Men to Take Major Role in IFGE 2008 Conference

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This post comes from Michael Woodward:

In keeping with its theme “Toward a Greater Diversity”, the IFGE Annual conference has successfully engaged many leaders and champions for the FTM community to take part in its 23rd Annual Conference. The conference, which runs from Monday, March 31, 2008, to Saturday, April 5, 2008, is being held in Tucson, Arizona at the Doubletree Reid Park Hotel. Wingspan’s Southern Arizona Gender Alliance (SAGA) is the local host committee. Past conferences have been decidedly transfeminine-oriented, but organizers made concerted outreach efforts for 2008 to transgender men, as well as people of color and allies of all ages, to ensure a broad range of issues, identities, and dialogues are represented in Tucson.

While pre-conference excursions and social activities start Monday, the actual conference program kicks off Thursday morning, April 3, with a plenary session featuring renowned activist Jamison Green, author of the prize-winning book Becoming a Visible Man. Green has served on numerous national and international boards and received many awards for his work. Following a welcome by Tucson Mayor Robert Walkup, Mr. Green will address the attendees on the Conference theme of diversity. His international travel in service to the transgender community has introduced him to an amazing array of transgender expression, yet he has observed distinct similarities among diverse groups. In this session, he will reflect on the evolution of the transgender community-or communities-and the meaning and importance of diversity for our movement. Later in the conference, Green will also present a workshop session titled “Identity Crisis-an open discussion about who we are.”

Green’s appearances are only two of many excellent seminars of special interest to the FTM community. Moonhawk River Stone, MS, a past IFGE Board Chair, will present several sessions, including “Being A Guy (For the FTM identified only)”; “How To Successfully Transition In Your Employment;” and “Moving Beyond Gender Identity Disorder (GID): Creating A New Paradigm For Transgender Gender Identity.”

Other FTM-lead sessions include (but are not limited to) “Privilege: Who has it?” chaired by Lore M. Dickey. Mr. Dickey will also present “Sexual Identity Development in the FTM: A Qualitative Study.” Clark A. Pomerleau, PhD, Jess Weinberg, MA, and Shannon Randall, MA candidate, will discuss “Masculine Spectrum Identity, Alliances, and Feminism”. Another topic will be “No Skirt, No Heels, No Service? Addressing FTM
Participation & Inclusion in the Transgender Movement.” Artist Rae Strozzo will discuss “Queering the Lens: The History of Photography in Transgendered Art (especially by transmen).” “Ways that Work to Build Your Group: Harness the Power of Community” will be presented by FTMI President Rabbi Levi Alter, and Nathan Levitt is slated to discuss “Defend Your Health: Trans Health Empowerment for FTMs.” Finally, TC
Tolbert of the Pima County Health Department will participate in discussing “The Prism Project: Building a support program for transgender youth”

Transmasculinity is also reflected in the conference entertainers. The Saturday night gala includes gender benders Dragstar Cabaret as well as Too Much Information, a popular Tucson rock and blues band, featuring FTM lead singer Michael Woodward, who is also the conferenceco-coordinator.

A number of medical and health sessions specifically for transgender men are also planned. San Francisco surgeon Michael L. Brownstein M.D., FACS will present “Chest Reconstruction in Female to Male Transgendered Patients” and Dr. Sherman Leis will present “FTM Top and Bottom Surgery, Options and Results.” Dr. Toby Meltzer of Scottsdale, Arizona, will present “FTM Genital Reconstruction Surgery and Ancillary Procedures.” Dr. Burt Webb will present “Surgical Options for FTMs or New Ideas
Regarding Hysterectomy and Vaginectomy.” Colorado gender specialist Marci L. Bowers, MD, will present “Surgical Options for FTMs: Hysterectomy, Metaoidioplasty and Beyond.”

The conference also features many activities of interest to everyone, from horseback riding and a trip to Old Tucson Studios to health screenings and workshops on topics ranging from politics to employment to spirituality to youth. Some sessions will be presented in Spanish. Other aspects of diversity are also represented, such as “No Crystal
Stair: Issues Regarding Transgender People of Color” and “Native American Transgender People and HIV”.

US Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) is scheduled to participate in a Saturday morning town hall public forum, “How Did Tucson Get to Be Such an Accepting Community?” which will also feature local FTM leader Kevin Q. Maxey, MD, co-founder of SAGA.

Registration is now open and rooms are going fast! Early Bird Discount Deadline is February 24, 2008. Please visit the Transgender 2008 conference website at for complete details, including the complete workshop schedule.

To talk with other attendees, share rooms or rides, sign up for excursions, and stay up-to-date on news about the conference, join the Google group IFGE-Tucson .

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