March 22nd - 26th, 2023

2023 Workshops & Seminars - Professional Education

A Body-Affirming Approach to Health & Happiness: Putting the Fun Back in Fritos
3:30 PM on Fri, Mar 24 in Penn Harris B

The $73 Billion Diet Industry and the $808 Billion Health Care Industry would lead you to believe that the most successful pathway to health and happiness is through weight loss. But what if that hasn’t worked for you? And what about the damage dieting causes? Even when prescribed by a physician, dieting has serious physical and emotional side effects like weight cycling, preoccupation with food and body, disordered eating behaviors, decreased self-esteem, and depression. As a former chronic dieter, Health Coach and Intuitive Eating Counselor, Tracy Hess, helps her clients break free of diets and achieve greater physical, mental, and emotional health AND experience more pleasure in their relationship with food by embracing a non-restrictive Intuitive Eating approach. Learn how to drop the guilt and judgment of diets and enjoy eating again, all while achieving your health and wellness goals in this liberating seminar.

Interest Tags: Aging, Family/Friends, Gender Affirming, Military/Veterans, Non-Binary, Professional Education, Spouses/Signification Others, TransFeminine, TransMasculine, TransPeople of Color, Wellness, Youth

A Brief History of Transgender Issues-How We Got Where We Are
3:30 PM on Thu, Mar 23 in Harrisburger B

Ms. Maryellen
This workshop addresses transgender history from a variety of perspectives starting with the vocabulary we use to describe and distinguish the transgender community. A discussion of the legal landscape over time provides a backdrop for the changing response of transgendered persons to institutional repression. The historical record covered includes the Biblical references to cross-dressing, the Middle Ages, Puritanism, the Civil War, the era of cross-dressing balls, the Pansy Era, the riots at Cooper Donuts and Compton Cafeteria, the sit-in at Deweys and then the response to the police raid at Stonewall. Substantial attention is paid to the difficulties the transgender community encountered gaining acceptance from the LGB portions of the rainbow, including the exclusion of transgendered persons from ENDA and the impact of Janice Raymond's writings and the exclusion that ensued at West Coast music venues and the Michigan Musicfest, and that continues today. Hypotheses are offered for how these impasses were and are being overcome. How the historical record differs across cultures and for people of color is addressed from a number of perspectives. A substantial discussion is anticipated over the role of physicians in the emergence of transgendered persons, including the pivotal role of Johns Hopkins and how the void was filled when Hopkins withdrew. The emergence of trans-specific advocacy organizations and scientific advances in gender identity (beginning with Herschfeld) will be discussed as time allows.

Interest Tags: Advocacy, Legal, Professional Education, Spirituality/Religion, Surgery, TransPeople of Color

A Journey of Authenticity: A Transman Reflects on 38 Years
2:00 PM on Sat, Mar 25 in Harrisburger A

Mr. Martin
This workshop deals with my experiences as a transman from the beginning of my journey in 1985 up to the present day. From the beginning with trying to understand my gender dysphoria before there was even a name for it, trying to seek out help and services where there was literally nothing available, and the factors involved in trying to make a momentous life altering decision when I had no one to talk to about it. I will explain the process of trying to talk to friends and family members about who I was and who I wanted to be when there was only derogatory language assigned to the process of being "transsexual". I share in detail my journey through the decades of employment challenges, social and physical changes, emotional relationships and finally arriving at a state of nirvana where there is self-acceptance, self-love and most of all - authenticity. I use my life experiences and the unique skill set that I have to educate people about the transgender experience. I provide instruction to local school boards in the Northeastern Pennsylvania area on how best to integrate transgender students into public school classrooms and curricula.

Interest Tags: Experience Sharing/Discussion, Gender Affirming, Image & Presentation, Non-Binary, Professional Education, Surgery, TransMasculine

Below the Belt: How to Plan for Surgery
9:00 AM on Sat, Mar 25 in Metropolitan A

Mr. Cris
This will be a workshop discussing different genital surgery options available. How to make the best decision for YOUR body and needs. Partners welcome only if with significant other.

