Speaking at the 2015 Keystone Conference

Aiden at Keystone 2015

Aiden discusses individual and societal ideas of masculinity with the workshop participants.

This past Saturday, March 21st, I had the great pleasure of speaking at the 2015 Keystone Conference in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. I presented “What Makes Us Men? Owning and Dismantling Stereotypes of Masculinity,” a workshop that I debuted last year at the Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference, to a mixed group of transmasculine, transfeminine, and genderqueer folks. The setting was much smaller than at PTHC — probably because Keystone is still developing their transmasculine programming — but it was a great opportunity to have a robust discussion of gender, stereotypes, and masculinity with the people who know it best: trans* folks.

The workshop’s small size meant that everyone had the chance to be heard, and we spent time discussing our gender identities and how we arrived at them. I really appreciated the contributions of the trans women who attended and shared their thoughts. The Keystone Conference as a whole helped me connect with transfeminine and bi-gender people and hear their stories, which is so valuable for a trans man like me. Thanks to everyone who came out!

One of the best things about the conference for me personally was that my fiancée was able to attend on the second day. We attended panels, enjoyed the keynote speakers, and met other trans* couples together. She even snapped a few photos of me during the workshop. We truly enjoyed meeting so many new friends, and hope to see them all again next year (or sooner)!