Transformative Trans Education
with Trystan Reese
Trans educator Trystan Reese has spoken at colleges and universities all across the U.S. From keynote speeches to interactive workshops, his compelling personal story and professional expertise as a trainer have transformed campuses large and small.
He’ll work with you to create a customized campus proposal you can use to secure sponsorship from diverse clubs, organizations, and departments, making it easy to bring his work to your school! Get ready to host the trans speaker declared “inspiring, wise, and hilarious” by students at Columbia University, and “engaging, entertaining, and informative” by law students at Lewis & Clark Law School!
Now more than ever, transgender and gender non-conforming staff and clients expect a legal environment that allows them to focus on their job or case rather than issues surrounding their identity.
A majority of Fortune 500 legal organizations now offer trans-inclusive policies and score a 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index. However, while health care coverage and nondiscrimination policies are a helpful baseline, putting those policies into practice is another matter entirely. Today’s workplace is full of opportunities to invite transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming staff to the table as full partners and colleagues in serving clients and actively participating in the corporate community. Alongside those opportunities can come challenges: respectfully asking how to address a colleague, mastering gender-neutral pronouns such as “they” and “them,” providing safe and adequate restroom facilities for gender non-conforming staff, and managing cultural differences within teams. With care and consideration, these challenges can be overcome and a richer work environment can be achieved. Similarly, there are unique opportunities when it comes to supporting trans or gender non-conforming clients in legal matters:
When is it appropriate to notify a judge or jury of a client’s preferred pronoun? What if that pronoun is a gender-neutral pronoun?
How does one coach a trans or non-binary client to dress in a gender-appropriate way before testifying in front of a jury?
How does one rebuild trust after incorrect language or action is taken while when working with a trans client?
How can our intake paperwork and physical space be trans-inclusive?
I’ll start by assessing your firm’s needs and challenges, and work with you to create the right training program for your needs.
CLE credits may be available, and generally fall under the Access to Justice category.
I can help with…
Family law Divorces in which a parent or child is transgender (custodial parent is supportive of child’s transition but non-custodial isn’t; parent isn’t out as trans; transition decisions and schools); Foster / adoptive (case worker isn’t support of trans youth/foster parent, biological parents support transition but foster parents don’t)
Corporate law Understanding the burden of proof in a discrimination case; Lawsuit-proofing your client’s business practices; Integrating trans competency practices into everyday business policies; Navigating pronoun rules and regulations for employers
Judges and Juries How and when to educate judges on trans issues; What to do when your case is in a conservative county; Coaching clients on navigating identity issues with judges and juries
Immigration law Applying for asylum as a trans person; Coming out to a judge; Building a relationship of trust with a client; Navigating gender marker changes within immigration system; Getting a client out of “trans pods” at detention centers; Advocating for release pending hearings due to documented cases of abuse inside detention centers
Public interest Building an inclusive firm from the ground up (paperwork, office space, office culture, website and marketing materials); Outreach / hiring gender-diverse staff; Selecting cases that will have ripple effects on trans community; Creating a culture of inclusion and accountability around trans issues
I create a warm “no judgment” space to help legal staff understand terminology used within the trans community.
Participants will emerge understanding the ways in which transphobia and the law affect the trans community, and will learn what concrete actions they can take to serve as positive professional colleagues and representation to their trans colleagues and clients.
Using a specific three-step process, participants will learn how to “retrain their brains” to use new language when referring to a trans person (such as in cases where a coworker or client has changed their name or pronouns, or in the instance of gender-neutral pronouns).
To address some of the specific interest participants may have about the process of transitioning, the session will touch briefly on the available options for medical, social, and legal transition for individuals in your state, in addition to providing insight into practical ways attorneys and support staff can best serve trans clients.
There will be myriad opportunities for questions and answers, so no participant leaves the session holding onto any mysteries about the trans community.
If you bring only one presentation into your place of work this year, it should be this one.
Trystan is genuine and funny, and presents in a manner that cuts across human differences and appeals to everyone. The presentation was well organized, on-point, and relatable. The positive feedback from our attorneys and staff was unprecedented, and we look forward to working with Trystan in the future!
— Laura Marquez-Garrett, Lane Powell PC
How can I say this? Trystan is incredible—amazing.
I think his training was one of the absolute best we’ve ever had at the office. I just spoke with a staff member who told me the same thing: “That was the best brown bag I ever attended. He should do more!” Trystan’s presentation doesn’t need any improvement; he gave us really important info that will totally help us give our transgender clients better representation. We loved his honest, no-judgment approach and learned many new things that have already helped us better understand what life is like for some of our clients. I couldn’t imagine anyone doing a better job on the subject.
— Heather Ackles, public defender, Metropolitan Public Defenders
Trystan has provided Lewis & Clark Law School with two fabulous trans legal issues workshops —
Both students and faculty were absolutely enthralled with his presentation, and we have received nothing but glowing reviews from everyone in attendance. Not only was Trystan’s presentation accessible for folks new to the issues, it was also engaging and refreshing. In fact, faculty and staff were so impressed with the program, they immediately inquired as to the possibility of Trystan providing more trainings.
— Caitlin Skurky, Lewis & Clark Law School
My law firm has worked with Trystan to help us refine and advance our commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion —
Especially for the transgender community. His presentation are full of positive energy, while still tackling the toughest subjects and addressing inequity and privilege. In addition to hiring him to train staff, I have used his services as a consultant to answer my advanced inquiries on trans employment and equity. I highly recommend Trystan Reese to any firm looking to increase their competence around trans issues!
— Lorena Reynolds, The Reynolds Law Firm PC
Past clients include:
More about Trystan
Trystan Reese is an experienced facilitator on trans issues, working with tech companies, homeless services agencies, government entities, and nonprofits nationwide. In the legal and criminal justice arena, he has presented on trans issues at the Annual Juvenile Law Conference, at the Oregon Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence annual conference, at several law firms (including Portland’s Metropolitan Public Defenders), and inside prisons (including Oregon State Penitentiary). He is a member of the training cohort for Basic Rights Oregon’s Fair Workplace Project, having worked to create the curriculum currently being used at businesses across the state.
Participants of his sessions call them “transformative, accessible, and fun.” He is a widely-recognized public figure whose unique parenting journey has garnered attention from CNN, People Magazine, the Washington Post, and hundreds of other outlets across the globe.