Trans Awareness Week 2021

Trans Awareness Week 2021

November 15 – 20, 2021

FREE virtual event
Live on facebook & YouTube

Join us as we honor, celebrate, and remember our Trans community during Trans Awareness Week through a series of events, activities, workshops, and more. Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) was founded in 1999 by Gwendolyn Ann Smith, a transgender woman, to memorialize the murder of Rita Hester in Allston, Massachusetts. It has slowly evolved from the web-based project into an international day of action. New Haven has a long history of hosting programs during TDOR which include both memorial and action-oriented focus.

Throughout Trans Awareness Week, through our programming, the Center aims to raise awareness of resources, create discussion spaces, and facilitate important conversations. We also aim to uplift and heal the Transgender.

Wall of Remembrance

Systematic violence against trans people is one of the many deadly pandemics the nation is facing. Visit our Wall of Remembrance as we remember those lost to the violence of transgender communities around the United States.

Program Curator

Eliot Olson _ Colour
Eliot Olson (he/him)

Transgender, Nonbinary and Intersex
Program Officer

(read his bio)

Contact him with questions at
trans@newhavenpridecenter.org

Trans Awareness Week 2021 Schedule of Events

Resource Info Session : Case Management Services

2:00p | Live on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Join us and learn more about some of the amazing resources available to the Connecticut Transgender community (and the community as a whole). For this session we will be sitting down with Deputy Director and Director of Case Management Services of the New Haven Pride Center – Juancarlos Soto.

These sessions will take place daily throughout Transgender Awareness Week.

 

Panel : Nonbinary Erasure in Trans Spaces

4:00p | Live on Facebook & YouTube

While the world is becoming more and more aware and even cautiously accepting of the Trans community, this acceptance has only gone so far. Nonbinary individuals and others outside the binary are often left out of the conversation and more so lack representation and safe spaces in our community spaces. During this conversation we will begin to tackle why the Nonbinary communty continues to be left out – asking questions including : Is the queer community only ok with trans individuals if we stick to a binary gender? How do Trans community members themselves police trans their own spaces by appealing to arbitrary markers that show you are “Trans enough” or not?

This panel will include perspectives from Jo Anthony Parker, Laura “Lau” Veira-Ramirez, and Varun Kartar Sharma. This panel will be moderated by Gabriel ‘Rae’ Resendez.

 

Art Opening : Insight by Page Wooller

6:00 – 8:00p | New Haven Pride Center, 84 Orange Street, New Haven

Join us for the opening reception of our latest exhibition in the Great Room Gallery – Insight featuring the works of Page Wooller.

Painter, sculpture, clothes designer, dancer, choreographer, writer, biologist and farmer. One thing that has transcended throughout all these evolutions for the artist is their sense and exploration of identity as an LGBTQ+ member. While visibility is growing, there remains a lack of continuity of representation and social guidance to enable the forming of a sense of mental, physical, and spiritual identity for LGBTQ+ members. Who are we? What are we? And, how do we fit in, or stand out, in a complex social structure? These paintings are inspired with this perspective in mind. Please wear a mask. Read more!

Resource Info Session : Transgender & Nonbinary Support Spaces

2:00p | Live on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Join us and learn more about some of the amazing resources available to the Connecticut Transgender community (and the community as a whole). For this session we will be sitting down with Secretary of the Center’s Board, Moderator for the Center’s Trans Adult Support Group, and Northeast Regional Director for PFLAG National – Lindsey M Pasquale.

These sessions will take place daily throughout Transgender Awareness Week.

 

Panel : Finding Brotherhood : The Trans man Experience

4:00p | Live on Facebook & YouTube

Transmasculinity and Transmasculine individuals are often synonymous with invisibility in many Queer & Trans spaces that are too often dominated by other identities. In this panel, trans men discuss the unique struggles transmasculine people face, the resilience that comes from having transmasculine peers, and break down the myths about trans men’s lives, experiences, and identities. Panelists will talk through questions such as : How does Transmasculine experiences differ from Transfeminine ones? How can we as a community ensure we do not erase Transmasculine individuals within the community?

