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Youth and Young Adult Programs

Gender Odyssey offers specialized programming for youth (ages 13-17) and young adults (ages 18-22).

Youth Program

Our teen programming is created by gender-diverse and transgender youth themselves. These workshops and overall conference experience will help youth across North America connect, develop friendships, and learn about themselves and others.

By creating these opportunities, we hope to help our youth empower themselves and decrease their own risk for some very real problems, such as physical, emotional, and psychological abuse, homelessness, drug use, and suicide.

Below is a list of workshops and events for 2018.  You can also download the Schedule Grid (PDF) here.


Youth & Young Adult Meet-n-Greet (Ages 13-22)

Come hang out and connect with the other teens and young adults at the conference. We’ll have some activities and ice breakers on hand to help you get to know the other attendees, and our Youth Program coordinators will be on hand to answer your questions and provide guidance regarding conference events.

Youth Welcome – Icebreakers, Intros, and Rainbow Chickens

What happens when you put a group of trans youth together in a room with rainbow chickens and sugar? Be sure to attend this kick-off event to find out! There will be icebreakers, group games, and intros to help you meet other teens and find people to hang out with over the weekend! Come find out who else is here—meet new people and make new friends. We’ll also provide an overview of the conference program and highlight the key events and things to check out throughout the weekend.

Telling your Gender Journey (Gender Mapping)

What do unicorns and gingerbread people have to do with gender? Join us for this interactive session to find out!  In this workshop, we’ll go through a gender-mapping activity to explore ways to define your gender and tell your story. Is there a gender that fits you or have you crafted your own personalized blend that better expresses who you are? What language do you use to describe yourself?  This activity will provide us with language and ideas to help us explore the wide spectrum of gender identities and expressions in the world.

Life after Transition…

Did you socially or medically transition three or more years ago? After the initial coming out process is over and the social and physical changes are no longer new, you may find your focus has shifted away from the nuts and bolts of transition.  What new experiences, insights, or challenges have emerged now that you’re a few years in? Let’s explore what life is like now, post initial stages of transitioning.

*Participants who have come out or started their transition less than three years ago are encouraged to come and listen, and we will make time for you to ask questions towards the end of the workshop.

Choose Your Own Adventure Labs – (Music, Art, Writing, Drag, Theater)

Remember those books where you select what happens to the main character? In CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE LAB you’re the STAR who gets to decide between five fun workshops: Theater, Music (Ukulele), Art/Drawing, Writing/Poetry, or Drag.

We’ve recruited an amazing team of experienced, talented artists and performers to guide you through whichever Performance Lab you choose. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or already skilled in your Lab. After learning, you’ll have a chance to present to your soon-to-be Gender Odyssey fans.

Friday Night Youth & Young Adult Social: Youth and young adults are invited to come hang out together at the Friday night social event. Activities include:

  • All-Conference Open Mic and Karaoke Event(Room 606/607)

Participants from the “Choose Your Own Adventure Art Labs” will have the opportunity to present their work at this Open Mic event.

  • Games & Hangout Space– Come hang out and play games with other young adults from the conference. We’ll have a room right across from the Open Mic and Karaoke Event (Room 603).
  • Steven Universe! Follow the animated adventures of Steven and the Crystal Gems (Pearl, Garnet, and Amethyst) as they protect the world from evil while exploring positive themes about gender diversity, identity, and love. We’ll play (and sing along!) to some of our favorite episodes, such as Giant Womanand Together Alone (where we get to meet the non-binary character “Stevonnie” for the first time!) This critically acclaimed show was created by Rebecca Sugar and was Cartoon Network’s first animated show solely created by a non-binary  (Room 603)

Movie: I Am They

Fox and Owl Fisher are nonbinary trans activists from the UK—and they want to share what that means for them. With help from their community and loved ones, they explore issues such as legal recognition, language, health care, and social acceptance, delineating the challenges that they and many other people like them face daily. While education and social justice are at the heart of this film, it is also a love story of two people from different backgrounds finding each other. Through romance and activism, this couple defies gender norms and resists systems of oppression.

