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 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.
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.
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.
2015 Conference Programming
9:00am – 10:30am
ID Documents: Helping Yourself and Others Get the ID They Need
Mara Keisling, M. Dru Levasseur, Nico Quintana
When you don’t have ID that matches who you are, life can be tough. Come learn about resources that will help you change your ID documents, but also learn about how we can work together to change policies and build community resources to support others who are navigating the system, especially transgender people of color and those living in poverty. You will get both practical information as well as inspiration to change policies and expand name and gender change services wherever you are.
TransSculpting the Human Form
Dr. Tony Mangubat
In this workshop we 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 the gland. With the advent of new technologies, procedures allow us to sculpt an abdominal “six-pack,” further enhancing the masculine form. Dr. Mangubat will also review the essentials of achieving an ideal outcome, addressing what to do before and after your surgery that is vital to realizing your goals. Adequate time will be available for questions.
Kids of Trans Parents
Many trans people have children or want to create families, yet the voices of those children are often missing in the conversation about each child’s needs and identity. How can you support your child or a child you are working with who is navigating their identity as the child of a trans parent? How can we give young people tools for educating others and sharing about their family structure which help them to feel empowered? With parenting being such a gendered system, how can our families break down binaries and create environments that feel safe and validating for both the child and parent? COLAGE is currently the only organization in the world that is by and for people who have trans and LGBQ parents.
Showing up: The Pursuit of Authenticity
Marcus Meta Magdalena
How do you stay in your skin? What helps you to 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.
Zening the Art of Trans Activism
This lecture will provide a brief historical overview of trans activism in North America from 1971 to the present, with a call to both older and younger trans and genderqueer folks to work together inclusively, inter-generationally, and inter-racially towards developing a more cohesive community (trans, genderqueer, intersex and two-spirit) and movement based on mutual understanding and solidarity. It will highlight pieces of the recent groundbreaking anthology Trans Activism in Canada: A Reader.
Transgender Parents Panel
Mary Irons, Brooke Hall, Shae Brenn, Ash Warren
This session will include a panel consisting of trans men and women with children of varying ages. Topics addressed will include the panelists’ respective roads to parenthood; their conversations with children about gender and being transgender; the offering of a strengths-based perspective on being a trans parent; having transgender status used against parents within the court systems during child custody procedures; and how to address any teasing or bullying kids might receive because of a parent’s gender status. Panelists will offer ample time for questions including sharing of any additional audience experiences.
Wanted: Your Stories
Cameron Kyle Combs
We hear stories about transgender and gender-nonconforming 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, but 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 a couple of casual writing exercises, with very few rules. And we’ll brainstorm about how to get our stories into the world and how to network to find mentors and role models, allies and co-conspirators.
10:40am – 12:10pm
The Ties That Bind
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 within our families of origin; and how LGBTQ organizations can make family acceptance part of their work in communities of color.
Advocating for Your Health
Ryan Sallans (Moderator), Mara Keisling, M. Dru Levasseur, Nico Quintana
This 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. Panelists will discuss how state and federal policies impact healthcare and provide suggestions and guidelines for accessing care. Questions panelists will 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?
Female to Male Surgical Options
Dr. Toby Meltzer & Dr. Burt Webb
This presentation will provide information on current surgical options for transmen including ftm genital surgeries, chest surgery, revision/repair, body contouring, hysterectomy, oophorectomy, and vaginectomy.
Twilight People: Stories of Faith and Gender beyond the Binary
In this workshop, participants will discover how oral history and storytelling can be a fun and effective trans*/queer campaigning and education tool. Surat-Shaan is an out & proud trans* Jew from the UK. He will share his own transitioning experience, which he has documented via public blog, and use his pioneering heritage project Twilight People as a case study. Twilight People: Stories of Faith and Gender beyond the Binary utilizes oral history, film, and photography to explore the “hidden history” of transgender and gender-variant people of faith, past and present. Participants are invited to discuss perspectives regarding intersectionality, visibility, religion/faith, and diverse LGBTQI identities.
I Believe in Me – Film Shorts
Travel around the US and the world in this collection of shorts about trans folks fighting to be who they are and coming out strong in the face of family strife, prison, racism, homelessness, and more. Onward!
Note: Films in this program contain adult themes and language.
- I BELIEVE IN ME: FIGHT FOR TRANS RIGHTS IN PRISON
Leslie Von Pless; 2014; US; 7 min.