This panel includes perspectives from Winter Madison, Ace Ricker, and Zih. This panel will be moderated by Layne Gianakos.

 

Trans ID Clinic

Two Sessions : 5:00 – 6:30p & 6:30 – 8:00p | New Haven Pride Center, 84 Orange Street, New Haven

Need your name and/or gender marker updated? Join us for a review of how to get your name changed and correct your name and/or gender marker on identifying documents, including your driver’s license, birth certificate, social security, and more. After a brief presentation, there will be time to ask questions, get documents notarized, and get connected with support services. This program is made possible by our Trans Awareness Week partner and sponsor Anchor Health.

This event is FREE. This program will cover information specific to Connecticut residents only. If you are under 18 years old, you will need to bring a parent or guardian with you to get documents notarized. Please wear a mask. 

To attend please register for one of our sessions here.

Panel : Trans Mythbusting : Combating a Broken System

12:00p | Live on Facebook & YouTube

Learn about the history of gender-affirming care, ways trans people have been misunderstood and pathologized in the medical field, and the hurdles trans people face in accessing care today. Do you have to be diagnosed to be allowed to medically transition? How has the approach to providing gender-affirming care changed over the years? What are your options for accessing HRT and other affirming services? What is WPATH and what is informed consent? Why is it so hard to get insurance to cover necessary care? How can we enact meaningful change?

This panel includes perspectives from Jillian Rae Celentano, Layne Gianakos, and Kirill Staklo. This panel will be moderated by Eliot Olson.

 

Resource Info Session : Supporting Trans Youth

2:00p | Live on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Join us and learn more about some of the amazing resources available to the Connecticut Transgender community (and the community as a whole). For this session we will be sitting down with Youth Program Intern and Safe Space Moderator – Kylee Herold.

These sessions will take place daily throughout Transgender Awareness Week.

 

La Experiencia del Trans Inmigrante : Una conversación con Jessica Guaman

4:00p | En vivo en Facebook & YouTube

Muchas personas inmigrantes transgénero y no binarias enfrentan desafíos únicos cuando llegan a la frontera de los Estados Unidos. Desde la falta de documentación legal afirmativa, necesidades médicas únicas y el desafío de migrar a través de América del Sur y Central como persona transgénero o indivudal no binario, su camino hacia la ciudadanía estadounidense es largo y difícil.

Únase a nosotros para una conversación especial con Jessica Guaman, una mujer transgénero inmigrante que fue detenida en la frontera de los Estados Unidos antes de recibir asilo. Esta conversación será moderada por el artista y activista para los derechos de los inmigrantes Jesús Abraham Morales Sánchez.

 

The Center Listens : BIPOC and Trans discussion space

6:00p | New Haven Pride Center, 84 Orange Street, New Haven

The New Haven Pride Center invites individuals who exist at the intersection of Black, Indegenous, and People of Colour and Trans identity to join us for a community listening session where we will hear first hand from you what YOU need to find support, feel safe, and thrive. This discussion space will center BIPOC Trans community members to uplift your experiences and needs. This event will include light refreshments. Please wear a mask. 

This space will be moderated by Karleigh Webb.

Panel : Say our Names Now!

12:00p | Live on Facebook & YouTube

As Trans women have gained prominence both within our community and on the broader national stage, narratives are dominated by white Trans experiences. This leaves many BIPOC Trans women to live in the shadows and continue to be significantly underrepresented in the Queer movement despite being disproportionately effected by violence and discrimination. This panel will feature a group of BIPOC trans women who refuse to allow this narrative to continue.

This panel includes perspectives from Ravyn Ororo Laveau-Moulton, Jessica Leyba, and Jaime Sabatino. This panel will be moderated by Karleigh Webb.

 

Resource Info Session

2:00p | Live on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Join us and learn more about some of the amazing resources available to the Connecticut Transgender community (and the community as a whole). This sessions’ theme to-be-announced soon.

These sessions will take place daily throughout Transgender Awareness Week.

