For Gender Odyssey’s Professional Track, leading experts will offer sessions covering gender identity across the lifespan. Workshop descriptions are below, organized alphabetically.
Assessing Gender Identity In Youth
Dr. Michele Angello
This session will describe the evaluation of adolescents for possible medical interventions, such as puberty-blocking medication and cross-sex hormone treatment. Throughout this workshop, recommendations for working sensitively with transgender children and adolescents in all medical and mental health settings will be provided. Finally, recommendations for evaluating more complex cases (e.g., co-occurring mental health issues, difficult family dynamics) will be provided.
Beyond the Basics: Critical Considerations (Double Session)
Trystan Cotten, PhD
While transgender people are a small percentage of the overall population, there is certainly not one single profile that can be established to describe the wide-ranging, diverse lives of the transgender experience. Trans* lives are so much more than “male” to “female” and vice versa. there are aspects of identity that greatly influence the journey to one’s authenticity. A person’s skin color can dramatically impact the ways—positively or negatively—in which society responds to that person and the resulting privilege or lack thereof. Additional aspects include one’s age; one’s level of education and class background; and one’s level of physical and/or mental ability. Understanding these components and the unique experiences they inspire will help any professional who seeks to serve individuals and understand the collective trans* communities.
Susan P. Landon, MA, MFT
Many parents are uncomfortable with what feels like a daunting prospect—talking to their kids about difficult or personal subjects—and parents of trans youth perhaps more so. How can providers advise families about broaching these tentative topics? Frankly, how do you as a provider, do that yourself? This session’s title references just one of the ways to engage a youth in meaningful dialogue. After all, escape is difficult when the vehicle is moving! In this workshop we will discuss and practice techniques for communicating with a child and become more familiar with the possibilities of “car talk.”
Equal Access Does Not Ensure Equal Outcomes
In 2013, San Francisco began to provide gender-affirming surgeries for people in public health settings. Public health consumers sit at the intersection of multiple health inequities that must be addressed in order to create successful outcomes. the focus of this workshop will be sharing what we learned over the past three years and describing our evolving program including the importance of peer navigation, clinical case management, accurate and adequate mental health assessments, and relevant support to assist people to reach their personal gender goals. This presentation will describe the barriers and structural impediments as well as what we learned following gender-affirming surgeries.
Foster Care and Juvenile Justice
Children and youth in care have unique challenges to navigate. Whether they are in a foster home, group home, shelter, or juvenile justice system, gender-expansive and transgender children are confronted with another layer of complexity that is often new to providers and families working to assist these youth. This workshop seeks to provide training around the types of needs (legal, medical, and mental health) and intervention that children in care need most. the workshop will also cover emerging best practices and trends in this developing area.
Gatekeeper Vs. Gate-Opener: Serving Trans Clients In A Primary Care Setting
Helen Weiss and Leja Wright
How does a busy Seattle family-practice clinic adapt to the needs of gender variant and trans* populations? What philosophical shifts and practical innovations are needed to deliver care to the full spectrum of primary care patient populations? Which tools can help clients advocate for change in their own health systems? By giving a historical overview of the adoption of a once-marginalized diagnosis into the mainstream of primary care medicine, we will show that Trans* Health, while initially daunting for family practice providers, has: 1) sufficient standards; 2) viable protocols; and 3) manageable treatment guidelines. Vital to the lives and well-being of our patient populations, Trans* Health must be integrated as soon as possible into how primary care is delivered in this country. We will give examples of adaptations which have been made at all levels to better serve our clients, plus some handouts to bring back to diverse constituents to initiate service delivery or improve existing service with practical tools.
Gender Google For Schools
This session is dedicated to participant questions related to supporting transgender and gender-expansive students at school, as well as creating a school climate that addresses gender stereotyping to encourage classrooms to break out of the limits of the gender binary and to embrace the full spectrum of gender for all students. This FAQ is the equivalent of a live and in-person Google chat that you will not want to miss as each participant will be considered a valued expert in the field. Additionally, multiple “right” answers to each question will be explored for the broadest range of possibility in creating schools where students of all genders will thrive!
