Pack your bags!
Just a heads up that the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference is coming up soon on June 2, 3, and 4 2011. I highly recommend this conference to everyone – young, old, trans*, pre/post transition, transitioning, barely discovering, parents, allies, health providers, future health providers, students, kids, even your dog (ok, maybe not your dog) – everyone! Here’s why you should most definitely make it a point to attend:
- It’s the only FREE conference about transgender and gender spectrum issues. Yes, FREE. No entry fee, no donations, nothing.
- It’s in Philadelphia, which despite my previous complaints, is quite a beautiful city, especially around June when summer is starting to pick up.
- It is huge (over 1400 participants)! You will probably never see this many nice, queer, transgender people in one place. And you get to meet them all! Plus being immersed in an entirely trans-friendly environment is something everyone should experience at least one.
- It’s quite the learning experience. No matter your background, your age, or your gender, you will learn something from it. While three days packed full of workshops covering a wide range of trans topics is still not exhaustive, you will certainly be exhausted.
My favorite workshop was the Chest Surgery Show and Tell. If you are considering Top Surgery, this is my number one top recommendation. There is no substitute for being in a room full of walking, talking real people. It’s like a fantasy – a place where you can see people’s scars up close, see people of different ages and skin types and body types and hormone stages and doctors, and directly talk to someone who can answer all your questions. It was only upon leaving this workshop last June that I resolutely made up my mind to get top surgery. It gave me the inertia I needed; there was no stopping me after that. [ Update: I was browsing through the workshops and saw this (unconfirmed) presentation by Dr. Paul Steinwald, my top surgery surgeon. Also I was the one who referred him to the conference! ]
Right around when I went to PTHC was also when my transgender identity began solidifying. Seeing so many others like myself who were comfortable with themselves, I also began to be comfortable being who I am. But not just to be comfortable – to be confident.
So, if after all this you’re still hesitant, or you’re very interested, then head on over to the Philadelphia Trans Health website, where there’s more information and the full list of sessions, events, and workshops.