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Facilitated Discussions

Gender Odyssey generates in-house programming each year based on attendee feedback and word-on-the-street discussions in an effort to create sessions that are timely and relevant to our changing, growing communities. Attendees are encouraged to contribute their personal experience and workshops are facilitated by valued community members.


Caucus space is designed specifically for people who share a common identity, issue, or circumstance to come together, talk, debrief, or simply hang out. We ask that only those who feel they are personally aligned with the listed caucus topic access this space. There will not be a facilitator so please keep in mind the discussion guidelines located at the beginning of your program book.

Town Meetings

Town Meetings are a place to share our personal experiences and know that they will be heard, and to listen to others with the intent to learn from — not judge – their experiences.  Bring concrete examples from your own life to add to a larger picture of the complex and challenging ways we individually and jointly construct our lives and our culture.

Attendee-Driven Workshops

Gender Odyssey is privileged to have a large number of informative sessions that come from individuals from within our own communities.  These sessions may include hands-on experiential workshops, research or informational presentations, or topical discussions.  We are deeply grateful for the contributions of our presenters and the depth and breadth they provide to the Gender Odyssey program.

In-house Programming

Gender Odyssey generates in-house programming each year based on attendee feedback and word-on-the-street discussions in an effort to create sessions that are timely and relevant to our changing, growing communities.

2014 Conference Programming (2015 programming will be posted in early June)


9:00 – 10:30 am

Triumphant! Trans Film Shorts

  • TRANS*MARCH (Simon Schultz von Dratzig; 2013; Canada & Germany; 5 min.)
  • GENDER GAMES (Meg Smaker & Veronica Lopez; 2013; US; 9 min.)
  • BUTTERFLY (Stuart McLaughlin; 2014; UK; 14 min.)
  • HOME/LAND(S) (Tommy Statkiewicz; 2013; US; 7 min.)
  • GIVING VOICE (Natalie Tofano; 2013; US; 12min.)
  • TRANSGENDER TUESDAYS (Mark Freeman; 2012; US & UK; 34 min.)

Total running time (89 min.)

Creating trans-specialized health care, being undocumented, living with Asperger’s syndrome, and taking on the legal system are some of the issues addressed in this collection of films that chronicle the challenges facing our diverse community. They prove that transgender people can overcome adversity and empower ourselves to be who we genuinely are.

Gender Odyssey is delighted to offer three short films programs and two feature films curated by Sam Berliner, the festival director of Translations: the Seattle Transgender Film Festival, which is presented each May by Three Dollar Bill Cinema. This event is free and open to the public thanks to the generosity of the City of Seattle and its Neighborhood Matching Fund program. Thanks, City of Seattle!

Getting It Covered: Expanding Access to Insurance Coverage for Transition-Related Care
Andrew Cray, Mara Keisling, Hayden Mora
Health insurance coverage for transition-related health care is expanding in workplaces and in some states across the country, but coverage remains rare in the United States. This workshop will give an understanding of the current developments in transition-inclusive coverage, including state and federal efforts to expand coverage; research on costs and benefits of transition-related health care coverage; and ways to utilize that information to more effectively advocate for transition-inclusive health plans. This workshop will give participants the opportunity to hear from experts and advocates in the field and ask pressing questions on how to expand access to transition-related health care coverage in your workplace and community.
Note: This session is part of the adult Gender Odyssey conference and may be of interest to those attending the family conference.

Empowering Language for Beyond-the-Binary Gender Identities
Troy Armstrong
Genderqueer, gender-fluid, non-binary, nonconforming, bi-gender, pangender, third gender, agender, neutrois, androgyne . . . Do you use any of these words to describe yourself? Are there other words you prefer? Are you having trouble finding words that accurately reflect your gender identity and expression? This workshop will provide a space to brainstorm and discuss various terms for our genders beyond the binary categories. Participants are invited to share their views on what works for them and what doesn’t, and learn new terms and interpretations from each other. Although we differ in our personal preferences, the intent is to support each other in choosing words that affirm each individual’s identity. We will also explore ways to challenge some of the binarist language that we encounter in our daily lives.
Note: While this workshop focuses on English language terms, participants are welcome to offer examples from other languages that are part of their lived experiences.

Just One of the Gals
In-house programming
How many of us, assigned male at birth, have felt robbed of the opportunity to bond with other women? Without this camaraderie of female friendships, we may feel that our social circles were, or perhaps are still, incomplete. Some of us have been able, as transgender adults, to find the female friendships we longed for in our youth.

For trans women, moving from one world to another one—becoming “one of the gals”—can be a transition within a transition. Join us as we explore what it means to be a woman in relationship to other women, and to experience our femininity with other women whose background and socialization differ from our own.

Transitioning During the Elder Years
In-house programming
Many of us elders came of age in a time when transgender people were severely stigmatized. We kept our identities hidden for decades and are only now coming out and transitioning—right when the aging process is ramping up! What are our reasons? What are our special health, social, and other concerns that come with a transition decision or even an exploration of whether to transition? How do issues of our ability, race, or our economic status affect these options? What about our families? Our place in community? Do we have any role models? This interactive, facilitated discussion will allow us to hear each others’ stories and share our individual experiences with this complex decision.

Class Dismissed
In-house programming
Poverty is an enormous issue in trans communities, and one that is too rarely addressed. How does the myth of a classless society or the assumption that upper/middle class is the norm impact the many trans people who are struggling to survive? Who is setting the agenda for trans liberation, and what important issues are being overlooked? What makes it hard to talk about our own class backgrounds and current economic resources? What actions can we take to address classism in our everyday lives? How can we connect with other movements to work for economic justice? Let’s discuss ways we can work toward a vision of trans liberation that is truly inclusive.

Head-to-Toe Health
In-house programming
What are the common health concerns you need to keep in mind during and after transition? Let’s discuss guidelines for staying healthy, including monitoring hormone levels and changes in blood values, important screening tests and exams, protecting your liver, and post-surgery care. Bring your questions, and empower yourself to take charge of your health care.

10:40 am – 12:10 pm

The Ties That Bind: Coming Out, Family Acceptance, and Intergenerational Dialogue in Our Families of Color
Marco Castro-Bojorquez, Crispin Torres
For many queer people of color, our biological families are a strong source of identity and support. At the same time, we are often silenced about our queerness. This workshop is a chance to dialogue about queer people of color and our family members, as we explore the issue of family acceptance. We’ll share personal stories and examine: how acceptance is different for our families, how to create an intergenerational dialogue about racism and homophobia / transphobia with our families of origin, and how LGBTQ organizations can make family acceptance part of their work in communities of color.
Note: Open to POC only.

