Reflecting on a Wonderful Weekend

 By Lexi Adsit, Guest Blogger

Presenting on the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference

If you haven’t already, I would definitely suggest reading Emilia’s reflections on this weekend.

Mine however, are a bit more constructive. Every time I travel or go to a conference around something Trans, Queer, or Activist. I can’t help but feel a little alone. Typically it’s because so few folks from my physical community are able to get access to conferences or organizations that provide me with funding to go to these conferences.

I do want to acknowledge there were a lot of folks from my physical community there this time with heavy Transwomen of color representation from the sickening girls of Trans Ladies Initiating Sister Hood (T-LISH) and inspiring community organizer Miss Major.

However I can’t help but think of so many younger trans folks who would have benefitted so much just from being able to create such a safe and Trans friendly community.

So I just want to send out a call to the organizers of the conference, leaders of non-profits, and activists, to please let us take a moment to get creative in ways that we can make this much-needed information and spaces accessible to youth who might not be in a non-profit organization or who might not even be out yet.

I also want to acknowledge and thank everyone at the conference for the amazing time, space, energy, and information that is all shared and created because it was a beautiful space and we need more of these.

Day 3 Session 2 Healthcare for GenderQueer and Gender Non-Conforming Trans Folks

 By Lexi Adsit, Guest Blogger

Presenting on the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference

It seems since there is a growing GenderQueer and Non-conforming community that will be accessing healthcare and other services soon there is a growing issue of how to help them in the medical field around body modification but also trying to maintain the patients’ best health as possible.

From what I can gather (because I’m not familiar with most health terms) the obstacles appear as folks changing their minds between 20 and 30 around pregnancy, wanting to have a feminization/reproductive organ removal without taking hormones, or even playing with dose and frequency of hormones.

The space is filled with community members, providers, and allies so the discussion is very interesting especially around self-determination and choosing your own medical path, and what providers feel comfortable with.

Thanks to the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference for having such an amazing and safe space.

Day 1 Session 5 Femme Self Care

 By Lexi Adsit, Guest Blogger

Presenting on the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference

A sister of mine from San Francisco, Mia Tu Mutch, put on an absolutely amazing workshop around Femme Self Care. In my own opinion I think it was one of the most amazing self care workshops I’ve ever been to. It made me feel empowered and reaffirmed about my own self care practices. The workshop also helped the group to socialize by sharing and connecting with people on a personal level around our favorite and toughest self-care techniques.

Also some of her strongest messages were:

  • “You are a genius around your own self-care and body”
  • “You don’t need to lose weight!”

Day 2 Session 4: Sexual Liberation For Youth!

 by Lexi Adsit, Guest Blogger

Presenting on the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference

I don’t think I could have been more excited to go to and attend this workshop. I’ve had conversations with folks in my chosen family about sexual liberation and what it means for us as a family and community, but being able to go to a workshop around this with a lens of a Trans/Genderqueer lens around it was so great. Especially with youth and talking about what it will mean for us going forward in our lives.

So I really really really want to give a HUGE shout out and kudos to Midwest GenderQueer, JAC Stringer, and Ignacio Rivera who brought this amazing workshop to us at the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference and really did an amazing job facilitating!

Feel free to check out their amazing work, I could not feel more inspired after having met these two amazing community members.

Day 2 Session 3: Getting Transnational on Yo’ Ass!

 by Lexi Adsit, Guest Blogger

Presenting on Philadelphia Trans Health Conference

Attending “Getting Transnational on Yo’ Ass” I definitely had lower expectations that I should have allowed myself to! I wasn’t sure what to expect because when you go into a workshop with big words like “Diasporic” in the description. However, this workshop was super fun and interaction in the the context of a game show! For those that know me, when I play a game, I get REAL!

This workshop was loads of fun though and the books and media that was the facilitator had gained information from included:

So definitely check out these resources if you’re looking for more information!

