Keynotes & speakers 

ISABEL ROSE - Thursday Opening Ceremony



Opening Ceremony Speaker

WHEN: Thursday, 7:30pm, March 22nd, 2018.

WHEREContinuing Studies Building Atrium - University of Victoria

HOW MUCH: FREE for all conference registrants, open to the public by donation.

Isabel Rose is a singer, writer, performer and passionate activist for the rights of transgender children and their families. Her letter in support of her own transgender daughter’s right to use the girl’s bathroom at school, posted openly to Ivanka Trump, sparked conversation around the world. Isabel’s articles and videos can be found on YouTubeCNNMediumCafeMom, and on her own website,

ANDREA JENKINS - Friday Keynote




The Moving Trans History Forward Conference is proud to present Andrea Jenkins as our Friday evening keynote, “The 'T' is Not Silent.” 

WHEN: Friday, March 23rd, 2018.

Pre-Talk reception: Meet Andrea at a casual reception before her conference keynote address 6:30 PM - 7:15 PM
Keynote address: 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM


Pre-Talk reception: lobby of the Bob Wright Centre UVic
Keynote addressB150 - Bob Wright Centre UVic

HOW MUCH: FREE for all conference registrants.  Open to the public by donation.

Andrea Jenkins is the first openly transgender black woman elected to public office in the United States (link)!  Andrea is an oral historian and curator of the Transgender Oral History Project at the University of Minnesota's Jean-Nickolaus Tretter Collection in Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Studies, a Minneapolis City Council Member, a poet and performance artist, Chair of the Board of Intermedia Arts, and a black trans woman active with Black Lives Matter. Jenkins' talk, "The 'T' is Not Silent: Centering Black Trans-Identities in an Historical Context," will explore how blackness has been a source of value for transgender politics and identity, how blackness and transness are performed in culture and society, and how the lived experiences, activism, intellectual work, and expressive knowledge of black transgender and gender non-binary people put pressure on dominant articulations of trans identity, trans politics, and notions of coalition and solidarity. 

YOUTH PANEL - Saturday Morning


The Moving Trans History Forward conference is proud to present “The Youth Panel" featuring a panel of trans youth speaking about their experiences as local activists in their schools and communities. Sponsored by Vancity.

WHEN: 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM, Saturday, March 24th, 2018

WHEREB150 - Bob Wright Centre

HOW MUCH: FREE for all conference registrants. Open to the public by donation.

Jocelyn Baker 

Jocelyn Baker co-leads the Pride Alliance at St Michaels University School in Victoria (SMUS), a club that advocates for transgender rights and supports LGBTQ individuals in SMUS and in the local community. She has worked to create more inclusive facilities for transgender students at her school such as adopting non-gender-specific uniforms and creating more gender-neutral bathrooms. Jocelyn has educated SMUS on the rights of transgender students and helped faculty understand how to include them. She also founded SMUS' Debate Workshops, which teach students civil discourse skills, fostering open-mindedness and discussion. In her free time, Jocelyn enjoys reading and hiking Mount Douglas.

Danny Charles

My name is Danny. I am a female to male transgender. Pronouns are he/him. I love to sing, paint, and write!

Jay H.

Jay is a Canadian transgender teenager. He started his transition over 5 years ago and during that time has sat on panels geared towards the LGBTQ+ community, in Canada and the USA. 

Tru Wilson

Tru Wilson is an articulate and bold fourteen-year-old transgender advocate from Vancouver, BC. Tru first made headlines when she filed a human rights complaint against her local Catholic school board for not supporting her transition, which resulted in the first known policy in any Catholic school in North America supporting a child's transition.

Since then, Tru has become a proud and voracious speaker for trans rights, and in 2015 was recognized by Vancouver Magazine as one of the city's 50 most powerful and influential people. In 2016, she was named Options for Sexual Health’s Sexual Health Champion, and in 2017 her entire family was nominated to be grand marshals is the Vancouver Pride Parade. Tru was also chosen to be a speaker at Vancouver’s 2017 TedX East Van event.

Tru continues to share her story to educate and inspire others. Still a growing teen, Tru enjoys cosplay, drawing for hours and playing with her girlfriends next door. 

Stevie Zeer

Stevie is an 18 year old Indigenous/person of color who lives on Vancouver Island. They’re active in the LGBT+ community there, and their focus for activism is with intersex people, and people of color.  They are currently a student who plans on being a councillor and continuing to work with LGBT+ youth within the Vancouver Island community. They believe in change through education, art, and compassion.

