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TransFormations 2021: Trans Lives in the 21st Century

Every two years, the Psychotherapy Center for Gender and Sexuality, a division of the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy, sponsors a clinical conference exploring the psychodynamics of psychotherapeutic theory and practice in the context of trans identities.

Our 7th biannual conference, November 13, 2021, will focus on consideration of living as transgender/gender non-binary (TGNB) in the 21st Century. How are clinicians approaching psychotherapy and psychoanalysis with TGNB people in this first quarter of the 21st Century? What are the challenges for our clients and us in this current climate? How are we prepared to meet what’s next? What clinical skills should we be focused on to meet clinical demands? We have brought clinicians and academics across disciplines to broaden the dialogue on these topics.

 This will be a virtual conference.

Presentations

How Gender and Sexuality May Shift for Non-Transitioning, Cisgender, Female Partners

Presenter: D. M. Maynard, M.S., M.A.

Once a partner learns the person they have been in a relationship with needs to transition, a  vast array of feelings often arises. Many of these initial thoughts tend to center around possible  grief and loss, social and medical transition options, sex and intimacy, relationship structures,  questions of trust, and the role therapists can play in helping a partner navigate their loved  one’s transition. A critical unknown that countless partners wrestle with is if they will be able to  remain in the relationship as the transition moves forward. The conflicts and emotional unrest  in arriving at this decision are usually based on a multitude of factors. After conducting  interviews with partners who decided to stay with their partner in transition, they shared  specific shifts and unexpected outcomes that they needed to explore for themselves. This  workshop will examine how non-transitioning, cisgender, female partners began to examine  their newly experienced identities in relation to their own gender, particularly in respect to  exhibiting their gender expression, as well as the questioning of their sexual orientation. In  addition, time will be dedicated to discuss the misconceptions involving inaccurate labeling of  partners by others. Moreover, feedback from the interviews will further investigate how these  imposed perceptions thrust upon non-transitioning partners regularly triggered their earlier  concerns in connection to grief and loss, social and medical transition options, sex and intimacy,  relationship structures, questions of trust, and the role therapists can play in helping a partner  navigate their loved one’s transition. An abundance of partners became self-conscious of the  manner in which they dressed, styled their hair, used or did not use makeup, and gestured,  whereas several felt obligated and compelled to defend their sexual preferences and/or  willingness to discover various levels of fluidity they may not have considered in the past. This  presentation will enable psychotherapists and those who intend to work with the partners of  folx in transition to understand these struggles through the unique lens of the partners who  generously offered their written and verbal answers in response to extremely personal subject  matters. These non-transitioning partners selflessly provided access to this information via a  variety of interviewing methods in hopes of assisting clinicians to best serve partners and those  in transition, in order to obtain the most optimal and affirming comprehensive individual and  couple’s therapy experiences in the future.

Transgender and gender non-conforming identity process treatment model (TGNC-IPTM): psychoeducation for their support system

Presenters: Marty A. Cooper, PhDSeojung Jung, PhD, and Jamie Gordon, MS

At the 2019 TransFormations Symposium, Cooper and Jung presented an alternative to the existing developmental frameworks for transgender and gender non-conforming individuals (TGNC). The existing frameworks focus on stages clients may go through concerning gender identity development. While the existing frameworks provide a counseling student or an early career clinician valuable insight into some of the stages their clients may experience along with clinical recommendations, they may not address the real-time impact that interaction with the environment can have on identity across time. Our previous presentation introduced an alternative model, which was grounded in Whitbourne’s (1996) Identity Process Perspective, a model that addresses an individual’s ability to remain stable and change across the aging process. We provided an in-depth explanation of assimilation, accommodation, and balance. as mechanisms for TGNC identity development.

In the present presentation, we will first review concepts from our Identity Process Therapy Model for TGNC clients. Then, we intend to extend the model by discussing psychoeducation of primary individuals in the client’s life with a focus on adolescent clients. Singh and Dickey (2017) remind us that as clinicians we sometimes work closely with families of our TGNC clients. We are further reminded by Singh and Burnes (2010) that we often have a role of advocacy with TGNC clients. Our adolescent clients exist within numerous contexts. These include residential (family home, extended family, group home, foster home, etc.), academic (school, after school services, educational camps, etc.), as well as several other contexts.

