AFFIRMING & Authentic Workshops

Workshops will focus on topics that are relevant to our lives: cultural issues, multiracial identities, API trans-masculinity, racism and stereotypes, family issues (including family of origin, families of choice, adoption, parenthood and prospective parenthood), health and well-being, sex and relationships, employment and careers, and more. This is your retreat!

We want this to be an affirming place where we can feel free to be our authentic selves. There is no pressure to participate in workshops or group activities. We do ask that everyone be kind, supportive, and respectful of each another. Some of the discussions may bring up a lot of feelings. We encourage you to take care of yourselves and each other.



Click on the workshop titles to view the workshop summaries.

Sunday 8/6

Workshop Summaries

Serve the People: An Organizing 101

10:30 am - 12:00 pm       Guided Discussion, Creative Activity

This interactive workshop will support participants in learning the intersections of Radical API organizing History and Trans organizing history, as well as support people in developing the analysis and tools to continue the legacy of radical organizing work led by our ancestors across movements and the diaspora.

Participants will leave with an understanding of the history of community organizing as it particularly relates to API communities and Trans communities Participants will learn about how they can use their lived experiences and privileges to continue to build on organizing work in this current political moment. Participants will leave with resources to support their organizing efforts in their own communities.

About the Facilitators

Kris Hayashi has over 20 years of movement building, leadership and organizing experience. As a public transgender person of color, Kris has been a leader in movements for justice and rights for transgender and gender nonconforming communities for over 13 years.

Kris became Executive Director at Transgender Law Center, one of the largest organizations in the country advancing the rights of transgender and gender nonconforming people, in February 2015. 

Elliott is a trainer, facilitator, and community organizer with over 15 years of experience in social justice movement work. With Midwest roots and East coast seasoning, Elliott has been organizing both on national and local levels across many different issues and struggles, including reproductive justice, racial justice, economic justice and gender justice.

Elliott believes Audre Lorde said it best when she said “there is no such thing as a single issue struggle, because we do not lead single issue lives” and works hard to build spaces with many communities that make room for all of our fabulous complexity and fierceness, and build our collective power. He also believes that we will win.


Memory As Medicine: Creative Movements and Writing Ancestral Memory

10:30 am - 12:00 pm    Guided Discussion, Creative Activity

Are you interested in exploring writing, movement and storytelling as tools for personal liberation? How can we build compassion for ourselves and our stories? How can storytelling be a way to help Trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming folks heal from intergenerational trauma?

This workshop will use movement and writing to deepen our connection to our bodies, minds, spirits and those we consider ancestors.


About the Facilitator

Jamil Moises Liban-Ortanez leads workshops and support groups in the Bay Area for queer and Trans POC communities and youth. Their work centers small support groups and uses writing and movement as a tool for personal and collective healing.


API Trans Experience through a Mixed Heritage Lens

1:00 - 2:30 pm  Guided Discussion, Creative Activity

People who have lived as, or been perceived as different genders, including female, male, and/or complex 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.

Join the author of Born on the Edge of Race and Gender: A Voice for Cultural Competency for a brief dynamic excerpt and lively discussion about navigating social interactions and the rules of community membership. Everyone welcome.

About the Facilitator

Willy Wilkinson, MPH is an award-winning writer, public health consultant, cultural competency trainer, public speaker, and spoken word performer. He is the author of the Lambda Literary Award-winning book Born on the Edge of Race and Gender: A Voice for Cultural Competency, which illuminates trans experience from a Chinese American and mixed heritage perspective, and transforms the memoir genre into a cultural competency tool. Willy has provided LGBTQ and trans-specific training for hundreds of community health organizations, educational institutions, and businesses. He has led many workshops on mixed experience since the '80s.

He is the recipient of a National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association award, and the Transgender Law Center Vanguard Award, and is recognized on the Trans 100. He lives in Oakland, California with his three vibrant, young kids. Learn more at


Building a Healthy, Stronger Self

1:00 - 2:30 pm  Guided Discussion, Demonstrations, Physical Engagement

The workshop will cover pre and post top surgery health strategies, hysterectomy recovery, body composition goals and how to achieve them safely, nutrition advice, methods of strength and muscle gain, how to structure and plan workouts, and self care through massage therapies and proper stretching.

We will discuss common myths about fat loss and muscle gain, weight training, and what hormone replacement therapy can and cannot do in regards to physical fitness. There will be a portion of the workshop dedicated to demonstrating and safely participating in effective stretches for every day well-being.

No equipment will be necessary. Participants should bring a bath towel, mat, or other soft material for the activity portion.

About the Facilitator

As a trainer at a queer and trans inclusive gym, Justin Chow frequently answers questions from both trans-identified and cisgender people while conducting a fitness session or consultation. Often the questions are similar and apply to anyone, yet sometimes there are very specific questions that a trans person only feels comfortable asking a trans identified trainer.

He has heard many of the common questions and concerns transmasculine folks have when it comes to fitness and has always ensured that his clients get the answers they need that they wouldn't be able to get from a big box gym trainer who doesn't understand the social and health challenges this community faces. Justin has led bootcamps and other group fitness sessions and is always cautious in ensuring safety.