KENT MONKMAN - Saturday Keynote




The Moving Trans History Forward Conference, in partnership with Winchester Galleries, is proud to present Kent Monkman as the Saturday evening keynote address, “Trans as the New Frontier.”  Thank you to Shelagh Rogers for being the night's M.C.


WHEN: 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM, Saturday, March 24th, 2018.  

WHEREFarquhar Auditorium - University Centre

HOW MUCH: Open to the public by donation (conference registration includes a reserved ticket).  Advanced reservations for the public offered for a donation of $25 or more. On the night of the event, tickets are also available on a sliding scale at UVic's Ticket Centre.


Join us for a small intimate reception with Kent Monkman.  Light refreshments included.

WHEN: 6:30 PM - 7:15 PM, Saturday, March 24th, 2018.  

WHERESenate Chambers, University Centre A Wing, UVic.

HOW MUCH: A donation of $50 or more includes a pre-show reception with Kent Monkman and entrance to the 7:30 PM keynote in the Farquhar Auditorium with preferred seating. Seat tickets should be picked up at the entrance to the reception. Reserve your spot for the reception online by March 20th, after which time a limited number of reception tickets will be available over the phone or in person.

Kent Monkman uses brilliant artistic talents and a sharp wit to explore indigenous and anti-colonialist perspectives on Canada's History. Monkman is a Canadian Two-Spirit artist of Cree ancestry who works in painting, film/video, performance, and installation. Monkman has had solo and group exhibitions and performances at numerous prestigious Canadian and international museums, festivals, galleries, and other venues. Monkman's works are exhibited in important collections including the National Gallery of Canada and the Smithsonian's Museum of the American Indian, among others.

ELDERS PANEL - Sunday Morning



“The Elders Panel" features a panel of trans elders providing live first-hand oral testimony about their experiences as elders of trans activism.

WHEN: 9:30 AM - 11:30 AM, Sunday, March 25th, 2018

WHEREB150 - Bob Wright Centre

HOW MUCH: FREE for all conference registrants. Open to the public by donation.


Christine Burns: “Rescuing Trans History”
Miqqi Alicia Gilbert: “One Week A Year: The Pragmatic Reality of Self-Actualization”
Aidan Key: “A Gender Odyssey: Aidan Key’s Journey to Leadership, Education & Activism”
Maria Sundin: “Ending Forced Sterilization in Sweden”

"Rescuing Trans Histories"

Christine was a key part of Britain’s ‘Press for Change’ campaign for transgender rights from 1993 until 2007, becoming one of the vice-presidents in 1996. This means that she was involved throughout the years when the organisation was at its peak and had a key role in many of the groundbreaking successes which occurred, culminating in the passage of the UK's Gender Recognition Act in 2004. She has written several books, including a two-part history of the PFC campaign, Pressing Matters. She also penned the first National Health Service policy guide relating to trans patients and staff. She is now editing an anthology-based history of Britain’s trans community. Christine lives in Manchester, England, officially retired in 2013, and concentrates most of her time doting on her grandchildren, researching her family’s ancestry, reading detective fiction, gardening and riding her bike.

Excavating the social history of any marginalised group is never easy. Academic works are more likely than not to present a problematised and pathologising outsider perspective. Newspaper archives tend to reflect the dominant majority’s discriminatory viewpoint. It’s a universal phenomenon affecting the history of women, Black and Minority Ethnic (BME), and disabled people. For sexual minorities the problem is compounded by the social forces which drove people underground into secret lives, plus the problems of evolving language. Private collections of records are often lost when the owners die — relatives seeing no value in the material they find hidden away in lofts and basements. Telling a coherent story from even just fifty years ago demands access to first person recollection. Christine Burns is a former trans activist who recognised that there is already a young generation of trans people with only a sketchy understanding of their community’s recent history. She describes how, in retirement, she has set out to provide road maps for professional historians to follow whilst also meeting a wider public need to understand where trans people ‘suddenly’ appeared to have come from.

"One Week a Year: The Pragmatic Reality of Self-Actualization"

Miqqi Alicia Gilbert, Ph.D. aka Michael A. Gilbert, is Full Professor of Philosophy at York University, Toronto, Canada. Miqqi Alicia has published scholarly articles in gender theory including an essay in Hypatia in 2009, “Defeating Bigenderism.” S/he is a life-long cross-dresser and an activist in the transgender community. Miqqi Alicia has made a point of being out and public and has appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines in Canada and the US, as well as interviews on radio and television. S/he has been the book review editor and regular columnist for Transgender Tapestry, a recipient in 2007 of an IFGE Trinity Award, and Director of Fantasia Fair for 8 years. S/he has presented workshops at numerous trans events including Fantasia Fair, Southern Comfort, Esprit, IFGE and First Event. Hir website is located at: Hir newest book, Arguing with People, was published by Broadview Press in the spring of 2014.