Sharon Flynn; 2014; India; 26 min.
Lucah Rosenberg Lee & J. Mitchel Reed; 2014; Canada; 23 min.
Angela Kong; 2014; US; 7 min.
Alfred Dong; 2015; China, Thailand; 26 min.
Lena Holz & Pablo Alvarez-Tostado
Is this your first time at Gender Odyssey? Perhaps you are a seasoned veteran wanting to meet new people? Are you looking for others who share a particular interest? It can be challenging to find ways to connect with folks from across the country and beyond as you are hustling from one workshop to the next. If one of your goals for the weekend is to make some solid connections, this is your chance to get started. Get a jump on meeting folks in this session designed for just that purpose, and find buddies to hang with for the weekend, or perhaps even a lifetime.
It’s My Transition Too
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 partners, we will look at what changes, what stays the same, and how sometimes the expected changes can manifest in unanticipated ways.
Note: This session is open to all partners of trans/gender-nonconforming people. This includes those who partners who are trans-identified.
A Different Take on Passing
Erika Ann Laurentz
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, where we live, our age, and level of ability?
Note: This conversation will be centered on the experiences of trans women but is open to all who wish to listen, learn, and grow.
Is your mother the rock of the family? Was she a great supporter or your greatest critic? How has your gender identity affected your relationship to your own parenting? Let’s share our stories of having a mother, not having a mother, wanting to be a mother, being (or not being able to be) a biological mother, and learning to be a mother.
Note: We may limit the time any single person can share so as to optimize the greatest amount of participation.
1:20pm – 2:50pm
The Lighter Side of Race
Frequently, when someone mentions the word race, the conversation centers on the experiences and challenges of those who are black. While this examination is crucial, the voices of other people-of-color who may be of Asian, Latino, Indigenous, Middle Eastern, or mixed-race descent are also in need of being heard. Navigating our gender in a society that ascribes to a two-gender system and still contemplates race most often as a black/white issue can leave us on the sidelines saying: “Well, that’s not my experience.” Let’s share our experiences with each other and create the dialogue we strain to hear.
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.
The Trans Agenda: A Progressive Agenda for Change
Mara Keisling, Nico Quintana, Ryan Sallans
At the local, state, and federal levels, there are tons of ways to make a real difference for trans folks. From getting your local school district or homeless shelter system to adopt good policies to helping to pass federal laws and change health care policies, come learn about the ways you can get engaged to make life better for trans people in your city or town and throughout the US. Included will be topics that are important to transgender communities of color and those living in poverty. We will share what others are doing so you don’t have to recreate the wheel. You will leave inspired and equipped to make real change for trans people.
Male to Female Surgical Options
Dr. Toby Meltzer
This presentation will provide information on current surgical options for trans women including MtF genital reconstructive surgery, facial feminization, breast augmentation, and body contouring.
Getting the Grade
Paige Schilt & Trystan Cotten
College is for everyone . . . isn’t it? Come to this workshop and learn more about ways to apply, attend, and succeed in college with both your identity and sanity intact. We’ll look at some ways to deal with administrative barriers, handle instances of harassment, gain access to gendered spaces, and discuss how to evaluate which campus communities are safe and welcoming for you. We’ll allot plenty of time for addressing individual questions and circumstances.
Small Town, Big Change
Robin Gray & Jack Alcantara
A gender transition can be a tremendous undertaking for anyone. It can feel magnified for those who live in small towns where your personal business can be the business of everyone else too. What if you’ve lived in the same town for the past 20 years—you know everyone and everyone knows you. Navigating everyone’s reaction is one thing but feeling like you are out there wearing the emperor’s new clothes is another! What about other trans people in town—how do you find them? What if they are living stealth (but, for various reasons, you think they might be trans)—are there reasonable ways to broach the subject or do you just wait and hope that they’ll come to you? How do you go about finding a therapist that is supportive, much less knowledgeable in trans-related care? What about your main squeeze, how will it be for them? Your friends, family, coworkers? Will you even be able to keep your job? Is there a way to be anything other than the town “freak” or is a move to a new town the only option? This session is for those who’ve navigated or are considering navigating the complex path to gender authenticity while under the small town microscope. Let’s share our thoughts, experiences, and tools with each other and gain support along the way.