Gender On the Job: Employment Law
Can an employer fire you or refuse to hire you because of your gender expression or identity? What if you are the subject of harassment at work? What about gender-based dress codes? What is an employer’s responsibility when an employee transitions on the job? This workshop highlights equal employment laws, with an emphasis on issue spotting and assisting clients who face possible legal conflicts arising in the workplace.
Simon Adriane Ellis and Jessica Rongitsch, MD
While awareness of gender diversity has greatly expanded in both popular culture and in health care in recent years, much of our understanding remains limited to individuals with binary (male or female) gender identities. However, research suggests that genderqueer and gender-nonconforming individuals experience significant discrimination and are at elevated risk of violence, suicide, and healthcare avoidance. Few clinical resources are available to provide guidance on how to best serve these individuals. This workshop will provide an overview of binary and non-binary gender constructs, review existing data on gender identity within the transgender umbrella, discuss specific strategies for creating welcoming clinical environments, and review potential transition paths for gender-nonconforming people.
Getting It Covered: Expanding Access To Health Insurance
Asaf Orr and Danni Askini
Transgender and gender-expansive adults face many difficult questions as they map out their transition and determine what types of transition-related care to seek, if any. At no time is this more true than when it comes to medical decisions about physical transition. Once tough decisions have been made, another challenge becomes readily apparent: paying for the medical services being sought. This session will explore the intricate and evolving landscape of insurance coverage for gender-related medical services. In an age of the Affordable Care Act, growing awareness of the needs of transgender and gender-expansive patients, and multiple treatment options, providers must be knowledgeable about what their clients and patients can expect to encounter as they seek to cover the costs of their transition-related care.
Health Insurance In Washington and Beyond (Youth Focus)
Families of transgender and gender-nonconforming youth face many difficult questions as they map out their child’s transition and determine what types of transition-related care to seek, if any. At no time is this more true than when it comes to medical decisions about physical transition. Once tough decisions have been made, another challenge becomes readily apparent: paying for the medical services being sought. This session will explore the intricate and evolving landscape of insurance coverage for gender-related medical services. In an age of the Affordable Care Act, growing awareness of the needs of transgender and gender-nonconforming patients, and multiple treatment options, providers must be knowledgeable about what their families can expect to encounter as they seek to cover the costs of their child’s transition-related care.
Just A Boy / Just A Girl
Johanna Olson, MD and Aydin Olson-Kennedy, MSW, ACSW
My child will not talk about anything related to being transgender. She says she wants to be “just a girl.” Integrating transgender experience into one’s core self is an important element of development for transgender youth. This can be incredibly difficult when transgender identities are not celebrated within their social environments. This integration seems to be more challenging for those who are transitioning early in life. This workshop will present strategies for helping youth to include their transgender selves into their identities. Case examples will be presented for assistance in illuminating the pros and cons of the “just a girl, just a boy” phenomenon. We will discuss the importance of parent/caregiver language that celebrates transgender identities and encourages youth to embrace this part of their experience.
Medical Considerations Of Hormone Administration For Transgender Adults
Kevin Hatfield, MD
This session will provide a brief overview, system by system, of the desired and undesired effects of hormone therapy. We will also examine lab markers and medications that can be affected by hormone administration. This is a lecture presentation with time allotted for Q&A.
Moving An Entire District: A Game Plan
Scott Peacock and Aidan Key
Schools are responding to individual students’ transitions as they happen. Is there a more proactive approach? What are the considerations for conversations with children, teenagers, parents, and administration as well as engaging community beyond the school system? A school educator and a superintendent of a rural school district discuss their work together to create a comprehensive school- and community-wide approach to the issue of inclusion for trans students.
