15th Annual Gender Odyssey Conference Comes to Seattle August 4-7


EDGE Media Network Contributor

Tuesday August 2, 2016

As visibility for transgender issues and communities reaches a historic high mark, more than 1,000 participants will gather in Seattle, WA from August 4-7 for the annual Gender Odyssey Conference. This year marks the 15th year for the gathering. Gender Odyssey's primary objective is to offer tools to navigate obstacles and provide pathways to individual and community empowerment, with conference tracks for professionals, families and trans people of all ages.

"We are looking forward to gathering at an extraordinary time of visibility and challenge for transgender communities, their families and allies," said Aidan Key, Gender Odyssey's founder. "The first Gender Odyssey conference was held in Seattle during the spring of 2001, and with support of dedicated volunteers and participants, has evolved into an event beyond our greatest expectations."

Gender Odyssey will offer scores of workshops, films, receptions, performances and the opportunity to network, learn and create community. The stand-alone conference for families with gender diverse and transgender children, "Gender Odyssey Family," will again be a cornerstone of the weekend. With three days of workshops, a day camp for kids and complete teen program, this annual family conference is one of few places in where children, teens, with their families can get the information and support they need to live happy, healthy and fulfilled lives.

"At a time when we see increasing visibility for transgender people that is coupled with a troubling increase in strategic attacks on the LGBT community scapegoating trans people, the safe space and resources this conference offers are more important than ever," said Key.

In addition, Gender Odyssey's recently expanded conference for professionals and students, "GO Professional," will include sessions covering best practices for therapists, current medical protocols, legal considerations, and a full programming track for educators including model school policies for gender variant students.

This year's keynote speakers will be Geena Rocero and Dr. Madeline Deutsch.

Rocero is a Filipina model and founder of Gender Proud, an advocacy and aid organization that stands up for the right of transgender people worldwide to "self-identify with the fewest possible barriers." Rocero came out as transgender while giving a TED talk, which has since received 2.8 million views. In 2015, Rocero became the executive producer of "Beautiful As I Want To Be," a digital series for Logo focused on transgender youth and recently received a GLAAD Media Award for the program.

Deutsch, an MD, MPH, is an assistant clinical professor in the Department of Family & Community Medicine at UCSF. She is the Director of Clinical Services at the UCSF Center of Excellence for Transgender Health, with her clinic based at UCSF Women's Health Primary Care, in partnership with the National Center of Excellence in Women's Health. Dr. Deutsch has been involved in a number of research and capacity building projects focused on transgender health.

The Gender Odyssey Conference will be held from August 4-7 at the WA State Convention Center, 705 Pike St, Seattle, WA 98101.

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