TransCon is a South Florida fixture. Now, the conference by and for trans and non-binary people has new leadership, a new mission, and a new name — TransConnect.
In past years, TransCon was an opportunity to network and learn about a wide variety of resources during workshops and panel discussions. Now, the annual gathering will continue but will have more input and leadership from the trans and non-binary communities.
The event’s tenth annual gathering was canceled this year due to the coronavirus — and organizers are refocusing, reorganizing, and rebranding. TransConnect, which is also the name of the organization putting on the event, says it is the very first non-profit funded solely by donations from the trans and non-binary communities in South Florida, and likely anywhere.
“We are founded and funded entirely by transgender people here in South Florida,” said Scott Migliori, Chairperson of TransConnect. “Our mission is to take over the responsibilities for the TransCon conference.”
TransConnect represents a diverse community — transfeminine people, transmasculine people, and non-binary people of all backgrounds, races, ages, and sizes. The people under that umbrella and their issues and challenges will be represented at the next conference.
“There are a lot of stereotypes about who is a member of the trans community and who is not,” said Migliori. “The trans community isn't a monolith. It's a huge thing. And what we want to make sure we're doing is creating space for all of the different sub-communities at this conference while ensuring that people are aware that there are a bunch of different subcommittees. We have space for all.”
While there’s space for all, there’s also information, resources, and support.
Many trans people struggle with unemployment and underemployment, legal issues, financial challenges, and medical concerns. Since its inception, TransCon offered comprehensive workshops and panels on trans-related topics. There was also an opportunity for cisgender attendees to learn what it’s like to live as a transgender person.
In the future, the workshops will focus more on the trans and non-binary communities and reflect what the community wants to cover. There will still be space for cisgender participants to learn about allyship.
“But in order for this work to continue, TransCon must become its own entity, unfettered by the limitations of primarily cis-led organizations,” the group writes in a statement.
That’s where the most significant change will likely come. Future conferences will reflect the wants, desires, and needs of trans and non-binary participants.
“We put out a bunch of rounds of calls to the community about what programming they'd like to like to see,” said TransConnect Treasurer Tobias Packer. “As much as this is a volunteer-led and driven event, it's very much a forum by the community.”
TransConnect hopes to have its next conference on August 7-8, 2021. To find out more about TransConnect, visit Transconnectfl.org.