Gender Spectrum Conference

2017 Gender Spectrum Conference
Saturday, July 22 and Sunday, July 23

The 2017 Gender Spectrum Conference and Youth Programs will take place on Saturday, July 22 and Sunday, July 23 at Saint Mary’s College of California in Moraga, CA.

The Conference is a place where transgender, non-binary, and otherwise gender-expansive young people and their families can come together to learn, be supported, and connect with others in a safe and reassuring environment.

Click here to register for the Gender Spectrum Conference
Click here to learn more about Conference logistics and FAQ

This year’s theme for the conference is “Seen, Safe and Supported”. We chose this because with the increased attention regarding gender diversity, the real, lived experience of transgender, non-binary and otherwise gender-expansive children and youth’s lives can get lost. This weekend is a place to come together, to be seen, to learn, to share our experiences and to gain support from one another. Whether you are attending for the first time or returning to the conference, you will find respite in a community who sees, supports and welcomes you as you are.

If you are new to the Conference, you and your family will find information and resources to help you. Past conference attendees tell us that they left the conference with the understanding and tools needed to better care for themselves and their families… and you will too. There is something here for you.
If you’ve been to the conference in the past, we encourage you to attend again. Not only will you gain new insights for yourself and your family, and new strategies to meet your child’s evolving developmental needs, you’ll provide community and support for other families and young people.
In this midst of this changing landscape, the Gender Spectrum Conference offers you a space to pause, seek answers to your questions, and be renewed in the strength and caring of community.

Please note: We want everyone who is interested in attending to be able to do so. Scholarships are available on a sliding scale.

Programming

The Gender Spectrum Conference is an opportunity for youth and families to spend a weekend gaining the resources, information, and community needed to help young people effectively navigate their world. Workshops for caregivers, parents, and other family members will focus on expanding your knowledge base on key subjects and providing access to some of the leading experts in a variety of fields. The conference promises to be an unforgettable event for everyone who attends. The peaceful surroundings, amazing staff, and incredibly supportive community will make it a weekend that will stay with you long after your trip home.

This year’s program offers exciting new content for both new and returning attendees. We have received feedback from returning families that ongoing conference attendance helps to fortify their experience and provide additional opportunities to learn, address the changing needs of their child, receive support and share their experience with families attending for the first time. Because we know many families return to the conference, we are adding new programming to address your particular needs.

Youth Programming

Youth programming is designed to meet the needs and interests of children and teens at different stages of their lives. Kids are placed in the program associated with the most recent grade level they completed (they do not have to be enrolled in school to attend Youth Programming).

High School – Youth who will have completed Grades 9-12 by July 2017*
The High School program is unique, dynamic, and an incredibly safe space for all teens. The program is organized with the Gender Spectrum Youth Council. We strongly believe in creating content and activities that are inclusive for our young people with a broad range of gender identities and expressions. Teens will have the opportunity to meet others in small groups, larger all-group activities, as well as attend sessions focused on topics that are important to their lives.

The program for high school aged youth will explore how gender intersects with other dimensions of identity. This means we will look at issues related to identity like: race, ethnicity, faith and class. We will also look at issues related to the lives of young people like: family and other personal relationships, body image, life at school, intimacy, sexuality, and privacy and disclosure. We value the importance for allowing opportunities for conversations in smaller groups, as well as opportunities to talk with professionals. Those seeking personalized information are encouraged to do so at any point. In addition to workshops, there will be time for art & creative expression, music, roundtable discussions, and films. Most importantly, we want to build an amazing, supportive, safe, and fun weekend for everyone. If you have any questions about the program for high school students, please contact Carlos at events@genderspectrum.org.

Middle School – Youth who will have completed grades 6-8 by July 2017*
Middle school aged youth will find an exciting mix of fun outdoor and indoor activities, along with interesting sessions for youth to learn more about themselves and their friends. This year’s middle school program will balance opportunities to delve deeply into gender while creating plenty of space for those less inclined to explore the topic and simply want to have fun with peers. Middle schoolers will have the opportunity to connect and learn from members of the Gender Spectrum Youth Council and will participate in a few activities with the high school program. The weekend will be an opportunity for youth to build connections with their peers, explore gender, and have fun in a safe and supportive setting!

Activities will include options from sports to impromptu dance parties to zine making! Workshops will include options like “Fierce Self Love and Leadership” and “Checking the “Other” Box: Non-Binary Youth”. Workshops tailored to siblings and allies will also be offered! If you have any questions about the Middle School Program, please contact Jenna at events@genderspectrum.org.

Youth who will have completed grades 4-5 by July 2017*
Designed to meet the specific needs of upper elementary school students, our 4/5 gathering will feature fun and interactive activities designed to engage and wear out even the most energetic of kids! If you have any questions about the 4/5 Program, please contact Laura at events@genderspectrum.org.

Youth who will have completed grades K-3 by July 2017*
Our K-3 program will be designed with a single goal in mind: FUN! A whirlwind of art, dance, crafts, and imagination will allow this rambunctious group to have an experience where they can play, play, play. Led by sensitive staff supporting every child to participate in the weekend’s activities, there will be more than one adult who wishes they were at kid’s camp! If you have any questions about the K-3 Program, please contact Nathanael at events@genderspectrum.org.

*If you would like your child to move to the group above or below their grade level, you must contact events@genderspectrum.org well in advance of the conference to discuss this change with the program leads. We will not switch youth to different programs on site.

Childcare for infants to pre-K
Gender Spectrum provides childcare for all little ones who are not yet in kindergarten. As with the rest of our programming for kids, these youngsters will be surrounded by loving staff who will keep even the most restless little ones busy and engaged. You need to register your child in advance so we can adequately prepare for our youngest conference attendees. If you have any questions about the Childcare/Pre-K Program, please contact events@genderspectrum.org.