Today concluded the end of an exciting and informative two day seminar at University of Houston called the “5th Annual Texas Transgender Nondiscrimination Summit”. The purpose of the Summit is to:
- 1) look at strategic approaches to the issues of social justice and policy implementation regarding gender identity and gender expression and
- 2) to educate others on how to implement these inclusive policies in education, academia, medical settings, and other institutions.
Presentations included Transgender Legal Issues, Texas Trans History, Helping Transgender students thrive on college Campuses, Trans health, Tips for Teaching Transgender to Health Professionals, the history of the LGBTQ Movement at Texas A&M University, just to name a few. Seminar leaders included a Judge, several lawyers, PhD’s, transgender advocates, psychotherapists and community leaders. In addition to thought provoking and educational presentations, there were lists of transgender resources available and a list of Texas Educational Systems with Inclusive Nondiscrimination Statements. I was glad to see that Houston ISD, Rice, University of Texas at Austin, South Texas College of Law and HCCS, Our Lady of the Lake at San Antonio, Texas Christian University, Southern Methodist University and Trinity University at San Antonio were all included as having inclusive nondiscrimination statements just to name a few. Overall, the conference was state of the art, dealing with issues that are timely and ever present in our society. To say the least, transgender awareness has come a long way in the past couple of decades. As a psychotherapist who works with transgender individuals and their families, the conference further emphasized for me the need for education to others regarding transgender issues and the need for implementation of policies to protect equal rights and respect towards those with various gender identities and gender expression.
For those of you who are interested, there will be another conference in Houston July 26 and 27 hosted by Depelchin Children’s Center. It will feature regional leaders discussing collaborative support for families with gender-variant children and youth. July 26 is continuing education for professionals and July 27 is a workshop for parents and caretakers. The workshops will address families’ access to professional resources through childhood and adolescence. For more information you can call DePelchin at 713-730-2335.