Kathie Moehlig, Founder of TransFamily Support Services, & Rachel Langshall, Development and Communications Manager, Gender Diversity
For the first time in its 19-year history, the international Gender Odyssey Conference was held in San Diego. The four-day conference which started on August 1, 2019, brought together over 700 people and focused on the needs and interests of transgender and gender-diverse children of all ages, their families, supporters and the professionals who serve them.
To bring the conference to San Diego TransFamily Support Services worked with Gender Diversity, a Washington-based nonprofit organization that provides support and educational services to transgender and gender-diverse children. TransFamily Support Services recently became a Live Well San Diego Recognized Partner in June 2019 and works extensively to provide guidance for local and nation-wide trans individuals and their families, while also being a catalyst for change to foster acceptance, respect and equality for all genders.
Gender Odyssey Conference attendees were able to choose between three conference tracks: Professional Program, Family Program, or Youth and Young Adult Program. Several sessions were offered in Spanish and a kids’ day camp was also provided. Various topics were covered, such as “Transitioning at Work,” “Gender Inclusion in the Workplace,” “How to Go Public,” and “Medical Care for Trans Adult/Adolescents.”
“Parents and professionals who are informed about the needs of the trans people in their lives can support them better, which improves their overall health, standard of living, and social life,” shared Kathie Moehlig, Founder of TransFamily Support Services. “Knowing a family supports them makes such a difference in a child’s life, but in a trans and gender-diverse child’s life, it can be the difference between life and death. The value of what Gender Odyssey does every year is reflected in the feedback received.”
By the end of the conference, 120 workshops and events were held where individuals and family members of all ages connected with professionals, created safe spaces, learned valuable information and uplifted one another.
When asked what their favorite part of the conference was, one attendee shared,
“People, people, people! Open hearts, vulnerability, empowerment, and a professional, loving approach to all that!”
Another conference attendee gushed,
“There was so much love and the general affirming environment was fantastic. My son felt like he could actually be himself at all times.”