The expertise available within the Gender Odyssey Family conference is among the best in the country. Our experts range from some of the leading pediatricians, attorneys, and advocates in the country to parents of gender-nonconforming or transgender children who are blazing new paths for their own children and, ultimately, many others.
Confirmed Keynote Speakers for 2014
Gender Odyssey is honored to announce the first of our 2014 keynote speakers, Eli Vasquez, who will offer us an insider’s perspective on transgender issues and advocacy in Ecuador. Vasquez will surely be an inspiration to heart, intellect and soul throughout our 13th anniversary conference in Seattle, Washington.
Elizabeth “Eli” Vasquez is an Ecuadorian attorney and the founder of Proyecto Transgenero (Project Transgender), an organization in Quito that has spearheaded the rights movement for transgender and intersex people in Ecuador. Described as a “political proposal” as well as a non-profit organization, Proyecto Transgenero’s work includes legal, social, cultural and art interventions and aims to strengthen trans identity in Ecuador. Proyecto Transgenero was born in 2002 and includes the programs Legal Patrol, Casa Trans, TransTango, and the Transfeminist Activist Training Program. In addition, Project Transgender promoted the creation of the Ecuadorian Confederation of Trans and Intersex Communities (CONFETRANS).
We hope you are as excited as we are to hear Vasquez share how Ecuadorian trans culture is influenced by tradition, political changes, street families, and so many other factors that differ from and progress beyond our Western medical-centric trans culture.
Workshop Presenters for 2014
Karen Adams founded TransYouth Education and Support, which has supported Colorado families with gender-nonconforming and transgender children since 2007. With degrees in education and science, Karen’s background has helped her initiate major trans youth research, create a state-wide support system, educate through presentations, and advocate for families. She’s an advisor to PFLAG National on the T/GNC Advisory Council. Karen and her husband are parents of teenagers who refuse to live in boxes.
Dr. Michele Angello offers individual, couples, group, and family therapy, as well as corporate education and training on a variety of issues concerning sexuality. She has presented internationally on her work with transgender, gender-variant, and gender-nonconforming youth. She facilitates several monthly support groups for transgender adults, youth, and parents and offers sessions to people around the world via webcam. Dr. Angello has appeared as a guest expert on Dr. Phil, Larry King Live, The Tyra Banks Show, ABC Primetime, Dr. Oz, and many more shows and documentaries. She is also an adjunct professor at Widener University and has developed the first graduate course in the U.S. that focuses on clinical issues in transgender communities. Her private practice is in Pennsylvania.
Jacqui Beck is an artist, art instructor, and creativity coach. Her project Gender Personal explores gender variance through art and poetry. Jacqui interviewed eight people who are gender-nonconforming and created paintings and poetry based on these experiences. Jacqui has a 21-year-old transgender son who participated in the Gender Personal project. Jacqui’s artwork is on exhibit at the 2014 Gender Odyssey conference.
Roxanne Cherry, PhD, is a marriage, family, and child therapist in private practice in Orange County, CA. Since 1984 she has specialized in working with the trans and gender-nonconforming community and their families. She is a continuing education provider on transgenderism and consults with and supervises other mental health professionals. She has appeared on radio and TV shows and spoken in college classes and community centers to help increase awareness about trans issues.
Andrew Cray is a policy analyst for LGBT Progress at American Progress. His work includes advocating for LGBT inclusion and engagement in state implementation of the Affordable Care Act; raising awareness of health insurance policies that improve coverage for LGBT families; and improving outcomes and support for LGBT youth.
John Davis is first and foremost a dad. He attended his first GO Family conference in 2008. He felt scared and alone and was full of questions as he faced the realization that he was the parent of a gender-nonconforming child. John has attended every conference since, finding support and understanding from the growing number of attending fathers who are confronted with the same challenge. John has learned this journey does not have to be taken alone. As a father John has first-hand experience and insight as he continues on the unique path of parenting a gender-nonconforming child. John is a professional pilot living in Seattle.
