Transgender Lives Conference

The Thirteenth Annual Transgender Lives: The Intersection of Health and Law Conference

April 27, 2019

2019 Keynote Speaker...

Ben Power

Ben Power, Founder and Executive Director of the Sexual Minorities Educational Foundation (SMEF), Inc. has been the Curator of the Sexual Minorities Archives (SMA) since 1977. The SMA, located in Ben’s residence in Holyoke, MA, is one of the largest and oldest national collections of LGBTQ literature, history, and art in the United States. Included within the SMA is the Leslie Feinberg Library – the personal research library of the late transgender author and activist – which Ben received from Lesiie and cataloged, and the Out Books On Wheels lending library, 4000+ LGBTQ books that circulate for free. 

Ben holds a Master of Arts degree in Socio-Cultural Processes from Governors State University, Governors Park, Illinois and a Bachelor of Arts in American Literature from the University of Illinois at Chicago. 

He has lectured on queer archival and transgender issues and activism for faculty, staff, and students at Hampshire College, University of Massachusetts/Amherst, University Without Walls/Springfield, MA, Smith College, Mount Holyoke College, Syracuse University, and University of Connecticut/Storrs, and has taught local LGBTQ history at the Historic Northampton Museum, at Forbes Library, and at SMA history talks and history walks.

Ben founded the East Coast FTM Group in 1992, the first-ever trans-male support group in New England, which met for 23 years in Northampton, MA. He was also a co-founder in 2008 of the first-ever New England Transgender Pride March organizing speakers for the rally, including trans activists Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, Gunner Scott, Monica Roberts, and Imani Henry.  Ben was honored for his trans activism on the Trans 100 List in 2015.

Ben is a medically disabled trans elder, working-class, anti-racist, anti-classist, pro-feminist activist who believes that Queer Archiving = Queer Activism and that education is the key to eliminating oppression. 

Pronouns: He/Him/His