Shifting Identities, Expanding Desires
Whether our partners are post transition, just beginning to question their gender, or negotiating an identity somewhere in the middle, their journeys can have major implications for our feelings about sex and attraction. Were you involved primarily with women and never expected to be having sex with someone trans or male-identified? How do you feel about your partner’s body—including their new smell, look, or changing parts? Is being with your partner opening you up to new sexual desires? Are your ideas about your sexual orientation shifting? Depending on numbers, there may be break-out groups for lesbian, bi-/queer-identified, straight, and gay partners.
Note: This workshop will provide a confidential space and is open only to non-trans-identified people to talk frankly about fears, challenges, pleasures, and desire.
Just One of the Guys
Lukas Hedrick & Max Skorodinsky
How many of us, assigned female at birth, have felt robbed of the opportunity to bond with other men? Without this camaraderie of male 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 male friendships we longed for in our youth. For trans men, moving from one experience to a completely new one—becoming “one of the guys”—can be a transition within a transition. Join us as we explore what it means to be a man in relationship to other men, and to experience our masculinity with other guys whose background and socialization differ from our own.
Note: This conversation will be centered on the experiences of trans men but is open to all who wish to listen, learn, and grow.
Actually, I Use a Different Pronoun
Cecil Whitney & A Blythe
Taking on the role of an educator/activist should be a choice, not a prison we’re forced into simply because of our gender expression or identity. How can we make sure we’re doing this kind of education from an empowered place within ourselves? This workshop will cover ways in which we can communicate with those around us about pronoun usage, new and evolving language for our identities, problematic gender designations on forms, accessing gendered places like bathrooms, and supporting our right to educate others when, or if, we feel like it.
3:00pm – 4:30pm
Adventures in Dating (POC)
People-of-color (POC) can 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.
Know Your Rights: Stopping Discrimination in Its Tracks
Mara Keisling & M. Dru Levasseur
There are a lot of local, state, and even federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against trans people in almost every area of life. However, much of this is new, and many employers, schools, shelter providers, health insurance companies, and other businesses don’t know about the laws and policies they have to follow. Sometimes stopping anti-trans discrimination is possible by letting folks know that they are breaking the law if they continue. Other times, they know that they’re breaking the law, but they think that we won’t question their actions. Though non-discrimination laws and policies don’t stop all discrimination, they can help. That’s why it’s important for all trans people and allies to know about the rights that we have today, and what you can do if you aren’t being treated fairly.
Trans Organizing for a New Generation
Eli Erlick & Danie Diamond
Trans Organizing for a New Generation provides a unique look into trans organizing communities through a contemporary perspective and intersectional lens. In this workshop, we will discuss challenges, queer and trans organizing histories, and youth organizing information. We will also have breakout discussions of organizing techniques that have worked for attendees in the past and what they would like to see in the future. This workshop will help empower attendees to organize more strategically around issues affecting their communities with a greater awareness of goals and means of achieving them in their organizing work.
This workshop provides valuable insight into trans organizing and how different forms of organizing interact, discussing what is and isn’t effective for services, rights, and justice for the trans community.
Eating Disorders and Body Image: Does Transitioning Heal the Disorder?
Ryan K. Sallans
Multiple factors and layers influence whether a person will develop an eating disorder and negative body image. For people in the transgender community, who either desire to transition, or are transitioning, there may be even more complex factors affecting their overall health and sense of self. While research is still lacking in the field around treating transgender people with eating disorders, the presenter will share his own story with a focus on the emotionality influencing his disorder, before and during his recovery. Commentary on how current societal beauty ideals are influencing perceptions of self will also be shared. Audience participation is highly encouraged.
Transition: What’s the Rush?
How can I transition now—I’m 65? I love living in the middle of gender, so why can’t people be okay with me being the way I am? My family will NOT accept this—it’s completely outside of our culture and how can I risk losing them? I don’t think my education or career will survive a gender transition. I want surgery but no hormones, is that okay? Can I take just a small amount of hormones? If you have these or other thoughts about a physical transition, come share them in a supportive and non-judgmental environment. This discussion is designed to explore the imperfect process and experience of a physical transition. Many of us have explored or considered variables that don’t fit within the “traditional” trans narratives. Let’s share them with each other and think outside the box of should I… or shouldn’t I…?
Intersections of Trans Identity and Aging
Alison Davison & Stephen Thorne
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.
RC Brown & Jude Patton
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 being 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 sub-set of the trans community.