Navigating the “Human Barrier”: Overcoming Biases While Working With Schools
After a guardian’s/parent’s realization that their child is transgender—but often before they have had a chance to catch their breath—the question of how to navigate schools looms large and immediate. Teachers, administrators, and even counselors may put up some resistance to taking inclusive steps to support the child and recognize the school’s role in the transition process. Even principals say, “Why should we do all this for one student?” Or they may ask a bewildered parent, “Just tell us what to do.” During this session, we will explore the origins of this resistance and some concrete steps for navigating a successful student transition. Content discussed will include: how to field “the bathroom question”; age-appropriate ways to talk to children; proactive addressing of concerns from other parents; and other ways for framing trans issues to those within a school community. This session will provide educators and other interested professionals important information for optimizing a child’s experience as well as a template for creating the optimal inclusive school environment. there will be time for Q&A as well as addressing specific situations you may already have encountered.
No Longer Under the Radar
For a number of years we were able to make progress on trans rights without scrutiny. the story is vastly different today—there are at least 37 states with bills trying to repeal the advances that have been made over the last two decades, especially the right to use the bathroom that matches your gender identity. Our speakers will put this into perspective with regard to the national movement. What do we need to know?
Outspoken! Trans Youth Panel
Facilitated by Brennon Ham
Join us for a panel discussion with trans young people who will share their experiences, aspirations, and ideas for change. Don’t miss this powerful opportunity to hear the real-life experiences of these dynamic youth.
Parents Of Trans Children and Youth – Panel
Facilitated by Aidan Key
When a parent steps up to the task of supporting their transgender or gender-exploring child, they often find that the next step involves changing the environment surrounding that child. If negotiating their own personal fears weren’t enough, parents are now in the position of educating siblings, extended family, friends, co-workers, teachers, neighbors, healthcare providers, childcare providers, and many others. This awareness-raising extends not only to individuals, but also to systems such as school communities, insurance companies, afterschool programs, and state and federal agencies. Join us in this session as parents share the journey that begins when they tell their child “yes.”
Pre- and Post-Surgery Considerations
Meg Bergeson, DNP, ACNP-BC, FNP-BC
This presentation will provide the audience an overview of genital reconstruction surgery (GRC) and common complications in an effort to improve care in the primary care setting. Case-based presentations will be reviewed.
Hormones: Intervention and Delay For Youth (Double Session)
Johanna Olson, MD and Kevin Hatfield, MD
Transgender tweens and teens and their families often struggle to find appropriate, thorough, and sensitive health care services. Up-to-date, informed medical care can greatly increase the positive effects of physical gender transition and overall mental well-being for youth. This workshop focuses primarily on medical intervention for transgender youth and will cover the use of puberty-blocking agents such as Lupron as well as cross-sex hormones. For gender-questioning tweens who are showing the earliest physical changes of adolescence, puberty blockers can delay the development of physical changes, which may allow a young teen time to consolidate their gender identity, or avoid these changes altogether, often obviating the need for expensive surgeries or electrolysis down the road. Puberty blockers—when correctly used—have been demonstrated to improve psychosocial outcomes in transgender youth. Cross hormones may be introduced independently to transitioning teens who have already experienced puberty, or used in conjunction with blockers as tweens head into adolescence.
Schools and Public Accommodations
Increasingly, various federal, state, and local laws and policies are providing educators with clear expectations and responsibilities for working with their students’ gender diversity issues. Covering a wide range of subjects including Title IX requirements, program and facility access, and model regulations and policies, experienced legal professionals will provide insights into the shifting legal landscape related to transgender and other gender-expansive students. Legal professionals well-versed in these subjects will discuss various trends impacting school law, and recommendations for ensuring that the needs of these vulnerable youth are being accounted for.
