with a kickass jump shot. A therapist and anti-oppression educator since 1996, Jen re-invented her queer activism through scholarship, program leadership, and teaching at the UW, completing an MSW and a PhD in social welfare. She lives in West Seattle with her awesome partner, Meg, and equally fabulous daughter, Lucy.
Max Skorodinsky is a 44-year-old Ukrainian Jew and a trans man. Born in Lviv, Ukraine, he immigrated to the US with his family when he was 13. He graduated from a Jewish religious high school and then from college, worked as a computer programmer for the past ten years, and is now teaching. Max started living as a man at the age of 34 and medically transitioned at age 42.
Shannon Solie, MA, LMHCA, holds a Master of Arts from Seattle University in existential-phenomenological psychology, a humanistic approach based in philosophy. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Washington with an emphasis in the bio-psychology of women. Her education as well as her professional background as a sexuality educator have provided a diverse education in the human condition and the intersecting identities that create how we each move through the world.
Dr. Liam “Captain” Snowdon is a counselor, Somatic Sex Educator, poet, and performance artist in practice in Victoria, BC. He specializes in gender, sex, pleasure, healing trauma, and sexuality. He facilitates in schools, parents groups, universities, and community organizations on topics including embodying our desires, gender-creative youth in schools, sexual enrichment, sexual anatomy for pleasure, and alternative relationships. Captain runs the Sex Positive Art and Resource Center in Victoria. He is an avid sidewalk chalker.
Quinn Sowers, a transgender queer and an activist for over 20 years, is the director of communications and development at Outshine NW, a small nonprofit organization committed to promoting LGBTQ health and equity through education and advocacy. They were diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2014.
Kathleen M. Sullivan, PhD, is the executive director of Generations with Pride, a Seattle-based organization developing cross-generational programs and services that reduce isolation for LGBTQ older adults. She is the former executive director of the Transportation Choices Coalition in Washington State and Oregon NARAL. Dr. Sullivan earned a PhD in urban studies and planning with an emphasis in gerontology and has worked extensively as a political organizer and campaign manager on LGBTQ aging and policy issues.
Sé Sullivan is a white Queer activist scholar pursuing a PhD in social and cultural anthropology at the California Institute of Integral Studies. Sé has been active in seeking the rights of marginalized individuals and communities for over 30 years in and out of academia. As a survivor of the psychiatric practice of reparative therapy as a child, Sé is dedicated to working towards the destruction of the Medical Industrial Complex power to create pathologies for the policing of bodies. Another key area of focus for them is the dismantling of white supremacy as the methodology and structural underpinnings in which capitalism thrives.
Katie Taylor is the community engagement manager at FORGE, an organization that improves the lives of transgender individuals by building stronger connections, providing resources, and empowering growth. For over fifteen years, she has worked in the LGBTQ, sexual and domestic violence, and ecojustice movements. She earned her MA in community psychology and social change from the Pennsylvania State University with a concentration on gender justice and long-term activist resiliency.
Tavis Taylor is a board-certified internal medicine MD who graduated from the University of Washington School of Medicine. His experience has varied over 23 years of practice from work in very rural communities to CMO of an Arizona hospital to private practice. He currently enjoys a solo private practice in Bremerton, WA, serving patients from ages 15 to 102, including a significant trans population, and maintains a clinical instructor position with the UW.
Stephan Thorne has been an outspoken LGBT activist and feminist since the 1970s. After 34 years of serving as a peace officer in California, he retired in 2014 at the rank of Lieutenant of Police. Stephan transitioned from female to male on the job in 1994. In 1995, with Dr. Jamison Green, he developed the first ever Transgender Community Awareness Training for members of SFPD. The two presented that training to SFPD Academy recruits starting in June 1995. Lt. Thorne presented Transgender Training to every recruit class and member of SFPD until his retirement. This training also served as the guideline for Transgender Training for LAPD, NYPD, Washington DC Metro PD, and many others.
Julie Turner was first introduced to the trans community when her boyfriend, Eric, told her that he was transitioning. Julie has married and built a life together with Erica. Together they provide guidance to couples in which one person is undergoing gender transition. Having gone through a “transition” of her own, as all partners of transitioning people do, Julie is passionate about helping the transitioning partner and the non-transitioning partner understand and empathize with each other’s experience, to help love prevail. When not working on trans issues, Julie is an attorney in California.
Tess Vo’s work focuses on disability, race, sexuality, gender identity, migration, and incorporating community-based approaches to research. During her 20-year career, she has developed programs within various children’s mental health, LGBTQ, settlement and AIDS service organizations in both Toronto and New York City. She is invested in the creation of equitable spaces, and cultural production that interrogates dominant ideologies. Tess currently supervises reachOUT, an LGBTQ program centering on the needs of queer, trans, and two-spirit communities in Toronto, Canada. Tess also directed and produced the award-winning documentary Our Compass, which was co-written by LGBTQ youth labelled with intellectual disabilities.
