Invite Willy to speak at your event, conference, or campus. Willy is also available for readings, performances, trainings, classroom presentations, workshop facilitation, panel discussions, and informal gatherings, such as receptions, dinners, and other social events.
A dynamic and engaging speaker, Willy enjoys delivering customized presentations utilizing a thought-provoking mix of storytelling, practical tools, and motivation for change. He has a solid understanding of the interrelationships of multiple forms of oppression, and can speak to his personal intersectional identities with regards to race, gender, sexuality, disability, class, and parenthood. Some of the issues that Willy explores include: increasing access for marginalized populations, queer and trans movements, working with people of color and people from traditional cultural backgrounds, educational settings, health care access, legal issues, cultural code-switching, complex identities, and family life. Whether the audience resonates with social justice movements, community health services, education, and/or business settings, Willy provides concrete suggestions for how Individuals and institutions can develop culturally competent practices, policies, and systems to ensure equal access for LGBTQ people.
Keynote, rally, workshop, seminar, lecture, and roundtable
Designed for varied audiences, including: students, faculty, staff, administrators, community health providers, business professionals, social justice workers, and others
University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago, Middlebury Institute, Queer and Asian Conference, UC Berkeley, Expanding the Circle Conference, Advancing LGBTQ Initiatives in Higher Education, California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, Christiana Care Health System, Newark, Delaware
Intersectionality in Practice: What Social Movements teach us about Expanding the Circle
intersectionality theory teaches us to recognize multiple layers of intersecting identities, oppression, and discrimination. How can we utilize this concept to employ culturally competent approaches in campus settings, academic and professional practice, and social movements? The author of Born on the Edge of Race and Gender: A Voice for Cultural Competency will draw from his experience in the HIV/AIDS, lesbian of color, disability, and trans movements to describe how we can broaden our frameworks to advance LGBTQ access on campus and in the field.
Creating a Trans-Affirming Campus
This presentation will explore tools for creating a trans-affirming campus climate through the exploration of intersectional identities, life circumstances, health care access, and campus challenges that impact trans and gender nonconforming students. Areas of campus life that can be addressed include: health and well-being, insurance coverage, gender-specific settings (restrooms, locker rooms, athletics, sororities/fraternities, etc.), housing, records management, student activities, academic life, and non-discrimination policy, with an emphasis on empowering student leaders. Attendees can assess their educational institution’s trans cultural competency, identify areas that need improvement, explore best practices for developing culturally competent educational systems, and identify action steps. Interactive, solutions-oriented, and engaging, this presentation provides opportunities for learning and problem solving at all knowledge levels.
Click here to download Willy's CV with selected speeches and presentations.
“Willy’s attentiveness to the complexities of gender identity as mediated by issues of class, race, nationality, (dis)ability, and history provided an engaging platform for our audience to discuss the role of mental health professionals and transgender clients within the larger societal constructs of sex/gender.”
- Dustin N. Smith, MA, Special Events and Conference Coordinator, California Institute of Integral Studies,
Transgender Cultural Competency in a Changing Health Care Landscape
Campuses, community health organizations, businesses and other entities are seeing an increase in trans and gender nonconforming students, clients, patients, and colleagues. Yet many medical, mental health, and other providers are not prepared to address the specific health care needs of trans people. This presentation can explore the breadth of identities and intersectional experiences of trans people, the impact of societal discrimination and trauma on health and well-being, suicide prevention, how to navigate interactions and build rapport with a population that has experienced multiple incidents of discrimination in health care settings, systemic health care access barriers, how to identify and document trans individuals, and best practices for systematically ensuring equal access in your organization, institution, or business.
With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and the removal of transgender exclusions on some student health plans and in some states, more trans people are getting coverage for transition-related care. Other potential topics include: tools for advocating for comprehensive health plans, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) Standards of Care 7, the informed consent model, mental health assessment for surgery readiness, the intricacies of transition-related surgeries and other procedures, and post-surgical aftercare.
Mah Jongg Acceptance
How do we define and assert our true selves despite others’ inaccurate assessments based on racial, gender, and/or body nonconformity? How do we challenge the gendering of race that attempts to label us and box us in? How can we be our authentic selves in the absence of family acceptance and understanding within the larger society? What can we do to stand in solidarity with others who are fighting for justice, such as the #blacklivesmatter movement, immigrants, and trans women of color, who are being murdered in epidemic proportions?
There is great beauty and profound relief in living our lives authentically, even if we can’t be everything we are in every sphere of our lives. This presentation engages the audience to explore the ways we take care of ourselves and each other, so that we can survive and thrive as individuals and as a community. By sharing the unique way that his parents demonstrated family acceptance, the author of Born on the Edge of Race and Gender: A Voice for Cultural Competency celebrates the intrinsic fabric of our true selves, and leaves us with hope for the future.
Viewing Trans Experience through a Mixed Heritage Lens
The numbers of both mixed people and trans people are rising every year, yet many institutions are not equipped with the tools to navigate interactions respectfully. People who have lived as, or been perceived as different genders, including female, male, and/or ambiguous expressions of gender, share fundamental commonalities with many mixed heritage people: ambiguity, complexity, and a cross-cultural framework. In addition, many trans people and mixed people have experienced the entitlement of others who are eager to pronounce their assessment of their appearance and authenticity. While trans people are evaluated for their ability to be perceived as the gender they identify with and their adherence to gender norms, mixed people are often picked apart body part by body part, in an effort to assess their racial loyalties, cultural knowledge, and community membership. The author of Born on the Edge of Race and Gender: A Voice for Cultural Competency utilizes his personal experiences as a mixed heritage, trans person to highlight the ways that society assesses and dismisses human complexity, and proposes culturally competent approaches to social interactions, community membership, classification systems, and services.
Alternatively, this interactive session can focus specifically on mixed heritage/multiracial experience with practical skills building.