About Us

image238

Our Aim

We aim to create a space informed by diverse perspectives and responsive to the needs of those we serve.

Gender Journey Conference was established to:

  1. Welcome families and caregivers of all kinds and offer opportunities for them to connect
  2. Create fun and safe spaces for children, tweens, teens and young adults of all gender identities and expressions
  3. Provide opportunities for students and professionals to learn from one another and deepen their understanding of gender
  4. Welcome thought-partners to keep us accountable as we learn year after year the practices that build and sustain inclusive schools, families, and communities
  5. Create a model for a local or regional conference on gender than can be replicated across communities

Our Understanding of Gender

 Often the terms “gender” and “sex” are used interchangeably. This idea has become so common that it is rarely questioned. We are born, assigned a sex, and sent out into the world. For many people, this is cause for little, if any dissonance. Yet biological sex and gender are different; gender is not inherently nor solely connected to one’s physical anatomy. Instead, multiple dimensions inform one's experience of gender.


Biological gender (sex) includes physical attributes such as external genitalia, sex chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, and internal reproductive structures. At birth, it is used to assign sex, that is, to identify individuals as male, female or intersex. 


Gender on the other hand is far more complicated. It is the complex interrelationship between an individual’s sex (gender biology), one’s internal sense of self as male, female, both or neither (gender identity) and one’s outward presentations and behaviors (gender expression) related to that perception. Together, the intersection of these dimensions produces one’s authentic sense of gender. 

How We Choose Our Programming

This year, we are curating our workshops and presentations with provider partners across various disciplines that serve families with gender creative children.

Our History

Gender Journey Mid-Atlantic has its roots in Gender Conference East, which began in 2014 in Baltimore. The seed was planted when PFLAG moms in Maryland and New York wanted to create a local space for resources, support and community. PFLAG Columbia-Howard County, PFLAG NYC, The Ackerman Institute's Gender & Family Project and Gender Spectrum partnered to create Gender Conference East. In 2019, responding to an ever-growing need, Gender Conference NYC and Gender Journey Conference Mid-Atlantic were born.

Who We Are

Founding Partner

PFLAG National Logo

The Mid-Atlantic chapters of PFLAG are a part of the more than 400-chapter networks serving as the extended family of the LGBTQ community.  

PFLAG envisions a world where diversity is celebrated and all people are respected, valued, and affirmed inclusive of their sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. Our mission is to build on a foundation of loving families united with LGBTQ people and allies who support one another, and to educate ourselves and our communities to speak up as advocates until all hearts and minds respect, value and affirm LGBTQ people.  PFLAG is a 501(c)3 organization.

  www.pflag.org | www.pflagmd.org | www.pflaghoco.org

Founding Partner

image239



 FreeState Justice is Maryland’s statewide LGBTQ civil rights advocacy and legal services organization that works statewide to improve the lives of LGBTQ Marylanders and their families through legal services, policy advocacy, outreach, education, and coalition building. Our work brings to the forefront the experiences of those of us at greater risk for discrimination, such as youth, communities of color, individuals with low-incomes, and transgender and gender non-conforming people. 

 Free-State Justice is a 501(c)3 organization.  www.freestate-justice.org 

Founding Partner

LGBT Health Resource Center of Chase Brexton Health Care logo

 

Our goal is to provide LGBTQ individuals and their families with welcoming access to expert health information and resources that will enhance wellness and quality of life.

The health care system has been slow to offer comfortable and affirming health services to LGBT communities - in fact, Chase Brexton was founded for this reason. And, through the years, we’ve grown – but we never let go of our heart and our history: equal, expert, and affirming health care for our LGBT communities.

 Our nationally recognized LGBT Health Equity training team curates and leads accredited trainings and symposia for clinicians and health and human services professionals. We also provide guidance to businesses and institutions working to create a welcoming and affirming workplace.  

 Chase Brexton is a 501(c)3 organization. www.chasebrexton.org

Inspirational Partner

Gender Spectrum logo




We are deeply grateful to the staff of Gender Spectrum. Their model, support and inspiration have helped us create this magical space of support, engagement and learning. Gender Spectrum provides education, training, and support to help create a gender sensitive and inclusive environment to all children and teens. 

Discussion Guidelines

Guidelines and What Each One Means, Sounds, Looks or Feels Like

Gender Journey Conference is designed to be a safe and respectful community. Individuals travel from many places – both literally and figuratively – to be here, and it is important that there is plenty of room to explore ideas, express feelings or simply listen without fear of criticism or put down. In order to make room for each person’s perspective and give all of us the opportunity to learn with and from one another, we ask you to observe the following guidelines. If you have any questions or concerns, please check in with any of our conference staff or with the presenter or facilitator of your individual workshop or discussion. 

 

Speak from your own personal experience, understanding and feelings. Use "I" statements and avoid generalizations.

Instead of: “Everyone knows that as kids get older…” 

Try: “As my child has gotten older, I have observed…” 


Recognize and respect the presence of many perspectives and truths in the room.

Each of us has had our own experiences. What may be true for one person may not be for another. Be open to the realities of others.


Avoid discussing your experience in a way that silences or erases someone else's.

Instead of: “I used to feel like you do, but now...” 

Try: “My experience has been different.” 


Confidentiality

Be mindful that what is shared may not be something for discussion outside of the group. If you’re not sure, don’t share.


Step up and step back

Consider speaking if you find that you have something to say, but aren’t sharing. 

Consider not speaking if you find that you always have something to say.


Assume positive intent

It's so easy to see a behavior and assume the worst – or even just assume that we know that person's motivation. Instead consider, "maybe they are saying something to me that I'm not hearing."


Please know that we take maintaining a safe and inclusive space very seriously. Should you feel as if you have in some way felt excluded, not heard or igendern any way disrespected while attending this gathering, we wish to know about it. We are committed to not only listening, but also truly hearing concerns about each conference attendee’s sense of safety while here. Please find a member of our team and share your experience with us so that we can continuously improve. 


image240