Dr. Laura Edwards-Leeper, PhD, is an assistant professor in the School of Professional Psychology at Pacific University. Previously, she worked at Seattle Children’s Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School. She was the founding psychologist for the Gender Management Service (GeMS) at Boston Children’s Hospital where she completed comprehensive psychological evaluations with transgender adolescents to help determine whether a medical intervention was in their best interest. Dr Edwards-Leeper was trained by the renowned Dr. Peggy Cohen-Kettenis in the Dutch clinic. She continues her involvement with GeMS research endeavors, has coauthored book chapters and peer-reviewed journal articles, and has been interviewed by various media outlets. Dr. Edwards-Leeper is a member of the American Psychological Association Task Force developing practice guidelines for working with transgender individuals and has been identified as a national expert in this area.
Dr. Shawn V Giammattei is a clinical psychologist and gender specialist in private practice in San Francisco and Santa Rosa, CA, specializing in family therapy with individuals, couples, and families in the queer and trans communities. He is a member of WPATH and Mind the Gap (a mental health team working with UCSF’s Child and Adolescent Gender Clinic), and a board member of the American Family Therapy Academy. He is the coordinator of training and affiliated researcher for the Rockway Institute and teaches graduate courses in LGBT psychology, transgender mental health, and family systems at Alliant International University.
Lisa Gilinger, vice president of TYFA, is a parent experienced with trans issues. She has presented at many conferences across the country, including Gender Odyssey, and has been the invited speaker at the University of Minnesota’s Pride Week and Charleston College’s Convocation of Seniors as well as being a guest lecturer at many institutions of higher learning.
Ellen James is an attorney in private practice. She serves as regional director for PFLAG National. Ellen advocates and educates for the LGBT community and their families through local, regional, and national presentations. She also serves as a PFLAG National board member and chairs the PFLAG National T/GNC Advisory Council. She and her husband have three school-aged children, one of whom is transgender.
Randi Kaufman, PsyD
My interest in working with gender issues has been longstanding, and it is a personal value to work with a group of people who are underserved and misunderstood. I have been working with gender identity issues since 1998 when I began building the Transgender Health Program at Fenway Health in Boston. I have done extensive long-term psychotherapy and consultation with over 400 individuals to help assess the nature and extent of their gender dysphoria and figure out treatment options. I work with gender-nonconforming and transgender children and youth at Children’s Hospital Boston, and have private practices in NYC and Cambridge, MA. I have assessed several inmates around the state of Massachusetts in response to a lack of knowledge and appropriate treatment for incarcerated transgender people.
Mara Keisling is the executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, which strives to eliminate discrimination and violence against transgender people by working to improve policies at the local, state, and federal level, including those related to employment, health care, housing and homelessness, police/jails, police harassment, safe schools, and identity documents.
Aydin Kennedy, MSW, ACSW, is the coordinator for the Transgender Health Program at St. John’s Well Child and Family Center, a medical and mental health program serving trans* adults in the South Los Angeles area. He has counseled trans* youth, adults, and their families for the last five years and has been conducting in-service trainings for service providers for over ten years. He is also the founder of the Stonewall Alliance Center’s community counseling program in Chico, CA.
Aidan Key is the director of Gender Diversity, an organization that provides education to teachers, staff, counselors, and administrators regarding gender-inclusive schools grades K-12. He is the author of Trans Bodies, Trans Selves: Child Chapter (Oxford University Press). Additionally, he provides support for families of transgender and gender-nonconforming children and teens through his Washington State parent support groups. Key speaks regularly to universities and organizations seeking to expand their knowledge of issues related to gender identity in children and adults. Key is also the founder and director of the Gender Odyssey and Gender Odyssey Family conferences.
Susan P. Landon, MA, MFT, is the director of the Child and Adolescent Program at the Los Angeles Gender Center. She has worked with gender diverse children and their families for over 25 years. She provides a welcoming and supportive environment for children, adolescents, and their families to explore the many aspects of diverse gender expression and identity. She offers in-service trainings on gender diversity for parents, teachers, and school administrators.