Andrew Watt, MD, is a reconstructive microsurgeon and hand surgeon at the world-renowned Buncke Clinic. He obtained his MD from the University of Michigan followed by residency in plastic and reconstructive surgery at Stanford and a fellowship in hand and microsurgery at the University
of Washington. He is board certified in plastic surgery (ABPS) and hand surgery (CAQ) and is on clinical faculty at both Stanford and UCSF. Dr. Watt and his team have performed over 240 phalloplasties over the past four years, representing one of the largest experiences in the world.
Dr. Burt Webb began private practice in Scottsdale, AZ, in 1984. He has been working with Dr. Meltzer since 2003 and was mentored in FTM genital surgery by Dr. Des Johnson from Portland, OR. He graduated from Tulane Medical School in 1980 and completed his residency at Good Samaritan Medical Center in Phoenix, AZ. He is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology. 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. Dr. Webb performs hysterectomies, oophorectomies and vaginectomies.
Chaminda Weerawardhana: I am a Sri Lankan citizen. Since 2002, I have been living in the European Union, facing substantive migration-related challenges and hurdles, overcoming them, and developing a Franco-British career as a researcher, university lecturer, and political commentator. Through the years, I underwent the complex and oftentimes traumatizing experience of navigating immigration-related bureaucracies and my transfeminine identity, and I continue to face the persistent challenges of changing my identity documentation to correspond to my gender identity-proper (which remains a substantive challenge, being the barer of a passport issued by a state that has no legal provisions whatsoever to recognize Trans identities). This lived experience—across different countries, languages, administrative structures, and attitudes—provides me with unique comparative insights to moderate this workshop and facilitate an engaging discussion. I have also developed close and cordial ties with several Trans migrant support bodies and several Trans migrant rights activists in the US, and I am therefore familiar with ongoing challenges and legislative hurdles facing Trans migrants in the US.
Carla Whitehurst is a poly, queer femme who is a sex positive educator in the leather community. She has taught and facilitated a variety of workshops and groups on sex, intimacy, and play, including partner track workshops at Gender Odyssey. She has been married to and dating trans masculine folks for over twenty years and is excited to share her experiences and tips.
JJ Whitehurst has attended the conference for many years and has assisted in many capacities such as volunteer, facilitator, panel member, and MC. He is a loving husband, partner, parent, and grandparent.
Willy Wilkinson, MPH, is an award-winning writer and public health consultant. He is the author of the new book, Born on the Edge of Race and Gender: A Voice for Cultural Competency, which illuminates trans experience within a Chinese-American cultural framework, and transforms the memoir genre into a cultural competency tool. Willy has provided training and consultation services for hundreds of community health organizations, educational institutions, and businesses on how to provide equal access for LGBTQ populations.
Ridley Williams grew up in rural northern Idaho surrounded by farm land, but currently resides in Portland (the one in Oregon), where he works full time for a university while finishing his degree during lunch breaks. Ridley is a lover of words—written, spoken, and made-up—and spends his free time immersed in their beauty and power.
Dr. Jessica E. Wilson is a clinical psychologist and gender specialist whose private practice is based out of Portland, Oregon. She has been involved with social advocacy work within intersex and transgender communities since 2008, and is so excited to be a part of this year’s Gender Odyssey!
C. Michael Woodward, MPH, is Gender Odyssey’s new conference director. He’s also a writer, rock star, storyteller, consultant, educator, coach, social justice advocate, and aging trans guy. In 2013, he received Equality Arizona’s “Spirit of Activism Award.” Michael has published books, articles, and blogs on a variety of nonfiction topics, most notably contributing the title essay in the much-acclaimed anthology Manning Up: Transsexual Men on Finding Brotherhood, Family, and Themselves.
Gavin Wyer is a 57-year-old trans man who started his transition later in life at age 52 and transitioned on the job while serving as a corrections officer in Canada. He is a contributor to the anthologies Manning Up and Below The Belt and has attended and volunteered at Gender Odyssey for the last few years.
Andrea Zekis is the policy director for Basic Rights Oregon. Previously she served as Victory Empowerment Fellow for the Victory Institute, executive director of the Arkansas Transgender Equality Coalition and consultant for the Human Rights Campaign’s Project One America. She served on the LGBT leadership committee for the Sanders campaign and became known for introducing him at a rally in Portland this March. Besides her policy work, Andrea’s background is in journalism and geographic information systems.