2014 Workshop Descriptions

1) Janis Booth
The Healthcare Professional and the Transgender Patient
This workshop attempts to present the healthcare experience from the eyes of a transgender patient to an audience of healthcare professionals. Attention is paid to understanding the anxiety levels a transgender patient may uniquely face, as well as present intervention techniques that health professionals can use to try to reduce the patient's stress.

2) Lori Davison
Connecting with Other Parents of Transgender Children
Come connect with other parents and guardians of transgender kids for camaraderie, support, resources and laughter as we share the challenges, surprises, and joys of supporting our children - no matter what age they are! The workshop will be interactive, with plenty of opportunities to connect and exchange information with other parents as we navigate the world of loving a transgender child. Limited to parents, guardians, or close relatives of transgender children of all ages.

3) Wendi and Sheila Iserman
Trans Cancer; A Story of Survival
"What happens when Trans folk and their partners have to face a major medical challenge, besides their gender issues.
Wendi Iserman is a survivor of Stage IV Head and Neck cancer. In this workshop she will examine her experiences in dealing with the health care system battling this life threatening illness from the unique perspective of a trans-woman.

Also included will be a presentation by her wife, Sheila, on the Caregiver's role in recovery."

4) Noah Lewis
The Path to Trans Equality: Self Respect and Social Recognition
While freedom of gender expression is often thought to be the end goal of transgender equality, questions of sex recognition more frequently form the basis of transgender inequality. This session questions assumed cis (non-trans) ideals and explores how to create a social and legal path to transgender equality that takes into account the perspectives and experiences of trans people. We will also touch upon the internalized transphobia and cis idealism that can make us complicit in our own oppression and offer an alternative trans-positive framework..

5) Noah Lewis
Making Cisness Visible: Naming the Hidden Cis Ideals that Shape Trans Lives
We live in a society that is largely built around the needs of cis (non-transgender) people and rarely takes into account the existence or needs of trans people. If we are not aware of the structures, attitudes and beliefs that are operating around us, we run the risk of unconsciously adopting them. These ideas can come out in ways such as non-acceptance by friends and family members, policing each other's behavior, and adopting activist and legal strategies that ask for what we think we can get rather than what we deserve. Making these systems visible can provide a sense of relief and understanding for transgender people. Exploring concrete examples of cis idealism is the first step in recognizing our own participation “cis and trans" in these systems. You will leave this interactive workshop with the ability to name cis supremacy when you see it and to recognize ways in which you might be contributing to it so that you can take steps toward being more trans-positive.

6) Donna Shubrooks
“YIKES!  This is news to ME! – Trans 101 – Understanding and Respecting the Language of Transition For Family Members, Allies and Caregivers.”
This is quick and easy Trans 101.  If the whole concept of gender transition is new or confusing to you, learn the basic vocabulary, what to say and NOT say, how to be a supportive ally, and how to talk to family members about transitioning.  If you're a medical provider, how can you make your practice more welcoming to gender variant clients?  What does your staff really need to know?  It's not as complicated as you think.  Maybe it's time to just "Get It, and Get Over It".  We can help.

7) Salmun Kazerounian & Melvin Kelley
Trans Discrimination and the Fight for Housing Justice
After years of organized effort Connecticut law was changed in 2011 to make it illegal to discriminate in housing based on a person's gender identity or expression, but the trans community's fight for housing justice is far from over.  This workshop will begin with an overview of fair housing laws with a focus on state and federal legal protections for trans people in permanent housing and in shelters.  The remainder of the session will provide a space for folks to share experiences and ask questions, to identify housing issues commonly faced by the trans community, and to develop legal and non-legal strategies for working toward housing equality.