Intellectual Disabilities: Welcoming Gender-Diverse People
Zack Marshall, Tess Vo
The experiences of trans and gender-diverse people labelled with intellectual disabilities are not always visible. Even so, there may be barriers and structural factors that impact the ability of people with intellectual disabilities to participate in gender-diverse communities.

sprOUT is a national, collaborative, community-based project developed in partnership with lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) people labelled with intellectual disabilities, and their allies in Canada. It focuses on creative community building, skills exchange, disability rights, and self-determination. This workshop will be co-led by trans and genderqueer people labelled with intellectual disabilities and allies. During the workshop, we will explain what it means to be labelled with an intellectual disability, and raise awareness of self-advocacy and the self-advocacy movement. We will then discuss approaches to creating more spaces in the trans community that are welcoming and accessible to people labelled with intellectual disabilities.

Trans Sculpting the Human Form
Dr. Tony Mangubat
We now focus on enhancing the visual appearance of the chest: the muscles as well as the bordering anatomy. We have evolved into artistically sculpting a masculine form rather than just removing gland. With the advent of new technologies, we can create a more masculine chest. In certain patients, new procedures allow us to sculpt an abdominal “6-pack,” further enhancing the masculine form. Dr. Mangubat will also review the essentials of achieving an ideal outcome. What to do before and after your surgery is vital to realizing your goals. Adequate time will be available for questions as well as a time for private consultation after the presentation.

It’s My Transition Too
In-house programming
A gender transition isn’t just about pronouns, hormones, and surgery. It’s also about subtle and not-so-subtle shifts in family dynamics, relationship balance, sexual practice, and sometimes the very ground under our feet. In this session for non-transitioning partners, we will look at what changes, what stays the same, and how sometimes the expected changes can manifest in unanticipated ways.

Finding the Me in Gender
Kimberly Krichbaum
No matter how you identify your gender, we all have internalized messages of how we should not be “too” feminine or “too” masculine, or should be feminine and masculine in certain ways. In this workshop, we will do exercises that help us see our internal stereotypes, get in touch with all of what we want to be, and take steps toward being and expressing ourselves in the world.

Leadership and Organizing
In-house programming
If you have chosen a leadership role, what attracted you to lead? Or, did leadership find you by default? If you have been a leader or activist in your city/hometown, have you changed your point of view about leading as time passed? What pitfalls or limitations have you found in how you’ve chosen to lead and/or organize? What methods have been successful and lasting? How do you prevent burnout? Has your style of leadership conflicted with others in your community? Have you received support from unexpected places? Come share your experiences, listen to the successes and pitfalls of others, and let’s learn from one another.

Feminizing Pitch Change for the Voice
Dr. James Thomas
Dr. Thomas will use video recordings of the vocal cords to demonstrate normal vocal cord motion and how pitch and resonance are produced. He will describe various surgical procedures designed to change the pitch of the voice from male to female. The surgeries discussed will include cricothryoid approximation (CTA), vocal cord webbing, laser vocal cord tuning, and feminization laryngoplasty. He will also answer questions about the impact that voice therapy can have on sound production.

You’re Doing What? Part One
In-house programming
Patricia Brown Peterson
What do you say when your son says he’s really your daughter, or your sister says she’s really your brother? Or any other mind-bending “switch” for that matter? For many of us, understanding gender identity and our loved one’s decision to transition is uncharted territory. The “whys” we have in our heads can be scary and overwhelming. We sometimes make desperate attempts to understand the complexities of their new gender identity. In this first of two workshops, we will share our feelings, listen to each other’s experiences, and ask questions in a comfortable, confidential environment.
Note: This is a closed, facilitated discussion for those of us who would like help, support, or simply a friendly ear in a confidential environment. The focus of the discussion will be on issues related to non-trans-identified parents, siblings, children, and friends of trans people.

1:20 – 2:50 pm

POC and My Place in Gender Odyssey
In-house programming
This interactive session is exclusively for people of color (POC) to engage in a dialogue with conference organizers. You’ll hear about the history of Gender Odyssey’s programming for POC and it’s evolution to the present day. We’ll discuss GO’s foundation of inclusion, what’s worked and what hasn’t, what was expected and what wasn’t. Learn about the work to include our anti-racist values throughout each intrinsic aspect of Gender Odyssey. We are seeking input to shape future POC sessions as well as the conference as a whole.
Note: Open to POC only

Hysterectomy, Vaginectomy, and More
Dr. Burt Webb
In this session, Dr. Burt Webb will field your questions about a variety of procedures available to trans men. Should you consider surgery? What are the benefits? Drawbacks? Should you have a hysterectomy? What are the potential complications with urethral lengthening? Can you have a metoidioplasty and vaginectomy at the same time? What’s different with today’s techniques compared to ten years ago, or even five? We will discuss how recent medical innovations have decreased surgery times and improved healing times. Dr. Webb will discuss procedures including laparoscopic hysterectomy, vaginectomy, metoidioplasty, and chest surgery. There will be plenty of time throughout this session for your questions and input.

Surgery for Trans Women: From FFS to Genital Reconstruction
Dr. Curtis Crane
This presentation provides the most recent surgical techniques for trans women from facial feminization to genital reconstruction procedures.

The Great Betrayal? FTM Identity and Feminist Concerns
Brandon L. Beck
“You’re a feminist and a transman? But how can that be?” Interested in learning more about the intersections of identity experienced by transmen related to feminist identity? This workshop is a discussion-based opportunity to explore some of the stereotypes and misconceptions related to the FTM identity as it intersects with the feminist identity. Questions discussed will include such gems as “How can you be a feminist if you’re no longer a woman?,” “How do you answer other feminists who accuse you of betraying ciswomen?,” “What place do transmen have in the feminist movement?,” and more.

12-Step Meeting – Open
This is an open meeting for all conference attendees currently working a twelve-step program. Meet with others to find support and make connections for the conference weekend. In addition to this session, we’d like to encourage you to proactively set times and places for any additional meetings desired throughout the conference weekend.

Advocating for Your Health
Ryan K. Sallans
This interactive workshop is designed to help participants develop an understanding of how current standards of care and policies may affect the care they receive and how their voice is needed when working with providers. Questions to explore with the audience are: What do you perceive are the current barriers to care? What has helped you when working with providers? What have you found most helpful as a resource?

