In December 2021 I attended my first International Workshop on HIV and Transgender People and it was a fantastic learning experience. As with most conferences in the age of COVID-19, this conference was virtual and as most virtual events go, there were a few glitches. I had trouble logging in and had to change my password 3 times, and I've had trouble watching the session recordings, but the content of the conference was fantastic and they had really great speakers from all over the world presenting a wide array of topics. I enjoyed all the presentations very much. Topics ranging from PrEP/PEP in the transgender community to parenting to affirmation surgeries.
I was really excited to see Dr. Marci Bowers. I've always wanted her to do my surgeries if I ever get them done. I learned about her a long time ago as I was researching. I've seen documentaries about her and seen her on television and always had great respect for her, so I was really happy to see that she was presenting at this conference.
Dr. Bowers of course talked about affirming surgeries sought by the transgender community. She talked about facial feminization and tracheal shaving, and she walked us through the genitalia reassignment surgery for both women and men. It was a fascinating presentation and I learned a great deal about surgeries that I would like to have myself someday.
There were lots of great sessions – 2 or 3 speakers would give their presentations and then they would have a panel discussion afterwards and the audience could ask questions. These were really good conversations among the presenters.
This was a great experience. I was so happy to see so much research and studies being conducted around the transgender community because so often we're left out of research, or even being counted in society at all. Even in the medical community, people of transgender experience often feel unseen, unheard and disrespected, so it was so wonderful to experience a conference dedicated completely to learning about the transgender community. I hope one day to return; hopefully next year it will be in-person. I'll keep my fingers crossed.
More from The Well Project on the International Workshop on HIV and Transgender People 2021
- Gender-Affirming Surgery Pioneers and Perspectives: Recaps from the International Workshop on HIV and Transgender People by Isabella Ventura, RN, MSN, AGPCNP-BC, and Katie Willingham
- Parenting Intentions of Trans and Gender-Diverse Young People: Recaps from the International Workshop on HIV and Transgender People by Katie Willingham, with additional reporting by Isabella Ventura, RN, MSN, AGPCNP-BC
- Access to HIV and Sexual Health Care (and Who's Doing it Right): Recaps from the International Workshop on HIV and Transgender People by Isabella Ventura, RN, MSN, AGPCNP-BC