Surgery Talk! Top & Bottom Options

3:00 - 4:30 pm    Panel Discussion

This workshop will discuss the different types of chest, phalloplasty and metoidioplasty surgeries offered. A panel of folks who have had top and/or bottom surgery will share their experiences. There will be room at the end for Q & A. After the workshop, we will offer a show and tell for those who are interested.

About the Facilitator

Jai De Lotto was born in London, England; his parents are of Sri Lankan & Northern Italian descent. He received an MSW degree from SFSU and is now a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Jai has worked in social services for over 20 years. He has assisted mentally ill & autistic adults, counseled children and helped low-income adults living with disabling HIV/AIDS.

Jai currently works at the Dept. of Veteran Affairs providing services to homeless Veterans. He has been an active volunteer in the LGBTQ community since undergraduate school. Jai has participated on Transgender education panels; contributed his experience with transition related surgeries to the book “Below the Belt” and is currently serving as a volunteer member of the Kaiser Transgender Advisory Board. He lives in the East Bay with his wife of 15 years and their spoiled 17-pound cat JJ. .


Collaborative Beginning Meditation

3:00 - 4:30 pm  Creative Activity, Meditation

In this workshop, participants of all abilities will be invited to try several techniques of meditation for calmness and mindfulness. Most techniques will require a posture of stillness, whether sitting, standing, or lying down. Movement meditation will include either walking or arm movements. Guidance is drawn from Zen and Vipassana Buddhist traditions, and opportunities to ask clarifying questions will be provided throughout.

About the Facilitator

Keizen Li Qian is a 1.5-generation Chinese immigrant and transmasculine geek who recently returned to school for biology. He has practiced Buddhism since 2012 and received the precepts for lay students from Rev. Keiryu Liên Shutt at San Francisco Zen Center in 2016.

They also studied at Theatre of the Oppressed with Morgan Fitzpatrick in Philadelphia and gave their first public workshop at the Transgender Health Conference in 2011. He occasionally leads meditation for the people of color sangha at East Bay Meditation Center.


Transitioning in the Workplace

9:30 - 11:00 am  Guided Discussion, Creative Activity

Thinking about transitioning on the job or just curious about what legal and social aspects are involved? This workshop's guided discussions and activities will help you figure out how to feel more comfortable transitioning at work, including self care tips to help keep you on the right track through the process. 

About the Facilitator

Lo Rivera is a teacher/ inclusion specialist for an elementary school in Berkeley, CA where he conducts professional development workshops surrounding equity, accessibility, ability awareness and gender. He has come out at work as a trans man this past school year. It has been a journey where he finds himself pleasantly surprised but also struggling. Lo would like to bring some of his life experiences and support to other guys who are transitioning in the work place. He wants to foster encouragement within others to have the confidence to transition wherever they please.

He trains teachers and support staff. and also works with small groups of students who need explicit teaching.


Adoption & Intersecting Identities

9:30 - 11:00 am   Facilitated Discussion

The goal of this session is to provide a facilitated discussion and networking among adoptees. Questions will be discussed in a roundtable format and will be centered on the core adoptee issues of intersecting identities. All are welcome to attend but non-adoptees are encouraged to create space for adoptees to share their stories.

About the Facilitator

Min Matson is a Korean adoptee from the Midwest who currently resides in San Francisco.

He holds a master’s degree from the University of California, San Diego and works as a management consultant focused on healthcare and life sciences business transformations.

He also serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors for Transgender Law Center.  He is a bit of a foodie and loves to travel, but his favorite thing to do is spend time with his 3-1/2 year old adopted Latinx son.


Snacks: While we do provide some drinks and snacks throughout the retreat, we encourage you to bring non-perishable snacks for about 4 people for the snack table. Asian snacks appreciated!

Self-Care: We encourage you to take care of yourself during the retreat so if you need to hike, journal, just hang out, take a nap, etc… instead of attending something on the schedule, go for it!

What to Bring:

  • Pillow and bedding for a twin bed (i.e. sheet, blanket, and/or sleeping bag).
    • Optional $15 add-on cost if you want your bedding provided for you.
  • Towels (Towels are not provided in the $15 optional bedding-provided package.)
  • Snacks and drinks
  • Sunscreen + Hats

Friday, August 4th

Check-in and register. Pick up site map and materials. Find your cabin and settle in.

3:00 - 6:00 pm

6:00 - 7:00 pm


7:30 - 9:30 pm

Community Circle Meet and Greet

11:00 pm - 7:00 am

Quiet Hours (Feel free to socialize!)


Saturday, August 5th

8:30 - 9:30 am


9:30 - 10:30 am

Community Circle Check-in

10:30 am - 12:00 pm


12:00 - 1:00 pm  


1:00 - 2:30 pm
3:00 - 4:30 pm



Pool Party, Basketball, Horse Shoes, Hiking, Ping Pong or just hanging out with new friends.

4:30 - 6:00 pm

Dinner (Pool-side BBQ)

6:00 - 7:00 pm

Community Circle End of the day check-in

8:00 -  10:00 pm

11:00 pm - 7:00 am 

Quiet Hours (Again, feel free to socialize!)


Sunday, August 6th

8:00 - 9:00 am


9:30 - 11:00 am


11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Community Circle Wrap-up Session

12:00 - 1:00 pm


1:00 - 3:00 pm

Retreat Ends