Interest Tags: Experience Sharing/Discussion, Gender Affirming, Image & Presentation, Professional Education, Surgery, TransMasculine, TransPeople of Color, Wellness

Consent, Boundaries, and Gender Dysphoria
2:00 PM on Thu, Mar 23 in Lochiel
*This workshop qualifies for Continuing Education Credit

One in two transgender individuals are sexually abused or assaulted at some point in their lives. Some reports estimate that transgender survivors may experience rates of sexual assault up to 66 percent (U.S. Justice Dept). The transgender community could benefit as much as, if not more than, any people group from comprehensive sexual assault/domestic violence education. The problem is that these programs are not widely known and that most are not trans-inclusive. As a Prevention & Outreach Advocate myself, working in a dual SA/DV services agency in York, PA, I can attest to the ways in which popular curricula have adapted to be gender-inclusive in terms of what configuration partnerships take on (same-sex and heterosexual partnerships are often found in each set of scenarios/case-studies). As a transgender woman though, I can also attest to the ways that trans identities and trans problems are erased from these same curricula. Unfortunately, this contributes to a societal unspoken rule on trans silence: find yourself in the language and cultural norms of cissexism or don't participate at all.

Gender dysphoria, while not a universal trans experience, is an overwhelmingly common one. This workshop asks, "How do we teach consent differently if we take into account the unique sexualities of transgender people (BDSM, for example, is more common in our community than among the general public) and the bodily experience of gender dysphoria. We will learn the FRIES (Freely given, Reversible, Informed, Enthusiastic, Specific) and Safe, Sane, and Consensual models and explore how to apply, adapt, or change these to better serve our transgender siblings' specific needs.

Boundaries and consent are intrinsically tied. We learn what a boundary is and ways in which people set them, self-care for when a (non-sexual) boundary gets crossed, and common obstacles to setting boundaries (fear of abandonment, shame, embarrassment, etc.). Partners will be encouraged to support their partners learning to set boundaries. Conversation starters such as, "What does it look like when you get dysphoric" will go a long way toward understanding this change in the body, mind, and spirit as a kind of boundary. This is critically important if the dysphoria sufferer is unable to speak, due to disability, a physical impediment such as a gag, or a psychological dissociation/flashback.

Interest Tags: Advocacy, Experience Sharing/Discussion, Gender Affirming, Non-Binary, Professional Education, Relationships, Spouses/Signification Others, TransFeminine, TransMasculine

Effectively Navigating Neurodiversity and Disability with Queer clients. A Guide for Helping Professionals
10:30 AM on Fri, Mar 24 in Harrisburger A
*This workshop qualifies for Continuing Education Credit


Recent studies have found that up to 70% of Autistic individuals identify as LGBTQ, or “non-heterosexual”. People who do not identify with the sex they were assigned at birth are also 3 to 6 times more likely to identify as Autistic or neurodivergent (2021, With the new statistics that are coming out surrounding queerness and neurodivergence, professionals working with the LGBTQ community are very likely to encounter individuals with needs that the provider may not be familiar with. This workshop will not only touch on awareness, but also acceptance of LGBTQ neurodivergent people and people with disabilities. We will discuss concepts of able-bodied privilege, and ways that helping professionals can improve their practice to better support neurodivergent clients.

Interest Tags: Non-Binary, Professional Education, TransFeminine, TransMasculine, TransPeople of Color, Wellness

End Game Discussion Group: How to Celebrate & Manage a Partly Out Lifestyle from the Big Moments to the End-All Burn Box
3:30 PM on Sat, Mar 25 in Governor

Ms. Sonia
A discussion group led by Sonia Swann, the significant other of a “partly out” partner who is pursuing a Master’s Thesis on the topic. Share your experience, troubleshoot and ask the big questions like how to have a wedding or memorial that honors your entire life and includes all your circles of loved ones. Can’t participate in person? Please support Sonia’s research by completing the anonymous survey at . . .(link to be provided soon). There will be no recordings, and no personal data collected. There will be a person to take notes and snacks!

Finding Your Voice As a Transgender Writer
3:30 PM on Thu, Mar 23 in Harrisburger A

Increasingly, transgender viewpoints, and transgender ideology, have been drowned out in the cacophony of hateful rhetoric that comes at us on a daily basis. The transgender community must raise its voice against these existential threats: every voice matters, and every ally matters. Your unique viewpoint is important to share. As an experienced professional writer, I want to share the tips, tricks, and insights I have gained over the last two years and discuss:

Why you should be writing - Why is it important to talk about our lives in our voice
Finding your voice - Writing and editing as skills
What Sells? - What are readers looking for? What grabs them?
Where is your market - resources - who wants to hear from the transgender?

I write enthusiastic, positive messages about transgender lives and the community. I believe that I can inspire others to take the pen and show how our lives are both unique and very ordinary. And in doing so, we can increase acceptance across all of society.

