Gender Odyssey offers specialized programming for youth (ages 13-17) and young adults (ages 18-22).
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 are some of the teen workshops from 2017. You can also download the Schedule Grid (PDF) here.
Teen Welcome: Icebreakers, Intros, and Rainbow Chickens
What happens when you put 75 trans teens 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 reunite with old friends. We’ll also provide an overview of the conference program and highlight the key events and things to check out throughout the weekend.
What do unicorns and ginger bread cookies have to do with gender? Join us for this interactive session to find out! In this workshop, we’ll go through a gender-mapping (and cookie making!) activity to explore ways to define your gender. 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.
Comic Making 101
Have you ever wanted to learn how comics and graphic novels are created, designed, illustrated, and put out into the world? Are you interested in exploring a new way to express yourself or your ideas? Join published local cartoonist and body positive illustrator Tatiana Gill in Comic Making 101. In this workshop, Tatiana will not only teach you how comics are created, but you’ll also get a hands-on class and make your very own. Provided are materials from pen and paper to a blank Marvel comic background cell sheet where you can drop in your own superhero or personal character creations. A “Don’t Miss This” event for those who like to draw, doodle, express themselves, or have always been curious about the world-wide phenomenon of comic books.
Talking ‘Bout My Gender…ration / My Identity Flip-Books
Remember those “create your own monster, character, or object” flip books? The ones where you get to choose a TOP head, MIDDLE torso, and BOTTOM legs? Well, what if you could create your own “Identity Flip-Book?” You can create your very own, personalized identity, gender, orientation, and more flip-book.
In addition, the Gender Odyssey Teen program participants will collectively create a HUGE FLIP-BOOK to put on display for the entire conference to enjoy. Be a part of this fun activity, show who you are in pictures or words, and just like the lyrics from the classic rock band, The Who, “People try to put us down, talking ‘bout my GENDER…RATION! This is MY GENDER…RATION baby!”
Welcome to the wonderland of the Kiki scene, where everyone is unique and “everything is in transition.” KIKI is a cinematic journey into the NYC Kiki Scene, a “society within a society” created and governed by LGBTQ youth. Through a strikingly intimate and visually daring lens, KIKI offers a riveting and complex insight into a safe space created and governed by LGBTQ youth of color, who are demanding happiness and political power. An exciting coming of age story about agency, resilience and the transformative artform that is voguing.
Film: SO LONG SUBURBIA
One sleepless night, as Sadie is surfing the web, she discovers that her best friend has unfollowed her on Instagram. Wounded, Sadie becomes a social recluse, just going directly from school to her night job. Encouraging her to get out and explore the city, Sadie’s mom gives her a one-year transit pass. Downtown one day, Sadie is befriended by Miami, a self-identified teenybopper who introduces Sadie to her clique of queers and misfits—and Sadie quickly becomes one of the group. Has she finally found a place where she belongs? Or will old insecurities, crushes, and drama get in the way?
You on Endorphins: How Moving Your Body and Eating for Energy = Happiness!
But I hate exercising! I’m SO not sporty! PE freaks me out! OK, we get it. For lots of people, it’s a drag to imagine throwing on a pair of running shoes, going on a bike ride, or doing any other sweat-inducing activity. But isn’t it even more of a drag to feel tired and depressed more than you should? This workshop will shed light on the most awesome secret weapon and free happy-drug our bodies produce when we exercise. Endorphins baby!! They’re real and they work! Hear cool stories about famous transgender athletes and GO folks who can attest to the wonders of finding the right physical activity that rocks their world. Participants will be encouraged to talk through the hurdles of exercising and will be given realistic, fun suggestions to find their inner athlete, including the option to join an online supportive community called Team GenderCool!
Everything You Wanted to Know about Gender but Were Afraid to Ask
In this workshop, we will explore our experience with gender. How do we express our gender in ways that feel authentic to our sense of self? How do others see our gender? What does it mean to be a boy, girl, or gender diverse? What does it mean to become who you are? There is no single right answer for these or other questions. We encourage straight up conversation about YOU and what you feel is true for yourself. This will be a safe space in which to talk, ask questions, and share experiences. Depending on the group we may also split up based on identity or topic for more focused discussions on topics such as using the restroom, dealing with dysphoria, finding clothing, tucking, binding, tips for your voice, hair, makeup, hormones, surgery, dealing with family/friends/school/work, dating, and relationships.
Stories from the Front: Teen Panel
What are the real-life experiences of older transgender and gender-diverse 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.
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 groundbreaking 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 one of two 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!
Teen Closing Activity: My Very Own Boost Box!
Every year it feels like this transtastic weekend has just started and now it’s ending. The transition back to the outside world can be difficult and emotional. Gender Odyssey provides you an opportunity to make friends, strengthen your sense of self, and learn about life. What happens after Gender Odyssey when you need some encouragement to face the day or simply want to remember the good times you had here and the memories you made? Each participant at the Teen Closing Activity will take home a “Boost Box”—small notes from your peers and GO staff so you’ll always have a box of love and encouragement with you outside of the conference. 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 teen room. Don’t miss this final opportunity to gather with new and old friends and wrap up this amazing weekend!
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.