Written by John Hund
*Editor’s Note: Janaya Khan uses the pronouns they/them.
On Nov. 9-10, the University of Missouri-St. Louis will host the 2018 Transgender Spectrum Conference. The conference will be held on their campus at the JC Penney Conference Center and will plan to bring together a broad audience with a common interest of advancing the lives of transgender people.
The keynote speaker is Janaya Khan. Khan is a black, queer gender nonconformist who established Black Lives Matter Toronto according to the university’s website. Much of their work analyzes how race and gender identity intersect. They are a staunch Afrofuturist and social-educator whose work has been featured in media outlets such as The Root, Al Jeezera and the Huffington Post.
This year’s theme, “Nothing About Us Without Us,” has been adopted by the transgender movement to challenge the exclusion of transgender people. Exclusion, according to event coordinators, refers to laws, standards and policies written by cisgender people instead of transgender people.
The goal of the conference is to promote a diverse understanding of the transgender movement according to the website. The conference looks to encourage self-motivation and elevated experiences for the transgender community.
For more information and a full schedule of events, visit umsl.edu/transgenderspectrum/