UVM hosts Translating Identity Conference

UVM hosts Translating Identity Conference

Kassondra Little, Senior Staff Writer

Participants in the 2017 Translating Identity Conference gathered at the Davis Center to learn about issues affecting the transgender community.

The conference returned to UVM for its 15th year and was held Oct. 14.

TIC is organized to support the transgender community and the expression of gender identity, according to the conference’s program.

This year, the keynote speaker was Chris Mosier, United States Olympian who was the first out trans-athlete to make the U.S. national sprint duathlon team.

“The reason why I am out and visible as a transgender man, as a transgender athlete, is because I want to be the person I wish I had when I was younger,” Mosier said in his speech.

Since he was a child, Mosier felt that he always identified as an athlete and as a competitive person, he said.

When Mosier won his first triathlon. However, he began to feel his identity was at odds with his sport, he said.

Mosier delayed his transition for a year in fear of losing his ability to compete, he said.

The conference included seminar sessions that addressed issues like “Trans-Inclusive Health Care: Beyond the Basics” and “Making Systems that Work for Trans People Too.”

In addition to supporting transgender individuals, TIC is also open to those who identify as cisgender and want to learn about how to grow as allies.

The conference included an on-call counselor through Counseling and Psychiatry Services, free and anonymous HIV testing, a self care space and a youth space for the entire day of the event, according to the program.

“TIC is unique in the way that it brings together hundreds of people who are passionate about trans identities, issues and rights,” said Emily Howe ’15, Office Manager in the Office of Student and Community Relations.

Howe first attended the conference in 2013 as an undergraduate, she said.

Now, she is on the planning committee and presented at the conference.

“The representation and visibility that comes from this event is just incredible to see,” Howe said.

Sophomore Jordan Ciccone attended the event and praised the environment it created.

“It’s an amazing space for literally anyone, whether people are coming to learn about gender and identity expression or sexuality expression and how these intersect,” Ciccone said.

In addition to being an Olympic athlete, Mosier also founded Transathlete.com, which is a resource for trans-inclusive policies in athletics, according to his website.

Mosier is the vice president of program development and community relations for You Can Play, an organization focused on safe inclusion in all sports, according to his website.

“Part of my activism is waking up everyday. Part of my activism is being my authentic self and letting people get to know me…and see that I am a normal person,” Mosier said.

Those who are interested in helping plan TIC 2018 or would like to volunteer or present at the conference next year should email [email protected], Howe said.