Trans Symposium


2019 Trans____Symposium

Saturday, November 16, 2019
Hampshire College, Franklin Patterson Hall

The symposium is a space where trans people can express their whole selves and imagine brighter futures for both individuals and for community. The symposium is organized by trans and GNC students, staff, alum, and their allies from Hampshire College.

This year we have left a blank space in the title in which individuals from the trans community can write their intentions for the event. 

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Trans____Symposium PROGRAM 2019

Schedule Overview

11:00-11:45 a.m.: Welcoming with Lorelei Erisis

A Punk Rock Pageant Queen on Cultivating Kindness, Finding Hope, & Inspiring Activism

Noon-1 p.m.: Workshop 1

1:15-1:35 p.m.: Pizza lunch

1:45-2:45 p.m.: Workshop 2

3:00-4:15 p.m.: Workshop 3

4:30-5:15 p.m.: Closing with alum Cyree Jarelle Johnson

Coalition of Marginalized Bodies, between disabled and trans communities


10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Registration/Accessibility and Info Table 

  • Trans Remembrance Memorial
  • Community Tables
  • Clothing Swap
  • Collaborative Art Projects
  • Sensory Break Room

Workshop Slot 1: 

Trans 201 with Joshua & Robin

Joshua, Ross, & Robin will lead a conversation about being transgender. This discussion-style workshop is a place for questioning, sharing, and respecting identities. This workshop is geared towards individuals new to events like the Trans ____ Symposium. We want to welcome folks who have already been thinking about this topic and want to continue the conversation!

The Creation of the “True Transsexual” with Maddie Stump

This lecture-style workshop will present a historiography of the biomedicalization of certain bodies in the West as trans from 1886-1966 through various systems of knowledge such as race, gender, disability, and sexuality. This workshop is by and for trans people to understand how our bodies became biomedicalized.

Dis-identifications? (Re)claiming, Recycling, and Resenting Gender/Diagnosis with Sarah Cavar

Neogenders, neopronouns, and practices of self-diagnosis: the purview of cutting-edge digital theorizers so often mocked as “transtrenders” represent an exciting turn in digital self-determination for trans, disabled (TD) people. This presentation will cover my ongoing research into TD digital community-scholarship, asking: what are the liberatory possibilities of identity self-creation and self-determination? After a brief presentation, we will open up a collaborative brainstorming session on methods of trans, disabled (dis)identification and its radical possibilities.

Careers in Trans and LGBTQ+ Social Services with Gaines Blasdel

How do you find jobs working with LGBTQ+ people after college and interview for them successfully? What are the joys and challenges of staying in this work long term? This workshop is a guided discussion led by two Hampshire College alums with more than ten years combined experience working in LGBTQ+ community healthcare.


Workshop Slot 2:

Transformation, Preservation, or Collapse? Confronting Abuse/Assault/Interpersonal Oppression within Marginalized Communities [all the content warnings] with Seana T-P

What do we do when the spaces we rely upon for support and even survival are not safe? The intense societal violence faced by marginalized folks breeds interpersonal violence within our communities, but our communities’ isolation means that we often have no one but each other to turn to for fulfillment of basic needs, leaving us with the conundrum of both needing mutual support/needing to work together and needing to somehow hold accountable folks who have caused serious harm to their fellow community members. This interactive workshop will draw upon debates in survivor politics and the experiences of folks in the room (active participation strongly encouraged! but not required; totally valid if you need to save those spoons) to explore the complexities of this issue and equip participants with some useful tools for navigating it in social, support, household, activist, and other spaces.

Talk the Talk: Improving Medical Self-Advocacy by Learning the Vocabulary of Healthcare Providers with Kelli Dunham

Healthcare providers are fluent in their own healthcare language that most of us don't speak, and this leaves us at a tactical disadvantage in communicating about and advocating for our needs. In this workshop, Kelli Dunham--a genderqueer nurse with 20 years experience in community health--will share five key phrases that can make your healthcare experience better!

Top Surgery: An Overview in Chest Reduction Surgeries with Gaines Blasdel

This presentation will cover a variety of surgical techniques to reduce chest tissue for transgender people, incorporating a wide range of identities, bodies, and surgical choices. We will also discuss how to find surgeons, how to find and evaluate pictures of top surgery online, pre- and post-op expectations, and insurance coverage. This workshop is open to all attendees (including partners, families, and medical providers) who feel ready to engage in the workshop without policing the bodies or identities of others, where a variety of choices and motivations for chest surgery will be recognized and affirmed, and where pre- and post-op photos of chests will be displayed.


Workshop Slot 3:

Creative Resilience with Naya Gabriel

Wellness and resiliency. Two concepts we all know we need more of both in ourselves and in our communities. Let’s dialogue about it, using creative expression as the starting point. Everyone is encouraged to join—artists and “non-artists” alike.

Narrative Therapy with Patrick Walden

Patrick will be facilitating queer competent narrative-therapy-based writing prompts—a chance to write and to share the magic we create.

Dancing Our Genders with jules

We will learn some of the basics of Barbara Mettler’s creative improvisation and movement work. We will then use that creative movement as a springboard to explore internal gender landscapes, drawing on abstract textures as movement prompts and thinking about our genders in ways that may be new to us, or under-explored. This will be a space for participants to try out pairing movements to their gender feelings, with time for discussion afterwards. No dance experience needed, please wear clothes that help you to move more comfortably.

Trans Liberation and U.S. Imperialism with Paulx and Cris

Join local community organizers in a workshop around transphobia and its relationship to colonialism and imperialism. Learn about anti-colonial work being done in the valley. There will be an opportunity near the end of the workshop to share your own work as it relates to the topic.


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Trans Symposium
Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002