8) Lisa Jacobs
Intersex Experiences and Intersections: Bodies Born Inbetween
The term 'intersex' describes a wide variety of bodies which are born with, or naturally develop, presentations in-between 'typical' male and female. Similarly, the experiences of those in the intersex community are just as varied and complex, with challenges ranging from medical abuse and gender dysphoria to disabilities, bullying and more. This introductory workshop discusses terminology, different types of intersex conditions, experiences in the health care complex, the intersection between the intersex, trans* and queer communities, legal issues, and intersex activism and community. The presenter will discuss their own experiences, as well as those of others, combined with a history of the intersex movement, current trends and scholarly research. A Q&A period will follow, and questions are welcome!

9) Dallas Denny
Dangerous Curves 
Injected silicone holds the promise of instant beauty but the reality is often ugly and sometimes tragic. Unlicensed "practitioners" inject large quantities (sometimes liters!) of caulk purchased at home supply and auto repair stores. This dangerous material is often adulterated with cooking oil, paraffin, and other substances. The result can be disfigurement acute and chronic medical conditions, and death. Law enforcement officials are now taking deaths by silicone seriously and are prosecuting those inject this dangerous substance. Come learn about the history of silicone injection and leave knowing it's never a good idea.

10) Robin McHaelen
Nurturing the Next Generation:  Mentoring and/or Fostering LGBT Youth
Whew. You made it. You survived adolescence and all that arduous journey entailed.  Now you are looking for opportunities to give back, to help the next generation of LGBT youth to make it through.  This interactive, informational session will explore some of the opportunities you have to make a difference for LGBT youth in your area including mentoring, volunteering, foster parenting and adoption.

11) Kristopher & Jackson Shultz
Relationships in Transition
This facilitated discussion will give Significant Others, Friends, Family and Allies (SOFFAs) of transfolk a forum to discuss their experiences, questions, and concerns about how best to support the transperson in their lives. SOFFAs will have the opportunity to discuss the role they play in transition; how transition may affect their relationship status and identity labels; and how transition may impact them personally, socially, professionally, and legally. SOFFAs play a crucial role in supporting trans* communities, and it is important that they have the opportunity to express their emotions, ask questions in a safe environment, and share tips and experiences with other SOFFAs.

12) Rev. Moonhawk River Stone
How To Successfully Transition in Your Employment: A Best Practices Model
This workshop will take the participant through the entire process of transitioning on the job in a practical step by step model that he has been using successfully for over 15 years. The model can be applied to any workplace setting and is built upon flexibility and thoroughness. Some of the areas covered include coming out, legal issues, developing a program to fit one's individual workplace.

13) Rev. Moonhawk River Stone
Working It Through...Staying Engaged Through Change
When someone comes to understand their trans* nature, and begins the process of disclosure to loved ones and family members, everyone transitions. Partners may suddenly find themselves at odds or a relationship that was toddling along in denial of some of its issues may suddenly derail. How do we stay engaged? Remain in loving connection while going through difficult times? This workshop will engage participants to thoughtful reflection, skill building and loving conversation to work through the changes that a gender transition can bring no matter the outcome of the relationship or the transition.

14) Rev. Moonhawk River Stone
Being Trans and Aging: A Workshop For Trans Elders And Their Allies
This workshop will be an interactive discussion among participants and the facilitator on both the practical and mundane issues related to aging and the emotional, psychosocial, spiritual issues related to aging. Discussion will touch upon the unique challenges faced by those who came out and/or transitioned years ago, and for those who have come out and/or transitioned during their senior years. The goal is to assist those participants in valuing and honoring the aging process and to embrace the aging process proactively and effectively.

15) Rev. Moonhawk River Stone
No Longer Lost in The Shuffle: Being Disabled and Trans*
This facilitated group discussion is open to all, but is intended to be a space for people with disabilities to discuss a broad cross section of issues from how our identities as trans people intersect with our being disabled. How do we integrate those two into our well being, especially when interacting with various health care providers? We will explore what the concept of access means in broad political social justice terms and explore how the transgender civil rights/human rights movement has/has not made space for those who are disabled. We will explore what it means to be disabled in a world obsessed with denial of those who are disabled and how we, as disabled trans people, struggle to be confident, self-assured human beings in the face of these challenges.

