Trans-Health Conference Turns 10

Chaz Bono to headline this year's events in Philly - the largest conference of its kind in the world

Courtesy of PTHC Archives

The Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference (PTHC) celebrates its 10th anniversary June 2-4 when the Mazzoni Center program offers workshops and discussions at the Pennsylvania Convention Center this summer.

“Since it was established 10 years ago,” says Nurit Shein, Mazzoni Center’s executive director, “the vision of the Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference has been to address body, mind, spirit, community and well being. We are proud to mark this milestone anniversary, and to note that while the conference has experienced remarkable growth and development over the years, it remains true to these original principles and to the grassroots spirit from which it was born.”

One of the highlights of the two-day conference is a book signing by Chaz Bono, who’s written Transition: The Story of How I Became a Man. He’ll be in Philadelphia on June 3 (11:45 a.m.) to discuss his life as an LGBT activist and only child of legends Sonny Bono and Cher.

Please note: Tomorrow (Tuesday, May 10) Bono will debut her documentary “Becoming Chaz” (9 p.m.) on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network. It kicks off a series hosted by Rosie O’Donnell.

Other authors who will be at the conference include Jennifer Carr, who wrote Be Who You Are, Zander Keig, who penned Letters for My Brothers, and David Weekley, author of In From the Wilderness. The authors are part of the first-ever Trans-Health Book Expo in cooperation with Giovanni’s Room.

There is also an exhibition at the William Way Community Center celebrating the anniversary of PTHC that runs until June 5, a Fallen Angels Ball June 3 (7-11 p.m.) in which contestants will compete in eight categories for top prizes, and Blender, an after-party with live performances June 4 (8 p.m.-2 a.m.) at World Cafe Live to benefit PTHC.

Other workshops will address a wide range of issues, including safety, education, employment, housing, legal issues and social support for transgender men and women, as well as those who identify as gender queer. Partners, friends and family members are also invited to attend the events.

Mazzoni says that the conference will also include workshops for issues concerning healthcare and social services.

And two transgender pioneers will be honored. The first is Jamison Green, director of the World Professional Association of Transgender Health, the Transgender Law & Policy Institute and TransYouth Family Allies. Jamison is also the author of Becoming a Visible Man which documents his own life story.

Earline Budd is also being honored as founding member and former executive director of Transgender Health Empowerment in Washington, D.C. She will receive a lifetime achievement award from the Transgender People of Color Coalition during a reception June 2 (7:30 p.m.) at the William Way.

“We are expecting a record number of attendees for our 10th anniversary,” says Chris Paige, a committee member helping to organize this year’s event. “In our planning for this year’s conference, we’ve tried to assemble a rich and diverse lineup of workshops and programs. We are grateful to the many community organizations, presenters and volunteers who work together to make this undertaking possible.”

When the conference first began a decade ago it was a one-day event that gathered activists, allies and educators about transgender health. Today, it’s known for being the largest transgender-specific conference in the world. Last year more than 1,400 people attended the event (registration is free).