 

Panel : Self-Care for Trans Folk

6:30p | Live on Facebook & YouTube

Mental Health dictates so many aspects of our wellbeing. The stressors of constantly calculating our own safety in daily situations combined with harassment within and outside our own homes and communities, puts a large toll on our mental wellness. Throughout this panel our panelists will discuss why Transgender and Nonbinary individuals experience mental health disparities and lack enough resources and explore how Trans and Nonbinary folks can use community-based care as a source of resilience. Panelists will also explore what we can do as a community to ensure our Trans and Nonbinary siblings thrive alongside the rest of us.

This panel includes perspectives from Heather Kim, Lauren Millerd, and Kirill Staklo. This panel will be moderated by Eliot Olson.

Panel : Trans Youth Speak Out

12:00p | Live on Facebook & YouTube

Join us as we bring Transgender and Nonbinary youth together to share their experiences, talk about their concerns, and explore their predictions for the future of trans advocacy and rights. Friday’s panel is an opportunity for community members and allies alike to learn more from today’s young people. Trans and Nonbinary representation is now apart of pop culture consciousness. Has this change in visibility actually changed young peoples experiences? How are resources and public reception any different from what they were three decades ago?

This panel includes perspectives from Lexington ‘Lex’ Allen, Ronan Hernsdorf-Smith, and Jay Lounds. This panel will be moderated by Elisio Acosta.

 

Resource Info Session

2:00p | Live on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Join us and learn more about some of the amazing resources available to the Connecticut Transgender community (and the community as a whole). This sessions’ theme to-be-announced soon.

These sessions will take place daily throughout Transgender Awareness Week.

 

Panel: Supporting Your Trans Kids

4:00p | Live on Facebook & YouTube

What is the best way to support Trans and Questioning youth? What is gender creative parenting? What are some tips for parenting in ways that empower your kid to determine who they are? What is the role of a parent in advocating for Trans youth in their school, social circle and community? Our panel of parents – a healthcare worker and advocate, an educator and a psychologist – will explore these topics and more. Join us in creating a world where, as parents and a community, we can take the brave steps needed to build a world where Trans, Nonbinary, Intersex and Gender Nonconforming youth can thrive.

This panel includes perspectives from James Blake, Terri Laue, and Jennifer Russell. This panel will be moderated by Josh Sabel.

Creative Healing : Art and Music Making in Public Space

12:00p | New Haven Pride Center, 84 Orange Street, New Haven

Join us a pre-vigil space using art as a tool for healing. Create something that expresses what Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) means to you, celebrating things you love, or mourn things you miss. In this space we encourage participants celebrate life and mourn loss through art. We will have an art therapy student on hand to help guide any attendees through the art making process. If you want to draw something that makes you feel happy, something that doesn’t make sense, create signs to hold at the TDOR vigil happening later that day – all creative expression is welcome. Participants are encouraged to bring their own supplies, some art supplies will be avaliable on site. Please wear a mask. 

This space will be moderated by Maia Fialco.

 

New Haven Community Transgender Day of Remembrance Vigil & Action

3:00p | New Haven Green (meet at the Flag Pole)

Join us for the New Haven Community Transgender Day of Remembrance vigil, action and speak out. This program is hosted to remember the lives of at least 50 Transgender and Nonbinary people who were lost since last year’s Transgender Day of Remembrance. Program will include a candle vigil, a reading of the names of those whom were lost, and a speak out from Transgender and Nonbinary advocates and members of the community. Candles, images of those who have been lost, and handheld signs encouraged.

If you would like to opportunity to speak please contact the Center’s Transgender, Nonbinary, and Intersex Program Officer Eliot Olson.

 

Trans Resource Swap

Immediately Following the Vigil | New Haven Pride Center, 84 Orange Street, New Haven

Join us at the New Haven Pride Center for an opportunity to check out all of our resources, explore our clothing closet, and get to know follow members of the community. In addition to members of the New Haven Pride Center’s team, meet folks from some of the many other incredible resources in the community including Anchor Health, Life in My Days, Yale LGBT Resource Center, and others. This event will include light refreshments. Please wear a mask. 