Carolyn MacGregor is an editor, musician, and mom to two wonderful daughters, one of whom is a transgender tween. Carolyn has witnessed her gender journey, which began eight years ago, and started a journey of her own. It’s been an incredible ride!
Hayden Mora serves as Director of Strategic Relations at the Human Rights Campaign. His focus is on long-term strategic planning, systems design, and program integration. He also works to anchor the HIV, POC, Transgender, and other crosscutting priorities of the HRC Foundation. Hayden brings his experience in organizational development, strategic planning, and capacity building to support these efforts.
Johanna Olson, MD, is the medical director of the Center for Transyouth Health and Development at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. She has been working with gender-nonconforming children and transgender adolescents for the past seven years, providing puberty blockers and hormone therapy for over three hundred youth. Dr. Olson has spoken around the country to professionals, families, and media about the importance of providing thorough, competent, and timely care for transgender youth.
Asaf Orr, staff attorney for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, focuses most of his work on youth issues, particularly transgender youth. Asaf was the lead attorney in Student v. Arcadia Unified School District, which led to the historic resolution agreement acknowledging that Title IX protects transgender kids from discrimination in school. He coauthored a chapter on the legal and ethical obligations of school personnel to create a safe and inclusive environment for LGBTQ students and families, recently published in the edited volume Creating Safe and Supportive Learning Environments: A Guide for Working with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Youth and Families. Asaf litigates cases in a wide range of areas affecting youth including family law, insurance coverage disputes, and discrimination claims.
Kim Pearson is one of the nation’s most experienced educators regarding gender diversity in children. Her success at bringing meaningful understanding to audiences is rooted in accurately identifying and speaking to the level of awareness unique to participants. Drawing from her personal journey as the mother of a transgender child, her professional connections with leading experts, and her vast experience as a transition facilitator, Kim empowers families, educators, and others by providing the tools for success. Ms. Pearson is also one of the founders of TransYouth Family Allies (TYFA), a national organization dedicated to assisting families with children that experience gender differently.
Patricia Brown Peterson, MA, is a mental health counselor practicing in Bellevue, WA, treating anxiety, depression, grief, and trauma, using psychodynamic, strength-based, holistic therapies, and EMDR. I provide individual therapy and support groups for transgender adults and their families—parents, spouses, significant others, children, siblings, extended family, and friends. Sharing experiences of the gender transition of a loved one with others on a similar path teaches us useful information about the process and expands our understanding of humanity.
Kevin Rochlin is an environmental engineer, glass artist, musician, and fisherman. He is trying to be a tennis player and golfer. He lives in Seattle with his wife, Lynne, and daughters, Caitlin and Megan. He and his wife love to travel the world together dragging their daughters with them.
Kaden Sullivan has worked as a trainer, educator, and consultant in sexual health and LGBTQ issues for over 10 years. He enjoys working with young people, adults, and professionals, facilitating communication, learning, and deeper understanding. Kaden loves living in his hometown of Olympia, WA, with his sweetheart and two kiddos, and likes to make adults play games.
Francesca Terry is the proud parent of three amazing children, the oldest of whom is transgender. The complex journey that she and her husband James have faced as they have supported their oldest in his journey to his authentic gender has come with a wide array of emotions, including grief. Francesca has found that the best way out of grief is to go through it. She hopes you’ll join her in this important discussion.
Lukas Walther is a certified counselor and experienced educator who works closely with British Columbia’s clinical care team providing supports, information, and customized educational services for trans youth, their families, care providers, and schools for nearly 20 years. He helped create BC’s Transgender Health Program, where he served first as community counselor and later as coordinator. He is a longtime member of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, and a repeat presenter at Gender Odyssey Family.
Evan Hunter Wright is a senior staff member and assistant director of Not Back to School Camp: a summer camp for teenagers who are unschooled, homeschooled, or self-educated. He has been involved in the unschooling movement for over 15 years, supporting teenagers in leaving school, building an education, and pursuing a happy life. He lives in South Seattle with his partner, Adam.