Know Your Rights: What Trans Youth Should Know about the Law

Navigating legal, medical, educational, and other institutions as a trans youth can be a major source of stress and anxiety.  This workshop will teach you the basics you need to know about legal issues that frequently come up for trans youth, as well as how to identify steps that you can take to navigate these challenges.  Topics covered include name and gender marker changes on identity documents, safety and access to education in schools, being trans in the workplace, health care access, and legal developments affecting trans youth at the federal and state levels.

Stories from the Front: Youth Panel

What are the real-life experiences of older transgender and gender-nonconforming youth? During this powerful session, transgender adolescents, friends, and relatives tell their stories from the heart. Honest, emotional, and inspiring stories can help other parents and youth to believe in a better and happier future. The goal of this session is to provide parents hope by seeing that transgender youth thrive once their gender issues are addressed.

Find and Train Your True Inner Voice
With a successful 20+ years as a professional female singer and now a 10+ years as a male, Alexander James Adams provides a short Music Concert followed by Q&A and hands-on training and advice for transgendered musicians and public speakers to help find and develop the true inner voice. All genders and Non-singers welcome!

Gender Chat
This session will be a group discussion based on topics of interests to the participants in the room. Are there topics we haven’t discussed yet, or things you want to explore a bit more? Join us for an engaging chat about gender!

All-Conference Picnic @ Freeway Park (just outside of WSCC)

Join us at Gender Odyssey’s most popular event! Feed your belly and your soul with a delicious catered buffet. Vegetarian and meat options are available to satisfy a wide array of palates. This event is free to all Gender Odyssey attendees (Wear your lanyard!). This event is all about the food and hanging out with friends.

Gender Odyssey All-Gender Swim Party
Medgar Evers Pool – 500 23rd Ave, Seattle (near Garfield High School)
Get ready to make some waves at the conference pool party!
This swim party is exclusively for GO conference attendees (adults and youth 12+).
Seattle Transit/public buses (Routes 3 and 4) are available to pool from WSCC/Picnic.

IN·clued: Queer Sex Ed Study

Facilitator: Planned Parenthood Teen Council Peer Educators

Are you trans or LGBTQ+ identified, 14-19 years old, and want to be part of ground breaking sex education research? If so, this session is for YOU!  IN·clued is a brand new educational program and research study designed specifically for LGBTQ+ youth. After completing a survey you’ll be assigned to 1 of 2 groups and take part in activities about LGBTQ sexual health or LGBTQ-identity. This 3-hour interactive workshop will be led by Teen Council Peer Educators. There will be prizes, and everyone who participates in the study will receive a gift card and cash!

*Note: If you participated in this study last year or are outside the ages of 14-19, please attend the alternate Dating and Relationships workshop below instead. If you are not sure if you attended the IN-clued workshop last year you can check with the workshop facilitators.

Dating and Relationships (Alternate workshop for participants not in the IN-clued workshop above)

Join us for this discussion about being trans and navigating dating, sexuality, and relationships. We’ll discuss challenges and consider how being trans affects (or doesn’t affect) romantic and sexual relationships.

Help and Not a Hurdle: How the Therapist Can Work for You!

Everybody’s transition process is unique and follows their own pace and path. A therapist’s main job is to help YOU get where ever it is that YOU’RE going so you can feel more gender congruent and just get on with the rest of your life. Therapy can and should be a helpful tool to assist you with gender exploration, identity, family issues, school and social transition, relationships, legal name change process, referral letters for hormone therapy & surgery, and aftercare check-in sessions if you want them (sometimes it’s just nice to talk with someone who knew you when). In this session, we’ll talk about therapy and how it can help you get through the transition process and on to living your best life!