While a robust understanding of the Whitbourne (1996) model can provide therapists a framework to help clients develop a keen understanding of how clients use assimilation and accommodation across their life and how this intersects with their transgender identity, providing psychoeducation to the primary individuals, such as parental figures and teachers, in our client’s lives may be important. The concepts may be complex for our younger clients and having adult figures that are educated in the concepts and can help the youth navigate the ebb and flow of how their identity may be impacted by their interaction with the world around them may be important and contribute to successful navigation of identity development. The proposed model becomes an incredibly flexible model that can layer over the top of the existing stage models or function as a stand-alone model that remains grounded in the lived experiences of TGNC clients. This discussion will review the model and discuss the psychoeducation of primary figures, including parental figures and teachers. Participants will be invited to discuss their clinical work and assisted in the psychoeducation of the model.

Not so straight, whatever. Contemporary virtual Trans/FaM/Porn(1) Faszination

Presenter: Dr. Phil. Martin J. Goessl

It is never just consuming porn; there are always impacts, a spirit of the time, hidden desires,  culture. Like Jeffrey Escoffier in his groundbreaking book ‘Bigger than Life’ mentioned „(…) gay  men (are) more comfortable with viewing hardcore movies at home without risk of either  police harassment or arrest.“(2) Therefore I would like add, that besides comfort, today there  are other and in some ways quite similar reasons to consume porn: A virtual world creates  pornographic possibilities, which have been so far invisible for many and for others absolutely  unthinkable. These possibilities reach far beyond ‘conventional understanding’ of gender  normativity or some ‘accepted’ queerness.

Moreover and of course, porn is an essential part of art scenes.(3)

Virtual Trans/FaM/Porn, as an upcoming porn segment, is not just more popular than ever,  additionally it is more requested than ever.(4)

What are the impacts of Trans/FaM/Porn in terms of gender normativity? What can be read out  of the pictures of Trans/FaM/Porn and are there any differences to other pornographic  standards? And finally I am looking forward to answer a central question: Is Trans/FaM/Porn  queering anything? Is it a form of sexual modernism? Or just freed sexual desires?

To answer this questions I relate Trans/FaM/Porn pictures to Queer theory and concepts of  modernism to unveil this so far unexplainable masculine fascination about this porn segment. I  am not analysing the process of gender transitions or porn industry standards (both would be  very interesting too), it is an analyse about the aesthetic framework and the queer impacts of Trans/FaM/Porn.

(1) FaM: Female and Male. It refers to visible physical objectification of sexual organs without  telling a story of medical history. That is an effort to avoid diagnosing porn worker without  explicit visible sexual organs or without classifying them a inter- or transsexual. (2) Cf.: Jeffrey Escoffier, Bigger than Life, The History of Gay Porn Cinema from Beefcake to  Hardcore (Philadelphia London 2009).

(3) Warhol´s Sex Factory (Cf.: Escoffier, Bigger than Life, p. 20).

(4) Cf.: Luke Hudson.

Gender is a basic human need.

Presenter: S.J. Langer, LCSW

Why are gender-affirming medical and social interventions so vital for an individual’s survival?  My proposal is that gender is a basic regulatory need. Whereas biological sex can be necessary  for reproductive survival (less so in the 21st century), gender is a physical, emotional and social  

inevitability. In opposition to gender essentialism which ties gender to natal sex; I insist that  gender is essential in its own right for human mental and physical survival. Aligned gender  expression is a psychophysical necessity on par with breathing, eating and temperature  regulation. This model will be supported by interdisciplinary theories which when synthesized  can claim that living in ones affirmed gender is a self & social regulatory process. We know that  there are higher rates of suicidality and non-suicidal self-injury in TGNB communities, in clinical  and non-clinical samples. These are existential and physical threats to the individual. The sense  of body ownership can be weak or distorted in some TGNB people, which can lead some to be  at war with or in denial of their body. 

Utilizing this theory, the workshop will explore how this relates to clinical presentation and psychotherapeutic practice. This will include how best to explore gender identity and  expression in treatment. We will explore how to manage suicidality in TGNB patients and how  to differentiate between suicidality connected to gender dysregulation and clinical depression.  The connection between gender dyshomeostasis, body ownership and non-suicidal self-injury  will be parsed out. There will also be discussion on how to aid cispartners, families, educators  and other health professionals in understanding the necessity of medical and social transition.  There will be examples from my clinical practice and time for participants to discuss cases of  their own.

Accessing Trans-Affirmative Care for TGNC Youth in Foster Care

Presenter: Julian Wolfe, LMHC

The session will explore what it is like for TGNC youth Of Color to transition and embody their gender identity while living in congregate care in the NYC foster care system.  We will also explore how the mission and culture of the agency informs the work. Best practices and approaches for social service workers and clinicians will be explored.

