2019 Workshop Descriptions (2020 are coming shortly.)


The following workshops are NOT approved for Cultural Competency CECs

Crossdressing Successfully in the Real World: Out among the Civilians

The History of Transgender History

Massage Therapy - What to Expect, How to Proceed

Meet the Publisher and Contributors to Connecticut Voice

What If God is Transgender

Parking: See Registration page for parking information

Being a Better Cis Ally to Trans and Genderqueer Youth in K-12 Schools

Presented by Alberto Cifuentes, Jr.

Trans and genderqueer youth are often the targets of bullying and harassment in K-12 schools. Some educators do not know how to respond while others are not informed about the resources to help trans and genderqueer youth in schools. In this workshop, we'll engage in a critical discussion about the role cisgender allies, especially teachers and school administrators, play in protecting and advancing the rights of trans and genderqueer youth in schools.


1. Learn about the struggles and challenges facing trans and genderqueer youth in K-12 schools.

2. Discuss strategies for effectively responding to transphobic language and behavior in schools.

3. Brainstorm ways to be a better cisgender ally to trans and genderqueer youth in schools.

4. Share GLSEN-related resources for being a better ally to trans and genderqueer youth in schools.

Coming Out Kinky: Abuse v Kink

Presented by Elijah Lombardi

As the 50 Shades books and movies continue to roll out and be read/seen by many people, an important distinction should be made between the "kink" of the 50 Shades and actual kink. This workshop discusses the difference between abuse and actual, consensual kink and all that entails, including coming out, with a special section on how this affects the LBTQ+ community.


(1) understand the difference between abuse and kink, including the vocabulary

(2) understand common misconceptions dealing with kink and the LGBTQ+ community

(3) Be able to respond to falsehoods about kink and LGBTQ+ community/individuals

Consent 101 in the age of the #metoo movement!

Presented by Natasha Rose Lombardi

Description: What is consent and what constitutes a consent violation. In this workshop, we learn all the ins and out of consent. The differences between consent, etiquette and boundary violations. We will also discuss the various degrees of violations and other information in this age of the #MeTwo movement


1. What is consent?

2. How Consent can be violated?

3. What is the difference between consent, boundary and etiquette Violations

Crashing the Cistem - Grassroots Trans Organizing

Presented by Karleigh Chardonnay Merlot

In this workshop, we will explore the intersectional connections between transphobia and a system built of, by and for the few at the expense of the mass of working class. We will consider how transphobia crosses with racism, sexism, and class oppression, and in turn connect transgender rights with the wider struggle for human rights and economic rights in the backdrop of a system that attempts to usurp both. We will also look at examples and approaches to grassroots organizing to achieve needed material and legal goals in the short terms to aid our trans community to gain and protect access of all sector of society, while also building the long-term systemic change that will benefit our community and all communities of working class.


• A critical analysis of transphobia under the historical and theoretical prism of system of capitalism, and organizing for trans rights within the prism of that system

• A counter analysis of those systems against a humane, people-centered community approach to organizing for our human rights

• Presentation of practical alternative structures that can be carried out in varied organizing effort moving forward.

Crossdressing Successfully in the Real World

Presented by Stana Horzepa

The purpose of this workshop is to teach and encourage male-to-female crossdressers to escape from fantasyland and experience the real world as females.


1) To successfully transition male-to-female crossdressers out of the closet and into the sunlight where they can blossom as women;

2) To evangelize the normality of crossdressing

3) To show that crossdressing is not necessarily a prelude to hormones and surgery, nor does it preclude a "normal" family life.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Skills for Transgender Individuals and Families

Presented by Jennifer Johnston and Jesine O’Gara

This workshop will present core Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) Skills that can be helpful in understanding how to accept and cope with the complexity of gender identity. Participants will learn about specific skills in the four DBT modules of Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Emotion Regulation, and Interpersonal Effectiveness, as they apply to the transgender experience.


1. Understand how the DBT principles of Acceptance and Change apply to the transgender experience

2. Identify Mindfulness and Distress Tolerance Skills that can assist in understanding and managing emotions and dysphoria effectively in the moment

3. Identify Emotion Regulation and Interpersonal Effectiveness Skills that can assist in changing emotions and invalidating environments over time

Employment Discrimination - Findings from the TLC State of CA Economic Health Survey

Presented by Gina Rosich

This workshop will present findings on employment discrimination from a secondary data analysis of the Transgender Law Center Economic State of California study. Validating the experiences of discrimination by trans and gender non-conforming individuals through empirical data is an important step in advocating for legal rights and protections. This study highlights the interrelationship between income poverty, passing/blending, and unemployment, likelihood of experiencing on-the-job discrimination faced by trans people as well as the perceived barriers to employment.


