Attending a trans conference is a great way to learn, share, network and socialize. Conferences offer you the chance to step out of your daily routine and stretch your knowledge and understanding of our diverse experiences, plus get important “face time” with long distance friends, as well as mentors and providers.
The 2011 Conference season is already in swing, with First Event kicking off this week! Below are the year’s upcoming transgender conferences. Which ones will you be attending?
Conferences at a Glance
|First Event||Boston, MA||Jan 19-23, 2011|
|Colorado Gold Rush||Denver, CO||Feb 24-27, 2011|
|The Keystone Conference||Harrisburg, PA||March 9-13, 2011|
|Circles Transgender Conference & Retreat||Warner Springs, CA||April 15-17, 2011|
|Transgender Lives: The Intersection of Health and Law Conference||Farmington, CT||April 30, 2011|
|The Empire Conference||Albany, NY||May 4-7, 2011|
|Be-All||Chicago, IL||May 31-June 5, 2011|
|Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference||Philadelphia, PA||June 2-4, 2011|
|Trans Youth Summit||Boston, MA||June 18, 2011|
|Transgender Leadership Summit||West Hollywood, CA||July 22-24, 2011|
|Gender Odyssey||Seattle, WA||Aug 5-7, 2011|
|TransOhio Transgender & Ally Conference||Columbus, OH||Aug 5-7, 2011|
|Texas Transgender Nondiscrimination Summit||Houston, TX||Aug 12-13, 2011|
|Southern Comfort Conference||Atlanta, GA||Sept 21-24, 2011|
|Fantasia Fair||Provincetown, MA||Oct 16-23, 2011|
|TransForm Arizona||Phoenix, AZ||Oct 20-23, 2011|
|Translating Identity Conference||Burlington, VT||Oct 22, 2011|
|Transgender Religious Leaders Summit||Berkeley, CA||Nov 3-5, 2011|
|Transcending Boundaries||Springfield, MA||Nov 11-13, 2011|
|Trans Health and Advocacy Conference||Cape Town, SA||Nov 26-28, 2011|
Money Saving Tip: Note that many of the conferences have early bird discounts available. Register early to save on your expenses! Several conferences also offer scholarships and work trades!
2011 Confirmed Conferences
First Event – 31st Annual!
First Event is one of the largest transgender conferences, welcoming everyone from the transgender community and our supporters: crossdressers, transsexuals, intersex individuals, M2Fs, F2Ms, and their significant others are all welcome. You’ll find 60+ workshops, entertainment and fun activities. The growing trans masculine track of programming is organized by the author of the American Trans Man blog.
When: January 19-23, 2011
Where: Boston, Massachussetts
Cost: $18-$40 single day passes, $310-$340 conference packages, early bird discount available
Colorado Gold Rush
Hosted by the Gender Identity Center of Colorado, Gold Rush features three days of workshops covering a wide array of topics of interest for trans identified folks, plus a clinical track for students and clinicians.
When: February 24-27, 2011
Where: Denver, Colorado
Cost: $40-$80 for workshops only, $270-$350 for conference packages, early bird sicount available
The Keystone Conference
Attendees will find three full days of meaningful workshops and seminars, and four nights of social functions, the finale being Saturday night’s Keystone Gala Dinner and Dance. 2011’s programming includes significantly expanded transmasculine and youth programs.
When: March 9-13, 2011
Where: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Cost: $40-$120 single day passes, $140-$175 conference packages, early bird discount available
Circles Transgender Conference & Retreat
Circles is a retreat for transgender people, those questioning binary stereotypes, healthcare professionals, and allies. Highlights include workshops and discussion groups, accommodation and fine vegetarian, mostly organic meals, an atmosphere of safety, confidentiality, and ease, and time for relaxation, sauna, naps, walks in the surrounding hills.
When: April 15-17, 2011
Where: Warner Springs, California
Transgender Lives: The Intersection of Health and Law Conference
This all day conference is geared towards providers, medical and legal professionals, trans and gender non-conforming community, allies and all those interested in the health and law issues facing the trans and gender non-conforming communities.
