Transgender and gender nonconforming people have existed across cultures throughout time, and in the past decade we have seen a powerful increase in trans visibility and expression here in the US. Youth in particular are unapologetically expanding our understanding of gender far beyond the male/female binary. However, our culture has been slow to respond to the basic rights and needs of gender diverse people, let alone provide models for creating gender-inclusive language and affirming spaces in our communities. Join us for a discussion regarding gender diversity and what it means to be affirming allies to transgender and gender nonconforming people in our community and in our lives.
Willow Thorsen will provide a brief Transgender 101 presentation including some history, some unique vulnerabilities faced by transgender and gender non-conforming people and the nature of cis-privilege, introduce gender-affirming language and practices, and provide some resources. Then we will open up for a more general discussion with the goal of creating a safe space for people to ask questions and explore what we can do to in our own lives to support this community.
Transgender and gender non-conforming people are of course welcome, but the focus of this discussion is to create a space for people who are newer to this information and/or grappling with what it means to be a good ally in the various domains of their lives.
Willow Thorsen, LCSW (she/her pronouns) is a Gender Therapist with Kaiser Permanent in Santa Rosa. In addition to other clinical roles, she has had the privilege of learning from and supporting transgender and gender nonconforming people and their loved ones through social, legal and medical transitions for the past eight years. She identifies as a cisgender ally and endeavors to approach this work from a place of cultural humility and awareness of her cis-privilege and unconscious bias.