Ok, Cupid, How Do I Do This?
In-house programming
Where’s the how-to manual for trans women and dating?  Dating can be challenging for anyone without the added challenge of our trans bodies and experiences.  How do I meet friends who may become more than friends? If I put up an online ad, do I disclose my gender status upfront or wait until I’ve had a date or two?  Until it’s time to be sexual?  Later than that?  How does this change if I am pre-op, post -op, non-op?  If I do talk about it, what is a reasonable way to do it that respects the person to whom I’m disclosing but also—even especially—respects myself?  Join us for a frank, honest discussion as we share our stories and learn from each other.

Grief, Loss, and Transformation: Partners and Transition
In-house programming
When our partner moves towards being their authentic self, many of us celebrate their transformation. However, sometimes our desire to be supportive can result in repressing our own emotions. We may feel guilty for not always being the compassionate partner we “should” be. Our own feelings of grief and loss may be hard to articulate. We may have trouble finding the support and understanding we need. In this closed, partners-only session, we’ll be able to make room for some of that grief, let some go, and find ways to support one another.
Note: This is open only for non-trans partners of people who are physically or socially transitioning, have transitioned, or are considering transition. You do not need to currently be in a relationship to attend.

Making Homeless Shelters Safer for Transgender People
Mara Keisling
Too often, trans people find themselves homeless, with no other options than going to a homeless shelter. Though homeless shelters are supposed to be a safety net, they are usually still not safe for transgender people. Fortunately, many communities have been able to work with shelters in their area, getting good policies passed and training the staff to be respectful. Staff members often want to be nice, but they just don’t know how. Come learn what folks have done throughout the country and get inspired to tackle this issue.

3:00 – 4:30 pm

Adventures in Dating
In-house programming
People of color (POC) may face many race- or ethnicity-based myths, stereotypes, or preconceptions that can complicate the dating process. When the complexity of a diverse gender identity or expression is factored in, the issue becomes that much more layered. Join other trans people of color in this session exploring the world of dating and relationships. Share your experiences—good, bad, or confusing—and let’s get to the heart of the matter.
Note: This conversation will be centered on the experiences of people of color but is open to all who wish to listen, learn, and grow.

Genderqueer: It’s Not Just a Phase
In-house programming
When it comes to gender-nonconforming people, we often hear: “It’s just a phase.” Old assumptions insist that gender transitions move seamlessly from point A to point B. Genderfluid identities are dismissed as being temporary placeholders while we look for our “real” identities. Lately, the rediscovery of androgyny in popular culture has opened the door to accusations that gender-benders are just trying to be hip. Either way, we’re not taken seriously! The truth is, genderqueer, by whatever name we call it, is a legitimate and meaningful personal identity. In this workshop, we’ll explore the multifaceted nature of gender and how our expressions of gender can change—even from day to day. How do you name, construct, and express your genderqueering? Let’s find out!

FTM Surgical Options
Dr. Toby Meltzer, Dr. Burt Webb
This presentation will provide information on current surgical options for trans men including female to male genital surgery, chest surgery, revision/repair surgery, body contouring, hysterectomy, oophorectomy, and vaginectomy.

Employing and Empowering Trans People Now—You Don’t Have to Wait
Kayley Whalen, Dana Ebert
Trans* people face unemployment at rates significantly higher than the general public. Two volunteer-run organizations—Casa Ruby in Washington, DC, and The Ingersoll Gender Center in Seattle—are pioneering new ways to help trans* people break down employment barriers by offering free skills training, job placement, and other services made available through connections within the LGBT community and partnerships with their city and state governments.

This workshop is designed for those with an interest in creating such a program in their city/region, and/or people already building such a program. The workshop will include brief presentations highlighting the approaches of Casa Ruby and Ingersoll Gender Center. Based on these case studies and other best practices, presenters will move to an interactive setting where they will help participants assess the needs of their local communities, and build a framework to start or expand a program in their community with a model that works best for them.

Wanted: Your Stories
Cameron Kyle Combs
We hear stories about transgender and gender non-conforming people, sexual outlaws and line-crossers of all kinds through media and social interactions almost every day. Sometimes, we can find glimmers of truth in those stories, more often those people and experiences are packaged and polished, told through the lens of bias, ignorance and scandal. That’s what we’re getting, but what we crave is authenticity and connection, we want stories about people we can relate to, told by those people. That’s why somewhere in the world, right now, someone is looking for you and your stories. This session is part writing workshop, part call to action. No writing experience necessary! We’ll do two or three casual writing exercises, with very few rules. And we’ll brainstorm about getting our stories into the world and how to network to find mentors and role models, allies and co-conspirators.

Disabilities and Gender Diversity: A Space to Connect
Zack Marshall, Tess Vo
In many contexts, the experiences of people with disabilities who are gender diverse are not acknowledged or welcomed. Often we don’t have opportunities to connect with each other or to talk about critical disability perspectives, social change, and creating accessible spaces for ourselves and our communities. How can we incorporate more disability perspectives into trans movements and local organizing as well as build solidarity with disability movements? This workshop will be co-led by trans and genderqueer mad people and people with intellectual disabilities. Moving beyond discussions of bathrooms, we will create space to connect, and discuss experiences and strategies for gender diverse cross-disability organizing in our communities.

A Different Take on Passing
In-house programming
Trans women are often held to very rigid and demanding standards of femininity: the slightest deviation from “ideal” femininity can be read as failure. How does our desire to have our gender read correctly interplay with our desire to be authentically ourselves? How can we avoid buying into a regressive and unrealistic version of what constitutes “real” femininity? In what ways does the mythic ideal of femininity change depending on factors such as our class, race, geography, and ability.

In-house programming
Some sense of spirituality has been intrinsic in many of our lives, either in our childhood upbringing, or as a path we are currently pursuing. Others may feel that our trans identities preclude us from either having any spirituality or that our identities are in conflict with moral laws, and therefore we are not welcome in some places of worship. Have you left behind an expression of faith that was once very important to you? Do you continue to be part of a congregation where others are unaware of your trans identity? Many of us have embraced alternative beliefs or developed our own sense of spirituality that serves us in a more holistic way. Have you worked within a religious community to create a more inclusive environment and how successful were you? How does your spirituality intersect with your work for social change? Let’s share our experiences with regard to our search for fulfillment.

4:50 – 5:45 pm

Keynote: Aidan Key
Aidan Key - hoffmanOrganizer, educator, and longtime activist Aidan Key founded Gender Odyssey in 2001. Since the late ‘90s, Aidan has produced and directed twelve national conferences, facilitated support groups, and developed numerous community- based workshops. His past collaborations include teaming up with Three Dollar Bill cinema to launch the Seattle Translations Film Festival and co-founding Bay Area Gender Spectrum in 2007. Some of Key’s trans inclusion policy work involved the WA Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Washington Intercollegiate Athletic Association, and Seattle Public Schools.