Interest Tags: Advocacy, Experience Sharing/Discussion, Gender Affirming, Non-Binary, Professional Education, TransFeminine, TransMasculine

Forged in Fire: LGBTQ+ Leadership Development
2:00 PM on Sat, Mar 25 in Metropolitan C
*This workshop qualifies for Continuing Education Credit

Explore how and why LGBTQ+ people can develop leadership superpowers! This talk explores the nexus of LGBTQ+ identities and leadership development and shows why embracing LGBTQ+ leaders drives enhanced outcomes for individuals and organizations. What’s missing from most academic and popular literature on leadership is how LGBTQ+ experiences such as stigmatization, coming out, and transition build leadership skills and capacities. We'll discuss how LGBTQ+ leaders are forged through those experiences and touch on the adult cognitive development theories that underpin how and why this happens. Using the illustrative power of story, Bree Fram will share her research on LGBTQ+ leadership (focusing on the T for Keystone!) that has resulted in a book due out in early 2024, an LGBTQ+ leadership podcast, and a community based on exploring LGBTQ+ leadership development.

Interest Tags: Advocacy, Military/Veterans, Professional Education, Workplace

Free to Pee: Trans Access to Public Restrooms
9:00 AM on Thu, Mar 23 in Harrisburger A

Ms. Laura
Public restrooms have become a major site of conflict over trans rights. This is nothing new in architectural history. The restroom has always been a cultural battlefield during periods of social change. Earlier battles addressed access by women, racial integration, access for people with disabilities, to list only the most obvious. The conflicts over trans access have neglected the importance of design in advancing social change. Although policy change is critical, in the end, design will determine whether trans access works well in our workplaces and civic spaces. We are now learning how to design public restrooms that transcend gender stereotypes and are also safer, easier to use, more convenient, increase privacy, and reduce anxiety for all building users. Building owners and the public need to know how to adopt best practices and the trans and gender diverse community is best prepared to help.

A university-based research team is learning how to advance trans inclusion. The team is conducting research and developing a public education program, including an exhibit and online resource, on inclusive restroom design. The workshop will describe the initiative and engage the attendees in helping to shape the further development of the project. The first half of the workshop will include a brief history of public restroom design, a description of the research, examples of best practices and a description of the educational program. The second half will focus on Q&A and discussion. The team is eager to obtain suggestions for improving the research and education methods and engage the trans and gender diverse community in its efforts. As part of the program, attendees will also be asked to submit stories of trans experience in restrooms, questions, and ideas, for inclusion in the planned exhibit and web resource.

Attendees will…

1. Learn about leading edge efforts to design and build inclusive restrooms
2. Learn how cisgender people perceive inclusive restroom designs
3. Learn how they can help improve trans inclusion through advocacy and education
4. Contribute to the public education and advocacy effort

Interest Tags: Advocacy, Aging, Experience Sharing/Discussion, Gender Affirming, Legal, Non-Binary, Professional Education, Safety, TransFeminine, TransPeople of Color, Wellness, Workplace, Youth

Gender Affirming Care for Youth
3:30 PM on Sat, Mar 25 in United States
*This workshop qualifies for Continuing Education Credit


Ms. Amy
With the deluge of conflicting and confusing information available, it's hard for families of trans and gender-diverse youth to know where to turn. This workshop is designed to give families an overview of what gender affirming care looks like, how to access care, and how to best support youth and young adults in being their happiest and healthiest selves.

Interest Tags: Family/Friends, Gender Affirming, Non-Binary, Professional Education, TransFeminine, TransMasculine, TransPeople of Color, Youth

Immersive Sound Meditation with the Handpan
3:30 PM on Thu, Mar 23 in William Penn

Sarah Paz
Transition occurs on many levels and we are all collectively transitioning now from winter into spring, from the chaos of the outside world into inner peace. Join us for a break from the hustle and bustle of the conference with this relaxing immersive sound meditation which will be infused by the melodic, shamanic qualities of the handpan and frame drum. Interwoven with vocalizations, and an assortment of instruments inspired by the natural world – the 4 elements of Air, Wind, Water & Fire – we will oscillate between the stillness of silence and movement of sound to more deeply integrate elemental balance within. Please arrive comfortably. There will be chairs available for a seated experience, and floor space for a more restful position laying down. Please bring a yoga mat, pillows or bolsters if you wish, and consider bringing water or tea for grounding afterward.