When: April 30, 2011
Where: Farmington, Connecticut
Cost: $25, “no one turned away” policy
The Empire Conference
Put on by TransEventsUsa, the Empire Conference serves those who identify as transgender, crossdresser, transsexual, transvestite, FTM, MTF, SOFFAs, providers, students and educators. The conference provides informative workshops and skillshares, opportunities for networking and socializing, plus a health fair, special outings and entertainment.
When: May 4-7, 2011
Where: Albany, New York
Cost: $50 single day passes, $250-$350 conference passes, early bird dscount available.
Be-All – 10th Annual!
Be-All is an empowering conference featuring entertainment, excursions, a vendor fair, and over 50 professional seminars. Everyone’s welcome: crossdressers, transsexuals, transgender, MTF, FTM, and SOFFAs. Note: Trans male specific programming is light.
When: May 31 – June 5, 2011
Where: Chicago, Illinois
Cost: $100-$345, early bird discount available
Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference – 10th Annual!
This conference focuses on the specific issues, needs, and experiences of trans-identified individuals with regard to the health of body, mind, spirit, and community. Everyone concerned about these issues is welcome to attend, including but not limited to: members of the transgender and gender-variant communities, partners, family members, allies, and service providers.
When: June 2-4, 2011
Where: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Trans Youth Summit
A conference for youth age 24 and under from the New England area that identify with, or could fall under, the label ‘transgender,’ or youth who are in some way connected to the transgender youth community, such as partners/friends, to meet and connect with other transgender and gender variant youth. Attendees share ideas, learn about their legal rights and the larger transgender community, and participate in workshops and fun activities.
When: June 18, 2011
Where: Boston, Massachussets
Transgender Leadership Summit
Produced by the Transgender Law Center, the Leadership Summit has become a major annual event for identifying and building transgender community leaders is the US. Attendees participate in workshops to learn skills they need to be effective activists, including how to facilitate public policy change, encourage economic development, educate the media, conduct budget advocacy, and build local capacity.
When: July 22-24, 2011
Where: West Hollywood, California
Cost: $10-$100 sliding scale
Gender Odyssey – 10th Annual!
Gender Odyssey is an international conference focused on the needs and interests of transgender and gender variant people, with a particular focus on the trans masculine experience. This one-of-a-kind annual gathering is packed with thought-provoking workshops, discussion groups, social events and entertainment. Programming is predominantly trans male oriented. Exclusive programming for POC, teens, genderqueer, partners and more.
When: August 5-7, 2011
Where: Seattle, Washington
Cost: $135-$255 sliding scale, early bird discount available.
TransOhio Transgender & Ally Conference
The TransOhio conference features more than 70 workshops covering a variety of topics including health and safety, sex and sexuality, legal and employment issues, religion and spirituality, and culture, media and the arts.
When: August 5-7, 2011
Where: Columbus, Ohio
Texas Transgender Nondiscrimination Summit
The summit is an invitation to interested parties in higher education to discuss what works and what does not work in regards to codifying inclusion of “gender identity and expression: into institutional policy. The summit serves to find means to this end through discussion of divergent and respective strategies in regard to the inevitable barriers that always arise.
When: August 12-13, 2011
Where: Houston, TX
Southern Comfort Conference – 21st Annual!
SCC is a major transgender conference featuring seminars, events, a career expo, numerous vendors catering to transgender and transsexual people, and more. Whatever your connection to the transgender community – whether you are transsexual, a cross dresser or in between; a spouse, a partner or a family member; straight, gay, bi or omni-sexual; post-op, pre-op or non-op; young or old; married or single; FtM or MtF – if transgender is an issue in your life, you are welcome!
When: September 21-24, 2011
Where: Atlanta, Georgia
Cost: $110 – $230 day passes, $250-$335 conference passes, early bird discount available.
Fantasia Fair – 36th Annual!
A week-long transgender event that’s part conference, part social gathering. There are workshops, keynote speakers and special events each evening. Light on trans masculine programming.