More recently, Aidan Key authored the Trans Bodies, Trans Selves chapter covering topics related to the support and understanding of transgender children (Oxford University Press 2014). He is a sought-after speaker and has often been featured in the national media, including the Oprah Winfrey Show, NPR’s Diane Rehm Show and Fresh Air with Terry Gross, Al Jazeera America, and Larry King Live. Aidan is a proud father of his daughter Grey, grateful brother to his twin Brenda, and lives in Seattle with his life partner and wife, Kristin.


8:30 – 10:00 am

The “I” Is Not Invisible: Creating Intersex-Inclusive LGBTQIA Activism
Axel Keating, Ethan Lopez
The “I” in LGBTQIA does not stand for “invisible.” This workshop is designed to educate and inform the LGBTQIA community about intersex identities; bring awareness to the different issues our community faces, including the medicalization of intersex, non-medically necessary genital surgeries, erasure, and intersexphobia; and to begin discussions around intersex-inclusive LGBTQIA movements. We will be exploring terminology and language, intersex erasure and IGM, intersex and LGBTQ communities relationships, the sex/gender binary, intersex in the media, resistance and activism, how to be a good intersex ally, sharing resources, and further action and involvement. All are welcome to attend.

Partners of Trans People: How Do We Know What to Ask For?
Liesl Theron
“Nothing about us, without us”—first used in English in disability activism in the 1990s (coincidently by a South African disability activist)—is a slogan I want to borrow for this workshop. Cisgender partners of trans* people grasp at any opportunity possible to find information about their partner’s transitioning. In the affirmative, cisgender partners do love and support their trans* partners, yet they need space to ask questions, vent, and discuss. Moreover, there is a shortage of information and platforms to turn to regarding their own challenges, questions, and inner conflict. This workshop will “kick off” with the screening of a six-minute reflective digital story. The facilitator will encourage workshop participants to share their own experiences and glimpses of their co-transition challenges. Discussions will be steered in a way to ensure cisgender partners come up with solutions on how to find support and information about their unanswered questions.

Some Time Ago: A Conversation between Elders
In-house programming
Jeff Brody
Trans elders are invited to share our from-the-heart stories with each other in this “fishbowl” format. We’ll share our stories of courage and fear, hardship and success, where we’ve fallen down and how we got back up. The goal of this workshop is not only to connect with each other but also to share our stories with younger generations as we explore our desire to create a future that is both nurturing and safe.
Note: Elders are invited into the circle but all others are invited to listen to/witness what is sure to be a powerful conversation.

Trans* Parenting
Cameron Kyle Combs, Dr. Robin Nussbaum
Parenting is amazing, challenging, exhausting, satisfying, frightening . . . all that and more. For transgender and gender-nonconforming parents, all of the usual parenting challenges exist, plus additional ones that relate to our gender identities. Whether you’ve been parenting for years, have just started, or hope to be a parent in the future, come to this discussion to share your hard won parenting wisdom or take advantage of the experienced folks in the room and ask all the questions that come to mind when you think about becoming a parent. This facilitated discussion is open to transgender, genderqueer, and gender-nonconforming parents and parents to be, their partners, co-parents and others interested in parenting and nurturing children.

Enhancing the HIV Vaccine Clinical Trial Experience for Transgender and Trans* People
Michele Andrasik, Ro Yoon, Gail Broder, Shelly Karuna
Reported incidence rates of HIV infection among transgender and trans* people are over four times the national average. Since 1999, the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) has worked to find a preventive vaccine for HIV. This has included efforts to involve transgender and trans* people in clinical trials. Transgender and trans* individuals have historically been underrepresented in medical research. This interactive workshop will provide information on social and structural factors impacting HIV in the trans* community, an overview of preventive HIV vaccine trials and an overview of the HVTN’s efforts to ensure increased comfort, inclusion, and an improved overall experience for transgender and trans* participants. The workshop will provide valuable information for transgender and trans* individuals interested in preventive HIV vaccine clinical trials, Q&A with members of the HVTN Transgender Working Group, and discussion regarding improving transgender and trans* inclusion in research generally.

You’re Doing What?! Part Two
In-house programming
Patricia Brown Peterson
This is a continuation of the closed, facilitated discussion for those whose family member (child, parent, sibling, or other family member) is transitioning. In this workshop, we will examine some of the issues and feelings that may arise as we, and our loved ones, reexamine the concept of gender identity. Some of these include feeling a sense of loss or confusion (i.e., losing a daughter even though you now have a son, or trying to understand concepts like “gender fluid”). What happens when we disclose too much to others, or perhaps not enough? How will we deal with others’ reactions or questions? How does our background or culture affect our feelings and views? Most importantly, we’ll examine the need for compassion and patience for ourselves and our loved one while we make this journey of discovery and change. Come join us for help and support in a confidential environment.
Note: This is a closed, facilitated discussion for those of us who would like help, support, or simply a friendly ear in a confidential environment. The focus of the discussion will be on issues related to non-trans-identified parents, siblings, children, and friends of trans people.

Trans Activism in Quebec and French-Canada – CANCELED

10:10 – 11:40 am

Authenticity: Reconciling Past and Present
In-house programming
How do you stay in your skin? What helps you be your truest self? How do you integrate your past with your present and still stay sane? What happens to you when you are your most authentic self? What happens to those around you? Let’s share our stories in a nonjudgmental way—in a way that comes from our hearts.

Growing Together: Family Film Shorts

  • PAPA’S BOY (Leevi Lemmety; 2010; Finland, UK; 3 min.)
  • OSCILLARE (Lauren Feiring; 2011; US; 9 min.)
  • A LITTLE BIT COUNTRY (Amy Coop; 2012; UK; 7 min.)
  • PERFORMING GIRL (Crescent Diamond; 2013; US; 25 min.)
  • AKIN (Chase Joynt; 2012; Canada; 9 min.)
  • BLUE (Keir Wilkins; 2012; Australia; 14 min.)
  • PERFECT IN MY IMPERFECTIONS (Julia Parnell; 2012; New Zealand; 22 min.)