Meet Our Speakers, Artists, and Creators

In order of which they appear in our program. Click the links to reach the bios for Center Staff and Board Members

Jo Anthony Parker – Panel : Nonbinary Erasure in Trans Spaces

Jo (he/him/they/them), much like yourselves, is someone who exists. He is a nonbinary, bisexual, and of Puerto Rican descent. He came into his nonbinary identity prior to pandemic and was really able to come into his identity during this past Summer. He’s happily in a relationship with a partner who identifies as transmasc non-binary and enjoys trying to keep a relatively simple life. His hobbies include (but are not limited to) cooking, exercise, travel, writing, hiking, and reading and collecting comics. He is an advocate for victims of sexual assault, certified in mental first-aid, and vocal when it comes to the rights and lives of queer people.

Laura (Lau) Veira-Ramirez – Panel : Nonbinary Erasure in Trans Spaces

Laura (they/them) was born in Bogota, Colombia and grew up in Norwalk, Connecticut. They got involved with immigrant rights work through Connecticut Students for a Dream in high school and continued in college. They are currently going through it in their first year of teaching 7th grade English in Chelsea, MA while working on their Masters in Education.

Varun Khattar SharmaPanel : Nonbinary Erasure in Trans Spaces

Varun (they/them/he/him) is a Brown Queer first-generation Punjabi American facilitator, writer, and organizer based on occupied Tunxis, Saukiog, and Wangunk land also known as Hartford, Connecticut. They work for the undocumented youth-led organization CT Students for a Dream coordinating educator professional development and school partnerships. They are a co-founder of the CT UndocuFund, raising and distributing over a quarter of a million in COVID-relief for immigrant families. Prior to that, they taught high school social sciences and ethnic studies and served as a volunteer call taker with DeQH, a peer support helpline for LGBTQ+ South Asians.

Gabriel ‘Rae’ Resendez – Panel : Nonbinary Erasure in Trans Spaces

Rae (he/she/they) is a Two-Spirit, genderfluid trans activist and consultant who works to create safe online spaces for transgender people that need social support, and start conversations on nonbinary awareness and transgender rights. Aside from providing education through workshops, consultant work and brand partnerships, Rey is a certified personal trainer who provides gender-affirming training and accessible nutrition coaching to queer folks around the world. In New York City, they do work to specifically support fellow Latinx and Indigenous trans people, as well as creating direct service resources for trans people living

Page WoollerExhibition : Insight

Page (they/them) came to the USA eleven years ago as an undergraduate exchange student. Their career path has led to many exciting experiences from professionally performing as a dancer to writing a graphic novel “Emily Corn: Discovering Darkness”. Page has also obtained their Masters in biology and written for McGraw Hill publishers in their science textbook series online exam questions. Page, at present, runs a farm in Rhode Island, works as an artist painting and making sculptures, performs with a production group out of Pawtucket and dances with Balliamo Dance Collective.

Winter Dior Madison – Panel : Finding Brotherhood : The Trans man Experience

Winter (he/him/they/them) is a queer, nonbinary trans man who grew up in Connecticut and currently studies at the California Institute of the Arts. He is a prolific painter and has found art to be a massive source of empowerment in finding and sharing his truth. He frequently shares that his art has evolved and deepened in impact throughout the course of his transition, which resonates with many other trans artists. In Connecticut, Winter was active in activism and advocacy against racism, police brutality and anti-LGBTQ+ bigotry, and hopes to start doing the same work on the West Coast. Winter’s artwork can be found on Instagram at @winterdior_.

Ace RickerPanel : Finding Brotherhood : The Trans man Experience

Ace (he/him) has been an educator and advocate for over fifteen years. He has worked with a wide variety of organizations, religious forums, and non-profits, and has delivered diversity and inclusion workshops and materials on topics like suicide prevention, LGBTQ+ awareness, safer sex, rape culture and sexism, religion and spirituality, and more. He plans to continue working to eliminate ignorance throughout Connecticut communities, both on his own and with others in the LGBTQ+ community.