When: October 16-23, 2011
Where: Provincetown, Massachusetts
Cost: $450-$650, early bird discounts available
TransForm Community events are held in various cities across the nation to educate and raise awareness within the gay, lesbian, and bisexual community and the broader public on the transgender community, and to encourage unity as we learn to live amongst each other and share in our continued fight for LGBT equality. Upcoming events in Arizona, Florida and Oregon.
When: October 20-23, 2011
Where: Phoenix, AZ
Translating Identities Conference – 10th Annual!
TIC explores a wide array of topics in discourses regarding gender and transgender identities, expressions, communities, and intersections. A one-day event, TIC has numerous sessions to choose from at any time that are directed towards people at all levels of inclusion in the trans and allied communities.
When: October 22, 2011
Where: Burlington, Vermont
Transgender Religious Leaders Summit – 5th Annual!
TRLS is an ecumenical meeting of faith leaders who identify as transgender, gender-queer and inter-sexed, and their allies. It is also an opportunity to connect with leaders of all faith communities and, through sharing, to celebrate our common heritage while learning to appreciate and respect our differences.
When: November 3-5, 2011
Where: Berkeley, CA
An annual community conference celebrating the diversity of gender, sex, sexuality and relationships. From transgender to intersex to genderqueer, from asexual to bisexual, from kinky to polyamorous, and all the in-betweens, we discover we are not one facet on a single continuum, but the combination of characteristics in a complex identity. Everyone is welcome, including friends, families, allies and professionals who want to support the queer community.
When: November 11-13, 2011
Where: Springfield, Massachusetts
Cost: $54-? (only the early bird pricing was published at press time)
Trans Health and Advocacy Conference
The conference has identified two clear focus areas: to educate health care professionals on service provision to TG people; and to explore indigenous knowledge and communication in relation to TG persons. Tracks to include: Indigenous knowledge, access to health, sexual and reproductive health issues and HIV.
When: November 26-28, 2011
Where: Cape Town, SA
2011 Trans Conference Map
View 2011 Trans Conference Map in a larger map, or embed it on your website.
2011 Conferences with Dates TBD
The L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s annual free celebration for transgender, transsexual, gender-queer and cross-dressing individuals and those who love them. Includes an art exhibit; workshops; march; and the Siren Awards to honor the work of transgender individuals, organizations and allies.
These are trans conferences that have been produced in recent years but it’s not known if they will continue as regular events.
Put on by TransEventsUsa, the Liberty Conference in Philadelphia, PA provides informative workshops, networking and socializing, plus a vendor fair and entertainment. Last held in 2009.
IFGE Capital Conference
An educational conference held just outside Washington DC in Virginia, with presentations, keynote speakers, entertainment, activities and social time for everyone on the trans spectrum. Also features a Provider Day, geared towards those who provide speech, medical and mental health services to the transgender community, plus a transmasuline programming track. Last held in 2010.
Minnesota Trans Health & Wellness Conference
Two-day conference in St. Paul, Minnesota featuring a Provider Day, offering presentations for primary care providers and mental health providers on both basic and advanced transgender health, and Community Day, FREE and open to all, focusing on meeting the health and wellness needs of the trans community, including trans and gender nonconforming people as well as partners, family, friends and allies. Workshops; health screenings; mini surgery, voice, electrolysis, and medication consultations; a resource fair, chair massage, and social gatherings. Last held in 2010.
A 1-day conference in Portland, Oregon held in 2009 and 2010. Communi-T connect trans and genderqueer individuals to address health, legal, and social needs unique to the community. It offers a space for trans and genderqueer individuals to meet health and service providers, and for providers to network with each other.
Transforming Health and Wellness Conference
MaineTransNet hosted this conference in 2010, designed to raise awareness about health and wellness-related needs of the transgender community, and to address how the many areas of life that affect wellness may be influenced by gender non-conforming experiences. The conference included workshops geared towards medical and mental health professionals as well as the transgender/genderqueer/gender-fluid community.
Forge Forward Conference
A national FTM/SOFFA conference held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 2007, Forge Forward featured a whopping 90 workshops, along with medical consultations, a vendors hall, film festival, author readings, music and more. (A second coming may be due!)
