2023 TransPride YOUniting Health & Wellness Conference

When: Thursday, October 5th, Friday, October 6th, and Saturday, October 7th.

Where: Virtual on the Whova events platform, web or mobile app.

How: Register here.

If you live in Pittsburgh, you may not have heard of us (previously the TransPride Conference) before perhaps seeing our banner ad on QBurgh, a main sponsor of this year’s event.

The conference is a collaborative partnership between trans-led community organizations TransPride PGH and TransYOUniting, for which the conference is named, and institutional partners UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh’s Center for Adolescent and Young Adult Health (CAYAH) and UPMC Western Behavioral Health. Hugh Lane Wellness Foundation serves as our non-profit fiscal sponsor.

The organizers see the event as a beacon of light in a world that has become much darker due to the politicization, legislative assaults, and coordinated campaigns to turn public opinion against the LGBTQIA+ community. Built on the foundation of scientific evidence-based science, affirming care, and the lived experiences of gender-diverse people, the mission of the conference is to educate, engage, and uplift the transgender and gender-diverse community and those who care for them.

This is our 8th year, and the conference has grown from a small regional event into a national conference that brings together leading healthcare experts and researchers with advocates, community members, and their parents or caregivers in a combined and shared series of academic and community-focused presentations and panels across three days each fall, specifically focused on the health and wellness of transgender, nonbinary, and other gender diverse community members.

Our current virtual format owes its origin to the COVID lockdown in 2020 but has served as a vehicle of growth from a small regional in-person conference to a national conference with speakers and attendees from across the continent and in some cases, across the world.

The conference offers both medical and behavioral health continuing education for licensed healthcare providers, and community-focused content from experts and personal lived experience. Blending the professional and community audiences to facilitate mutual learning is, to the best of our knowledge, unique to our conference, or at least a conference of this size.

We believe accessibility is essential and offer low-cost access to students, allies, and supporters. Healthcare professionals can register for significantly less than similar academic healthcare conferences. A key feature of our conference is that transgender and gender diverse community members, and their immediate caregivers or parents can register for free with full access to all content.

The conference has multiple keynotes, predominantly from people of lived experience, and this year includes presenters from South Africa and Northeast India in addition to a leading advocate, expert surgeons, and a local Legend. There are an additional five hour-long sessions each day with multiple streams in each time slot. This year we are overflowing with content for a combined total of more than 90 hours and over 110 individual presenters, co-presenters, and panelists.

The conference is self-funding, totally dependent on ticket sales and sponsorships to cover expenses and allow payment of honorariums to all keynotes and presenters of lived experience. The planning committee, most members based in Pittsburgh, volunteer their time and include multiple medical, behavioral health, and other course directors to determine each year’s program.

The task of organizing and running the conference falls to a much smaller group, including co-chairs Lynz Sickler and Alicyn Simpson. This year’s conference would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of Lead Program Manager Michaela Waltz.

The conference is here to stay, and if you are interested in supporting our ongoing efforts, please check out our website and consider attending, sponsoring, or donating to the conference either this year or in the future.