Gender Diversity and TransFamily Support Services will present the Gender Odyssey Conference on August 1–4, 2019, at the San Diego Marriott Mission Valley.
Now in its 19th year, Gender Odyssey is an international conference open to everyone interested in the thoughtful exploration of gender. The conference will offer both professional and family tracks. This will be the first time a conference for the transgender and gender-diverse communities and those who work with them will take place in San Diego.
“I am thrilled we are bringing this vital conference to San Diego to support the many transgender and gender-diverse individuals and families that we serve,” said Kathie Moehlig, executive director of TransFamily Support Services. “The conference has always aligned with our mission and services, and my team and I jumped at the chance to collaborate with Gender Diversity on the programming and production for the 2019 conference.”
The Gender Odyssey conference offers a diverse range of programming from some of the foremost experts in the country, covering topics including workplace issues, health care, insurance and transition surgery. Conference sessions and panel discussions will be offered for both beginners just starting their exploration of gender diversity and transgender identities and more experienced attendees.
The professional track is for K-12 educators, medical and mental health care providers, social workers, employers, lawyers, students and anyone seeking information about working with transgender, nonbinary and gender-diverse people of all ages. Continuing education credits are available for professional track participants. Sessions for professionals include the following:
- Give Them a Hand: How to Best Support Families with Trans and Gender-Diverse Kids
- Nonbinary Identities: An Introduction
- Keeping Up with Trump: What Health Care Providers Need to Know About the Legal Rights of Their Patients
- Supporting Couples in Gender-Diverse Relationships
- How to Create a Gender-Affirming Office
- Inclusion in the Workplace: Gender, Gender Identity and Gender Expression
- Transforming Your School as Your Students Transition
- Gender Google
Thursday’s professional program keynote speaker will be the founder of the Gender Odyssey conference, Aidan Key. He is also the founder and director of Gender Diversity, an organization dedicated to providing support and educational services to transgender and gender-diverse children. He leads the largest network of parent support groups in the nation, is sought out by many companies to lead transgender-inclusive workplace trainings and is the co-author of Trans Bodies, Trans Selves and Gender Cognition in Transgender Children. Key is currently writing a new book, Trans Children in Today’s Schools.
Friday’s all-conference keynote speaker will be Kylar W. Broadus, a transgender man who has been a pioneer in the movement as an attorney, activist, public speaker, author and professor. He was recently awarded the Trans Trailblazer Award by the LGBT Bar Association of Los Angeles and is the first out transgender American to testify before the United States Senate.
The Gender Odyssey Conference family track is designed to address the wide-ranging issues a family raising a transgender, gender-diverse or gender-nonconforming child may encounter. The family track includes workshops specifically designed for youth and young adults aged 13–22. Many of these sessions were designed with the help of transgender and gender-diverse teens and young adults. The family program also includes an activity-packed, supervised Kids Camp for children aged 4–12 while their parents attend workshops. Conference sessions will be led by leading experts in their fields as well as family members who have navigated the gender exploration and/or transition journey of their own child.
New to the conference this year is a workshop titled “Really? Surgery for Teens?” which will discuss the question of transition surgery for minors. This frank conversation will include experts providing their own case studies, observations and predictions about this often-controversial topic. Additional presentations, panel discussions and interactive forums include the following:
- Parenting the Trans Teen: What Happens After Transition Starts
- Know Their Rights: What Parents Need to Know About Transgender Children and the Law
- The History of Gender Variance and Diversity
- Consciously Parenting Your Gender-Expansive Child
- I Love My Daughter But I Miss My Son
- My Kid Has a Crush – Now What?
“Both parents and youth attend the conference while at varying stages of their gender exploration process,” said Moehlig. “When these families see that they are surrounded by people who have lived a similar experience and that there is a community ready to embrace and support them, there is a visible and palpable sigh of relief that they are not alone. This is why TransFamily Support Services and the Gender Odyssey Conference exist.”
“Even though I have been producing this conference for almost 20 years, I am still amazed each year at the confident, honest and brave youth who attend the conference, speak their truths and genuinely want to support others on their gender exploration journey,” said Key. “Bringing the professional and family tracks together in one conference encourages community building, sharing and lasting connections among youth, parents and the professionals who work with them.”
For the first time, the Gender Odyssey Conference will offer dedicated Spanish-language programming on the Friday and Saturday of the conference. A Spanish-language landing page can be found at www.genderodyssey.org/home-sdespanol.
The conference website offers a search function that allows users to filter the programming by conference track as well as by age group. Conference pricing ranges from $150 to $395 for the professional track and $75 to $295 for the family track. To find out more information, view the full conference agenda and register, visit www.genderodyssey.org.
About Gender Diversity
Gender Diversity works to increase the awareness and understanding of the wide range of gender diversity in children, adolescents and adults by providing family support, building community, increasing societal awareness and improving well-being for people of all gender identities and expressions. For more information, visit www.genderdiversity.org or www.facebook.com/genderdiversity.
About TransFamily Support Services
TransFamily Support Services guides transgender and nonbinary youth and their families through the gender transitioning process to help make it the most positive experience possible. It provides family coaching, assistance with health care and insurance issues, help navigating the legal system and support at schools. All services are provided at no fee. For more information, visit www.transfamilysos.org or www.facebook.com/TransFamilySOS.