Part of the presentation will focus on how youth and young adults internalize the messages on social media and in advertising that portray a nearly impossible and rarified beauty standard.  How do our young trans women develop a healthy sense of self-worth that avoids falling into that beauty myth trap?

And finally, youth presenting with complex clinical profiles and how it can influence gatekeeping will be discussed

Depathologizing trans: human rights responses to current challenges.

Keynote address by: Mauro Cabral Grinspan

The World Health Organization affirmed that being trans is no longer a disorder. Making that affirmation a reality requires facing the challenges posed by complex forces, including those of normative frameworks, persistent socio-economic injustice, and anti-gender opposition. Human rights frameworks provide key responses to all of them.

The Paradoxical and Bittersweet Trans Phantom Penis: A Conduit for Dysphoria and Euphoria

Presenters: Chris Straayer, Ph.D. and Kit Rachlin, Ph.D.

From November 18, 2019, to January 22, 2020, the authors received 1,239 responses from an on-line call for trans masculine and nonbinary AFAB participants for interviews about the experience of having a phantom penis. To date the presenters have conducted lengthy and detailed interviews with a subset of the original respondents who were eager to share their stories: 37 were interviewed over Skype, and 75 answered the same interview questions in writing via Qualtrics. Participants were asked multiple-choice and open-ended questions regarding demographics, gender identity, gender-affirming care, experience of the phantom in everyday life, sexuality pertaining to the phantom, and the phantom in relationships. This study is being conducted under NYU IRB-FY2019-3565.

This presentation focuses upon one aspect of trans phantom experience: the paradoxical nature of a phantom penis. Some interviewees described joy in their phantoms, others sadness or frustration. Often they described a bittersweet experience of both. Evolving language can reflect these different perspectives. For example, some hear a connotation of loss, pain, or pathology in the term “phantom” and prefer “psychic dick,” while others find that “phantom penis” describes their body accurately. When a phantom penis is experienced as affirming of gender, it often produces gender euphoria; simultaneously, in some of the same participants, the phantom penis can be a reminder of limitations that produces dysphoria. Phantom experience contains a paradoxical blend; a simultaneous consciousness of presence and absence. The presentation will include excerpts from interviews to bring in the voices of the people who participated in the study and described the joy, sorrow, frustration, and enthusiasm inspired by their phantoms.

As the topic of transgender phantom penis becomes a commonly recognized aspect of trans embodiment, research points to clinical implications for providers who are dedicated to supporting TGD people.

Demographics for 112 people interviewed: Participants ranged in age from 18 to 70. Individuals were allowed to indicate multiple identity terms. 82.1% (n=92) of the sample identified as transgender man, transsexual man, cis man, man, male, and/or transmasculine. 35.7% (n=42) identified as nonbinary, gender nonconforming, gender fluid, gender queer and/or agender. 2.7% (n=3) also identified as intersexed. (We recognize that affirming language has changed in the two years since the survey was designed). The racial and ethnic composition of the interviewees was White/Caucasian 72.3% (n=81), Black & African American 11.6% (n=13), Asian or Pacific Islander 3.6% (n=4), American Indian or Native American 0.9% (n=1), Other race or Prefer not to say 11.6% (13), and Hispanic or Latina/o/x 12.5% (n=14). Thirty-one US district/states and one Canadian province are represented.

Addressing Medical Trauma with Trans & Nonbinary Patients in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Presenters: Karalyn Violeta, LCSW and Elana Lancaster

Medical trauma is often underrecognized by mental health providers and underreported by trans and nonbinary patients. The emotional distress resulting from a medical crisis can be profound and all-encompassing. And yet, many individuals who report intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, nightmares, avoidance, and distress as a result of past medical care (both planned and emergent) do not conceptualize their prior experiences as traumatic, instead taking it as a given that medical care is unpleasant and must be borne without complaint. This can be true even when such care has been deliberately sought out and has a net positive outcome, as is often true for our trans and nonbinary clients pursuing transition-related medical care. For therapists, the task of addressing medical trauma with our clients is further complicated by our parallel experiences of fear, loss, anger, and grief, which may at times–particularly so during the COVID-19 pandemic- -be inextricable from our clinical work. For trans patients who develop chronic post-traumatic stress in the wake of distressing medical experiences, the locus of trauma may encompass both physical pain or fear of death and the negative interpersonal aspects of the crisis. Trans and nonbinary patients disproportionately experience discrimination, adverse childhood experiences, interpersonal abuse, and mistreatment by medical or mental health systems compared to their cisgender peers; researchers believe this may predispose them to develop chronic post-traumatic stress. As a result, a discrete medical crisis, prior adverse experiences, and the negative relational/interpersonal qualities of those experiences combine and catalyze into symptoms of post-traumatic stress that go on to impact an individual’s present and future relationships, as well as their worldview and overall sense of safety and wellbeing.