FTM North Conference
The FTM North Conference was produced in 2006-7 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, with the goal of being an annual event catering to FTM identifying people and their friends, families, and allies. The FTMNorth.com domain name has expired. (It’s unclear if this conference will return.)
Conferences in Canada
Vancouver Trans Forum
A three day gathering in of trans people and allies in July 2010 that offered transition information (esp. Canadian resources) and skill sharing. Dances, the 1st Annual Vancouver Trans Film Fest, and other social activities, including an All Body Swim and 1st Vancouver Trans Pride March. (It’s unclear if this will be a recurring event.)
The Deaf Trans Conference
This first of its kind conference brought together the deaf and trans communities in North America in Toronto, Canada in 2010. It provided an opportunity for individuals and their allies in the deaf and trans communities to unite and share common experiences, regardless of language barriers, and to gain a greater understanding of both the deaf and trans experience. (It’s unclear if this will be a recurring event.)
Trans Access Conference
Bodies of Dissent: Trans Access is a trans conference in Peterborough, Ontario (Canada) on the topic of access, barriers and accessibility and is focused on decolonization of the racial and gender norms present in our society, as well as from institutional practices of psychiatry and prison systems. (It’s unclear if this will be a recurring event.)
WPATH Biennial Symposium
Presenting the latest advances in research, education, clinical service, and advocacy to promote the health and well being of transgender and transsexual people and their families. Topics include children, families, and youth; ethnic/racial and cultural diversity in transgender health; community-based health care; human rights; and the latest advances in brain research, and more. The 2011 symposium will take place in Atlanta, Georgia, right after Southern Comfort.
Barbara Ross Association’s TG Conference
Biennial conferences in Norfolk, UK devoted to transgender issues, and including programming for those of the trans masculine experience.
TGEU’s (Trans)Gender Equality Conference
This 2010 conference aimed to raise awareness about the legal and social situation of transgender people, as well as the role of European institutions in defending transgender people’s fundamental rights.
Trans Community Conference
Bringing trans people and professional services together in London, England to create dialogue and form partnerships that will benefit the trans community. Last held in 2010.
Trans Remembrance Conference
Held in Ankara, Turkey in November 2010, this conference focused on transphobia and “hatred” in fields like sex work, discriminative legislation, sexually transmitted diseases, international trans rights activism, politics, arts, transfeminism together with several academics, lawyers, artists, writers, parliamentarians, journalists and activists both from Turkey and abroad.
ILGA Trans Rights Conference: Putting Trans Rights on the European Agenda
This event was a pre-conference to the ILGA-Europe XIII Annual Conference, held in Malta in 2009. Its focus was on tackling discrimination of transgender people in European Institutions and their programmes. Delegates from the conference agreed on this Declaration of the Trans Rights Conference.
Clearly, there are more international trans conferences than just the ones listed here! Please add information for these events in the comments below.
There are also additional conferences that are more tightly focused, such as the Gender Odyssey Family conference for families with transgender and gender variant children and teens. At the other end of the spectrum are the multitude of LGBT conferences that only touch on trans issues, if at all.
Other important trans conferences of days gone by include:
- FTM International Conference (California, 1995)
- “Forward Motion: Celebrating Cultures, Advocacy, and FTM Lives” Conference (California, 1999. Grew into FTM Alliance of Los Angeles.)
- Transsistahs and Transbrothas Defying Gravity Convention (Kentucky, 2005)
- The First International Transgender Rights Conference (Geneva, 2006)
More reading about conferences for trans men:
Have You Ever Felt Like the Odd Duck Out?
Many of us live in a society that doesn’t have a place for us or even acknowledge we exist—how hopeful it is to find a conference like Gender Odyssey! How disappointing to get there only to discover that, even at this conference, we feel that, once again, we are the odd duck out.
Trans Conferences: Where Are the Men?
Trans guys and trans conferences are not mutually exclusive — but sometimes it seems that way. The reality is that trans men do attend trans conferences — but we tend to be scarce at many of them, for a variety of reasons.
Do you know of other conferences for transgender, transsexual, genderqueer and gender variant folks, particularly international events and those with a focus on the trans masculine spectrum? Please add them in the comments area below!