Transpsychic: Are Transgendered People More Psychic?
Dr. Lauren Cielo
Finally, a clear understanding of what being “psychic” really means! The simple fact that transgendered people are able to use both hemispheres of our brains at the same time makes us super psychic! In this workshop, Dr. Cielo will guide you through your own “psychic space” and teach you how to read energy and auras. The overall energy of this offering is fun, silly, and thought provoking. Please join one of today’s most prolific clairvoyant healers and teachers and learn how to tap into your own psychic abilities. Everyone is psychic . . . but it’s just a bit easier when you’re transgendered!
8:30am – 10:00am
Liam “captain” Snowdon
Is your father your biggest hero? Was he absent or unsupportive? How has your gender identity affected your relationship to your own parenting? Let’s share our stories of having a father, not having a father, wanting to be a father, being (or not being able to be) a biological father, and learning to be a father.
Note: We may limit the time any single person can share so as to optimize the greatest amount of participation.
Surgical Options for Trans Women
Dr. Thomas Satterwhite
Dr. Satterwhite of Brownstein & Crane Surgical Services will present the most recent surgical techniques for trans women including facial feminization surgery, breast augmentation, vaginoplasty, and all cosmetic-surgical procedures. The surgeons at Brownstein & Crane Surgical Services all offer the full spectrum of gender surgery procedures for trans and gender-nonconforming individuals.
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 allotted time for Q & A.
Disclosure, Coming Out, and Degrees of Privacy
How do you do it? If that isn’t the most understated question ever! The hows, whens, and even ifs of disclosing our gender status/history to another person are potentially as unique as each person, place, and/or time involved whenever this question of disclosure arises. Do you disclose to everyone? No one? Only family? In your neighborhood or on the job? How do you share your gender history to some people but not to others? Does the level of disclosure in your life impact your ability to be fully engaged? In what ways? Share your experiences and insights. Learn from the stories of others. There’s no right or wrong here, just ideas and suggestions for how to navigate a complex issue.
Creating Your Gender Toolkit
What can I get for you ladies?. . . Hey, this is the men’s room! . . . Are you a drag queen? Many of us have been misread and/or challenged based on the false assumptions or perceptions of others, and then had to stumble or stutter our way out of it. The perfect response or comeback usually arrives . . . but hours or days too late. Educating others can be exhausting, and sometimes having the right thing to say worked out in advance can bypass an awkward moment and/or be more effective than an off-the-cuff response. In this workshop, we will examine how to effect positive change by responding in gentle, humorous, or matter-of-fact ways rather than pushing back. Let’s brainstorm and share ways to let people know that they need to look beyond their initial assumptions . . . without doing so at our expense. Bring your own stories, listen to those of others, and then take home a toolkit of humorous deflections, snappy comebacks, and other responses we can use to change the world, one encounter at a time. Bring your notebooks!
Grief, Loss, and Transformation: Partners and Transition
When our partners move towards being their authentic selves, 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 closed session is specifically 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.
Creating Physical Safety
Erika Ann 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. Other topics included are: 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.
10:10am – 11:40am
La Familia, el Racismo, y la Aceptacion Familiar (Español)
Para muchos muchach@s trans o queer, el seno familiar es una fuente de fortaleza, apoyo e identidad. Al mismo tiempo, para muchos jóvenes existe una negociación de identidades y muy a menudo su joteria es amordazada al interactuar con la familia. En este taller nos daremos a la tarea de dialogar acerca de las experiencias de el proceso de transición y la aceptación familiar de la comunidad transgenero.
Vamos a compartir historias personales o familiares y examinar: como crear un dialogo intergeneracional acerca del racismo, transfobia, homofobia, xenofobia en nuestras familias de origen, nuestras comunidades y la sociedad en general. Esperamos acrecentar el entendimiento y el apoyo para el concepto de la aceptación familiar en nuestro movimiento LGBT y discutiremos formas en que podamos luchar por personas inmigrantes LGBT y nuestras familias en una forma nueva, innovadora y más eficaz.
Katy Koonce & Paige Schilt
Starting a family can be viewed by our society as an important rite of passage, and many of us find that we aren’t seen as fully adult until we marry and have kids. How does this dynamic change when our relationships are atypical, or when our status as trans people makes adoption our best option for becoming parents? What are the many variables we consider when contemplating our creation of family? Join us for a discussion—not a “how to parent” discussion, but just what it all means.