In this talk, healthcare educator Elana Lancaster will outline a client-centered response to address past medical trauma and consider its impact on trust, autonomy, and personal agency for our trans and nonbinary patients. Through case examples based on trans and nonbinary participants in healthcare navigation and medical self-advocacy workshops from throughout the U.S., Lancaster will identify common areas of concern warranting both individual and systems level interventions. Psychotherapist Karalyn Violeta will provide relevant case examples and clinical vignettes drawn from their interviews with transgender and nonbinary psychotherapy patients who display symptoms of medical-related chronic post-traumatic stress. Our ability to recognize, assess and treat medical trauma, especially within the context of the global COVID19 pandemic, is essential if we are to support clients in moving towards healing, growth, and full embodiment.

The Child as Panic Room: Transgender Youth and a Wish for Anomaly

Presenter: Tobias Wiggins, PhD

The “panic room” is a miniature safe house, constructed within the walls of the affluent private Western residence. Its mythos stages the neoliberal fantasy of privatized success, where those with wealth have the capacity to care the self, far above and beyond what’s available in the public sector. The panic room therefore mirrors interdependent concerns for domestic safety and national security, acting to reproduce the fear that it proposes to ameliorate. In this way, it serves a double function: this safe room provides a sanctuary to keep panic out, while also acting as a container for the panic to exist freely within. This paper considers how the panic room can be pedagogical, helping to better comprehend the influx of mainstream alarm surrounding the visibility of transgender children and youth. In particular, I analyze Bell v Tavistock, and the High Court of Justice of England and Wales’s ruling on Dec 1, 2020, which stipulates that it is “highly unlikely” that a child under 13 could consent to puberty blockers, and that it is “very doubtful” that children aged 14 and 15 could give similar consent. This decision, and the upcoming appeal from Tavistock and Protman NHS Trust, carries severe global ramifications for the health and well-being of transgender youth, setting precedent for the restriction of young people’s bodily autonomy. I argue that in this case, the figure of the transgender Child becomes akin to a panic room, a legitimized container for otherwise restricted cisgender affects. Ultimately, Bell v Tavistock illustrates the wish for gender variance to remain an anomaly – or a rare occurrence – while simultaneously denying the anomalous nature of gender itself.

How Can Contemporary Transgender Theory Adapt Cisgender Culture?

Presenter: Heidi Breaux, LCSW-BACS

Transgender theory as coined by Roen, was developed to explain the existence of transgender and gender diverse people. This model has evolved to center gender fluidity over biology and steer away from pathology. Both Queer Theory and Feminist Theory consist of gaping holes where transgender exclusion exists. Understanding the history and evolution of Transgender Theory into Contemporary Transgender Theory is essential. Contemporary Transgender Theory as published by the presenter (who is trans) asserts all transgender and non binary identities are valid, and moves toward adapting a cisgender dominant culture to be more inclusive and safer for all transgender and non binary people. Simply acknowledging that transgender and gender diverse people exist, is no longer enough. Contemporary Transgender Theory places a strong emphasis on Intersectionality and Minority Stress Theory to advocate for gender justice. Understanding the history of two-spirit people includes acknowledgment that severe and violent forms of transgender prejudice are as old as American history. Hateful acts of transgender prejudice, transphobia, and non acceptance is not new, they are in fact rooted in Colonialism and White Supremacy. One way that therapists and counselors adapt cisgender culture is by providing transgender affirming therapy. This session will also open a discussion on how to engage allies of the transgender and non binary community and motivate them to move from compassion to action. Contemporary Transgender Theory looks at ways cisgender culture has been adapted already and visualizes an inclusive society where transgender and non binary people can thrive. This will take collective action. What makes professionals write their name and pronouns on zoom, but not stand up at during their child’s school board meeting when learning about transgender identities in the classroom is brought up to an audience with 1 vocal support, a few voicing staunch opposition, and many silent parents who are compassionate towards transgender and non binary people but do not act in the moment? How do we go from a few hundred people every year for Trans Day of Action at the Christopher Street Pier to over 10,000 to protect the safety and joy of trans youth at the Brooklyn Liberation March, and keep this momentum going? Safety is sometimes needed for our allies to be able to take a more vocal and public stance. Without understanding these needs we may continue to yearn towards adapting cisgender dominant culture but remain at a dangerously slow pace, losing many lives to violence and injustice in between measures of progress.