16) Alix Simonetti
CT Law Protects against discrimination on the basis of Gender Identity or Expression and the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities'  Discrimination Complaint
The session will cover the following areas:
  • General discussion of the Law providing protection against discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression.  (Public Act 11-55)
  • Explanation of the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO) as the state agency that processes complaints of discrimination in the areas of employment, housing, public accommodation, credit, and other areas (e.g.: Bullying in the schools, discriminatory treatment by school administrators).
  • Enforcement, Education and Advocacy.
  • How the CHRO's Discrimination Complaint process works.
17) Amy Zahn
Suicide Prevention ??? Know the Signs
How do you know that someone is at risk for suicide? We will talk about recognizing some of the signs. The transgender community is the highest risk group for suicide attempts. The number of people with suicidal thoughts in the community would be a far great number. We will discuss what you can do to help prevent suicide attempts from occurring. How you can reach out to help yourself or your friends.

18) Edward Noble
LGBT Adoption, Surrogacy, and Sperm/Egg Donation Law 2014
Discussion of the current law involving the LGBT community in starting a family, with a particular emphasis on the transgender community.  Topics include storing sperm or eggs for future use, adopting children, second parent adoption, and the use of surrogates. We will also discuss the issues of gender transitions and same-sex marriages in connection with legal rights when traveling across state lines.
Though case law and statutes will be referenced, the intended audience is non-lawyers, and so the information will be geared to a sophisticated non-lawyer.
Question and answers will follow the presentation.

19) Dru Levasseur, Everett Redente and Danica Ali
Building the Trans Health Movement: "Get with the times, people"
This workshop is aimed at raising awareness to allies about the barriers that transgender and gender-nonconforming people face in accessing health care, as well as empowering those within the community who have experienced discrimination. Transgender health care is broadly misunderstood by the general population. Finding competent and welcoming providers and medical facilities can be daunting in spite of gains realized by the Affordable Care Act and other recently passed laws.  Finding coverage for medically necessary care is close to impossible for most, even though leading medical associations support coverage. This workshop is a call to action for anyone looking to be involved in the movement to stop transgender health care discrimination. Understanding the aspects of medical transition and the developing legal landscape challenging barriers to care can help allies become better and more effective. This workshop will include transgender and gender non-conforming narratives.

20) J. Aleah Nesteby & Ryan Pryor
Trans Health: An Evidence-based Update
What is new in the field of transgender health? Has there been new research? What has been published in the past 1-2 years? This workshop will focus on recent changes, updates and new data in the field of trans health. The presenters will offer a review and synopsis of recently published journal articles and studies. The purpose of this presentation is to help attendees remain up to date on new scientific information and to integrate this information into their personal or professional health practices.

21) J. Aleah Nesteby & Ryan Pryor
Hormones 101
Have questions about gender affirming hormone therapy? This workshop is for both consumers of health care and providers.  Presenters will provide a broad overview of gender affirming hormone therapy from a bio-medical perspective. Accessing care, finding your best dose, body changes to expect, medication options and risks, and follow up care will be presented.

22) Lynden Dolan
Passionate Possibilities: Exploring Nontraditional Relationship Structures
Ever thought about having more than one romantic or sexual partner? Felt constricted by the idea of that paired-off happily ever after? Fell for more than one person at the same time? Does monogamy just not work for you? Come discuss the multitude of relationship structures and identities that allow for romantic and sexual relationships with more than one person! We will give you an introduction to how to practice responsible and fun non-monogamy where everyone consents to multiple relationships. This will include setting boundaries, dealing with jealousy, challenges faced by the community and more.

23) OutFilm CT
The first question any new parent asks… “Is it a boy or a girl?”
What if it’s neither?
1 in 2,000 babies is born with genitalia so ambiguous that the doctors cannot easily answer this question.
In this groundbreaking documentary, intersex individuals reveal the secrets of their unconventional lives – and how they have navigated their way through this strictly male/female world, when they fit somewhere in between.
A panel discussion will follow...

Dru Levasseur & Tony Ferraiolo