Keynote Speakers


Friday Morning Keynote:

Johanna Olson-Kennedy, MD, “Caring for Trans Youth and Gender Non-Conforming Children”


Johanna Olson-Kennedy, MD is the medical director of the Center for Transyouth Health and Development at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Housed in the Division of Adolescent Medicine, the Center for Transyouth Health and Development has become the largest transgender youth clinic in the United States.

Dr. Olson-Kennedy graduated from Chicago Medical School in 1997, and went on to become double Board Certified in Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. Over the past ten years, Dr. Olson-Kennedy has subspecialized in the care of youth with HIV, and with chronic pain conditions. For the past seven years, her work has focused entirely on meeting the healthcare needs of gender non-conforming children and transgender adolescents and young adults.

Over the past seven years, Dr. Olson-Kennedy has provided puberty blockers and hormone therapy for nearly five hundred transgender youth. In addition to expanding the Center for Transyouth Health and Development, Dr. Olson-Kennedy has spearheaded a rigorous research agenda aimed at understanding the experience of gender non-conformity from early childhood through early adulthood. Recently, Dr. Olson-Kennedy, in partnership with three other principal investigators around the country, was awarded a large, multi-million dollar NIH grant to examine the impact of early treatment in transgender youth.

Dr. Olson-Kennedy has spoken around the country to professionals, families, and media about the importance of providing thorough, competent and timely care for trans youth.

Friday Afternoon Keynote: Shannon Price Minter, “New Social and Legal Approaches to Supporting Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Children and Youth”

Sponsored by the Washington University School of Law


Shannon Price Minter is the Legal Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), one of the nation’s leading advocacy organizations for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. Minter, a trans man, grew up in East Texas and began transitioning at age 35. He did not change his name when he transitioned from female to male

A1993 graduate of Cornell Law School, Minter has been lead counsel in dozens of groundbreaking legal victories for the LGBT community.  Minter first gained national attention in the United States in 2001 representing the lesbian partner of Diane Whipple, in a wrongful death case due to a dog mauling, which resulted in a significant decision in California that extended tort claims to same-sex domestic partners.  Marjorie Knoller was sentenced to serve 15 years to life for the death of Diane Whipple. Whipple’s partner, Sharon Smith, succeeded in suing Knoller for $1,500,000 in civil damages, which she donated to Saint Mary’s College of California to fund the women’s lacrosse team.

In 2003, Minter gained national attention again when CourtTV aired the entire case of Kantaras v. Kantaras, where Minter represented Michael Kantaras, a transgender man who was trying to keep custody of his children. Though he won that case in 2002, it was reversed on appeal in 2004 by the Florida Supreme Court, upholding the claim that the marriage was null and void because her ex-husband was still a woman and same-sex marriages are illegal in Florida. The couple settled the case with joint custody in 2005.

In 2008, Minter was the lead attorney in the marriage equality case before the California Supreme Court to overturn California’s statutory ban on marriage by same-sex couples.  In a landmark decision, the court held that same-sex couples have the fundamental right to marry and that laws that discriminate based on sexual orientation are inherently discriminatory and subject to the highest level of constitutional scrutiny. Minter’s victory in that case prompted Prop 8. Minter was then lead counsel in the 2009 case establishing that the thousands of marriages between same-sex couples that had taken place before Prop 8 was enacted were valid.

Minter was also NCLR’s lead attorney in Christian Legal Society v. Hastings, a U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding student group policies prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and rejecting the argument that such policies violate a student group’s rights to freedom of speech, religion, and association.  NCLR also represented Hastings OUTLaw, an LGBT student group that intervened to help defend the nondiscrimination policy.

Minter received the 2008 Dan Bradley Award from the National Gay & Lesbian Bar Association for outstanding work in marriage cases. In 2005, Minter was one of 18 people to receive the Ford Foundation’s “Leadership for a Changing World” award. Minter has also received the Anderson Prize Foundation’s Creating Change Award by the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force and the Distinguished National Service Award from GAYLAW, the bar association for LGBT lawyers, law students, and legal professionals in Washington, D.C.; the Unity Award from Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom; the Advocacy Award from the San Francisco Bar Association; and the Justice Award from Equality California. Minter serves on the boards of Faith in America and the Transgender Law & Policy Institute. He has previously served on the American Bar Association Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.

Saturday Keynote: S. Bear Bergman, “5 Questions People Always want to Ask the Transsexual (but shouldn’t)”

Bear Bergman 2016

Award-winning writer, educator and storyteller S. Bear Bergman is the author of six books as well as the founder of Flamingo Rampant, a children’s press focused on feminist, LGBTQ-positive, racially-diverse children’s books and writer of the advice column Ask Bear for Bitch Magazine. His most recent book for grownups (Blood, Marriage, Wine, & Glitter) made several Best Of lists and was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. Bergman is a much loved speaker and storyteller at universities and festivals alike, because his signature blend of wit and warmth brings all the people to the yard (regardless of their sex designation, gender identity, or gender expression) (which he would like to remind you are not the same thing). Learn more about Bear and his projects at and

Saturday Plenary: delfin Bautista, M.Div, MSW:  “Transgressive Transformative Theology ~ Exploring Religion and Spirituality at the Crossroads of Gender”

delfin w bautista

A native of Miami, FL, delfin is of both Cuban and Salvadoran heritage.  delfin is a social worker and activist theologian who holds a Master in Divinity from Yale University and a Master of Social Work from University of Pennsylvania.  Their background includes case management, trauma therapy with survivors of domestic violence, hospital chaplaincy, faith-based advocacy, and child welfare/services. delfin is coauthor of, “Religion and Spirituality”  in Trans Bodies, Trans Selves and also serves on their Board of Directors.  delfin is Director of the LGBT Center at Ohio University (Athens, OH) and also serves as an adjunct lecturer in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Ohio University.  delfin is a contributor to Believe Out Loud, Young Adult Catholics, and “preaches” on their blog “La Lucha, Mi Pulpit.”