Wednesday, December 17, 2014

UCR Registration Fee of $10 Includes T-Shirt

The back of the conference T-shirt.

The registration rate for UC Riverside students, staff, and faculty to attend the Asterisk Trans* Conference is only $10 and includes a conference T-shirt. The form to accompany check payments has been updated to reflect this rate.

The deadline for online registration and payment is February 6, 2015. This is a hard deadline, so that we may order the correct amount of food and T-shirts.

Regular (non-UCR) registration is $20 (with T-shirt). Reduced registration is $10 (without T-shirt). Fee waivers are also available for those unable to afford to pay a fee.

People from campuses who have paid the Group Registration rate do not need to send in a check payment. You only need to register online by the February 6, 2015 deadline.

Friday, October 31, 2014

D'Lo performance to close Asterisk Trans* Conference

A performance by D'Lo - a queer/transgender Tamil-Sri Lankan-American actor / writer / comedian - will close the Asterisk Trans* Conference on Saturday, February 28, 2015.

D’Lo is the creator of the “Coming Out, Coming Home” writing workshop series, which have taken place with South Asian and/or Immigrant Queer Organizations nationally. He is also an artistic core member of Teada Productions and on the board for Brown Boi Project and a co-producer with DisOriented Comedy.

D'Lo's poetry and short stories have been published in various anthologies and academic journals, most recently: Desi Rap: Hip Hop and  South Asia America and Experiments in a Jazz Aesthetic and Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics.

Aside from touring the university/college circuit with D’FaQTo Life, D’Lo tours Ramble-Ations: A One D’Lo Show, directed by Adelina Anthony, which received the NPN Creation Fund Grant inclusive of residencies in 9 US cities and additional support from the Durfee Foundation Grant.

His full-length stand-up storytelling show D’FunQT, directed by Steven Sapp of Universes, which has toured internationally (SF, NY, Manchester, UK and 7-city tour in India and Sri Lanka) will be coming to LA in 2015, while he works on his other projects To T, or Not to T and GodFreaQ.

The documentary by Crescent Diamond based on D’Lo’s life/work, called Performing Girl, recently won the best short documentary award at Outfest 2013 and he most recently was a lead character for the short film LIT.

He also appears in the new HBO series LOOKING as Taj, on the Amazon series TRANSPARENT and the Netflix series SENSE 8, Mikki del Monico’s film ALTO, and Sundance Fellow Adelina Anthony’s film BRUISING FOR BESOS. He also appears on the web series EASTSIDERS and DYKE CENTRAL.

Aside from acting and stand up, D'Lo is currently  working on a few musical projects with local musicians in LA, producing and going back to his hip-hop roots.

Learn more about D’Lo’s performances, writings, and collaborations at

Online registration and the conference call for programs are both open for the Asterisk Trans* Conference.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Miss Major Griffin-Gracy to give keynote at Asterisk Trans* Conference

Miss Major
Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, an activist and advocate for her community over 40 years, will provide the keynote address at the Asterisk Trans* Conference hosted by UC Riverside in February 2015.

Miss Major is a black, formerly incarcerated, transgender elder. She was at the Stonewall uprising in 1969, became politicized at Attica, was an original member of the first all-transgender gospel choir, and is a father, mother, grandmother, and grandfather to her own children, and to many in the transgender community.

Currently, Miss Major is the Executive Director of the Transgender GenderVariant Intersex Justice Project, where she instills hope and a belief in a better future to the women that are currently incarcerated and those coming home.

Named as a San Francisco LGBT Pride Grand Marshal this past June, Miss Major has fought on the front lines of resistance from the 1969 Stonewall Riots to the 1971 Attica State Prison upraising to the early AIDS crisis in the 1980s. She's brought attention to violence against trans women of color and continues to advocate for the survival of her community.

Miss Major spoke to the Bay Area Reporter about the aftermath of the Stonewall Riots, in which the trans women of color who had visibly resisted police harassment were later silenced at primarily white gay rights rallies. 

"After the raid happened, I remember Sylvia Rivera and I going to a gay rally in Central Park," Griffin-Gracy said, referring to the late trans activist who died in 2002. "Sylvia went up to speak and they booed her offstage. We were so heartbroken; I cried for days. There was this sea of white people and they had the audacity to do that. The thing is, this disconnect is still happening. I saw a movie last year about Stonewall and didn't see one transwoman of color in the whole film."
Miss Major will be joined at the Asterisk Trans* Conference by performers and speakers such as poet/activist Ollie Schminkey, community leader Bamby Salcedo, actor and writer D'Lo, advocate parent Marsha Aizumi, and sociologist  Dr. Tey Meadow. UC Riverside hosts the conference February 27-28, 2015. People of all gender identities and expressions are invited to register online starting October 24th.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Dr. Tey Meadow to present a talk on transgender children's parents and social institutions

Dr. Tey Meadow
Sociologist Tey Meadow will discuss her forthcoming book, an in-depth study of the first generation of parents actively and publicly affirming transgender identities in their children. She will discuss the ways individual parents come to understand that their young children are transgender, the ways they negotiate their child's gender with schools, religious institutions and the state, and what makes some families more vulnerable than others to violence, harassment and state intrusion.