(Un)SLAMMING POETRY

Typically SLAM POETRY is a spoken word poetry competition, where people recite their powerful poems, without props, then a jury selects a winner.  (Un)SLAMMING POETRY aims to give a no-pressure, supportive, non-competitive platform for those of you who wish to express (verbally or written) their gender expression in front of your peers. Take what you’ve learned at Gender Odyssey and share your experience. Youth facilitator Nadja Dee will guide you through a simple, step-by-step workshop so you can get started (or continue) your spoken word journey. Whether you’re into journaling, poetry, rap, rhyme, or haiku, you’ll have a space (and if wanted) a stage to share your spoken art. Don’t be shy, we will find a way to showcase your unique voice, while supporting your peers in their expression as well.

That’s a Wrap: Closing Activity

Every year it feels like this transtastic weekend has just started and now it’s ending.  Are there topics we haven’t discussed yet, or things you want to explore a bit more? Want to connect one more time before heading back home? This session is an opportunity to ask questions and discuss any final topics before the conference wraps up. We’ll have mentors on hand to answer questions and facilitate discussions. We’ll share conference memories, make some mementos to take home, exchange contact info, and finish eating any leftover Red Vines and Sour Patch Kids hiding out in the youth room. Don’t miss this final opportunity to gather with new and old friends and wrap up this amazing weekend!

Closing Family Film: CHANGE IN THE FAMILY

Director Sam Hampton brings heart to this transgender-transition film with a story of celebration, health, and unconditional love. A much-needed portrayal of biracial trans and gender-nonconforming lives in America, this documentary chronicles the transition of Zo Thorpe and the sympathetic response of his family. But CHANGE IN THE FAMILY is about so much more than the transition experience; it speaks to the complexity of young adulthood, being a person of color, having a biracial identity, and coming out as trans and gender-nonconforming. Zo’s story provides hope for a time when portraying this type of experience is no longer so unusual.

Young Adults Program

Starting in 2018, we are offering programming tailored specifically to young adult attendees, addressing social issues as well as topics related to stepping out into the world, such as employment and educational decisions as well as managing healthcare and housing. There will also be lots of opportunities for hanging out and making social connections! Young Adult attendees in Seattle will also have full access to GO Medical sessions, surgeon consults, and activities like pool parties, films, and keynotes.

Below is a list of workshops and events for 2018.  You can also download the Schedule Grid (PDF) here.


Youth & Young Adult Meet-n-Greet

Come hang out and connect with the other teens and young adults at the conference. We’ll have some activities and ice breakers on hand to help you get to know the other attendees, and our program coordinators will be on hand to answer your questions and provide guidance regarding conference events.

Young Adult Welcome: Speed Friending & Intros

Join us for this opportunity to meet other young adults and find people to hang out with over the weekend! We’ll do some activities to help you meet some of the other awesome folks at the conference, including a round of speed friending to quickly break the ice!  We’ll also provide an overview of the conference program and highlight the key events and things to check out throughout the weekend.

Dating and Relationships (Young Adults)

Dating when trans can be complicated. How do you navigate gay or straight cisgender culture as a trans person? What about dating apps or conversations with potential partners? And how have your existing relationships and sexual orientation evolved along with your gender?  Join us for a candid discussion as we explore your insights, questions, concerns, and tips(!) about dating, sex, and relationships when trans.

Life After Transition…

Did you socially or medically transition three or more years ago? After the initial coming out process is over and the social and physical changes are no longer new, you may find your focus has shifted away from the nuts and bolts of transition. What new experiences, insights, or challenges have emerged now that you’re a few years in? Let’s explore what life is like now, post initial stages of transitioning.

*Participants who have come out or started their transition less than three years ago are encouraged to come and listen, and we will make time for you to ask questions towards the end of the workshop.

Choose Your Own Adventure Labs – (Music, Art, Writing, Drag, Theater)

Remember those books where you select what happens to the main character? In CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE LAB you’re the STAR who gets to decide between five fun workshops: Theater, Music (Ukulele), Art/Drawing, Writing/Poetry, or Drag.