“I Felt Like a Second-Class Citizen”: Youth and Caregiver Perspectives On Barriers To Gender-Affirming Healthcare For Transgender Youth
Julia Crouch, MPH and David Breland, MD, MPH
What barriers do transgender youth and their parents face when seeking healthcare related to their gender identity? Fifteen youth and fifty parents participated in our research study (via focus groups, interviews, and an online survey) to help us answer this question. We will present our research results by discussing barriers faced by families throughout the state and the country, with general recommendations for reducing these barriers, as well as barriers faced here at Seattle Children’s Hospital and the steps we are taking at SCH to reduce those barriers. Main findings include: few accessible pediatric providers trained in gender-affirming healthcare; lack of consistently applied protocols; inconsistent use of chosen name/pronoun; uncoordinated care and gatekeeping; limited/delayed access to pubertal blockers and cross-sex hormones; and insurance exclusions.
Straight From the Source—Expertise On Trans Lives: Panel
This is your opportunity to hear directly from over a half dozen transgender-identified panelists and ask them questions. With a “what-we-want-you-to-know” approach, our goal is to provide attendees with a window into just a few trans people’s lives to highlight the multifaceted, complex paths we often travel. Our goal is to start to fill in the framework that is being introduced throughout the day.
Success Tips For Working With Trans Youth and their Families
Dr. Michele Angello
Trans youth experience many unique challenges during transition. Everything from dealing with peers and parents to secondary sex characteristics and typical issues of adolescence become major impediments to development. It is imperative for healthcare professionals to take into account the relevant systemic variables—family, friends, siblings, school, spiritual affiliation, extracurricular activities, and medical community—with which the young person interacts. This workshop will examine the primary clinician’s role in supporting a minor and their family members as they navigate their way through these complex systems.
The Gender Playbook: A New Model for Inclusive Transition
As gender is becoming increasingly personalized, The Gender Playbook introduces a new transition framework that includes everyone, regardless of identity. Each concept is a tool that provides directions for how to get to each place, making it easier to choose where, why, and how to travel. Its practical approach (chock full of cookie metaphors) helps answer the question that follows the life-altering discovery of a transgender identity: “Now what?” This workshop fills a gap in awareness about the myriad of options people have, presenting alternatives for anyone who doesn’t fit the mold, including those who identify as outside of the male/female boxes, or simply seek a nonstandard transition route. On the way, we’ll outline specific social, medical, and legal transition needs, addressing the particular challenges faced by non-binary individuals. We’ll bust myths, clarify misconceptions, and develop strategies for empowering providers and their transgender clients in their journey.
The Road To Expert
Ryan K. Sallans, MA and Jennifer Hastings, MD
Whether you are a doctor, therapist, educator, or other professional, there is no established pathway to become an “expert” on issues related to transgender care and/or experience. Existing educational courses, subjective written resources, and “current” research are inadequate to address the complexity of trans lives and the ever-increasing requests for knowledgeable care or support. In light of this, how does one begin? How did current experts gain their experience? How do you address this issue with patients, clients, students, or peers in a responsible manner? Join us as we explore these questions, examine the current state of trans care, and learn how interested professionals might engage in this work.
Thinking Bigger: Why the Trans Rights Movement Is Better When Integrating Racial and Economic Justice Awareness
there are so many issues facing transgender people in the US, but the discrimination—and the consequences of it—that trans people face are often dramatically affected by their race and socio-economic status. Join an NCTE staff member for a conversation about how discrimination appears in people’s lives, how that can be different across race and class, and why the transgender movement for equality must take this into account as we do our work for equality for all trans people. All welcome—and please come with an open mind.
Trans and Aging
Jude Patton, LMHC, LMFT, PA-C
Aging as trans or genderqueer people involves a wide range of rewards and challenges. Some people are aware all their lives of their trans or genderqueer feelings and do not feel able to live their genders authentically until they are older. What is it like to change your gender presentation as a mature adult? How do those extra years help or hinder the process? Others, who live as trans or genderqueer from younger ages, find that how they want to express their gender changes as they age. What changes, why, and how? What kind of care do we want/expect as we age and increasingly need to call upon others for help? What are the needs and concerns of trans and genderqueer people in old age and as they approach death?