Transference & Countertransference dynamics during the Therapist’s Transition

Presenter: Cadyn Cathers, PsyD

Unlike coming out as lesbian, gay, bisexual or queer (LGBQ), social and medical transition is a public process for the transgender or gender nonbinary (TGNB) therapist. Whereas a LGBQ therapist may choose not to disclose his/her/zir/their sexuality, a TGNB therapist may not have that privilege of choice regarding self-disclosure due to the physical process of transition. In this way, there is a closer similarity of transference to a therapist who is either pregnant or dealing with illness, but neither of these encapsulate the unique situation that occurs when the therapist is physically transitioning through hormones or surgery. This presentation will discuss transference dynamics in a transgender male psychoanalytic psychotherapist with TGNB patients with a special emphasis during the therapist’s transition with the gender confirming surgeries (GCS) of male chest reconstruction and phalloplasty. Dynamics that the surgeries elicited, such as envy, loss of the maternal object, and presence of the paternal object will be explored. Suggestions about how to handle medical transition for TGNB therapists will be provided with emphasis on timing and nature of self-disclosure.

From Pink Bunny to Rainbow Butt Plug: Sex Toys, LGBTQ+ Identity, and Queer Capitalism…

Presenter: Avery Heimann, MA, MEd, MSW

Within the context of isolation during the pandemic, opportunities for queer community forging based in bodily autonomy and access to pleasure-focused sex positive education has become stifled by financial strain and siloed disciplines. Physical spaces of support, Pride celebrations, and advocacy organizations have struggled to reach LGBTQ+ individuals in impactful ways in order to reduce stressors related to the compounded trauma of COVID-19 and adverse experiences around discrimination. The dialogue around sex toys can be a powerful vector for LGBTQ+ individuals to reconnect with their selfhood, whether through the neurochemical production of oxytocin and dopamine during orgasm, engaging in courageous conversations about body-safe materials, or reducing gender dysphoria with affirming products. Sex toys, despite their taboo nature in hegemonic academic narratives, has an intersectional application of subversion in its demystification, particularly around the ethics of their generation and circulation. Questions in this proposal aim to expose thematic underpinnings behind the systemic and systematic cisheteronormative narratives around sex toys and pleasure, the intentionally accessible aesthetic and design around sex toys, how marketing strategies can lift up or exploit queer communities, and how pleasure is a human right.

Meet the Presenters for the 2021 TransFormations Symposium

To learn more about each presenter, click their name to open a short bio.
Heidi Breaux, LCSW-BACS
Heidi Breaux, LCSW-BACS

Heidi Breaux, LCSW-BACS received their BASW from Rutgers University in 2004 and their MSW from New York University in 2005. Since then they have worked in in substance abuse, for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, at APICHA CHC (formerly the Asian and Pacific Islander Coalition on HIV and AIDS), and as Associate Director of Adult Services at the New York City Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center (The Center). Most recently Heidi was an Adjunct Professor at New York University’s Silver Graduate School of Social Work and Tulane University’s School of Social Work, and managed a team of clinical social workers in the Sexual Health Clinics for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Recently they were the Online Program Manager for Field Education at Tulane University School of Social Work. Currently, Heidi is the Clinical Therapist at Tulane Center for Brain Health and Tulane Center for Sport and will be conferred with their Doctorate in Social Work in December 2021 from Tulane University. Heidi is also the Founder of Heidi Breaux Consulting, LLC, a training company that provides LGBTQIA+ competency education that focuses on best practices working with transgender and non binary clients to agencies, schools, and organizations in the deep South. Heidi has authored scholarly journal articles, presented at national conferences, and even did a TEDx talk on issues related to the transgender community. They are a fierce advocate, fighter, teacher, community member, spouse, and parent, centering trans voices and fighting for trans justice.