Psychobiology of Transsexualism and Transgenderism
This workshop provides information in understandable form on the status of psychobiology research on transsexualism and transgenderism (TSTG). Topics to be covered include: definitions, population frequencies of TSTG, evidence for biological contribution to TSTG causation, evidence for cultural contribution to TSTG causation, historical/geographic diversity in gender systems. TSTG in childhood, parental relations, toxic effects of secrecy, marriage/military flight, sources of TSTG rights, effects of denial of TSTG rights. The presentation summarizes research across 22 scientific disciplines encompassed by biopsychology. The presentation will analyze the status of various scientific theories and non-scientific theories about TSTG and why TSTG cannot be a conscious choice. The workshop will encourage questions about what people have heard in the public media about TSTG in order to provide explanations.
Trans Media 201
Eli Erlick & Danie Diamond
Trans Media 201 is geared towards those involved in media and writing ranging from professional journalists to personal blogging. In this workshop, we’ll be working with you to address and deconstruct transphobic language that is often used in telling trans narratives and providing trans-friendly alternatives. This workshop assumes attendees have some understanding of how media affects the trans community and will, in part, build off of the previous knowledge of participants. In this workshop, we will also explore how media has scapegoated and othered non-white/western cultures in ways that perpetuate the intersectional marginalization of trans people of color. With videos, examples, and group discussions, attendees of this workshop will come away with a greater knowledge of how media interacts with the trans community.
Life Post Transition for Trans Men: Where Do We Belong?
What happens to your sense of community after you have reached a point where you see yourself as “post transition?” This large group discussion will be a safe place for trans men to discuss how their life changed since their transition, where they find support, how they see themselves fitting in the trans community today and what concerns they still may have around their trans identity.
Transitioning During the Elder Years
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 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.
Mobilize YOUR Allies!
Learn how to mobilize your allies! Explore different tools to help recognize “good intent” and a person’s motivations. Be a part of the conversation on how to teach others to be agents for change.
You’re Doing What!?
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 our family member’s 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.
12:45pm – 2:15pm
An Immigrant History and the Trans Experience
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, 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-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.
Violence against Trans Women of Color: A Town Meeting
Bamby Salcedo & Andrea Jenkins
Trans women of color are at a disproportionately high risk for violent hate crimes. This is an international crisis yet media attention to this crisis is sorely behind. Murders often go unsolved and are particularly gruesome in nature. What can we do to change this? Are there grassroots efforts we can do to increase safety and awareness? Can we challenge the media to immediately and accurately report the facts and not, for example, misgender the victim resulting in a distortion of the story? Trans women of color, if able to fight for their lives, can easily find themselves behind bars because a violent attacker was harmed or killed. Join Andrea Jenkins and Bamby Salcedo in this facilitated town-meeting-style conversation as we discuss one, if not the, largest crisis within the trans community.
Surgical Options for Trans Men
Dr. Curtis Crane, Dr. Thomas Satterwhite, Dr. Mang L. Chen
The surgeons of Brownstein & Crane Surgical Services will discuss the advances in FTM surgeries ranging from top surgery to options in genital reconstruction including metoidioplasty and phalloplasty. Drs. Crane, Satterwhite, and Chen all offer the full spectrum of gender surgery procedures for trans and gender-nonconforming individuals.
Maintaining a Healthy Body
Dr. Heather Gansel
Join us in a discussion of the physiology and functionality of the human body.
In Part 1 we’ll demonstrate the importance of maintaining a healthy body while transitioning by looking at how your bodies work and how they were designed – the physiology and functionality of the human body. This power point presentation is geared toward both the transman and transwoman.
In Part 2, we’ll talk about what metabolic training is and how it can help you achieve your goals while transitioning. All attendees will be put through a 45 min metabolic body weight program. We welcome all fitness levels to attend. Every exercise in the metabolic workout routine can be modified so that both the beginner and the most advance fitness enthusiast can participate in this activity. Be prepared to sweat and have fun!
It’s Not Just a Phase
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.” Gender-fluid 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 gender-queering? Let’s find out!
Leadership and Organizing
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 learn from each other.
Disabilities and Gender Diversity: A Space to Connect
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.
