Conference Home

The Transgender Spectrum Conference started in 2013 at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.  It was later hosted by Washington University.   The conference was community-based and overseen by a board comprised of community members and people with professional interest in gender equity. What you see on this site is from the last conference, which was held in 2019.  At this time, there are no plans for a future conference.   Should plans emerge, this site will be updated.  In the meantime, feel free to use this site as a resource.  We apologize if any links stopped working. The pages were last updated in November 2019.

Washington University in St. Louis will host the sixth annual Transgender Spectrum Conference November 8 & 9, 2019. The two-day Transgender Spectrum Conference explores the spectrum of sex and gender from multiple vantage points: lived experience, academic investigation, clinical practice, and activism. The goal of the conference is to provide space for the broad community to come together to enhance the visibility and knowledge of the trans and gender expansive community in the St. Louis region and beyond.

Keynote & Plenary Session Speakers

Plenary Session Speaker:

Vanessa Fabbre

“I’ve Got My Game On”: Insights from Trans Elders on Well-Being in Later Life
Friday, November 8 at 1:00 pm

Vanessa Fabbre is an Assistant Professor at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis, where she is also Affiliate Faculty in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies and a Faculty Scholar at the Institute for Public Health. She received her PhD from the University of Chicago and is a licensed clinical social worker. Prior to completing her doctoral studies, Fabbre served as the Coordinator of Older Adult Programs at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and worked as a volunteer psychotherapist at the Center on Halsted, the Midwest’s largest LGBTQ center. Fabbre’s research explores the conditions under which gender and sexual minorities age well and what this means in the context of social forces such as heteronormativity, heterosexism, and transphobia.

Keynote Speaker:

Courtesy Glenda Lissette

Pidgeon Pagonis

A Taste of Their Own Medicine: Intersex People Fight Back
Saturday, November 9 at 9:15 am

For over a century, intersex people have had no voice in their medical “care” and “treatment”, which has led to dire consequences. A Taste of Their Own Medicine encourages participants to grapple with the ways in which the Medical Industrial Complex (MIC) has consistently forgotten the first tenet of the Hippocratic Oath – First Do No Harm – when it comes to marginalized communities. While the MIC’s history is tattered with ableism, racism, classism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia—this presentation will specifically highlight key events throughout intersex history and the ways in which it has violated intersex people’s human rights and how intersex people all across the globe are fighting back.

Pidgeon Pagonis has slowly, oftentimes not so quietly risen to visibility in Chicago as not only an activist on behalf of intersex people, but also as a fighter for the recognition of marginalized others in general. Whether advancing youth advocacy with interACT, producing informational videos that go viral on Buzzfeed, writing for Everyday Feminism or appearing on the cover of National Geographic “Gender Revolution” special issue, Pidgeon has staked out a place at the fore of debates on intersexuality and otherness.  Learn more about Pidgeon by visiting their website.


Click on the links below to refer to prior year’s program books.
2018 Program
2017 Program
2016 Program
2015 Program
2014 Program


Office of the Provost-Washington University in St. Louis

Brown School Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Phoebe Dent Weil Charitable Fund

Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies-Washington University in St. Louis

The Mary Culver Department of Surgery at Washington University

Washington University Department of Medicine

Washington University Institute for Public Health

Washington University School of Law Public Interest Law & Policy Speaker Series

Metro Trans Umbrella Group

University of Missouri-St. Louis: Office of LGBTQ+ Initiatives

University of Missouri-St. Louis: Office of Gender and Sexuality Studies

Lindenwood University: Office of Student Life & Diversity

Webster University: Office of the President, Office of Diversity & Inclusion


The following service will be available on Saturday, November 9, from 10:30am-4:00pm

“Legal Name Change Assistance Clinic”

Get free legal assistance with any ID documentation updates you need: Name changes, MO & IL Driver’s License, Passport, Vital Records, Health Care Power of Attorney, etc.

Volunteer attorneys and notary will be available on site. You will have an opportunity onsite to sign-up to meet with an attorney, where they will provide you with as much assistance as possible. A limited number of need based scholarships are available through MTUG to cover court and application fees. Conference registration is not necessary to attend the clinic; if you are attending the clinic and not registered for the conference, please visit the Conference Registration Desk first to receive a temporary nametag and to sign-up for a time to meet with an attorney.  Bring all necessary documentation with you to your meeting with the attorney.

This clinic is a part of the Transgender Spectrum Conference. Many thanks to PROMO, MTUG, ACLU and various community lawyers for providing support.


We have the fortunate news to share that the dates of the 2019 St. Louis International Film Festival overlap with our Conference.  See more information about the Film Festival’s schedule, including the showing of Seahorse on the evening of Friday, November 8.


Contact the planning committee.