The progression from initial self-awareness as someone who is gender variant or, perhaps, gender curious, to undertaking an exploration of that sometimes strong, sometimes subtle, discomfort is a slow and often arduous one. My journey began many years before the term and concept of “trans” was in general public awareness, and certainly before the Internet provided the contact and information so readily available today. I will begin my talk with a brief history of those bygone days when being in the closet was an ordinary, albeit existentially stultifying, phenomenon. My personal revolution began in 1986 with the passing of my second (common-law) wife. Eventually, in 1995 I attended the 1st International Conference and Cross-dressing, Gender and Sexuality (Northridge, CA), and that lead directly to my turning up at Fantasia Fair the following October. For me, as for many transfolk, especially in those days, this was the first time I could walk freely and safely in the sunshine. It was a crucial step in my self-actualization as a trans person and as a cross-dresser (Gilbert, 2011). In the title I refer to the “pragmatic reality,” because the Fair provided me and others with a chance to practice a role that had been denied to us. This enabled growth, both personal and social, and lead me further into an awareness of who, what and why I am (Gilbert Various).

"A Gender Odyssey: Aidan Key’s Journey to Leadership, Education & Activism"

Aidan Key is the founder of Gender Diversity, an organization dedicated to providing support and educational services with respect to the inclusion of transgender and gender-diverse children. Key has served as a consultant to dozens of school districts across the United States navigating the questions and concerns regarding transgender K-12 student inclusion. Key is the co-author of Gender Cognition in Transgender Children (Psychological Science 2015), the Trans Bodies, Trans Selves (Oxford University Press, 2014) and Transgender Student Advocacy and Support: Evolving Ethics in a Time of Devolving Policy (presented 2017: Philosophy of Education Society Annual Conference). He facilitates the nation’s largest network of parent support groups and offers trainings and policy development for schools, organizations, and other youth-based agencies across the nation.

Aidan Key will share his intentional and unintentional pathway to leadership that spans over two decades and counting. Key’s path, like that of many leaders, has involved slogging, sprinting, leaps of faith, and falling down. He will share parts of his journey, how his work has evolved, and the profound foray into providing support, and simply breaking ground, for parents and their transgender children.

"Ending Forced Sterilization in Sweden"

Maria Sundin is a senior Swedish trans activist, sexologist and clinical social worker. She has been involved in trans as well as LGBT organizations for the past 25 years. She is a member of the Innovative Response to Global Trans Women and HIV (IRGT). She also serves on the Steering Committee of The Global Forum on MSM & HIV (MSMGF) and is a Board Member of Sweden's LGBTQ Social Democrats. Maria served for a long period as a Board Member of the Swedish Federation for LGBTQ Rights (RFSL) as well as a Co-chair and Executive Board Member of Transgender Europe (TGEU). She is also extensively involved in trans de-pathologisation, transgender human rights and combatting HIV in our community

When Sweden as the first nation globally introduced a law on changing a person's legal gender in 1972, this was seen as a unique breakthrough. It would take several years for other nations to follow this. However the law of 1972 was filled with problematic prerequisites, such as forced divorce, forced sterilization and the law would only give this right to Swedish citizens. Over the years opposition to these requirements grew. When, finally the law on same-sex marriages was introduced on May 1st 2009, trans persons were still required to divorce in order to change their gender. The Trans and LGBTQ movement had worked for years to gain the same rights for Trans persons. In 2011 the administrative court removed this. The Parliament followed this along with removing the citizenship requirements on January 1st 2013.

Still Trans activists kept on fighting the Sterilization requirement for years when in December 2012 the Chamber Court decided that forced sterilization violated the Swedish Constitution and the European Declaration of Human Rights and on July 1st 2013 the sterilization requirement was removed.

For a number of years the LGBTQ movement and the Trans organizations, with the support of a lawyer who took on our case pro bono, had begun to fight for financial compensation. The then center-right government refused to do so. After a large group of trans persons decided to sue the government for damages, in April 2016 the lawyer Kerstin Burman, the president of RFSL Ulrika Westerlund and myself met with the new left-green government who finally decided to pay each of us 225 000 SEK or 35 000 CND. Compensation will be paid, upon application, to each person who had been granted a legal gender change since 1972.

Stephen Whittle was previously scheduled but is no longer able to attend.