Day 2 “Say My Name” Say My Name! Plenary

 by Lexi Adsit, Guest Blogger

Presenting on the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference

“Say My Name” is not only a hit single by Destiny’s Child, but also a very powerful and inspiring ceremony of celebrating and affirming a person’s name and preferred pronouns. “Say My Name”  allows folks from the community to have a name change within the community and have the community respect that person’s name and identity in a very safe and great way.

This is a great tool for community building along with churches or other spiritual institutions or communities. Feel free to host your own or assist the folks to help build/create new accessible “Say My Name” practices.

Day 1 Session 4: T-GUAVA Workshop for Trans Youth on Dating, Abuse, and Health Relationships

 By Lexi Adsit, Guest Blogger

Presenting on Philadelphia Trans Health Conference

Oh, to be young and trans again! Oh, wait I am rather young and Trans! haha. In session 4 I met Morgan M. Page of T-GUAVA (Trans Girls United Against Violent Assault) who facilitated a really resource-rich trans youth workshop around dating, healthy relationships, and abuse.

I could share a lot of information but one of the key things we brainstormed together as a group of what healthy relationships are:

  • Consent
  • Trust
  • Communication
  • Externalize thought process
  • Adaptability/ Evolution of the relationship
Morgan also shared with us a reference of “The Revolution Starts at Home”  a powerful community zine edited by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna Samarashina and some other very inspiring community organizers.

Day 1 Session 3: Trans Pioneers of Color

 By Lexi Adsit, Guest blogger

Presenting on Philadelphia Trans Health Conference

Already half the day gone by and we still have 2 more sessions of workshops! This next one to be filled with stories of amazing community members who have been around the block quite a lot and ‘paved the way’ for us younger trans folks.

Some key messages:

  • “I want to be an example of my struggle as a transman of color, how I have survived my struggle and to be a beacon to all of you who are struggling”
  • “We need to get out there and tell our stories, because folks in power will erase us but many of us are still around and runnin’ around tellin’ our stories”
  • “If I impact one person as a Trans person of color, that is what is important to me. Having someone google me and find me is great.”
  • “Don’t carry that baggage from yesterday into the next day, because that gets tiring. You change yourself, you try to adapt. Let it give you the strength to go forward and get out there again”
  • “Being pretty is not what it’s about, they (Sylvia and Marsha) helped me realize there was more to life than getting to the point of passing”
The Panelists included Miss Major, Molik M. Harvey, Jaye Johnson, Alicia Newsom and Bill.

Day 1 Session 2: GenderQueer Masculinity & Feminity (Caucus)

 By Lexi Adsit, Guest Blogger

Presenting on Philadelphia Trans Health Conference

Being in a room with (what looks like) 70 GenderQueer-identified folks can be pretty powerful. Especially when a lot of the genderqueer folks are youth.

I want to give a kudos to the facilitator for being really amazing and handling all of the tough loaded-ness of power dynamics in a workshop around Masculinity and Femininity in GenderQueer identities.

It got really powerful at one point where after we brainstormed definitions of Masculinity and Femininity we were able to get into small groups. The small group I was in discussed Power & Privilege, specifically looking at how our struggles intersected with those outside of the conference and also how some of us dream of a revolution on a unified movement with Trans, GenderQueer, and folks of color.

Day 1 Session 1: The Movement vs. Me Self-Care

 by Lexi Adsit, Guest Blogger

Presenting on the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference

I’ve had a bit of a background in self-care, being raised as an Activist by a role model who preached and practiced extremely good self-care techniques and habits. (I’m looking at you Kiely!)

Some key points:

  • Utilize self-care because not taking care of your self is like a virus in our movements.
  • Your behavior is very key to recognizing where your self-care is lacking and where you have some strengths.
  • get folks to hold you accountable to your goals!

The facilitators’ model of self-care:

  1. As yourself, “How am I caring for myself physically, emotionally, and relationally RIGHT NOW?” take note of any gaps you discover.
  2. Brainstorm actions or habits to overcome gaps. Choose from the suggestions below or add your own to the list.
  3. Turn those actions or habits into SMART goals. (Specific goal, Metric, attainable, realistic, timeframe)
  4. Now state your goals as commitments to yourself.
  5. Establish a habit of accountability.
The worksheet is available here.