Monthly Archives: June 2013

Call for speakers and workshop leaders at UEA’s Transgender Conference 2014

Having recently been made the organiser of the Barbara Ross Association conferences, I am currently looking for:

  • People who are interested in submitting abstracts for either oral or poster presentations
  • Any groups/individuals who would like to lead workshops or seminars
  • Individuals or groups who would be keen to present or collaborate with the conference committee in some way other than those above – we welcome new ideas!
  • Trans* visual artists, filmmakers and musicians

Please keep abstracts to 250 words and include the following in the body of your email:

  • Title of paper
  • Name(s) of presenter(s)
  • Affiliation(s) of presenter(s), including department/unit
  • Contact e-mail address

The conference will run at the University of East Anglia (Norwich) on September 5th, 6th and 7th 2014.

Here is the programme from the TG 2012 conference, to give you a feel for what the events are like. Please do NOT be put off if your submission varies from the examples below. We are keen to expand and improve on previous events and are particularly keen to hear from trans people of colour, people from the creative industries and anyone working with the community within the helping and/or medical professions but ALL submissions are welcomed.

Conference Programme Saturday
Welcome by Barbara Ross OBE, CQSW
Olivia Johns Ma (Oxon) “True to Both Selves?” Reflections on Gender Identity
Bernard Reed OBE & Terry Reed OBE (Gender Identity Research & Education Society): Current Issues in Transgender Healthcare and Equality
Dr Francesca Swords (Endocrine Specialist) – Monitoring Hormone Therapy & Health After Reassignment Surgery
Mr Gennaro Selvaggi (Surgeon) – Male to Female surgical techniques – Personal Experience
Dr Bart van de Ven (Plastics) – Facial Feminisation Surgery
Mr Gennaro Selvaggi (Surgeon) – Female to Male Phalloplasty
Ms Alice Purnell OBE – “Trans then and Now”

Conference Programme Sunday
Mrs Susan Clark (Speech Therapist): Key factors for M to F transition
Mr Krys Vere-Bujnowski (QWest) – Female to Male Issues
Katy Jon Went: Depathologising Gender Dysphoria
– Workshops –
Simon Blackmore & Aedan Wolton introduce a film by the Evolve Trans Youth group
Plenary & Closure

Aedan Wolton, Simon Blackmore & Linda Street (Mancroft Advice Project) – Working with Trans Youth
Neil Howard, Equality & Diversity Officer, Norfolk County Council & Ashley Williams (OASIS support group) – Equality Issues for Transgender People within Public Services & Employment
Julie Innes, Diversity Advisor, Norfolk Constabulary – Community Safety
Sarah Brown, Cambridge City Councillor – Being Transgender in Public Life

For more information, to discuss an idea or to submit an abstract please contact me via email ( Please note there is currently no closing date for submissions.

Save Laetitia – A Petition



Ignoring the archaic gendered nature of the text (if you can), John Donne made a very good point. Human rights should matter to us all.


No Man Is An Island

No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend’s
Or of thine own were:
Any man’s death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.

John Donne
Please sign the petition at and help to stop Laetitia’s deportation back to a homeland that is abusive and unsafe.
Here are the details from

“Laetitia is a woman with trans background from Russia. In Russia, she faced harassment and violence on a daily basis. She was treated inhumanely in the police station, beaten up and urinated on by the officers. She sought asylum in Sweden three years ago. She fears that violence, spearheaded by Russian government towards LGBT people will continue upon her return to Russia. Moreover, she is active in LGBT movement, promoting normalization of trans people. New Russian laws hinder her activism to the point that she will face huge fines while being completely excluded from daily life. But Swedish Migration Board rejected her asylum. By deporting her back, Sweden wants to put her in the situation when she can be killed or forced to commit suicide. Please sign this petition to support Laetitia’s fight for asylum and to make Swedish Migration Board understand the danger that LGBT people face in countries like Russia.”

Classifying Sex: Debating DSM IV

Classifying Sex: Debating DSM IV

Very much looking forward to this event in Cambridge next month:

This conference brings together social and political scientists, feminist scholars, sexologists, psychiatrists, historians of science, as well as mental health practitioners and sexual rights activists to critically explore the sexual classifications produced by the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), published in May 2013. The DSM is the standard reference for the classification of mental disorders, and its first major revision since 1994 is consequently an important global event. The conference will explore which categories of ‘normal’ and ‘abnormal’, ‘healthy’ and ‘pathological’ sexualities and identities the new manual produces, and critically scrutinise their consequences for diagnostic practices as well as their wider social and political implications. The conference will take place on 4 and 5 July 2013 at the interdisciplinary Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH) of the University of Cambridge. It is financially supported by CRASSH, the Wellcome Trust, the Sexual Divisions Study Group of the British Sociological Association, the French Institute, Northumbria University, the Laboratoire de Sociologie of the University of Lausanne, and The Gender Identity Research and Education Society (GIRES).

TG Conference 2014

Today I had the honour of being officially appointed as organiser of the TG 2014 conference at the UEA, by Barbara Ross OBE CQSW and The Barbara Ross Association committee.

The conferences have run biennially at the University of East Anglia since 2001 under Barbara’s expert supervision and have hosted speakers, surgeons and researchers from around the world.

Concerning issues of gender and gender identity, the conferences have been a valuable resource for the trans community and for professionals in supporting roles and in 2014 I hope to organise one of the biggest and best conferences to date..

This blog will most likely feature updates concerning the conference, my stress levels and any related breakdowns. You have been warned.

The Trans Parenting Forum

New online resource coming soon:

The Trans Parenting Forum is an online space for parents, families, foster parents and carers of gender variant, trans and intersex children to meet, ask questions, and share experiences and advice. It is also a place where trans people who have or are hoping to have their own families can access resources, make connections and build communities.

The Trans Parenting Forum is an extension of the Barbara Ross Association, a non-profit organisation made up of parents, counsellors, social workers and trans people who recognise that trans parents and the families and carers of gender variant young people are often overlooked by existing support services.

We have a range of resources and information concerning various parenting issues, including advice about what to do when your child comes out, health care/medical transition, name changes, adoption/fostering and information for gender variant children in the school system.

We want to encourage trans parents and the families and carers of gender non-conforming young people to reach out to one another, trade their own resources, share their stories and realise they are not alone.

Whilst the site is being built, please keep up to date with the project on Facebook