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Boston: Panel on Transgender Issues

A panel discussion on the issues facing transgender individuals moderated by Idit Klein, executive director of Keshet will be held Monday, Dec. 5, at 7:30 p.m. in Leventhal-Sidman Jewish Community Center in Boston.

The panel will seek to explain just what gender means and how we relate to it within the context of today’s cultural landscape. Moderated by Idit Klein, executive director of Keshet, a national organization that works for full LGBTQ equality and inclusion in Jewish life, the panel includes Schuyler Bailar, a transgender competitive swimmer at Harvard; Mimi Lemay, a transgender rights activist whose upcoming memoir explores her Orthodox Jewish upbringing and her experiences parenting her transgender son, Jacob; Dr. Norman Spack, co-founder of Boston Children’s Hospital’s Gender Management Service clinic; and Nick Teich, founder and CEO of Camp Aranu’tiq of Harbor Camps, which exclusively serves youths who are transgender or whose behavior doesn’t match society’s gender expectations.

Tickets are $18 and can be purchased at www.bostonjcc.org/hotbuttons or by calling 866-811-4111. The Leventhal-Sidman JCC is at 333 Nahanton St., Newton.

Schuyler Bailar made history as the first out transgender male NCAA Division I athlete. Now he hopes to inspire other trans youth. As a child, Bailar was athletic. He played multiple sports, including soccer, lacrosse, skateboarding and Taekwondo, but instead of playing for the girls’ teams, Bailar played for boys’ sports teams — at least, until middle school, when sports became segregated. Read more

Mimi Lemay wrote an open letter to her son, which details the story of how she and husband Joe came to accept he was transgender, and allowed him to begin living an affirmed life as a boy. Read here

What at birth defines our gender? It’s not our “externals,” says Dr. Norman Spack, co-director of the Gender Management Service program at Boston Children’s Hospital. Gender is different from anatomic sex, and from sexual orientation. It describes our self-concept, Spack said in a 2014 TED talk. “Do you see yourself as male or female or somewhere in the spectrum in between?” Watch

Nick Teich is the founder and director of Camp Aranu’tiq, the first summer camp in the United States that caters to transgender and gender-variant youth (that is, children whose gender expression does not conform to conventional ideas of masculinity and femininity). Continue reading