We’ve recruited an amazing team of experienced, talented artists and performers to guide you through whichever Performance Lab you choose. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or already skilled in your Lab. After learning, you’ll have a chance to present to your soon-to-be Gender Odyssey fans.

Friday Night Young Adult Social: Young adults are invited to come hang out together at the Friday night social event. Activities include:
All-Conference Open Mic and Karaoke Event (Room 606/607)
Participants from the “Choose Your Own Adventure Art Labs” will have the opportunity to present their work at this Open Mic event.
Games & Hangout Space – Come hang out and play games with other young adults from the conference. We’ll have a room right across from the Open Mic and Karaoke Event (Room 603).
Steven Universe! Follow the animated adventures of Steven and the Crystal Gems (Pearl, Garnet, and Amethyst) as they protect the world from evil while exploring positive themes about gender diversity, identity, and love. We’ll play (and sing along!) to some of our favorite episodes, such as Giant Woman and Together Alone (where we get to meet the non-binary character “Stevonnie” for the first time!) This critically acclaimed show was created by Rebecca Sugar and was Cartoon Network’s first animated show solely created by a non-binary woman. (Room 603)

Movie: I Am They

Fox and Owl Fisher are nonbinary trans activists from the UK—and they want to share what that means for them. With help from their community and loved ones, they explore issues such as legal recognition, language, health care, and social acceptance, delineating the challenges that they and many other people like them face daily. While education and social justice are at the heart of this film, it is also a love story of two people from different backgrounds finding each other. Through romance and activism, this couple defies gender norms and resists systems of oppression.

Know Your Rights: What Trans Youth Should Know about the Law

Navigating legal, medical, educational, and other institutions as a trans youth can be a major source of stress and anxiety. This workshop will teach you the basics you need to know about legal issues that frequently come up for trans youth, as well as how to identify steps that you can take to navigate these challenges. Topics covered include name and gender marker changes on identity documents, safety and access to education in schools, being trans in the workplace, health care access, and legal developments affecting trans youth at the federal and state levels.

Adulting: Launching from the Nest

In this workshop we’ll discuss the early experiences of navigating the world as an adult—things like applying for college and jobs, finding roommates and housing, and accessing health care on your own. When does being trans come into play, and how do you advocate for yourself and handle situations relating to being trans when your parents aren’t there to help. Whether you’re just getting ready to leave the nest or have already launched into this whole adulting thing, come share your questions, strategies, and insights to help build self-advocacy skills in these areas.

Find and Train Your True Inner Voice
With a successful 20+ years as a professional female singer and now a 10+ years as a male, Alexander James Adams provides a short Music Concert followed by Q&A and hands-on training and advice for transgendered musicians and public speakers to help find and develop the true inner voice. All genders and Non-singers welcome!

Playing by the Rules: Navigating Gender Norms

How do you navigate the gender norms for men and women in society when we may not have been taught all the rules as a kid? And what if you don’t fit in either box? How have you learned about what these rules are? Which norms do you still have questions about? Which norms do you find helpful to know and adopt, and which do you find limiting or chose not to abide by? How does our ability to live up to these norms impact our own gender?  Do your own ideas about gender limit you somehow? Join us as we examine the role of gender norms in our lives.

All-Conference Picnic @ Freeway Park (just outside of WSCC 4th Floor)

Join us at Gender Odyssey’s most popular event! Feed your belly and your soul with a delicious catered buffet. Vegetarian and meat options are available to satisfy a wide array of palates. This event is free to all Gender Odyssey attendees (Wear your lanyard!). This event is all about the food and hanging out with friends.

Gender Odyssey All-Gender Swim Party

Medgar Evers Pool – 500 23rd Ave, Seattle (near Garfield High School)
Get ready to make some waves at the conference pool party!
This swim party is exclusively for GO conference attendees (adults and youth 12+).
Seattle Transit/public buses (Routes 3 and 4) are available to pool from WSCC/Picnic.