Trans Migration: Migrant Justice For Trans and Gender-Nonconforming Communities
Kory Martin-Damon and Tess Vo
Trans and gender-nonconforming non-status people, immigrants, and refugees are often inadequately supported in service settings and rendered invisible. This is often due to multiple forms of intersecting oppressions including racism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, and ableism. This workshop explores the needs of trans and gender-nonconforming non-status people, immigrants, and refugees and the presenters will work with participants to develop concrete strategies to support the creation of affirmative spaces and services. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in dialogue exploring the violence of borders, displacement, economic exploitation and the criminalization of community members. Historical and contemporary activisms and advocacy efforts to promote migrant justice and forms of community resistance will be highlighted.
Trans People Working In Trans Health Care: Experiences, Opportunities, and Challenges
Jenn Matsui De Roo
Trans and gender-nonconforming people working in trans health care face unique challenges and opportunities. Helping members of our own communities can create a sense of depth and connection that is invaluable to personal and professional development. At the same time, living and working in small communities can lead to excessive compartmentalization, avoidance, and even isolation. Existing professional ethical guidelines are often insufficient when it comes to navigating these dynamics.
This workshop will let us discuss, explore, and develop practical strategies for some of the personal and professional challenges we face in practice, including:
- Building and maintaining professional and social networks
- Ethically navigating dual roles
- Developing, holding, and communicating boundaries
- Making space for our authentic selves
- Coping with transphobia and tokenization in the workplace and the world
- Dealing with community conflict
Participants will leave with their own personalized care maps to help them recognize opportunities and navigate challenges.
Transition Part I: the Internal and External Journey
Aydin Olson-Kennedy, MSW, ACSW
So often, a gender transition is portrayed as the end result of a deeply personal exploration. While this is a strong component, there are a great deal of external factors that can impact a person’s life and subsequent gender decisions. During this session, we will examine the concept of gender identity, gender expression, gender fluidity, and the complexity involved in a person’s self-determination as well as the implications for that person’s family, career and job history, friendships, community, faith, and society as a whole. the aim of this workshop is to expand the conversation of an individual’s gender transition beyond the most basic questions of “Should I?” or “Shouldn’t I?”
Transition Part 2: Maintaining Relationships
Ryan K. Sallans, MA
There can be much discussion on how to best support someone through a gender transition and often very little discussion addressing the ways we can support and nurture the partners or other loved ones. A gender transition can be overwhelming and liberating for a trans person. It can result in some pretty profound changes for a spouse/partner as well. the stress can be very hard on both people. Many relationships, even loving, supportive ones, often do not survive the upheaval because this support and understanding can be hard to find. Partners often find themselves in the advocate/educator role with others while providing the bulk of the emotional support to their transitioning spouse. This leaves them isolated, drained, and with nowhere to turn to for any resulting difficulties they might be experiencing. In this workshop, we will discuss ways of offering support to partners and insights into how an individual’s gender transition is really a transition for everyone.
Trans-Sculpting the Human Form
Dr. Tony Mangubat
Dr. Mangubat will introduce the basics in normal male versus female anatomy. Understanding the uniqueness of each gender is critical in body sculpting the new human form to affirm gender identity.
Dr. Mangubat will introduce a refined concept in chest masculinization. the common procedure for top surgery is to remove breast gland so the chest can be flat. This flat chest concept of masculinization is artistically unattractive. Dr. Mangubat’s goal is to enhance the visual appearance of the chest as well as the bordering anatomy into an artistically sculpted masculine form rather than just removing gland. the use of new ultrasound technology allows us to create a more natural masculine chest. Body sculpting the more traditional feminine form will also be discussed. In addition, Dr. Mangubat will review the essential elements of achieving an ideal outcome. What to do before and after your surgery is vital to realizing your goals.
