The 11th annual PTHC will run May 31-June 2 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, with more than 200 panel discussions and workshops.
New to this year’s lineup is a series designed for medical providers to garner Continuing Medical Education credits. Presented by the Trans Medical Education Initiative, the program will consist of sessions that allow new and veteran providers to offer high-quality, informed care to transgender patients.
This year’s conference, a program of Mazzoni Center, will also focus on youth, with the launch of the first-ever Youth Summit.
Held June 1, the summit will feature opportunities for transgender young people to explore the issues they face and learn about ways to take an active role in representing their community.
PTHC will allow guests to look at issues going on well beyond the Philadelphia borders, and this year’s event will be more universal than ever, as organizers created sessions devoted to targeted areas like Southern and Eastern Africa and South Asia.
Conference logistical coordinator Jacsen Callanan said that 165 people from throughout the country, and in other places across the globe, have worked on programming for the event.
“We’ve had 22 advisory boards who made recommendations and outreach to develop programming from their areas,” Callanan said. “It’s a different process than we’ve had in the past but it went exceptionally well. We did more targeted outreach that allowed us to grow programming in certain areas that never had targeted programming. So this year we have a whole series for sex workers where we’d never been able to do anything much on this topic before because we didn’t have that outreach that we now have.”
Workshops are free but registration is recommended.
The conference will feature a keynote address by Louis Mitchell, a minister and the first openly trans board member of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.
This month marks the 10-year anniversary of Philadelphia’s adoption of transgender protections in its nondiscrimination law, and Callanan said Mitchell is a great fit for the current tenor in the transgender community.
“Louis Mitchell is someone who has a really positive outlook on things and is excited about the movement the community is making. That’s one of the big reasons we picked him,” Callanan said. “We’re going into our second decade as a conference and having someone whose outlook is so bright and joyous is important at this turning point, when we’re starting to see better positive coverage of trans issues in the media and seeing some movement forward in the area of trans rights. He can speak to the power we have as a community and how important that we keep our heads up and keep moving forward.”
The Youth Summit will also see keynotes from longtime New York City transgender activist Mya L. Vazquez and transgender music artist Ryan Cassata.
PTHC is expected to draw about 2,500 people, a 20-percent increase from last year.
For more information, visit www.trans-health.org.
Jen Colletta can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.