Trangender Speakers Bureau and Training

The Gender Alliance of the South Sound makes available presentations, speakers bureau and diversity training for South Sound area schools, colleges, organizations and businesses. Specialized programs designed for students from Middle School through post-graduate levels, and presentations for the workplace environment can be arranged.

If your school, organization or business has transgender students, employees or clients, you could benefit from the educational programs that GASS can provide.

GASS has made presentations at the following local colleges and universities:

    Centralia Community College
    Evergreen College
    Pacific Lutheran University
    Pierce College
    St. Martin's University
    Tacoma Community College
    University of Puget Sound
    University of Washington, Tacoma
    Northwest Aviation College


Transgender Speakers Bureau
Hello Vicky and Members of GASS,

I want to thank you for your panel's (the GASS speaker's bureau's) presentation to TSOCW 533: Children, Youth and Family, Advanced Practice class. This is the second year I have had the pleasure to listen to the lessons the panel members offer to social workers. I hope to have the panel back each winter as a part of teaching students about empowerment, community organization, project development, advocacy, and clinical treatment issues.

I am so grateful to you and the panel presenters for the willingness to share about your lives. It takes remarkable courage to discuss the personal, financial and social barriers each must negotiate on a daily basis; to identify and highlight the stigma reinforced by sexism that influences how others perceive and respond to individual members; to endure the fear for your personal safety in the struggle to become your true selves.

Each speaker has a unique story to share; the lessons that come from your words are authentic evidence of: the horrific power of labeling difference based on norms instead of valuing difference; withholding of and isolation from access to medical basic needs; our society's deliberate sabotage of a person's right to self identify; the difficulty experienced when a member tries to establish and be in relationship with others.

These are critical lessons for the students to understand as they prepare to practice social work professionally. Most have not had an opportunity to discuss and pose questions with transgender or transsexual individuals previous to this presentation. They have only limited understanding of the reasons why an individual would identify as a transsexual. This panel helps them understand the human need to be who we are is universal, that what they (the students) need as individuals is not dissimilar from what panel members need. It helps them understand more deeply, critically, and compassionately, a key to being effective help to others in the future. Thank each of you for your courage, your insights, your humor, your wisdoms, and the toll telling your story over and over has on an individual.

Teresa Holt, MSW
University of Washington, Tacoma
Social Work Program

Tacoma Community College Transgender Workshop
Dear Victoria

I was so inspired by your presentation yesterday at the President's Council meeting and I just saw the T-Town photos in the library. A beautiful display. One of the things I thought best about your presentation was that you left us with concrete ideas on how to become more friendly on this campus for transgendered people. Thanks for your courage, your great presentation and for expanding my knowledge.

Thanks again,
Tina Celentano
Running Start Advisor
Tacoma Community College

Transgender Speakers Bureau
Dear Victoria and Lance:

Please accept our gratitude for your splendid, enthusiastic, and informative visit to our Human Sexuality class at Saint Martin's University. You brought wisdom and lived experience to us in ways that could never have been learned from readings or research. You challenged our assumptions, you educated us with elegance, and you contributed greatly to our awareness of the topic. Thank you for being with us and for giving us an afternoon of learning and thoughtful consideration.

Dr. Sharon Taylor
and the students in Psychology of Human Sexuality

Transgender Speakers Bureau
I would like to extend my sincere appreciation for (the GASS speakers bureau's) recent visit during one of my Introduction to Psychology courses at Northwest Aviation College. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy lives. Victoria's Trans 101 presentation was professional, informative, and heartfelt. Her mix of legal issues, definitions, and concerns were further highlighted by Victoria and Kristine's own personal examples. The round table discussion after the presentation allowed the students to ask questions in a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere. Each student learned something new about fellow members in our society that often face discrimination on a daily basis that few of us can even comprehend.

I highly recommend your presentation to any organization, school, or business seeking a top-notch seminar about the transgendered community. The additional printed resources you made available were extremely helpful. I feel we are all a little bit better as people for having met you and listened to your narrative.

Thank you,
Jennie Dahlby, MA
Adjunct Psychology Instructor
Northwest Aviation College

Transgender Speakers
First I wanted to thank you so much for taking the time out of both your schedules to speak to the Attorney General's Office. I have received so much excellent feedback from the audience regarding your presentation. To quote attendee "Victoria and Lance were simultaneously serious about the subject but presented with humor, welcoming people to ask questions they might otherwise have been intimidated to ask". The personal stories you both shared helped people to understand the real problems, prejudice, ignorance, and struggles you have faced. I so appreciate your willingness to bring those stories to light. When you closed your presentation, you stated that your one hope was that people would take the presentation and the information you both provided and take them home to have conversations about what was learned. I know that is exactly what happened. Your presentation and candidness helped start conversations about the transgender community and helped educate not only the Attorney General's Office, but our friends and family as well. I would absolutely recommend your presentation to any other group seeking a diversity presentation and I am working with my client agency to make those arrangements. Thank you, thank you, and thank you!

Amanda Migchelbrink
Assistant Attorney General
Corrections Division