1. Workplace discrimination, Mixed methods research

Experiencing-and Learning- The True Meaning of Inclusion

Presented by Reverend Moonhawk River Stone

This past election cycle presented the Trans Community with tremendous challenges. Fear about what is or is not to come has run rampant, some of us have become victims in the sudden increase in anti-transgender bias crimes, some of us voted for President Trump, and many of us did not. Like other marginalizations in the Trans Community--am I transsexual enough?----can I be non-binary and take hormones--there are ways, at times, we speak in contempt and dislike of each and to each other. How do we learn to put everyone of us with love and respect in this circle called Community and learn to listen, to care for and embrace each other in our diversity? How do we not become the "them" we can often speak of? The presenter doesn't have all the answers, but and even has more questions, but wishes to offer the beginnings of a loving and respectful dialogue among the marked political poles in our Community so everyone feels included, welcome and heard.


1. Participants will learn the basic skill of active listening.

2. Participants will explore non-violent communication.

3. Participants will experience the work of embracing others

who are truly different from themselves.

Exploring the Use of Picture Books in the Development of Transgender Young Children

Presented by Elizabeth Rowell

Young children want to see characters like themselves or have their names in books. This is often difficult when the child has an unusual name or is transgender. As young transgender children rarely know anyone like themselves, these books can be validating for them and informative for their parents. We will discuss ways to gain better access to these books and how to use them effectively to enhance transgender children's self-concepts and cisgender children’s understanding.


1. Participants will understand how important transgender friendly picture books are for young transgender children, their teachers and parents as well as cis gender children.

2. They will know how to try to get specific books into their libraries and try to get on library boards so that they can speak up when parents complain about and want some of these books removed.

3. They will know how to get some of these books and might want to start with others a lending library. The might also be interested in a Traveling transgender book box library.

Family Through A Gender Transition

Presented by Reverend Moonhawk River Stone

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? How do we work it out if there are young children involved. 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.


1. Participants will do a mini relationship evaluation to clarify some of their strengths and challenges as a couple.

2. Participants will learn some communication techniques for having respectful conversations about the changes they are facing.

3. Participants will learn how to stay connected with their loved one while

each is changing in differing ways.

Feedback Loop: What Your Patients Tell Me about What You Get Wrong

Presented by May Tuscano

A workshop for HRT prescribers, PCP's, therapists, and other members of the professional trans care network. The workshop will provide feedback for improvement to our trans care network based on the good, the bad, and the ugly stories my clients have told me in my work with them.


Identify problems in the Trans Care Network

From Reagan to Trump: Over 30 years of US LGBTQIA+ Policy Failures

Presented by Lynne Alexander & Zane Carey

US federal policies have consistently marginalized individuals from the LGBTQIA+ community. We will trace some of the major policy failures over the past 30+ years, and the ways in which the federal government has sought to address or conceal these issues. We will discuss the ways in which representation can play a role in policy development and how we can confront current problematic policy. We will close by brainstorming, in collaboration with attendees, what aspects of policy the LGBTQIA+ community should make a focus for future activism and education.


- understand institutional policy discrimination of LGBT (trans focused) individuals

- gain knowledge of the history of policy/legal discrimination

- develop understanding of what the community wants to push for in legal/policy changes.

History and myths of Drag and the Transgender umbrella

Presented by Natasha Rose Lombardi

Description: What are drag queens/kings? How did they come about? What are the myths of drag and the differences between the myths and the facts? DO drag queens/kings fall under the Transgender umbrella and if not, why it is important they be included?


1. The History of Drag

2. Involvement in the LGBTQ Movement

3. Why they belong under the Transgender umbrella?

The History of Transgender History

Presented by Dallas Denny

Before this century, the identification, study, and preservation of the history of transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals and artifacts of community were underappreciated and often ignored. We were, I believe, too busy trying to survive to pay much attention to who we were and where we had come from. All that has changed. This presentation will address these astounding changes, identify important repositories of trans materials, and provide a first-hand account of the evolution of and rising interest in trans collectibles and collections.


1. Identity important resources for trans historical documents and history.

2. Discuss how and why interest in transgender historical material has increased in recent years

Hormone Options for Transgender and Gender Non-conforming Youth: an Update

Presented by Dr. Priya Phulwani

This workshop will explore the risks and benefits of medications that pause puberty, as well as hormones that feminize and masculinize. The focus will be on their use in gender incongruent youth, and will include the updates since the 2017 Endocrine Society guidelines.