www.heidibreaux.com

Cadyn Cathers, PsyD
Cadyn Cathers, PsyD
Cadyn Cathers, PsyD (he/him/his) is a Polish American, endosex, bisexual, ambiamorous, transgender man. He was raised both in San Jose, CA on the land of the Tamyen and the Muwekma Ohlone Tribes and in Częstohowa, Poland, but currently resides in Los Angeles on the land of the Tongva people. He is teaching faculty at Antioch University Los Angeles in the LGBT Specialization and adjunct faculty at Cal State Los Angeles, Mount Saint Mary’s University, Alliant International University, and Reiss-Davis Graduate School. He has been teaching courses on human sexuality, psychotherapy with LGBTQIA+ communities, and psychodynamic theory for over 10 years. He is the executive director of The Affirmative Couch, which provides online continuing education on clinical work with LGBTQIA+, CNM, and kink communities and provides affirmative organizational consulting for health and mental health clinics seeking to provide affirmative healthcare services. He is a licensed psychologist in private practice where he focuses on psychoanalytic psychotherapy with transgender and enby patients. He received his MA in clinical psychology with an LGBT specialization and a health psychology concentration from Antioch University Los Angeles and his PsyD in applied clinical psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. He completed a 1-year certificate in psychoanalytic psychotherapy at the Institute for Contemporary Psychoanalysis. His professional interests include relational psychoanalytic psychotherapy, clinical work with transgender and nonbinary clients, training cisgender providers about working with sex and gender diversity affirmatively, and teaching affirmative psychotherapy skills to beginning clinicians.
 
Marty A. Cooper, PhD
Marty A. Cooper, PhD

Marty A. Cooper, PhD., is an Assistant Professor of Mental Health Counseling in the Department of Psychology at State University of New York (SUNY) Old Westbury. Dr. Cooper received his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Seton Hall University. His primary research focuses on intersectionality of multiple minority statuses with an emphasis on LGBTQ+ identities.

Dr. phil. Martin J. Goessl
Dr. phil. Martin J. Goessl

Prof. (FH) Dr. Martin J. Goessl, born 1983, graduated 2007 as a Masters in historical anthropology (Gender and Queer Studies) at the Karl-Franzens University Graz (Austria). 2010 he completed his dissertation in the field of Gender and Queer Studies.

Since October 2017 Professor at the Institute of Social Work at FH  JOANNEUM – University of Applied Sciences Graz. Since 2015 Network Representative at SSHA (Social Science and History Association) for the Women, Gender and Sexuality Network.

Scientific CV: martinjgoessl.jimdo.com

Jamie Gordon, MS
Jamie Gordon, MS

Jamie L. Gordon, MA, MHC-LP, is an Assistant Counselor at Northwell Health’s South Oaks Hospital. Jamie received her Master’s degree in General Psychology at Adelphi University and an additional Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling at State University of New York (SUNY) Old Westbury. Her primary research focuses on identifying under researched populations, while providing therapeutic guidelines and interventions for clinicians to refer to

Mauro Cabral Grinspan
Mauro Cabral Grinspan

Mauro Cabral Grinspan is an activist and researcher from Argentina. He co-founded GATE in 2009 and has served as GATE’s Executive Director since 2017. His advocacy work has been focused on trans, gender diverse and intersex issues and, particularly, on articulating gender identity, gender expression, sex characteristics and other bodily issues within human rights frameworks. Mauro participated in the elaboration of the Yogyakarta Principles and the Yogyakarta Principles+10, and he is a signatory of both. He holds a Degree in History from the National University of Córdoba and pursued postgraduate studies in the fields of Philosophy and Gender Policies. His research work has been centered in normative approaches to sex, gender and biotechnology and, particularly, on torture in healthcare settings and the right to truth. Mauro edited the book Interdicciones. Escrituras de la Intersexualidad en Castellano, and he is one of the co-authors of the Argentinian Bill on the Comprehensive Protection of Sex Characteristics. Mauro has been distinguished with the Bob Hepple Equality Award.

 
Avery Heimann, MA, MEd, MSW
Avery Heimann, MA, MEd, MSW

Avery Heimann, MA, MEd, LSW (they/them) is a sex educator, LGBTQ+ advocate, social worker, and healthcare worker. They are vocal in their passions around bodily autonomy, youth welfare, disability justice, and anti-oppressive pedagogy. They are a member of the Phi Alpha Honor Society for Social Work, the Gamma Eta Rho Honor Society for Sexuality Education, and the Triota Honor Society for Gender and Sexuality Studies. Avery infuses their praxis within academia and on the ground, teaching with the Newark-based Masakhane Center for 14 years, working with Princeton-based HiTOPS for two years, and working as a Patient Service Representative and Support Group Facilitator at the Babs Siperstein PROUD Center Robert Wood Johnson Somerset. They were one of the first certified trainers from the Transgender Training Institute and published in the first edition of the Trans Sex Zine.  Avery is a firm believer in accessibility, accountability, and intersectionality in action and apply their lifelong punk DIY ethics to challenge kyriarchy in all realms of life.  Avery has recently received the Service to Community Recognition Award from Rutgers University Rainbow Graduation, has been named a Sex Ed Superhero by SheVibe studios with their own trading card (https://twitter.com/SheVibe/status/1355621822310588417), and runs a blog about sexuality, ThePalimpsex.com. They were featured as a local activist on a 75 foot mural as part of Somerville, New Jersey’s Pride month and have recently provided LGBTQ+ competency trainings at the National Organization for Women.  For further information, their LinkedIn is http://www.linkedin.com/in/avery-heimann-a6758b17

Seojung Jung, PhD
Seojung Jung, PhD

Seojung Jung, PhD., is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at State University of New York (SUNY) Old Westbury. Dr. Jung received her Ph.D. in Applied Developmental Psychology from Fordham University. Her primary research focuses on psychosocial resources and mechanisms associated with optimal aging with emphasis on individuals’ subjective experiences of aging across the life span.