Total running time (80 min)

Bring friends and allies to this collection of shorts navigating families and cultures, being true to ourselves, and finding common ground. In Papa’s Boy, a mouse wants to win his father’s approval, despite a hidden dream to be a ballet dancer. In Oscillare, Alyson struggles with both parenthood and gender expression. In A Little Bit Country a teenager’s parents are horrified to walk in on him while he is engrossed in his secret stash of… country music and cowboy clothes. Performing Girl explores the intersection of queer/trans identity and a traditional family, fodder for a hilarious show by Sri Lankan performance artist, D’Lo. Akin is a letter from a son to his mother, written in pictures and glimpses into the past. In Blue can Belle discover the secret of how it feels to be blue inside? In Perfect in My Imperfections we meet Amanaki, a Tongan choreographer who is preparing a dance for her family and community to seek acceptance of her trans identity.

Gender Odyssey is delighted to offer three short films programs and two feature films curated by Sam Berliner, the festival director of Translations: the Seattle Transgender Film Festival, which is presented each May by Three Dollar Bill Cinema. This event is free and open to the public thanks to the generosity of the City of Seattle and its Neighborhood Matching Fund program. Thanks, City of Seattle!

Surgery for Trans Men: A New Standard of Care
Dr. Curtis Crane
This presentation introduces the new standard of care for FTM surgeries ranging from top surgery to metoidioplasty and phalloplasty.

Trans Employment Law 101 – How to Protect Yourself Legally
Dr. Jillian Weiss
This public workshop will provide a general background regarding laws upholding the rights of transgender workers to be free from harassment and discrimination, give you important tips for documenting a claim, explain how to negotiate within the organization, and how to bring a successful complaint, if necessary. The workshop will be interactive in nature, with a short initial presentation on the background for each section, a role play exercise, audience discussion regarding the role play, and time for questions and answers.

Informed Consent
a canelli
Informed Consent is the consent given by a patient to a surgical or medical procedure after achieving an understanding of the relevant medical facts and the risks involved. Informed Consent gives decisional power to consumers and should be the standard for providing gender-affirming healthcare. In this roundtable discussion, attendees will explore how to support informed consent as the standard of care for those wanting to make medical changes to their bodies. Participants are invited to share their personal experiences of Informed Consent as a means to access health care. We will explore the ramifications of gate-keeping, and how transphobia may hinder our right to make decisions about our bodies and identities and may hamper economic justice in our community. This discussion will be predicated on the use of anti-oppressive language.

Speaking with Confidence: Developing, Finding, and Keeping Your True Voice
Sandy Hirsch
Participants will learn the foundations of voice transition including pitch, resonance (tone), and inflection (the rise and fall of the voice). A range of basic techniques will be presented to give the participant an introduction to the vocal instrument and how to “play” the instrument in order to develop a new sound. The importance of overall communication including semantics, intercommunication styles, and nonverbal markers such as movement, posture, and gesture will be folded into the workshop. Participants can expect to practice simple vocal and movement exercises, and discuss inner and outer voice and the anthropology of communication. They will leave excited about the vast topic of voice and communication transition. The workshop will be geared towards those with little to intermediate knowledge, though experts are welcome.

Celebrating Trans Femininity:  Claiming Our Space
In-house programming
Most of the time it seems like trans women are simply tolerated—or become the exclusionary exception—in women’s communities and spaces. Trans women have frequently been asked to hold their tongue, to not take up space as if to compensate for previous years of perceived “male privilege.” In a world where masculinity is seen as both the pinnacle to strive for and also the expression of the oppressor, trans women are in a catch-22 where their expression of either masculinity or femininity is suspect. There are rarely, if ever, spaces where trans women are not only accepted, but are also encouraged and rewarded for being strong, empowered women—for being our diverse and beautiful selves. Trans women do take up space, trans women do have something to say, and our voices are worthy of celebration. The purpose of this workshop is for trans women to collaborate with each other, discuss ways in which we can honor our diverse selves, and find ways to support each other within our various communities.
Note: We welcome our non-trans women allies as supportive listeners to this session focusing on trans women’s experience and voices.

Standing with Trans Prisoners: Local Advocacy to End Abuse in Jails and Prisons, and Combat Mass Incarceration
Harper Jean Tobin, Raffi Freedman-Gurspan
Come learn how to engage jails and prisons to adopt policies aimed at protecting the health and safety of trans people. Participants will learn how advocates in Houston, Denver, and other communities have advocated for these policies and monitored their implementation. The presentation will cover existing federal rules and best practices, and how to get started and find resources, as well as typical advocacy strategies and challenges. Participants will also learn how to advocate for fewer trans people to be incarcerated in the first place.

12:45 – 2:15 pm

Interracial Relationships: It’s Not All Black and White
In-house programming
Interracial relationships can be challenging and complicated, especially when your partner is transgender or gender-nonconforming. Do racial dynamics sometimes impact your relationship in unanticipated ways?  Has the dynamic between you and your partner changed as your partner’s gender shifts, evolves, or as their presentation changes?  How comfortable are you with the ways you are perceived by the outside world?  Are there things you like about it?  Things that make you crazy? Let’s examine the added dimension that race brings to our relationships. This workshop is designed for each of us to bring our own experience(s) to share with others.  Please respect this space and share from your heart and your experience only.
Note: This conversation will be centered on the experiences of those who are or have been in interracial relationships but is open to all who wish to listen, learn, and grow.

Gender Personal
Jacqui Beck
Gender Personal is a project that explores and celebrates gender variance through art, poetry, and recorded interviews.  Jacqui Beck, a professional artist and art educator, has interviewed eight people who are gender variant (one of whom is her son) and has transformed their stories into paintings and poems.  The interviews are absolutely amazing. All the participants have their own unique way of expressing their experience of their gender and how they interface with the world they live in. In this workshop, Jacqui will play excerpts from her interviews, show slides of her paintings and read some of the poems. Following this there will be an open discussion. Superb photography by Marc Hoffman complements this presentation.

MTF Surgical Options
Dr. Toby Meltzer
This presentation will provide information on current surgical options for trans women including: male-to- female genital reconstructive surgery, facial feminization, breast augmentation, and body contouring.

Metoidioplasty: Sharing the Outcome and Experience
Ryan K. Sallans
This workshop will be a combination of exploring one trans man’s metoidioplasty experience, as well as what a person should think about/explore before making their own decision regarding what lower surgery technique they want completed and with which surgeon they feel most comfortable. Ryan will cover his decision-making process, financing the surgery, preparing both mentally and physically for the surgery, and the recovery process. Audience questions are strongly encouraged.

12-Step Meeting – Open
This is an open meeting for all conference attendees currently working a twelve-step program. Meet with others to find support and make connections for the conference weekend. In addition to this session, we’d like to encourage you to proactively set times and places for any additional meetings desired throughout the conference weekend.