1. Understand the diagnostic criteria (overview) for gender incongruence in children and adolescents

2. Understand the risks and benefits of medications that pause puberty

3. Understand the risks and benefits of hormones that feminize and masculinize

Intersex 101 Similarities and Differences between Intersex and Transgender People

Presented by Andrea Boisseau and Nick Claleunphone

This workshop will explore the social, legal, and medical issues faced by many Intersex people; how the current presidency has undermined the work to achieve total body integrity; passports; as well as the similarities and differences between Intersex and Transgender people. This workshop will explore how to work with your intersex and transgender clients.


1. Intersex Legalities

2. Intersex similarities/differences

Massage Therapy - What to Expect, How to Proceed

Presented by Asa Paradis & Zeke Spooner

We will discuss what to expect from a 60-minute routine massage. Areas presented include; how your modesty is protected; where you will be touched; and the things that your therapist will want to know. We will also perform a live demonstration with a real, live person to promote the health benefits of receiving body work from a trained professional. Mental, physical, and spiritual health can all be addressed during a session, and will be discussed during this workshop.


Meet the Publisher and Contributors to Connecticut Voice

Presented by Dawn Ennis

The very first statewide magazine devoted to Connecticut's LGBTQ community will debut in March, and we are looking for more stories to tell! Meet Jim Tully, publisher of Seasons magazines and now CT Voice, as well as Dawn Ennis, writer and a member of the advisory panel. We'll explain how to become a contributor and find out what stories we'll be telling in future issues. Maybe yours?


1. Publishing

2. Storytelling

3. Our stories

Mindfulness Loving Kindness: Opening Ourselves Up to Others with Compassion and Mental Calmness

Presented by Tony Ferraiolo

In a time where this world can be a pretty scary place, we can find ourselves in a place of emotional discomfort. During this workshop, Tony will show you how to harness the power of mindful loving kindness and communication so we can find the words to comfort each other. You are sure to leave this workshop with a heightened sense of inner peace.


No Longer Lost in The Shuffle: Being Disabled and Trans

Presented by Reverend Moonhawk River Stone

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.


1. Participants will increase their sensitivity toward the complexity of disability and being trans.

2. Participants will learn the concept of access as it relates to social justice and disability.

3. Participants will have an opportunity to become empowered as being disabled and trans or as allies to disabled trans people.

Protection against Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Expression in Connecticut and Discrimination Complaint Process at the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities

Presenter: Robin Fox & Mike Roberts

The workshop will include the identification and highlights of various laws in Connecticut that provide protection against discrimination on the basis of Gender Identity or Expression (e.g. in the areas of employment, housing, public accommodation, bullying, discrimination). This will include an update on the conversion therapy law and Governor Malloy's Executive Order No. 56 and the CT DoE Guidance. The workshop will also include information regarding what a person, who has suffered unlawful discrimination, needs to do to file a discrimination complaint. We will discuss the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO) complaint process.


1. Brief review of discrimination law and bullying law and any respective developments

2. Prohibited conduct

3. How to file complaints and the complaint process

Providing Care for Gender Non-Conforming and Non-Binary Patients

Presented by AJ Eckert

The objective of this workshop is to increase understanding of non-binary (NB) and non-conforming (NC) people. We will cover what is non-binary and what do I need to know. We will also present on how to be respectful and supportive of NC and NB patients and how to provide affirmative medical care to NC and NB patients. There will also be discussion of healthcare experiences of NC and NB patients.


Understand non-binary people and why they matter.

Right Relations within Community, Relationships, Families and Friendships

Presented by Paul Levationo

We long for positive and affirming relationships, yet few of us have any formal training on what that is and what gets in our way to having these crucial social supports. Join us for a session that delves in to just that. This workshop, based on the work of Terry Real, will look at issues of power, gender and how we go 'one-up' or 'one-down' in interactions, with self and others, offering a more healthy alternative to create more fulfilling interactions.


Supporting and Understanding Trans and Non-Binary Identities

Presented by Anthony Arrien

This presentation highlights the importance of the use proper gender etiquette for transgender persons to prevent the worsening of dysphoria and to create awareness of the various statistics on suicidal ideation according to gender identity, ethnicity and social stresses. An overview of the types of transition, internal, social and medical is given, with extra attention to the growing non-binary prevalence in adolescents. Questions and answers are welcome during the presentation to provide valuable feedback from personal stories in the audience.


1. Dysphoria

2. Societal stress

3. Advocacy

Transgender Discrimination and the Fight for Housing Justice

Presented by Fionnuala Darby-Hudgens

After years of organizing, 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.


Identifying Housing discrimination

Trans Health: What Topics Does the Community Want Covered?

Presented by Alana Behrens

Medicine often thinks it has the answer, but who is asking the questions? This workshop will discuss the cultural shift in medicine from a physician to patient-driven model and how we may empower trans voices to shape the healthcare they receive. I will be reviewing data from my survey that assesses which health topics and resources the trans community is most interested in. The trans community should have a say in the health information available to them.