Elana Lancaster
Elana Lancaster

Elana Lancaster is a trainer, health educator, and technical assistance consultant, with 15 years of experience specializing in LGBTQ health, equity and inclusion, healthcare self-advocacy, and sexual and reproductive health. He currently works as an independent consultant specializing in curriculum development and training, partnering with government agencies, non-profit organizations, companies, medical and mental health providers, and healthcare institutions. He is a trainer for the Gender and Family Project at The Ackerman Institute, has served as a transgender health consultant to the NYC Department of Health, and has presented on best practices in teaching about trans health and inclusion at national and regional conferences. Elana is a member of TPATH, and a contributor to The Reproductive Justice Briefing Book Volume 2.

S.J. Langer
S.J. Langer

S.J. Langer is a writer and psychotherapist in New York City, where he maintains a private practice. Along with psychotherapy, he provides clinical supervision and mentorship as a WPATH GEI SOC7 Certified Mentor. He is on faculty at School of Visual Arts in both the MPS Art Therapy and Humanities & Sciences departments. His research lab studies embodiment and trans phantoms. He is also involved in collaborations on interdisciplinary teams working on gender embodiment scales. One of his articles, Trans Bodies and the Failure of Mirrors, was the co-winner of the Symonds Prize from Studies in Gender and Sexuality. He is included in the edited volume Sex, Sexuality and Trans Identities: Clinical Guidance for Psychotherapists and Counselors and Intersectionality in the Arts Psychotherapy. His first book Theorizing Transgender Identity for Clinical Practice: A New Model for Understanding Gender was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in 2020.

 
 
D. M. Maynard, M.S., M.A.
D. M. Maynard, M.S., M.A.

D. M. Maynard, M.S., M.A. is an author, veteran educator, and the Founder/Director of Maynard’s W.I.S.D.O.M., Inc.-an educational service, who presents internationally to honor the voices and needs of partners, parents, families, and educators of trans and/or non-binary individuals. She is the co-author of the chapter Interviews with Partners of Transgender People: On Sex and Intimacy in the book Sex, Sexuality and Trans Identities: Clinical Guidance for Psychotherapists and Counselors. Her books, The Reflective Workbook for Partners of Transgender People: Your Transition as Your Partner Transitions, The Reflective Workbook for Parents and Families of Transgender and Non-Binary Children: Your Transition as Your Child Transitions, and The Reflective Workbook for Teachers and Support Staff of Trans and Non-Binary Students: Your School’s Transition as Your Students Transition are published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. D. M. Maynard’s article Moving Forward: Giving Voice to Partners in a Relationship with Those in Gender Transition will appear in Studies in Gender and Sexuality in early 2022. Her monthly series on YouTube is titled Reflective Conversations on Gender Transition: An Educational Interview Series with D. M. Maynard which spotlights the journeys of partners, parents, and educators of transgender and/or non-binary folx as they navigate the transition of their loved one or student for themselves.

 
Katherine Rachlin, PhD
Katherine Rachlin, PhD

Katherine Rachlin (Kit) is a clinical psychologist, a WPATH GEI-certified gender specialist, and  AASECT-certified Diplomate of sex therapy in private practice in New York City. She has served on the board of directors of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) and on the Board of FTM-International. She was Cochair of the taskforce to launch USPATH, and Cofounder of the WPATH Student Initiative. She is one of the authors of the WPATH Standards of Care (SOC) V. 7 (2011) and is currently on the committee to develop the SOC V. 8.

Dr. Rachlin earned her doctorate in applied psychology from Hofstra University and a    postdoctoral respecialization in clinical psychology at Teacher’s College, Columbia University.

She has devoted her career to working towards social justice and access to health care for transgender people by actively supporting TGD community, conducting transpositive research, taking a leadership role in professional organizations, creating forums that elevate the voices of TGD professionals, and mentoring the next generation of researchers and clinicians.

