Our Sponsors

Dr. Tony Mangubat - Seattle Cosmetic Surgery
Dr. Tony Mangubat - Seattle Cosmetic Surgery
Dr. Tony Mangubat - Seattle Cosmetic Surgery
Dr. Toby R. Meltzer - Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery - Scottsdale, AZ
Dr. Toby R. Meltzer - Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery - Scottsdale, AZ
Dr. Toby R. Meltzer - Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery - Scottsdale, AZ
Gender Confirmation Center by Dr. Scott Mosser
Gender Confirmation Center by Dr. Scott Mosser
Gender Confirmation Center by Dr. Scott Mosser
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Presenters

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. — Gender Odyssey attendee

Keynote Speakers 2017

Lei "Ray" Ming - Friday Keynote

Lei "Ray" Ming, is a trans man (FTM) who lives in stealth in China, but he is currently in the U.S. to speak about his life and experiences. Life Beyond My Body: A Transgender Journey to Manhood (Transgress Press, 2016) is his first book. When he is not writing, he uses his language skills to keep the lights on and finance his reading habit through tutoring and translating jobs. A self-described “typical introvert,” Ray spends a lot of time alone, drawing, or playing guitar. Write him at ray@lifebeyondmybody.com.

About the book: Born in a rural Chinese village and identified as a girl at birth, Lei Ming is barely cared for during his childhood. Often lonely, terrified, and abused, he learns early to fend for himself and look within for answers, but there he discovers a paradox that threatens to undo him. Although he does not yet know the word “transsexual,” at age 16 Ming sets out on a secret mission to find relief. Life Beyond My Body tells the true story of his quest to find answers in a society that is closed-mouthed about men like Ming. Along the way, Ming finds solace and judgement in the Christian church, loves and loses a woman, begins his physical transition using black market testosterone, is jailed over his identity, and arranges for top surgery without blowing his cover. But ultimately, understanding the true meaning of being a man will require reckoning with God.

Diego Miguel Sanchez - Saturday Keynote

Diego Miguel Sanchez, APR, is Director of Advocacy, Policy & Partnerships for PFLAG – the national organization committed to advancing equality through its mission of support, education, and advocacy, uniting people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) with families, friends, and allies.

A native of Augusta, GA, and long-time Massachusetts resident, Diego was previously Senior Policy Adviser to Congressman Barney Frank until the Representative’s retirement in 2013. Diego made history with that appointment, being the first openly transgender person to work as a senior legislative staff member on Capitol Hill. He also testified before Congress in the historic Transgender Discrimination Hearing in 2008 and that year was named as the first openly trans person ever appointed to the DNC Platform Committee.

Prior to his four years in DC, Diego spent five years as Director of Public Relations and External Affairs at the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts, and AIDS Action Council, DC. Before moving into the nonprofit sector, Diego worked for 20 award-winning years in global public relations, marketing, and diversity management at world headquarters of Fortune 500 companies. He was among the 100 Most Powerful Latino/s in Corporate America named by Hispanic Business Magazine, named an LGBT Latino Hero by the Mayor of Washington, DC, in the 100 Most Powerful Latino/s (Poderometro) in Massachusetts by El Planeta, and in 2013, named to the Out 100 and in the Inaugural Trans 100, sponsored by GLAAD.

Accredited in public relations, Diego earned a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism with a major in Public Relations from the University of Georgia, where today he serves on the Journalism College’s Alumni Advisory Board and is a member of G-Club, the University’s Letterman Club as the only male who earned his letter on the women’s tennis team. Diego is a Senior Fellow of UMass Boston’s Emerging Leaders Program in the College of Management.

Special Guests

Gavin Grimm, plaintiff in G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board, US Fourth Circuit Court decision, and his mom, Deirdre.

Joey Maldonado, who successfully fought to become America’s first openly transgender Boy Scout, and his mom, Kristie.

Parents of Transgender Children - Friday Panel Discussion
A group of parents who are parenting their transgender children with a degree of public visibility will share their experiences and perspectives along the journey. Join Mike Honda and Michelle Honda-Phillips, DeShanna Neal, Kristie Maldonado, and others for an illuminating discussion!

Presenters & Panelists

Family Program


Professional Program