ZihPanel : Finding Brotherhood : The Trans man Experience

Domenia (he/him) is a trans man born in New Haven, Connecticut. He was raised in the Connecticut foster care system. A graduate of the Sound School 2010 and a Horatio Alger National Scholar, he studied at Palm Beach Atlantic University for his undergraduate in Psychology in 2019 and was a Dean’s and Honor student. He was a Foster Care to Success 2016-2019 Scholar and a Martha V Green Scholar. Currently, he is a graduate student at Indiana Wesleyan University of social work and positive psychology. He also actively works in a recovery program with a focus on supporting veterans and people experiencing homelessness.

Layne Gianakos Panel : Finding Brotherhood : The Trans man Experience & Panel : Trans Mythbusting : Combating a Broken System

Layne (he/him) started his career in public health 6 years ago at APNH: A Place to Nourish where he worked with a team to prevent new HIV infections and provide services to people living with HIV. From there, he joined Anchor Health shortly after its founding in 2016. While there, he created a comprehensive and first of its kind case management program for LGBTQ individuals which still serves hundreds of individuals today. Currently, he provides justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion trainings and services to healthcare organizations with particular emphasis on affirming and informed LGBTQ care.

Jillian Rae Celentano Panel : Trans Mythbusting : Combating a Broken System

Jillian (she/her) is a transgender woman who began her transition in 2015. She recently received her bachelors degree in psychology at Albertus Magnus College, and is now pursuing her master’s degree in social work at Southern Connecticut State University. She is an author, an advocate for the transgender community, a mentor for trans youth, and has organized support groups for transgender children and young adults. Jillian is currently involved in two transgender studies at Yale and has interned at the Yale Gender Program for two years. Her new book, Transitioning Later in Life: A Personal Guide is now available for purchase.

Kirill Staklo Panel : Trans Mythbusting : Combating a Broken System & Panel : Self-Care for Trans Folk

Kirill (he/him/they/them) is a trans and intersex rights, Rrom liberation, anti war & anti racism activist based in New Haven, CT. He is a crisis and peer support expert and directs programs at PeerPride, a trans and BIPOC led equity consulting and peer support organization. He is a vocal advocate against nonconsensual surgeries and for the right to self-determination for trans and intersex young people across the US. Kirill volunteers with the New Haven Pride Center and ANSWER CT and is a board member at Life In My Days. He regularly speaks and presents on intersex and trans issues for legislators, educators, healthcare providers and more. Kirill’s current major project is the creation of accessible, confidential, open-source peer support software for free use by organizations led by and for marginalized people. You can learn more about Kirill’s work at PeerPride.com

Jessica Guaman La Experiencia del Trans Inmigrante

Jessica (Ella) es una trans imigrante de Ecuador desde el 2011. Ella estado en la lucha para obtener derechos para su comunidad trans.

Jesus Abraham Morales Sanchez – La Experiencia del Trans Inmigrante

Jesús (el) es un activista inmigrante de México y parte de la comunidad LGBTQ +. El ha estado viviendo en New Haven durante los últimos 11 años. Durante estos años Jesús ha trabajado como organizador comunitario y educador alrededor de muchas problemáticas sobre la justicia social en el estado de Connecticut. Él ha participado en múltiples campañas contra la explotación laboral de trabajadores migrantes, esfuerzos contra la deportación y casos santuarios en Connecticut. Jesus es un firme defensor del reconocimiento y la elevación de las voces LGBTQ + en los espacios de inmigrantes y viceversa.

 

Karleigh WebbThe Center Listens & Panel : Say Our Names Now!

Karleigh (she/her) wears a lot of hats. This out transgender woman has worked as a reporter, anchor, sportscaster and videographer, and for nearly 20 years as a TV network producer. In addition to being a dynamic, versatile journalist, she’s an activist and advocate for intersectional justice across her work and in her life. And that’s nothing new. “I’ve been fighting for social justice since I was 8 years old,” she says.

For years, Webb has served as a tireless advocate for trans rights, workers’ rights and healthcare care for all. She describes herself as “unapologetically Black and trans,” and “a weekend athlete who is sometimes antisocial, always antiracist, always antifascist.”