Advancing Racial and Economic Justice
Harper Jean Tobin, Raffi Freedman-Gurspan
Transgender people face extraordinary levels of discrimination, harassment, and violence overall, yet trans people of color, and those with low or no income, face even higher levels of discrimination as transphobia, racism, and economic inequality combine to produce devastating results. As the transgender movement works toward equality for all, racial and economic justice work must be integrated throughout. Join advocates for a real discussion of what that means and how to make the commitment to racial and economic justice real and concrete in our everyday trans activism. Please come with an open and a concrete-solution-focused mind!

Hormones 101
In-house programming
This workshop presents a general overview of hormonal therapy. Testosterone, an anabolic steroid, is a powerful drug that can give desired masculinizing effects while estrogen has feminizing effects. It is important that you know details about the types of hormones, timing, dosing amount, adverse side effects, etc., to protect your health and maximize the desired effects. Come to this informative workshop and learn more about hormones and their administration. There will be time allotted for Q & A.

Transgender Military Service: Ending the DoD’s Ban
Brynn Tannehill, Jacob Eleazer
The Department of Defense currently bans transgender people from serving in the military under obsolete medical policies. We will discuss the effects of the policy on closeted transgender service members who cannot speak out for themselves, and what efforts are being made on their behalf. We will discuss how this ban can be lifted, what practical issues must be addressed, and how this action will benefit the transgender community as a whole.

Intersections of Trans Identity and Aging
In-house programming
As we age, things change—physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually! We live in a culture that stigmatizes getting older, despite that it’s a reality for us all. The subject of aging in general is often swept under the rug, and trans elders face significant additional challenges that only add to our fears and concerns. As aging AND transgender people, we need to be prepared. This interactive, facilitated discussion will allow us to hear each other’s stories and share our individual experiences with the goal of attaining strategies, tips, concerns, and camaraderie for this uncharted path.

Genderqueer Adult in the Real World
Sam Davis
Gender nonconformity is becoming more accepted among queer youth communities, but what happens when we become “adults” and have to live in the “real world”? What exactly is a genderqueer “adult”? How can we confront the challenges society presents, and the pressure to conform to male or female norms? Have you found ways to maintain your authentic self as an adult? Looking for others who have been able to express their gender nonconformity beyond youth spaces? This workshop will provide examples for living as a genderqueer adult in society, aim to build sustainable connections with others, and promote a dialogue generating alternatives to either going “stealth” or becoming isolated.

2:25 – 3:55 pm

Boy Meets Girl is a ground-breaking, sex-positive, romantic comedy that explores what it means to move authentically through the world and the importance of living courageously to pursue your dreams. Newcomer Michelle Hendley plays Ricky, a beautiful 21-year-old transgender girl living in Virginia with aspirations of becoming a fashion designer in New York. When Ricky and her best friend Robby (played by Michael Welch, known for his roles in Joan of Arcadia and the Twilight films) meet Francesca, a wealthy socialite, it sparks strong reactions and changes their relationship in unexpected ways.

Mature-themed (brief nudity and strong language). Parental discretion is advised. (Eric Schaeffer; 2014; US; 95 min.)

Gender Odyssey is delighted to offer three short films programs and two feature films curated by Sam Berliner, the festival director of Translations: the Seattle Transgender Film Festival, which is presented each May by Three Dollar Bill Cinema. This event is free and open to the public thanks to the generosity of the City of Seattle and its Neighborhood Matching Fund program. Thanks, City of Seattle!

Current Perspectives: MTF
Dr. Marci Bowers
This presentation is designed to help participants gain knowledge of Dr. Bowers’ current MTF procedures.

Gender Transition: An Internal and External Journey
In-house programming
Aydin Kennedy
Gender transition is often 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, the complexity involved in a person’s self-determination and the implications on that person’s family, career and job history, friendships, community, faith, and society as a whole. Through lecture and facilitated conversation, this workshop will expand the conversation to include the various internal and external considerations of an individual’s gender transition.

Get It On: Sex and Intimacy for Cis-partners
In-house programming
Have you been with your partner through transition and noticed shifts in your sexual connection or chemistry? Want to have great sex with your trans partner but feel awkward when the lights go out? How do you choose words to describe your sex and body parts?  Does the equipment you use for sex and play take on different meaning if your partner has transitioned? Do you wonder how to sustain sexual intimacy in the face of obstacles such as trauma and body shame? Share your own experiences and questions in this confidential workshop.
Note: Open to past, present, or future cis-partners of trans people.  You do not need to be in a relationship to attend.

Creating a Lexicon
Nyk Robertson
This workshop will detail the need for language to describe the lived experiences of gender-variant and gender-non-normative people. Statistics around these lived experiences and the necessity for words to define these experiences will be presented. An interactive discussion around what this language looks like and how it can be widely utilized will follow the presentation.

Moving the Feminine
Kimberly Krichbaum
No matter what your birth gender, you may have noticed ways in which some individuals are able to move freely on the dance floor in ways we have called feminine. You may have wished you could move that way, or noticed blocks or fears about letting yourself move that way. I have had powerful experiences noticing blocks in my body during dance, feeling and moving these blocks, and feeling my body move in ways it never could before. Through movement and sharing, we will explore allowing our bodies to move “femininely” and our fears and blocks that are in the way, and hopefully have fun!

Trans Bodies and Yoga
Avery Fisher, Kimberly Lee
Come have fun, meet people, build community, and feel good in your body by doing yoga! No yoga experience required, just a willingness to relax, get into your body, and have fun. GO can be really intense, so in addition to meeting some new people, there will also be time for meditation and taking a break from all the excitement.

4:10 – 5:20
Elizabeth "Eli" VasquezKeynote:
Elizabeth “Eli” Vasquez is an Ecuadorian attorney and the founder of Proyecto Transgenero (Project Transgender), an organization in Quito that has spearheaded the rights movement for transgender and intersex people in Ecuador. Described as a “political proposal” as well as a non-profit organization, Proyecto Transgenero’s work includes legal, social, cultural and art interventions and aims to strengthen trans identity in Ecuador. Proyecto Transgenero was born in 2002 and includes the programs Legal Patrol, Casa Trans, TransTango, and the Transfeminist Activist Training Program. In addition, Project Transgender promoted the creation of the Ecuadorian Confederation of Trans and Intersex Communities (CONFETRANS).

We hope you are as excited as we are to hear Vasquez share how Ecuadorian trans culture is influenced by tradition, political changes, street families, and so many other factors that differ from and progress beyond our Western medical-centric trans culture.