1. Know the most relevant topics in trans health

2. Understand the pitfalls of paternalistic medicine & unconscious bias

3. Develop ideas for empowering trans voices in health care

Trans-Students: Obtaining Educational Services Under the IDEA and Section 504

Presented by Dana Jonson & Laura Heneghan

This workshop will focus on the unique and complex issues that impact transgender children and their learning abilities. We will identify provisions of the IDEA and Section 504 that are relevant to children who are transgender and suggest how to utilize these tools to advocate for appropriate evaluations, informed training for school staff, and services to help transgender children succeed in school.


The Vital Role of Religion, Faith, and Spirituality in the Health and Well-being of Transgender People

Presenter: Rev. Aaron Miller

Religious fundamentalism and extremism has become an increasingly dominant voice and continues to shape the culture’s view of religion. Common perception holds that religion is directly connected with exclusion and judgment, especially with regard to variations in sexuality and gender identity. This has resulted in many trans people feeling alienated from religion and faith communities that can provide a sense of belonging, be a source of hope, and a place where we can discover greater purpose and meaning in our lives. As religion and spirituality are often seen as interchangeable terms, this alienation can cause us to separate from our spirituality, an essential part of who we are. In this workshop we will explore the positive role that religion, faith, and spiritual practice can have in the lives of trans people as a pathway to better health and well-being. Join us for a time of openness...and perhaps discover a way to a fuller and healthier life.


1. Understand the effects of religious oppression and discrimination against the transgender community

2. Learn the difference between religion and spirituality

3. Discover positive ways to explore spirituality through religion, faith, and spiritual practice

We are all Genderfluid” – These and Other Myths about Non-Binary People

Presented by Lindsey Pembrooke & Kristin Van Ness Scrivano

There can be a lot of confusion and misinformation regarding Non-Binary identities. This workshop will address a collection of these myths head on and help attendees separate fact from fiction. There are many different kinds of Non-Binary identities, and there are many different ways people express their identities. The social and medical needs of non-binary people frequently do not line up with binary transgender expectations. This workshop will discuss attempt to address some of the differences between non-binary and binary transgender people as well as some similarities.


1) Increase awareness of Non-Binary gender identities

2) Describe multiple contextual factors influencing a person’s self-identification

3) Recognize behaviors/words that improve or weaken relationships with non-binary individuals

Wellness during transition/gender exploration

Presented by Susan Collins

Teaching methods will be didactic and interactive in nature. Handouts will aid in discussion and follow-up to concepts covered in the workshop. Power point system will also be incorporated into the teaching environment. This comprehensive workshop combines didactic and experiential components to explore wellness needs and strategies to obtain and maintain a sense of wellness during transition/gender exploration, and throughout life. We will cover the issues of mental, emotional, physical, spiritual and social wellness.


1) Increase awareness of Non-Binary gender identities

2) Describe multiple contextual factors influencing a person’s self-identification

3) Recognize behaviors/words that improve or weaken relationships with non-binary individuals

What if God Is Transgender?

Presented by Reverend Moonhawk River Stone

As transgender people we can often have a difficult relationship with the organized religion in which we were raised--or a difficult time finding loving affirming religious community as adults. This workshop is about moving beyond our wounds to what is next. What if we enlarged the discussion? What if we explored the differences between spirituality and religion in a very hands on practical manner?

What if we drew together the best of what faith and spirituality have to offer us? What if we decided to create our own relationship to the Divine, our own understanding of God? To experience God in a much more personal, yet Universal way? Interested the journey? Workshop will be a guided discussion introducing participants to a new, comforting, inspiring way to approach All That Is. It will give participants some suggested directions from which to explore spirituality as a path to affirming their LGBTQI identity, to finding peace, genuine connectedness while exploring kindness, compassion and, most especially, joy.


1. Participants will have a better understanding of the difference between spirituality and religion.

2. Participants will gain experience in redefining their own personal relationship with the Divine and Spirit.

Working with Trans* Population in the Schools

Presented by Cassandra Martineau

This is a complex challenge in some schools. While solutions may differ by district, any compassionate discussion must begin with correct information. Expect some activities and active participation as we explore how best to navigate working with trans* identities in schools! Hopefully, after all this, there will be time for q & a.


1. Participants will learn, through activity and discussion, about 'choice' regarding trans identities, hopefully busting a few myths on the way.

2. Participants will learn a few basic words and phrases significant to working with trans and lgb students.

3. Participants will learn the basics of speaking about trans issues to different audiences.

4. Participants will learn a few relevant facts about transitioning as it relates to sports participation.