Her writing and research interests aim to answer questions that are central to the quality of life of transgender people and their families. Her many book chapters and papers cover subjects such as Factors Which Influence Individual’s Decisions When Considering FTM Genital SurgeryHysterectomy and Oophorectomy Experiences of Trans Masculine Individuals; Medical Without Social Transition: Expanding Options for Privately Gendered BodiesFlexible Use of the Standards of Care; and The Experience of Parents of Transgender People Who Transition in Adulthood.

Chris Straayer, PhD
Chris Straayer, PhD

Chris Straayer is an associate professor in the Department of Cinema Studies at New York University, where he teaches interdisciplinary courses such as Gender and Madness, Structures of Passing in Film and Literature, The Body: Sex/Science/Sign, and Trans/Queer Studies. He is the author of Deviant Eyes, Deviant Bodies (Columbia University Press), and his articles and reviews have appeared in numerous anthologies and journals. His most recent publications are “Trans men’s stealth aesthetics: navigating penile prosthetics and ‘gender fraud’” (Journal of Visual Culture, 19.2, 2020) and “Phantom Penis: Extrapolating Neuroscience and Employing Imagination for Trans Male Sexual Embodiment” (Studies in Gender and Sexuality 21.4, 2020). Straayer has served as Curator, Program Advisor, and Co-organizer for a variety of programs and exhibits including “Lesbian Genders” at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Transmutation: International Transgender Festival in London, and Gender Reel NYU: Transgender Film Festival. Straayer has sat on the editorial boards of Postmodern Culture, Velvet Light Trap, GLQ: Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, and, most recently, Transgender Studies Quarterly, for which he co-edited (with Eric Plemons) TSQ 5.2 The Surgery Issue. Straayer’s research combines trans and queer studies with interests in science, social science, art, and cultural studies. He is currently engaged in two works in progress: Trans Phantom Penis: A Qualitative Analysis of 113 Interviews with Trans and Gender Non-Conforming Individuals, and Trans-Physicalities, which addresses transgender desire for a biological basis, neurological renditions of sexual corporeality, and trans-future medicine.

 
Karalyn Violeta, LCSW
Karalyn Violeta, LCSW

Karalyn Violeta completed their B.S. in Psychology at CUNY Brooklyn College and their MSW at New York University. She earned her 3-year certificate in LGBTQ-affirming psychodynamic psychotherapy at the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy’s Center for Gender & Sexuality. Karalyn is a member of WPATH and the APA’s Division 44 (Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity) and has presented their work at international conferences, in peerreviewed journals, and as co-editor of the book, ‘Sex, Sexuality, and Trans Identities: Clinical Guidance for Therapists and Counselors’ (2019). A forthcoming second book, discussing advanced topics in clinical work with trans and non-binary psychotherapy clients, is currently in press with Jessica Kingsley Publishers (2022). Karalyn’s private practice is based in Brooklyn, NY.

 
Tobias Wiggins, PhD
Tobias Wiggins, PhD

Tobias Wiggins is an assistant professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at Athabasca University (AU). His research centers transgender mental health, queer visual culture, clinical transphobia, community-based wellness, and psychoanalysis. Broadly, Wiggins’ work aims to address the continued psychiatric pathologization of gender variance and to support the efficacy of trans-competent medical care. At AU, he coordinates the University Certificate in Counselling Women, an interdisciplinary program which applies feminist theory to the practice of counselling. His upcoming article “Do Psychoanalysts Dream of Polymorphous Sleep?: Clinical Desiring with Transgender Subjects” (2021) will be published in Studies in Gender and Sexuality. Other recent writing can be found in the Transgender Studies Quarterly and the anthology Sex, Sexuality and Trans Identities: Clinical Guidance for Psychotherapists and Counselors.

 
Julian Wolfe, LMHC
Julian Wolfe, LMHC

Julian (he/him) began his career working with LGBTQ+ youth in 2006. His experience includes working as a shelter manager and counselor at Sylvia’s Place. He then worked in intensive prevention for The Family Center. In 2012, he completed a second master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling at Brooklyn College. Julian worked and trained for six years at The Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy in the Psychotherapy Center for Gender and Sexuality (PCGS). In 2013, Julian joined SCO Family of Services, working in the capacity of program therapist, serving LGBTQ+ youth living in congregate care. Until 2016, he conducted Functional Family Therapy, using a unique model modified and developed (Family Therapy Intervention Pilot) to address the needs of NYC-based families who have an LGBTQ-identified child. Julian has a private practice, specializing in helping TGNC adults and families. He is a Reiki II practitioner and integrates Eastern and Western traditions into his work as a holistic therapist.

 
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