Liam “captain” Snowdon
Gay male culture can hold particular challenges for trans and genderqueer people. Gay masculine and feminine norms may still leave us on the outside looking in. In the world of jocks, bears, twinks, and queens, where do we fit in? How do we get other guys to read our gender correctly and see us as the awesome dating material that we are? How do we find—or build—social spaces that are inclusive to trans and cis men? Let’s share our experiences of navigating oh-so-fabulous gay space while we find ways to increase our dating confidence.
Note: This workshop is for those navigating (or wanting to navigate) gay male space.
2:25pm – 3:55pm
POC Issues in Surgery
Dr. Tony Mangubat
Surgery is foreign and frightening to most individuals but for trans people, surgery is often essential to achieving the gender identity. While there are many gender-affirming procedures that are common to the trans-community, this workshop will emphasize what you need to do to get ready for any procedure. We will address how to care for yourself after surgery to ensure a successful outcome. Knowing the essential details help your journey with NO SURPRISES!
Get It On
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 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.
Safe Schools for Trans Students
Eli Erlick & Danie Diamond
Safe Schools for Trans Students provides a unique look into how the education system interacts with trans students across different levels of education through examples, group discussions, and shared personal experiences. In this workshop, we will discuss contemporary issues affecting trans students in education and strategies to work towards a more just system. Some topics include knowing your rights, trans students at women’s colleges, trans people-qof-color experiences, student groups, Title IX, legislation protecting trans people from unfair treatment, correcting school records, and knowing which organizations can be contacted to help.
Circus Movement for Everyone!
Circus inspired Movement for Trans people! In this all levels class we will explore a range of floor acrobatics skills in a supportive environment. If you are looking for a fun, body positive workout, or if you have always wanted to try circus arts, then try this! This class will include a thorough warmup, flexibility training, strength building, and we will learn basic tumbling, handstands, and some weight sharing and partner acrobatics (no partner required for class) as well as presentation skills! Use circus inspired movement to build strength, confidence, grace and presence. Through these exercises we will explore what is amazing about the bodies we inhabit and practice loving ourselves just a little bit more, regardless of our transition status or intentions. Come dressed in clothing in which you can move and stretch.
Transgender Family Film Shorts
Three films examine what it means to be transgender in a family, whether it is transgender parents navigating conception, raising kids, or coming out to grown kids in TRANSGENDER PARENTS; being pregnant as masculine-identified people in MASCULINE AND PREGNANT: TRANSCENDING GENDER; or the local story of acceptance and understanding of a trans daughter, her mother, and her mentor in TRANSJOURNEY. These films remind us that love, family, identity, and belonging can transcend all boundaries of gender.
Emily Newberry & Sarah James
Some sense of spirituality has been intrinsic to 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 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.
Race and Gender Balancing Act
Trystan Cotten & Stephan Thorne
A gender transition can result in new experiences of privilege—both lost and gained—but that experience may be nowhere near the same for trans people-of-color as it is for white trans people. Has your relationship to race transitioned along with your gender? What was expected and what has taken you by surprise? How does acquiring male privilege balance with the losses that come with living as trans? Or, have you transitioned to female and discovered a far less friendly world? More friendly? Come share your experience and hear the stories of others as we explore the inextricable relationship between our gender and our skin color.
Note: Open to all who desire to share from their OWN experience.
Erika Ann Laurentz
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 frequently have 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 the expression of the oppressor, trans women are in a catch-22 in which their expression of either masculinity or femininity is suspect. There are rarely, if ever, spaces where trans women are not only accepted, but are 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. This workshop is for trans women to collaborate with each other, discuss ways 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.
Latin@ Trans and LGB Community Outreach 101
Bamby Salcedo, Marco Castro-Bojorquez
In the past ten years, the US Latin@ population has grown, as well as migrated to, states that had not previously seen Latin@ communities. This workshop is designed to help LGB and T activists and organizations begin and/or strengthen their Latin@ outreach efforts. Let’s increase your capacity to both meet the needs of Latin@ and, collaborate and build relationships within larger communities.
Note: We invite and encourage non-Latin@ attendees especially to join us during this session. It is our hope that all attendees learn more about how to create a culturally relevant approach to increasing and strengthening Latin@ presence and engagement within all of our growing communities.
9:00am – 10:30am
Study on College Trans* Masculinities: Findings
This session is a presentation of the preliminary findings of a unique study investigating how trans*masculine college students conceptualize and define masculinity. This study is also unique in that it brings together diverse participants based on race, sexual orientation, (dis)ability status, and class. Workshop participants will have the opportunity to ask questions, and through small group and large group discussions provide their reactions and feedback to the researcher and the study.
