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About Gender Spectrum

Our Mission

Gender Spectrum provides education, training and support to help create a gender sensitive and inclusive environment for all children and teens.

What We Do

In a simple, straightforward manner, we provide consultation, training and events designed to help families, educators, professionals, and organizations understand and address the concepts of gender identity and expression. Our accessible, practical approach is based on research and experience, enabling our clients to gain a deeper understanding of gender all along the spectrum.

We present an overview of how society currently defines gender and how these restrictive definitions can be detrimental to those who do not fit neatly into these categories. We then help you identify and remove the obstacles so all are free to be our authentic selves.

Our Staff

Stephanie Brill- Executive Director
Stephanie Brill is the Executive Director of Gender Spectrum. Stephanie is featured speaker and trainer on issues of the developmental stages of gender variance in children for medical grand rounds, city and county health departments, early childhood specialists, health care professionals, mental health care specialists, and many other social service organizations.

Stephanie is also the co-founder of the Children's Hospital Oakland support group for parents of gender variant and transgender children. She regularly leads gender diversity trainings for public and private schools across the country.

Stephanie is the co-author of The Transgender Child: A Handbook for Families and Professionals. Her previous books, The Queer Parent's Primer and The New Essential Guide to Lesbian Conception, Pregnancy, and Birth were heralded as groundbreaking works. With numerous articles and publications, Stephanie is a sought-after contributor to radio & TV shows, magazines, journals, and books including: 20/20, The San Francisco Chronicle, All Things Considered, This American Life, and The New York Times.

Joel Baum- Director, Education & Training
Joel Baum, M.S., is the Director of Education and Training for Gender Spectrum. Joel began his career as an award-winning middle school science teacher and school administrator, and more recently served as a district administrator in Oakland, California. Joel is also a professor of Educational Leadership at California State University, East Bay where he has developed two distinct administrative credential programs.

Working with schools, medical professionals, therapists, universities and other organizations, Joel facilitates trainings, conducts workshops, develops curriculum, consults with parents and professionals, and provides resources in service of a more compassionate understanding of the complexity of gender. Along with Stephanie Brill, he leads the monthly parent support groups at Oakland Children's Hospital. He has been featured on All Things Considered, The New York Times, Newsweek, and various other publications and media. Joel is a member of the National Safe Schools Roundtable and California Safe Schools Steering Committee.

 

Our Blog

Take a look at our latest blog posts for our most recent news updates.

 

Gender in the News

Huffington Post: It Happened to Me: I Told My Boyfriend I was Born A Boy
An upbeat and fresh tale of coming to terms with coming out at its' most scary. Janet Mock tells about her early fantasies, meeting the man of her dreams and sharing the truth about her gender transition - and being loved and accepted by a partner fully for the first time in her life. 
Boston Globe: Led by the child who simply knew
Wyatt and Jonas were identical twins, except for one thing: Wyatt knew he was a girl. This in-depth story depicts a family struggling to come to terms with their child's gender non-conformity, their realization that rather than a son Wyatt they had a daughter (Nicole), and their story of choosing puberty-delaying treatment, going to court, and eventually moving in order to protect that daughter and their family's well being.
New York Times: A First in Cup Qualifying for a Player and  Team
Jonny Saelua is not only a member of the first American Samoan soccer team to win an international victory, placing them in the early stages for the World Cup, but also the first transgendered person to be in those same stages. Jonny identifies as Fa'afafine, a traditional Polynesian third-gender, defined as a male-bodied person who identifies as female and feels attracted to males - and, importantly, who identifies as Fa'afafine! The article discusses the implications for gender-acceptance, as well as the acceptance of Johnny by her teammates, and makes more clear than ever that gender is anything but binary.
Parent Power: Raising Kate
An incredibly powerful story of a mother's struggle to understand her child's needs, and her fight to make sure, once understood, they were met - in a community that was far from accepting.
USA Today: College adds locker rooms to gender-neutral policy
All over the country, colleges and universities (particularly private liberal arts institutions) are adding gender-neutral options for housing and bathrooms - and now Grinnell College in Iowa has added locker rooms to their gender-neutral policy. The changes often come as a result of student pressure, and are not about couples living together, says Andrea Connor, director of Residential Life at Grinnell.
CNN: Parents Urged to Support Children
This remarkably  even-handed story deals with the rising number of children expressing discomfort with their assigned gender, breaks down some vocabulary and urges parents to support and safeguard their children, regardless of their gender expression.
 
KQED Forum Transgender Kids

Director of Education and Training Joel Baum, Gender Spectrum Board Member Diane Ehrensaft, PhD, and parent Rachel Beckert discuss the Gender Spectrum Family Conference and issues about gender, children, youth and families. Hosted by Michael Krasny. 

Tyra Banks: Transgendered Children

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5
At only 7 and 8 years old, these children are living as the opposite gender. Hear from the kids and their families;  the two families meet;  an update on a former guest who has transitioned from girl to boy;  a heated debate on the subject.

Dr. Oz:  Transgendered Children

Part 1 Part 2
Dr. Oz hosted two transgender children and their families on his show to discuss their experiences growing up and their parents’ decision to support them in their true identity.

20/20: My Secret Self: A Story of Transgendered Children

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5
Boys and girls. But for some children, toddlers even, it's not so simple. They insist they were born with the wrong bodies. Little boys, absolutely convinced they should be girls. Little girls, who wouldn't wear a frilly party frock if you paid them. They've been diagnosed with GID — Gender Identity Disorder — and some of them and their parents tell their touching stories to Barbara Walters.

TruVu Radio: Understanding Transsexuals and Transgender

Roland Hines interviews Gender Spectrum Director of Education and Training Joel Baum about some of the basics of gender.

Stephanie Brill Talks With Barbara Walters

Gender Spectrum's Executive Director and Barbara Walters explore an array of topics regarding transgender people's many pathways to parenthood. Together, they discuss societal stigma towards transgender families and the need to raise awareness and understanding.

NPR’s All Things Considered:  Two-Part Series on Transgender Children

Two Families Grapple with Sons' Gender Preferences
In part one of the series, parents share their experience coming to grips with their young child's desire to live as a girl.

Parent’s Consider Treatment to Delay Son’s Puberty
In part two of the series, parents discuss the decisions facing their family as their eleven year old approaches puberty.

NPR (KUOW): The Conversation

Host Ross Reynolds interviews Aidan Key, Stephanie Brill, Laurie Cogan and her teenaged son Cory Hoffman shortly before the first Gender Spectrum Family conference.

East Bay Express: Embracing the Spectrum

Stephanie discusses Gender Spectrum's commitment to helping people understand children’s gender expression.


Gender Resources

 
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