As a local organizer, hers is a strident voice for peace at home and abroad, mainly through her affiliation with the Party for Socialism and Liberation of Connecticut. She’s now in her 28th year as a journalist, currently working as a writer/contributor for the LGBTQ sports site Outsports.com. Webb also hosts Instagram Live events and The Trans Sporter Room podcast, each powered by Outsports, where she interviews key figures from around the world, and applies her many skills to build championship coverage of out athletes. When she’s not in front of a microphone, web cam and keyboard, Webb takes calls as a staff operator for Trans Lifeline, North America’s only 24-hour crisis line that was started and staffed by transgender people.

In addition, Webb is an avid triathlete, marathoner, and cyclist, equally at home on a field playing softball or football.
In the last three years, she’s found new avenues of expression: Webb has become an accomplished spoken word poet, performed in an annual ensemble production of “The Vagina Monologues” as well as appeared as a dancer and performer in the Elm City Dance Collective series “Trans Body” since 2019.

Follow Karleigh Webb on Twitter at @ChardonnayM and on Instagram at @rocketdyne1965

Ravyn Ororo Laveau-Moulton Panel : Say Our Names Now!

Ravyn (she/her) is a proud Black trans woman and advocate for trans individuals in Connecticut. She is a case management specialist, victim and trauma care services developer, community organizer and natural hair enthusiast. Her work in healthcare and her lived experience have empowered her to help trans people facing homelessness, domestic and intimate partner violence and systemic racist abuse. Ravyn teaches and works with the priority of bridging divides between marginalized communities while unapologetically uplifting and centering Black trans women.

Jessica Leyba Panel : Say Our Names Now!

Jess (she/her) is a trans and bisexual service worker and socialist activist and organizer from Albuquerque, New Mexico. She has taken leadership on a broad range of initiatives including COVID-19 vaccination access, unemployment advocacy and direct service resource navigation, anti war and anti-racist organizing and LGBTQ+ rights organizing work. Jessica was motivated to get involved in activism by the US military actions in Syria, which drove her to advocate for the right to self determination by marginalized and racialized people around the world. Her work as an LGBTQ+ rights organizer is deeply intertwined with her struggle against racist and imperialist aggression inside the US and overseas. When she isn’t organizing or working, Jessica is a hobbyist computer programmer and game developer interested in creative coding and the concept of software as art and creative expression. She has produced a number of indie video games and frequently writes computer programs for fun.

Jaime Sabatino Panel : Say Our Names Now!

Jaime (she/her) is a working class, Afro-Indigenous, multiracial lesbian trans woman who has lived in Connecticut her whole life. She has been involved in anti-racist, anti-war and police accountability activism for nearly a decade. Jaime speaks openly about surviving homelessness, abuse and systemic transphobia in our state. She is a vocal advocate for trans workers’ rights and speaks out against workplace discrimination after experiencing it herself.

Heather Kim, MD Panel : Self-Care for Trans Folk

Heather (she/her/they/them) is a non-binary child and adolescent psychiatrist specializing in working with trans and gender diverse youth. They have been involved in health justice advocacy since medical school and works to provide gender affirming, LGBT inclusive psychiatric care. Academic interests include social psychiatry, medical humanities, and history of medicine, especially from a historical materialist perspective. They live in Boston with a cat and many plants. 

Lexington “Lex” Allen Panel : Self-Care for Trans Folk

Lexington “Lex” (he/they) is a senior at Avon High School. Having been out as transgender since Sophomore year, he has developed a passion for social justice work. He is a President of the high school’s Gender-Sexuality Alliance (GSA), and advocates within the school to make it a safer environment for transgender students, in addition to speaking at Pride events. At 17, he is working with school administration to open more gender-neutral bathrooms at school, and implement further education on transgender issues. His other interests include musical theatre, law, studying foreign languages, and writing.

Jay Lounds Panel : Self-Care for Trans Folk

Jay (he/him) is 18 and began his transition at 7 years old. He’s currently a student at Middlesex Community College, majoring in Psychology. When he was younger, he attended Trans health conferences in Philly and Seattle. Several years ago, he was a keynote speaker at a Trans pride event in Northampton Mass. He also had a part in the Becoming Me documentary. With the support of his mother, he was able to start hormone blockers before puberty. In 9th grade, he started Testosterone. In addition to his activities within the Trans community, he’s also been an active participant in other protests concerning social injustice issues such as BLM, Anti-War, and Pro-immigration rights.