Bodies of Desire: The Sexualities of Trans Men and Their Partners
Sexuality is constructed from gender, bodies, embodiment and social relationships. Change any one of these aspects and sexuality becomes redefined. I examine these aspects and how they play into and off of one another for trans men and their partners. As a trans man and an academic, I believe that it is important to understand how trans* folk are defining and redefining their sexualities within a society that bases sexuality on a binary system. I will share my research findings (to date) about how trans men and their partners are answering questions related to their sexuality, gender and sexual orientation. After a brief presentation the floor will be opened for discussion by trans* men, their partners and others to talk about how they have constructed their sexualities in relationship to trans* identities.
Transphobia, Sexism, and Non-binary Presentation
This workshop will feature a five-person panel of non-binary people, where we will discuss transphobia and sexism within the trans and binary and non-binary community. Each panelist will speak about their identity, how they arrived at it, and the ways in which they are oppressed because of their identity. There will then be a period during which the audience will be able to ask questions and make comments.
Cameron Combs & Dr. Robin Nussbaum
Parenting is amazing, challenging, exhausting, satisfying, frightening… all that and more. For transgender and gender non-conforming 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 non-conforming parents and parents to be, their partners, co-parents and others interested in parenting and nurturing children.
Not Your Basic Sex Ed
Ryan Peters, Brettley Mason, Angela Reid
This is a workshop for trans and gender questioning folks, as well as our partners, dates, potential hook-ups, and other people trans folks might get down with. We will be sharing tools to explore, understand, and communicate our boundaries and desires more effectively and be affirmed in them. This will include giving space to share our knowledge around navigating dysphoria, trans bodies, trauma, and triggers. As a community, we have a lot of passion, knowledge, and experience to share with each other and we all know our own bodies, lives, and sexualities best. In addition to more tools, you can expect to leave with more information about ways that our trans identities and/or transitions (including hormones, surgery and presentations) can affect how we experience sexuality.
One Size Does Not Fit All!
Oblio Z Stroyman & Cass Averill
Heterosexual. Married. Monogamous. Most relationship messages we see modeled in dominant culture support these constructs as ideals. For LGBTQ folks, these black and white concepts as a package have never supported a rainbow of relational diversity, and even for cis-gendered and/or heterosexual people these rigid concepts are frequently problematic. Relationships are not black and white, one size does not fit all. 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.
10:40am – 12:20pm
Authenticity: Reconciling Past and Present
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? Do they move in closer or take a step back? Let’s share our stories in a non-judgmental way—in a way that comes from our hearts.
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.
Chest Surgery Show & Tell
Contemplating chest surgery and don’t know where to start? Do you have some great surgery results you want to share with others? Do you 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.
What I Don’t Usually Say to Others about My Gender
It isn’t surprising that any of us as trans people may have to modify our stories for a variety of reasons. Some people are unfamiliar with the subject as a whole. Some may still be navigating their feelings of confusion, anger, grief, and so on. But what about when we are with each other? Are there things we don’t share? Perhaps you feel like you are the only one who thinks/feels/expresses themselves in a certain way. Maybe your reasons for transitioning are different than what you’ve heard others express. There may be concern that others won’t understand. Perhaps you’ve encountered unexpected transition-related repercussions that no one else seems to experience. Chances are your experiences/thoughts/views are not as unique as you think. We’ll never know unless we share our truths with each other. Please join us in creating a non-judgmental space and, as a reminder, please share from your own experience only.
Rules of Attraction
Paige Schilt, Alyssa Lee
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 the lack of descriptors 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.
EL VIH y La Comunidad Latina: Desafios Para La Comunidad Transgenero
Entre Hermanos, Marco Castro-Bojorquez, Martinez
La lucha en contra del VIH y SIDA continua, y los Latinos seguimos siendo muy afectados. La gente transgenero pueden tener un riesgo elevado para contraer el VIH, y enfrentan barreras tanto para prevencion como tambien recibir apoyo y servicios si estan infectados con VIH o SIDA. En este taller, hablaremos de los factores que contribuyen al riesgo de VIH, y tambien hablaremos sobre las experiencias de las personas transgenero en navegar la cuestion del VIH. Este taller es auspiciado por Entre Hermanos, una agencia basada en Seattle que sirve a la comunidad LGBTQ Latina.
