Welcome to the official website of Willy Wilkinson

and the home of LGBTQ ACCESS: 

Advancing Cultural Competency and Equality in Services and Systems.


                         Willy's book Born on the Edge of Race                              and Gender: A Voice for Cultural                                      Competency won the Lamdba Literary                          Award in transgender non-fiction!





Willy was selected as the 2019 Vito Imbasciani, Ph.D., M.D. and George DiSalvo LGBTQ Health Equity Lecturer at the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine. In "Advancing Trans-Affirming Care in a Changing Healthcare Landscape," delivered on October 3, 2019, Willy discusses ways of conceptualizing trans identity and experience, emphasizing the authenticity and validity of trans identity, and the rights of legal recognition. He outlines social determinants of health, and describes the impact of being misgendered, recounting for the first time his experience of being continually misgendered during a life-threatening medical emergency in Southern California after presenting at the California Teachers Association Conference (starting at 24:30). He underscores how this emotional and psychic harm is a tip of the medical harm that trans people experience, including refusal of care and insurance discrimination. Willy closes with a strong message about the resilience of trans people, inspiration and appreciation for these med students’ amazing gift, and a powerful reading of “The Poetry of Scars.” Watch at right.

"Born on the Edge of Race and Gender is an extraordinary work by one of the most fearless and dynamic voices of our time—a multi-layered masterpiece that may well be the most accessible, lively, and honest account yet of life as a transgender man…Prepare to be dazzled, shaken, and amazed...Far more than just a memoir, this book is also a treasure trove of intersectional research, wisdom, and practical knowledge, distilled by one of the nation’s foremost experts on public health and other issues affecting transgender people, and one of the most experienced, hands-on cultural competency trainers in our movement.


--Shannon Price Minter, Esq.                                                          

Co-editor, Transgender Rights

Legal Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights

President Obama’s Commission on White House Fellowships 

Read what people are saying about Born on the Edge of Race and Gender

Willy delivered a keynote address entitled 

"TRANSformational Resistance with an Intersectional Lens" at the TRANSforming Gender Conference at the University of Colorado Boulder on 3/10/17. Check out the video here, (beginning at 38:11)!


Three decades of experience. Interactive, informative, solutions-oriented             

Technical assistance with forms, policies, systems, and procedures; qualitative research, curriculum development

Informative, thought-provoking, moving, and engaging



Develop systems, train staff, provide resource materials, conduct a Train the Trainer process


“It is an incredible book that I really recommend everyone read. Because it combines and defies genres, it’s both a great book if you want to read about a Chinese American experience in San Francisco, if you want to read about a queer experience, if you want to read a trans memoir, but also if someone came to me and said, 'Oh my God, I just found out that I know a trans person and I have no idea what to do with myself,' I would actually give them this book because there’s so much teaching in it and it’s very, very accessible. It bounces between a trans 101 and intersectional politics 101 and then it goes much, much deeper and farther than even other trans memoirs. You guys have to buy this book.”


--Tristan Taormino, Lambda Literary Award-

winning author of eight books and editor of

twenty-five anthologies, gushing about Born

on the Edge of Race and Gender while interviewing Willy on Sex Out Loud radio. Listen here.


                                  "On so many levels, you have been right

                                             at the corner of Inter and Sectionality all your life."  

                                             --Michelle Brown, interviewing Willy on Can We Talk 4 Real

                                         Listen here 



    Transforming the memoir genre into a cultural competency tool

Born on the Edge of Race and Gender:
A Voice for Cultural Competency

In this historic moment of transgender visibility in the U.S., writer, activist, and public health consultant Willy Wilkinson’s Born on the Edge of Race and Gender: A Voice for Cultural Competency uses the power of storytelling to contextualize one of the most misunderstood social issues of our time. Whether navigating the men’s locker room like a “stealth trans Houdini,” accessing lifesaving health care, or appreciating his son’s recognition of him as a “transformer,” Wilkinson compellingly illustrates the unique, difficult, and sometimes comical experiences of transgender life. This poetic, journalistic memoir shines an intersectional beacon on the ambiguity and complexity of mixed heritage, transgender, and disability experience, and offers an intimate window into how current legislative and policy battles impact the lives of transgender people. A seasoned public health consultant and cultural competency trainer, Wilkinson also provides practical tools and resources to help community health organizations, educational institutions, and businesses create LGBTQ- and trans-affirming systems. Learn more.

Available now in paperback and as an e-book on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, and Smashwords. If you'd prefer to order the book through your local bookstore, it's available through ingram with global distribution. 


Hear about the personal impact of recent victories in California and what the "medicine" is.


Willy honored: Transgender Law Center's 2014 Vanguard Awardee

On October 2, 2014 Willy was presented with the 2014 Claire Skiffington Vanguard Award at SPARK!, Transgender Law Center’s annual gala, at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel in San Francisco. Learn More



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Featured Publications

Transgender Studies Quarterly

Willy’s contribution to the inaugural edition of Transgender Studies Quarterly, a keyword essay entitled “Cultural Competency,” provides a global perspective on the need for transgender cultural competency in health services, education, businesses, government agencies, law enforcement, faith-based institutions, and others throughout society.  


Trans Bodies, Trans Selves: A Resource for the Transgender Community

Willy’s contribution to this comprehensive resource, a creative non-fiction piece entitled “Reveling in Our Authenticity,” addresses the intersections of mixed heritage experience and trans experience: ambiguity and complexity, layers of cross-cultural experience, and societal assessments of “realness”—as well as the confidence and courage to defy exclusion and revel in our bold authenticity. 

Manning Up: Transsexual Men on Finding Brotherhood, Family, and Themselves

Willy’s contribution to this groundbreaking anthology, entitled “Sculptor,” uses the metaphor of his father’s work as a fine wood sculptor to explore the ways in which Willy sheds the impact of racism, the violent gaze, shame, and the legacy of Asian female subjugation to sculpt himself as a transman and father.

Check out Willy's "My Authentic Life" video, filmed spontaneously at the Transgender Leadership Summit in Southern California in April 2014. Hear about his kids' transgender stuffed animals and his work providing LGBTQ and trans-specific cultural competency training for a wide variety of audiences.

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willy AT willywilkinson.com


PO Box 27401

Oakland, CA 94602

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