For families whose children are exploring gender, the journey can feel overwhelming, confusing, and lonely. Here the families of transgender and gender expansive youth come together for support, learning , and community.
We offer a safe space for parents and caregivers to connect with others in an affirming, open, and receptive environment.
This year's mini Family Day Parent/Caregiver Programming will include a series of presentations and panel discussions with local clinicians, a variety of transgender and non binary professionals, presenters, and family members just like you.
* This session is for parents/caregivers of gender expansive children only.
**This session is for Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) and parents/caregivers of gender expansive children of color only.
9:00am - 1:00pm - Parent and Caregiver Sessions
1:30pm - 2:30pm - Child, Youth & Young Adult Programming
This workshop will offer an overview and basic information on medical treatment options for transgender and gender expansive youth from childhood through young adulthood. It will include a discussion on puberty suppression for youth (hormone blockers) as well as feminizing and masculinizing cross hormones – and the timing, risks and benefits of each. There will also be a discussion on the importance of a team approach to medical care, including collaboration with the youth, their family, their medical team and their therapeutic support. There will be an overview of current options for fertility preservation. This workshop is intended to support families in their understanding of basic medical options and will be open to questions.
Dr. Elyse Pine, Pediatric Endocrinologist, Chase Brexton Health Care
Parents and other caring adults are often called to defend the rationale for respecting the rights of transgender and nonbinary children and youth. For many, it is helpful to know what research suggests about the impact of gender inclusive efforts in families, schools, or other institutions. In this age of information overload, it can be challenging to assess the validity of gender related research that can appear in all kinds of settings from social-media to school board meetings.
This workshop is here to help! While not a comprehensive review of existing research, this session will help participants use research to better understand, frame, and respond to skeptics. Topics covered will include desistance among transgender youth, attitudes about gender among different racial and ethnic groups, the impact of gender inclusive practices on cisgender students, and the ability of young kids to understand and talk about gender.
Kim Westheimer, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Gender Spectrum
Numerous LGBTQIA+ issues persevered during the 2021 Maryland General Assembly Legislative Session which will conclude on April 9th. Are you wondering if the Inclusive Schools Act or the Name Change publication waiver bills passed? Join FreeState Justice staff as they review what work has been accomplished this session and what work is left to be done in order to build a safer Maryland for all LGBTQIA+ folks.
Jeremy LaMaster Executive Director, FreeState Justice
C.P. Hoffman, Legal Director FreeState Justice
Panel discussion with mental health, healthcare, legal and education providers to talk about the various phases of the transition process and ways parents/caregivers can better support their child and their siblings. Questions will be gathered in advance for the panelists to address in the session to facilitate a robust conversation.
C.P. Hoffman (Facilitator) Legal Director FreeState Justice
Dane Menkin, CRNP, Divisional Director of LGBTQ Services at Main Line Health
Heidi Marine, LCSW-C, Chase Brexton Health Care
Kurt Hoffman, Middle School Teacher
More and more youth are discovering their authentic selves by investigating and claiming identities beyond the binary of boy or girl. It is often difficult for parents/caregivers to understand the evolving language and experiences of their nonbinary youth and it can be challenging explaining it to others. What does it mean to be nonbinary? What does a nonbinary person look like? Join us for a panel discussion with nonbinary young adults as they share their lived experiences and what the adults in their lives can do to best support them.
Tavi Hawn, LCSW-C (Facilitator)
In what contexts should a child’s gender status be revealed? What are the trade-offs between open acknowledgment and maintaining privacy about your child’s gender identity? We face numerous situations where we are called upon to advocate for our children and must decide whether disclosing information will create more safety and inclusion or more difficulties. In this workshop, we will create an open and supportive setting for parents to share with each other about issues of disclosure and non-disclosure in a variety of settings.
Stephanie Brill, Founder of Gender Spectrum
Raising gender-expansive children or teenagers can bring up a huge number of questions and challenges for the loving adults in their lives. Some are scary, others simply mystifying, and still others represent complex problems that seem to have no clear solutions. For caregivers working to understand, accept and/or support their child’s gender expression or identity, these perplexing issues are frequently the stuff of midnight musings and sleepless nights. This session will be an informal opportunity to raise the things that are keeping you up at night, to hear from others who have asked some of the same questions and perhaps come to conclusions that might prove helpful as you seek to better understand your child and their gender journey.
Lisa and Tom Jones -Facilitators
We recognize that parenting a child of color who also identifies as transgender or gender expansive can come with its own set of challenges and concerns. This Affinity space will serve as a safe forum to discuss these issues and topics like white privilege, cultural acceptance, risk factors, mutual support.
BIPOC* parents/caregivers, as well as non-BIPOC parents/caregivers of children of color, are welcome. This is NOT a space for debate or education regarding these topics. Facilitators will provide guidance and keep the conversation on track.
Facilitators - Lizette Trujillo and Kamela Heyward-Rotimi
*BIPOC stands for Black Indigenous People of Color
We marvel at this gender journey our children are on and their strength and resilience. But sometimes it can be scary worrying about their struggles now AND their future. Hear directly from young adults who have been on their own gender journey. Their personal stories inspire us and give us hope. Some topics that may be covered include choosing to be stealth or out; options for activism; gender fluidity; gender expression; the college experience and gender affirming strategies.
Ezra Halstead (Facilitator) Director of Education and Outreach, FreeState Justice
The gender conference provided me with tools and understanding to help support not only my child but my entire family.
There was always time for questions and answers for the experts as well as connecting with other families.
My child was able to meet other children and not feel so alone in his journey. It just felt amazing to be in a space with others that understood our path.
My family attended our first Gender Journey conference in 2016 and now we have made it an annual tradition. The breakout sessions are extremely informative, timely and impactful. I really appreciate hearing from the medical and mental health professionals and learning from other parents.
Our kids have a blast at the Friday night Meet and Greet, Kids Camp and After Party on Saturday night. The best part of the conference weekend is being with other families who are on similar journeys. We always look forward to seeing old friends and of course, making new ones.