9:00 – 10:30 am

Transgender Parents
Mary Irons
This is an opportunity for parents who are transgender, persons who are transgender and thinking of becoming parents, and partners to come together and discuss their needs and concerns around parenting. Whether it is figuring out how to come out to your own kids, whether to start on the road to having kids of your own, or how to handle your kids getting bullied, you will have an opportunity to be part of a community of parents who share a common desire to come together and discuss these experiences with the goal of better understanding the needs they have.

12-Step Meeting – Open
This is an open meeting for all conference attendees currently working a twelve-step program. Meet with others to find support and make connections for the conference weekend. In addition to this session, we’d like to encourage you to proactively set times and places for any additional meetings desired throughout the conference weekend.

The Art of Gender
Jeff Brody
Authentic gender expression starts with an act of imagination—the act of envisioning your true self. Especially if we are gender nonconforming, creativity is essential for our health and well-being. For many of us, dysphoria lives in the body and leads to dissociation. Art helps us re-integrate because it uses all of our being: the body, mind, spirit, libido, and imagination. We know intuitively that art is rejuvenating. It lets you take playful risks with materials and metaphors. Art allows you to view multiple options, modify them, and experiment with intuitive and aesthetic choices. In art we can sidestep stereotypical language with a personal vocabulary of images.

Transgender Athletes: A Discussion of Athletic Polices and Everyday Practice
Adam Yerke
This workshop explores what it means to be transgender and an athlete. In the first half of the workshop, participants are provided information about current policies impacting transgender athletes. This includes up-to-date information about state laws, high school athletic associations, collegiate polices (NCAA), and professional athletic institutions, such as the International Olympic Committee (IOC). During the second half of the workshop, participants are encouraged to discuss their own experiences related to being transgender and athletes. In particular, the discussion will focus on how to navigate the everyday challenges of being transgender and an athlete, such as locker rooms, sports clothing/equipment, and competing in gender-binary categories.

Transgender and the Bible
Cecilia Wilson
A workshop for all who want a deeper understanding of the scripture and how it relates to Transgender people. This workshop answers questions such as: Did God create Transgender people? Can you be Transgender and Christian at the same time? Will Transgender people be saved? The answers to these questions and many more will be made clear in this workshop. The scripture tells us that ALL humans were created in the image of God. That includes gay, lesbian, left-handed, and of course Transgender people. If you have questions, the scripture has answers.

10:40 am – 12:10 pm

An Immigrant History and the Trans Experience
In-house programming
Kory Martin-Damon
What is it like to come from an immigrant experience and simultaneously identify as trans and/or queer? Has your family been accepting? Does that acceptance, or lack of it, vary inter-generationally? Oftentimes, first-, second-, and third-generation immigrant families live in close proximity with each other, in barrios, for example, and other culturally-constructed communities. Sometimes there is little to no cultural language to describe a trans experience. Or, if there is, that language is borrowed from western European culture and perhaps considered suspect as a result. A trans person is often placed in the position of having to choose between their family/community and their personal trans identity. Bring your heart and thoughts to this important discussion and we’ll make space for this unique experience.
Note: This conversation will be centered on the experiences of people of color but is open to all who wish to listen, learn and grow.

Gender Revolutionaries: Non-binary Film Shorts

  • LITTLE ORPHAN GENDER REVOLUTIONARY ANNIE (Ezra Nepon, Kate Sorensen, Niknaz Tavakolian; 2012; US; 14 min.)
  • TOILET (Kerem Blumberg; 2012; Israel; 6 min.)
  • DOS ALMAS (Danielle Villegas; 2013; US; 16 min.)
  • GENDERFREAK (Rebecca Louisell; 2012; US; 19 min.)
  • QUEEN OF THE DESERT (Alex Kelly; 2012; Australia; 27 min.)

Total running time (82 min.)

From re-purposed Annie tunes to a real life Australian queen of the desert, these genderqueer shorts pack a revolutionary punch! In Little Orphan Gender Revolutionary Annie, Annie transforms a beloved classic by queering familiar tunes and challenging the gender binary in this DIY musical. In Toilet what’s a genderqueer to do when the usual restroom of choice is occupied? Dos Almas takes us back to 1860 when a mestiza woman, alone in the remote wilderness, poses as a man and opens up to another life. In Genderfreak will Rachel, an awkward, straight high school girl, and Sammy, the genderqueer transfer student, become rivals, band mates, or something more? Queen of the Desert introduces us to Starlady who each year brings her mobile hair salon to a remote village in the Australian outback, providing makeovers to the youth of the village and successfully bridging communities with hair dye and an endless supply of patience.

Gender Odyssey is delighted to offer three short films programs and two feature films curated by Sam Berliner, the Festival Director of Translations: the Seattle Transgender Film Festival, run each May by Three Dollar Bill Cinema. This event is free and open to the public thanks to the generosity of the City of Seattle and their Neighborhood Matching grant program. Thanks, City of Seattle!

Current Perspectives: FTM
Dr. Marci Bowers
This presentation is designed to help participants gain knowledge of Dr. Bowers’ current FTM procedures.

What’s Up with Intersex?
Jane Goto
Within pop culture, the media, and gender studies, both transgenderism and intersex have become the cause célèbre. Despite this newfound interest, many people have little understanding of or misconstrued ideas about transgenderism and intersex, sometimes confusing one for the other. This session will briefly discuss the history of the intersex movement and help participants better understand the needs of intersexed people. We will spend some time deepening the understanding of the institutional similarities and differences between transgender and intersex people.

Celebrating Your Gender Expression
Kris Gleason, Fresh! White
We will explore different perspectives on gender expression and discover how a perspective impacts your posture, mood, and experience of both yourself and the world around you. You will then create and claim an empowering perspective of your gender identity that honors your full self-expression.

Chest Surgery Show and Tell
In-house programming
Contemplating chest surgery and don’t know where to start? Do you have some great surgery results you want to share with others? Wish you had done something different and want to let others know? Join this facilitated show and tell and listen to the stories of others as they discuss which surgeons they chose and why, their experiences with surgeons and staff, how much they spent, how pleased/displeased they are with the results, and more.

Peace in Flux
Jennifer Creson, Shannon Solie
Life is suffering, said the Buddha. When we let our old stories and fears run the show, it sure can feel that way. Mindfulness is known to increase self-empathy and compassion, and decrease stress and anxiety. In this workshop you will learn the basics of how to use mindfulness to ease the emotional pain that often goes along with transitioning or living outside of the gender binary (everything from general anxiety, sadness, or anger, to the pain of microaggressions that can occur on an everyday basis, to bigotry and rejection by those around us). You will learn mindfulness techniques, be able to practice in the workshop, and take materials home to continue your practice.