IN·clued: Queer Sex Ed Study
Facilitator: Planned Parenthood Teen Council Peer Educators

Are you trans or LGBTQ+ identified, 14-19 years old, and want to be part of ground breaking sex education research? If so, this session is for YOU!  IN·clued is a brand-new educational program and research study designed specifically for LGBTQ+ youth. After completing a survey you’ll be assigned to 1 of 2 groups, and take part in activities about LGBTQ sexual health or LGBTQ-identity. This 3-hour interactive workshop will be led by Teen Council Peer Educators. There will be prizes, and everyone who participates in the study will receive a gift card and cash!

*Note: If you participated in this study last year or are outside the ages of 14-19, please attend the alternate Dating and Relationships workshop below instead. If you are not sure if you attended the IN-clued workshop last year you can check with the workshop facilitators.

Dating and Relationships (Alternate workshop for participants not in the IN-clued workshop above)

Join us for this discussion about being trans and navigating dating, sexuality, and relationships. We’ll discuss challenges and consider how being trans affects (or doesn’t affect) romantic and sexual relationships.

Help and Not a Hurdle: How the Therapist Can Work for You!

Everybody’s transition process is unique and follows their own pace and path. A therapist’s main job is to help YOU get where ever it is that YOU’RE going so you can feel more gender congruent and just get on with the rest of your life. Therapy can and should be a helpful tool to assist you with gender exploration, identity, family issues, school and social transition, relationships, legal name change process, referral letters for hormone therapy & surgery, and aftercare check-in sessions if you want them (sometimes it’s just nice to talk with someone who knew you when). In this session, we’ll talk about therapy and how it can help you get through the transition process and on to living your best life!

Transgender History: There IS a Foundation for the Future 

So many trans and gender-nonconforming (TGNC) people imagine they are the first ones to feel the way they do or to express themselves the way they do, and parents/families of TGNC youth worry that there are no guideposts or role models for their children. There will always be infinite ways of self-expression, and there must always be diverse stories of varying experiences, so uniqueness is a given. But we DO have a history (many histories!) and knowing something about those histories can be a source of pride and gives us a foundation on which to build our many futures. Trans history shapes us in the present—politically, medically, sociologically, and culturally—and can lead us to improved futures for TGNC people.

(Un)SLAMMING POETRY

Typically SLAM POETRY is a spoken word poetry competition, where people recite their powerful poems, without props, then a jury selects a winner. (Un)SLAMMING POETRY aims to give a no-pressure, supportive, non-competitive platform for those of you who wish to express (verbally or written) their gender expression in front of your peers. Take what you’ve learned at Gender Odyssey and share your experience. Youth facilitator Nadja Dee will guide you through a simple, step-by-step workshop so you can get started (or continue) your spoken word journey. Whether you’re into journaling, poetry, rap, rhyme, or haiku, you’ll have a space (and if wanted) a stage to share your spoken art. Don’t be shy, we will find a way to showcase your unique voice, while supporting your peers in their expression as well.

Gender Chat

This session is a self-facilitated group discussion based on topics of interest to the participants in the room. Are there topics that haven’t been discussed yet, or things you want to explore a bit more? Let’s come together for an engaging chat about gender! This is also an opportunity to gather with other young adults from the conference to exchange contact info and connect one last time in person before this amazing weekend ends!

 All-Conference Movie: CHANGE IN THE FAMILY

Director Sam Hampton brings heart to this transgender-transition film with a story of celebration, health, and unconditional love. A much-needed portrayal of biracial trans and gender-nonconforming lives in America, this documentary chronicles the transition of Zo Thorpe and the sympathetic response of his family. But CHANGE IN THE FAMILY is about so much more than the transition experience; it speaks to the complexity of young adulthood, being a person of color, having a biracial identity, and coming out as trans and gender-nonconforming. Zo’s story provides hope for a time when portraying this type of experience is no longer so unusual.