What’s Up with Intersex?
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.
Under the Radar: Unpacking Stealth
Where are you out about your gender identity or history? How do you draw the lines about whom you’ll tell? When and how much? How does this impact your life, your relationships? Does it provide relief? Stress? Both? This workshop will investigate the complex topic of living stealth. Many times we consider stealth to be all or nothing, but there are many questions to ponder when considering disclosure. We’ll discuss why we live stealth, the ways in which we do it, how it plays out, and how we can empower each other in our own personal choices.
1:30pm – 3:00pm
Trans-er Than Thou
It may not be hard for those of us at this conference to reach a consensus regarding the outside world’s view of transgender people. We might easily agree that trans people are discriminated against and misunderstood by many in the outside world. But what happens when we, ourselves, look at the differences within our collective gender communities? Are we just as uninformed and biased in our own thinking as those we consider “outside”? Do we make our own rigid determinations about the “real” ways of being trans? How do we make those determinations? Is it along class lines (e.g., financially inaccessible surgeries being considered markers for “real” trans people)? Whether we’re living as trans full time? By appearance, or who’s queerest?
This session is not about assigning blame. It’s about creating conversations wherein we can each examine our own discomfort with difference. We’ll look at these differences with a goal of gaining a fresh perspective and a chance to celebrate our unique lives together.
Sexuality, Intimacy, and Our Bodies
Liam “captain” Snowdon
Many of us have experienced certain rites of passage growing up and/or into adulthood, but our gender identity may have prevented us from having a true connection to them. Or these experiences are ones we generally can’t currently share because of our gender history. Do you have rituals now that keep you grounded? What are some visions and dreams that map your journey? How do you find your right path as you explore new rites of passage such as starting a family, choosing a line of work, or establishing yourself in community? Come to this session and share/create the ways you move along your true path.
Some Time Ago: Elders in Conversation
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’ve gotten 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.
Fear, Violence, and Community
Marcus Meta Magdalena
Being perceived as queer, trans, gender-fluid, or simply as men or women can make us targets for violence and intimidation, even within communities where we expect (or once expected) to feel safe. Our own experiences and hardships can sometimes increase our stress to the breaking point. How has your gender presentation and/or transition impacted your physical and emotional safety? How have fear and violence been part of your life, and how have the people in your life responded? Did your community offer support and healing, or vilification and blame? Does your masculinity make it easy for others to see you as sexist or violent, or your femininity as passive or weak? Has your original gender socialization as female/male inadvertently left you without the tools to navigate a different gender role in our culture? Join us as we share and hear our respective experiences.
How Do You Measure Up? Navigating the Notion of Being “Too” Short or “Too” Tall
What does it mean in today’s society to be a six-foot-three woman? A five-foot-tall man? Height plays a very important factor in how we are perceived—or even if we are perceived. Masculinity is measured by size, the taller the better, and femininity often connotes that we will be shy, demure, and certainly not taking up space. What are the ways in which your height impacts your work life, social life, dating, or just day-to-day existence? Are there advantages to being shorter/taller than “average”? How do we empower ourselves to be fully in our bodies and take up/claim the space that is rightfully ours? Join us as we begin this dialogue of how far one must travel to either reach the stars or smell the roses.
After the Dust Settles
This is a continuation of the closed, facilitated discussion (You’re Doing What!?) 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 (e.g., losing a daughter even though you now have a son, or trying to understand concepts like “genderfluid”). 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.
3:15pm – 4:30pm
TransVisible is a documentary film on the life of renowned Trans Latina activist and leader, Bamby Salcedo. Turning personal challenges and barriers into the basis of her activism, Bamby has become an effective and beloved advocate and role model for multiple communities including the Trans, Latina, immigrant, youth, and LGBT communities.
Directed by Peruvian-born, Los Angeles-based, documentary filmmaker and activist Dante Alencastre, and produced by LGBT Latino activist and leader Roland Palencia.
Legal Issues 101
If you have questions about how to take care of your identity changes in transition, we’ll provide some answers. We’ll cover basic items such as name change, driver’s license, birth certificate, passport, social security as well as other basic how-tos for taking care of your identity before and during transition.
No Apology Necessary
Lucas Hedrick & Lukas Walther
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 trans men.
Note: This closed session is for trans men who have been fully and intentionally recognized as male for several years.