Treating the Whole Patient: Understanding the Legal Issues Facing Trans Adults
Often, mental health professionals are the first to learn about legal issues and needs facing their clients. This workshop will teach you the basics that you need to know about legal issues that frequently arise for trans* adults, as well as identify steps that you can take to help them navigate these challenges. Topics covered include name and gender marker changes on identity documents, marriage and relationship recognition, and child custody disputes.
Tunnel Vision and the Checklist
Susan P. Landon, MA, LMFT, Aydin Olson-Kennedy, MSW, ACSW
Many parents and providers alike have wished for the how-to book for raising a transgender child. The lack of a definitive road map can lead adults to intently focus on what is tangible—a checklist of sorts—and assume these items are the most important destination stops of this journey. Examples include name changes, puberty delay, hormone intervention, ID document changes, future surgery, and so on. This intent focus on the concrete tasks of gender transition can cause a parent or provider to develop tunnel vision which may sometimes cause them to obscure the less tangible but critical aspects of a trans or gender-nonconforming child’s life; prevent typical family functioning because of the ever-present “crisis”; miss the opportunities to provide a child with resiliency-building skills; and possibly confuse a child’s wish to express gender fluidity with the desire to transition their gender identity. Join us in this workshop where we will explore these issues in greater depth.
Understanding Non-Binary Transition and Identity (Adults and Teens)
More and more people are identifying outside the binary, feeling their gender does not fit into a male or female box. For these folks, as well as for the professionals supporting them, questions surrounding transition are often left unanswered. What does a non-standard transition route look like? Is this quickly becoming the norm? Does it even exist? This workshop will explore the myriad options people have, covering social, medical, and legal transition needs. It includes busting myths and clarifying misconceptions, outlining alternatives and loopholes, and developing strategies for empowering you and your clients in their transgender journey.
Understanding Non-Binary Transition and Identity In Youth
More and more children feel their gender does not fit into a male or female box, and we are finally listening. For these youth, as well as for the professionals supporting them, questions surrounding transition are often left unanswered. Is my kid trans? Will my child ever decide on a binary identity? and . . . what happens if they don’t? With a focus on social and medical transition, this workshop will explore the options children have for following a non-standard transition route, as well as the limitations and obstacles they might encounter by trying to live in a world that does not acknowledge their gender.
US Trans Survey Results
In 2011, NCTE and the National LGBTQ Task Force released the National Transgender Discrimination Survey. Interviews with over 6,400 transgender and gender-nonconforming people made it the largest such study ever conducted. the study has been a game changer—both for our policy work and for cultural change. For the first time, we were able to quantify the discrimination and violence transgender people face. NCTE has now completed a second iteration of the survey that measures how things are now and how they have changed over the past five years. Come hear about these latest results and discuss some implications for the trans community.
Welcoming Schools: Talking To Elementary Students About Gender
In this session, participants will be introduced to the national Welcoming Schools program that works with educators, administrators, families, and staff to improve elementary school climates with training, resources and lessons to embrace family diversity, create LGBTQ-inclusive schools, prevent bias-based bullying, and support transgender and gender-expansive students. Participants will explore developmentally appropriate ways to talk with elementary students about gender—including the opportunity to practice responding to predictable student questions and comments, as well as explore lesson plans and books that help educators to create gender-inclusive classrooms for all students.
When It’s Not So Clear Cut: Complicated Case Studies
Dr. Michele Angello
It may go without saying that a person’s gender identity exploration can be challenging. Additional variables that accompany any single person’s journey may add layers of complexity that make it difficult for providers to know what issue or area to tackle, when or even if. these variables may include multiple mental and medical health diagnoses, varying degrees of parental support, access to care and/or resources, etc. This will be a facilitated roundtable conversation to explore any specific cases where the course of action is unclear or complex.