Ronan Hernsdorf-Smith Panel : Self-Care for Trans Folk

Ronan (he/him/they/them) is a 17 year old senior at Avon High School who enjoys doing art, makeup, listening to music, houseplants, his many interesting pets, such as a praying mantis and an axolotl, and spending time with their close friends. He first came out when he was 14 as nonbinary, and over time started identifying as more transmasculine and added “he” to their pronouns. He has always been into advocacy and social justice, but has started even more when he encountered trouble from students at their school for using the mens’ bathroom, and with the help of the GSA and his friends they are trying to make their school safer for transgender students and implement education for both students and teachers.

Elisio Acosta Panel : Self-Care for Trans Folk

Elisio (he/him/el) is a crisis and peer support specialist with extensive experience providing and coordinating anonymous, confidential remote services. He is passionate and outspoken about LGBTQ+ rights, with a focus on advocating for the Black and Latinx trans communities. Elisio also facilitates support groups and works as a mental health advocate. He is available to work with bilingual organizations, providing culturally competent training in both English and Spanish.

James Blake Panel: Supporting Your Trans Kids

James (he/him) is a disabled, non-binary transgender BIPOC male. He walks this life alongside his partner Kat, and their two young children. James is a nurse, educator, and trans advocate. He stays busy homeschooling their kids, and heading up the outreach at Trans Matters Now (TMN). TMN is an outreach serving the gender non-conforming, transgender, and non-binary communities across the US, and beyond. After experiencing employment discrimination, the pair founded an outreach for others in the community that may be experiencing the same troubles finding valid employment opportunities. Their first project, Trans Job Connect, began as a community outreach, 2017, and is now an integral part of TMN.

Terri Laue Panel: Supporting Your Trans Kids

Terri (she/her/they/them) works in reproductive rights, coordinating clinical services and research. Terri is a bisexual, nonbinary parent in New Haven, practicing gender creative parenting with their wife and two children. Terri advocates for reproductive rights and health care access, as well as for the integration of anti-bias, anti-racist action into New Haven’s institutions. They also work to teach educators and caregivers about the multitudes of ways they can empower young people to explore what authenticity in gender and expression looks like for them. Originally from Alabama, Terri believes in debunking myths about the South and honoring the powerful progressive roots and movements alive in the South today.

Jennifer Russell Panel: Supporting Your Trans Kids

Jennifer Russell (she/her), a very proud mother to an amazing, intelligent, artistic 17 year old Nonbinary/Trans masculine teen. She has been on her own journey as a parent while supporting her child’s path of discovery and transition for the past 5 years.

She is passionate about supporting Transgender, Nonbinary, and Gender Expansive youth and their families who are navigating through gender exploration, discovery, and transition. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate at a private practice where she works with transgender, nonbinary, and gender expansive adolescents and adults, and their families. She has a special focus working with LGBTQ+ folx and neurodivergent individuals. She co-facilitates a free support group for parents of gender expansive, transgender, non binary, and agender youth and young adults.

She is continually educating herself from those with lived experience in the transgender and nonbinary communities. It is very important to her to stay current and keep learning and growing, as both a parent and a therapist. She enjoys spending time with her family, thrift store shopping with her teen, walking her dogs in the woods, going on family ski vacations, and reading every book she can find about transgender and nonbinary youth!

Josh Sabel Panel: Supporting Your Trans Kids

Josh Sabel a Licensed Professional Counselor with over fifteen years of experience in the social service field. His background includes but is not limited to working with individuals and families in the areas of substance abuse, domestic violence, and sexual abuse. Additionally he has worked within the LGBTQI+ community as an advocate, educator, and mental health provider. Josh commonly works with young adults and adults, and he welcomes people of all identities.

Maia Fialco Creative Healing : Art and Music Making in Public Space