1:30 – 3:00 pm

A Lifetime of Surveillance in Images: Gender and Fluidity
Sé Sullivan
This workshop intertwines auto-ethnography, Trans Theory, and contrasting images to create tension between private and public identities that navigate both heteronormativity and homonormativity. We will engage in a bottom up dialog throughout the workshop as a means of interrupting the traditional top-down hierarchy of knowledge production. This means that the participants’ lived experience will be crucial in this space of encounter.

Creating Physical Safety
Erica Laurentz
On a per capita basis, transgender people are more likely to be bullied, seriously assaulted, or killed than any other minority in America. Your attitude and your level of preparedness can significantly tip the odds of not being a victim, or of surviving an attack, in your favor. This workshop offers an overview on the pros and cons of the options that you have from trusting your intuition, choosing a safe place to live, and the potential impact of shamanic practice to using non-lethal and lethal weapons. Also included: an overview of martial arts; an overview of the laws on self-defense; and a brief discussion on what to expect from the legal system.

7-Year Itch
In-house programming
Many years have passed since you physically transitioned, and the impact it had on job, family, relationship, medical issues, and the like has faded a bit into the past. What’s going on in your world now?  Your gender may no longer be an issue in most of your personal relationships, but where and how does it pop up? Are you back in the dating pool with no idea how to begin? Are you reconsidering living stealth, or out?  Where do you disclose your gender, and where do you find it to be irrelevant?
Note:  The focus of this workshop is on people who are five or more years post-transition. All are welcome to listen, but we ask that you respect the intent to create a focused conversation relevant to this particular subset of community.

Phat Cat
In-house programming
Discussions of being overweight are so often solely focused on health and dieting. It sure doesn’t stop there! Our size can impact our lives in so many ways and, as trans* people, this is especially so. We may have familiarity with the ways society treats us as fat people, but then a gender transition turns that on its head in some very unexpected ways! Societal attitudes toward us can vary dramatically depending on whether we are in straight, gay, or lesbian communities and the values those respective communities espouse. How does this impact how we date, love, and live? In what ways do factors such as our age, height, or our skin color complicate our relationship to our size and our gender expression? This workshop is a forum for anyone on the large size of the gender spectrum to speak our minds on the subject of being fat.

Emotional Intelligence
Neo L. Sandja, Marla Stewart
Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify, understand, and manage the emotions of oneself and of others in order to communicate effectively, overcome challenges, resolve conflicts, relieve stress, and empathize with others. Before transitioning, as we begin our transition, and during our transition, it’s important to assess our own emotional IQ because it affects every area of our lives.

In this session, we’ll talk about the four attributes of emotional intelligence:

  • Self-awareness: recognizing your emotions and their relationships to your thoughts and behavior; knowing your strengths and weaknesses and building self confidence.
  • Self-management: living in integrity with your values by controlling your impulses and behavior.
  • Social-awareness: Being able to read people around us by understanding emotional cues, nonverbal communication, and group dynamics.
  • Relationship management: learning how to develop and maintain good relationships, communicate clearly, inspire and influence others, and manage conflict.

Sex, Intimacy, and Communication
Shannon Solie, Jennifer Creson
At different stages of gender exploration and transition, there are things that come up which can make sexual intimacy with another person scary, difficult, or frustrating. At times it might even feel safer to retreat from sex and relationships altogether. How can you get what you want—both in your own body, and in relation to another? The key components to intimacy are open communication, consent, and trust. This workshop will include tips on how to communicate what you want (either as a trans* person or as a partner), talk about consent, and explore how sex and our relation to our own and others’ body parts have changed during transition. There will also be a show-and-tell of sex toys to help deepen intimacy and aid in gender play as well as increase sexual pleasure for everyone involved.

3:15 – 4:30 pm

Kumu Hina
Imagine a world where a little boy can grow up to be the woman of his dreams, and a young girl can rise to become a leader among men. Welcome to Kumu Hina’s Hawai’i. During a momentous year in her life in modern Honolulu, Hina Wong-Kalu, a native Hawaiian mahu (transgender) teacher uses traditional culture to inspire a student to claim her place as leader of the school’s all-male hula troupe, even as she seeks love and a committed relationship in her own life. An incredible docu-drama that unfolds like a narrative film, KUMU HINA reveals a side of Hawai’i rarely seen on screen. (Dean Hamer & Joe Wilson; 2014; US; 77 min.)

Gender Odyssey is delighted to offer three short films programs and two feature films curated by Sam Berliner, the festival director of Translations: the Seattle Transgender Film Festival, which is presented each May by Three Dollar Bill Cinema.

No Apology Necessary
In-house programming
Many trans people feel that there is no distinct and definitive line between the genders. Some have found, however, that we’re perceived as having crossed a line when we are fully recognized as male. Many of us who have been living as male for a number of years experience unjustified targeting as the embodiment of patriarchal culture. This shows up in accusations of misogyny, or in demands that we become the model man, apologize for our masculinity, or deny any claim to manhood at all. How do we come to terms with our own maleness in light of messages (inaccurately framed as “feminist”) that men are the enemy? What happens when we seek to empower ourselves as whole human beings and are seen as trading oppression for privilege? In what ways can we/do we truly celebrate and embrace our masculinity? Come share your thoughts and experiences with other transmen.
Note: This closed session is for trans men who have been fully and intentionally recognized as male.

One Size Does Not Fit All: Exploring Alternative Relationship Models
Oblio, Cass
How do we even know what is authentic to us as diverse individuals if we have only been shown a small cross-section of what is possible in relationship? Why would we deviate from this “norm” when other options are represented negatively? This workshop provides a container for individuals to begin to explore relational authenticity, modeled by facilitators who have two decades of professional and personal experience navigating open, ethical, consensual non-monogamy. Material and tools will be offered, and it is active community dialog that will bring it to life.

Rules of Attraction
In-house programming
Homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual… wait, is it transsexual? There are few descriptors for those who are specifically attracted to trans people. For trans people, how does this affect our ability to feel sexy and desirable? How do we know if someone’s attraction to us is based on a gender fetish? Do we ourselves fetishize non-trans bodies? As non-trans people, are our motives questioned when we choose a trans lover? Are they questioned when we state that we prefer to date trans people? How can we claim our desire for trans bodies as a legitimate sexual orientation? How do we deal with language that assumes we’d rather date non-trans people? Join us for an in-depth discussion of navigating dating, sex, and intimacy with bodies that aren’t recognized by the current language of sexual orientation. Let’s talk about getting confident in our own sexiness, and making room for trans-specific desire.