Interest Tags: Advocacy, Aging, Experience Sharing/Discussion, Family/Friends, Gender Affirming, Non-Binary, Professional Education, Relationships, Socializing, Spirituality/Religion, Spouses/Signification Others, TransFeminine, TransMasculine, TransPeople of Color, Voice, Wellness, Workplace, Youth

It's NOT Not Natural – The Biology of Sex and Gender
2:00 PM on Fri, Mar 24 in Leland
*This workshop qualifies for Continuing Education Credit

Dr. Brenda
The title makes reference to the frequent assertion that being transgender is not natural. Statements such as, “it goes against the laws of nature”, reflect a lack of understanding of sexual expression in the natural world. This raises the question, what do sex and gender really mean from a scientific perspective? This workshop will explore how the sexes differ, how they are similar, and how sexual expression and gender identity are more naturally viewed as a broad range of forms and behaviors. We will examine mechanisms of sex determination and development, including the roles of chromosomes, genes, hormones, and the environment. The extreme diversity of sexual expression in nature provides the basis for understanding, just what is natural?

Interest Tags: Gender Affirming, Non-Binary, Professional Education, TransFeminine, TransMasculine

Medical Conditions That Can Affect Your Transition Experience
3:30 PM on Fri, Mar 24 in Governor

Ms. Christine
There are medical issues that you may need to be aware of when going through transition / HRT. Medical teams are not always aware of them, so you may need to be your own advocate, as they can affect the effectiveness of your treatments. I will share my experiences with Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia, Hypo-Thyroidism, Reverse Ossification, and others and how they have affected my medical transition experience over time.

Interest Tags: Experience Sharing/Discussion, Gender Affirming, Professional Education, Surgery, Wellness

Professionally Styled
2:00 PM on Fri, Mar 24 in Harrisburger A

Polish your professional self to energize and deliver your best within your career. We will discuss owning your style and presenting confidently in a professional environment; blending your interests into your style to fit with your company’s parameters; and the importance of coming prepared to deliver your skills and company research. Spoiler alert, it’s not all about the clothes. Whether you’re freshly entering the workforce or looking for some clarity on your personal image as professional, come listen and learn, and be ready to participate.

Interest Tags: Experience Sharing/Discussion, Image & Presentation, Non-Binary, Professional Education, TransFeminine, TransMasculine, Workplace

Relationship Priorities: Using Communication and Compassion to Work Through Transition
9:00 AM on Thu, Mar 23 in Leland
*This workshop qualifies for Continuing Education Credit

Ms. Susan

Mrs. Karen

Ms. Jennifer
Discussions often focus on the needs of the transitioning transgender individual, somewhat exclusive to the needs of the relationship with a partner. This seminar will turn the focus to the relationship between the transgender person and their spouse or significant other. Transition is a very difficult time for a couple, and frequently leads to the loss of the relationship. Your presenter does not believe that this has to be the inevitable outcome and hopes to offer her experience with her late spouse Jude, and that of friends and acquaintances who have gone through transition of a partner, in the hope that others can find these experiences useful. Aspects discussed includes "couples' transition" and skills in languaging and negotiation, managing expectations and maintaining open lines of communication. These approaches are proven techniques in couples counseling and helped tremendously during Jude's transition. Please come join us for discussions and a few exercises that can help bring a new understanding to the power of language and negotiation.

Interest Tags: Gender Affirming, Professional Education, Relationships, Spouses/Signification Others, TransFeminine, TransMasculine

Transgender/Gender Diverse Workforce Readiness
3:30 PM on Fri, Mar 24 in Harrisburger B
*This workshop qualifies for Continuing Education Credit

Dr. Gennifer
This curriculum is designed for transgender, nonbinary, and gender expansive individuals who are seeking to enter or re-enter the workforce, or who are looking to change jobs or careers. Prior attendees of these cohorts have included individuals who have never held formal employment, as well as individuals who have completed graduate-level education and have many years of work experience. The curriculum includes slide presentations on workforce readiness skills as well as ample time for individualized discussion. The emphasis on discussion enables the material and experience to be tailored to the needs of cohort attendees. This section provides some considerations and suggestions for managing the discussion portions of the curriculum.

Interest Tags: Advocacy, Experience Sharing/Discussion, Professional Education, Socializing, Workplace

Our Conference Sponsors

Visit our Sponsor Information Page for more information.


Penn Medicine




Bay Area

Dr. Michele



Health Inc.

My Feminine


Dr. James
The Voice



Rainbow Rose

Yoga With
My Girlfriends

Alder Health


Vanity Club

Portraits by Diane Crow