Dr. Tey Meadow is an assistant professor of sociology and studies of women, gender and sexuality at Harvard University. Her talk at the Asterisk Trans* Conference on Saturday, February 28, 2015 is part of a track for trans* youth advocates. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Marsha Aizumi, author of "Two Spirits, One Heart," to speak on coming out as a parent to her trans son

Marsha Aizumi
Often when we hear about LGBT coming out stories, we focus on the person coming out. But the parent of an LGBT person experiences a similar, but in many ways, different coming out story. Marsha Aizumi will share her experiences as the mother of a transgender man and their resilient mother-son relationship, speaking on Saturday, February 28, 2015 at the Asterisk Trans* Conference.

Marsha is an educator and advocate for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community, a cause she embraced due, in large part, to the harassment and bullying her son experienced throughout high school. She serves on the national board of PFLAG – Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians & Gays.

Her book Two Spirits, One Heart: A Mother, Her Transgender Son, and Their Journey to Love and Acceptance, delves into her son's, her family's, and her own journey towards acceptance and celebration.

For those who are struggling with their child’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or any perceived difference, I hope this story gives you hope, information, and a vision of what your love and support can mean to your child," says Marsha. "I didn’t foresee that this path would bring me so much joy and provide me with such rich and rewarding experiences. I did not believe that I could summon up such courage to speak up and speak out. I would never have known how profusely my love could flow or how far my love could reach. All of these things have been gifts of this path I have chosen to walk with my son."

Online registration for the Asterisk Trans* Conference opens October 24.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Genderqueer spoken word artist Ollie Schminkey to open Asterisk Trans* Conference

Genderqueer poet/activist Ollie Schminkey will make their Southern California debut on Friday, February 27, 2015 at the opening of the Asterisk Trans* Conference at UC Riverside. Friday's events are free and open to the public. Ollie's performance at 8:30pm will follow a film screening of TransVisible, including an audience Q&A with Bamby Salcedo.

Ollie Schminkey is the director of the Macalester Poetry Slam and (as an official Word Sprout collaborator) the founder of Well-Placed Commas, a weekly poetry workshop to serve the needs of the Twin Cities area. They have competed on the nationally ranked MacSlams CUPSI team for two years, competed on 2 Twin Cities NPS teams, placed 2nd at the 2013 Great Plains Poetry Pile-Up, and competed twice with the Macalester team at Rustbelt. They have also performed and published work with 20% Theatre Company's The Naked I: Insides Out, and they tour locally with this show.

They are the author of one chapbook, The Taste of Iron, and they have work being published in September 2014 as a part of Write Bloody and Andrea Gibson's anthology, "We Will Be Shelter." They have featured at venues and events such as Rachel McKibben's Poetry and Pie Night, Slam Free or Die, Port Veritas, Mama's Crowbar, Zeke Russell's New Shit Show, OUTspoken!, Intermedia Arts, and Patrick's Cabaret.

"Spread love. Create stuff," says Ollie, inviting folks to join them at the Asterisk Trans* Conference.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

TransVisible: Bamby Salcedo's Story film screening to open Asterisk Trans* Conference

Bamby Salcedo will speak in person following a screening of the documentary about her life at the opening of the Asterisk Trans* Conference on Friday, February 27, 2015. Friday's opening is free to the public, and will also include performance by genderqueer spoken word artist Ollie Schminkey. Registration for Saturday's conference events will open online in late October.

TransVisible: Bamby Salcedo's Story is a documentary film by Dante Alencastre on the life of renowned  Los Angeles-based Trans Latina Activist and leader, Bamby Salcedo. Turning her daunting personal challenges and barriers into the very basis of her activism, the film follows her unlikely and transcendent rise into becoming the effective social advocate and role model that she is today. Her work is shown giving voice and visibilty to not only the Transgender community, but also to the multiple, overlapping communities her life has touched (Latina, immigrant, HIV+, youth, and LGBT communities).

Ms Salcedo's gripping and intimate first-person storytelling, supported by those of family and colleagues, leads us through the struggles of her early life in Mexico. Passing through addiction, prison, prejudice, and loss, her resilient and generous spirit carries her from merely surviving these issues herself to becoming a thriving and beloved voice for social change.

From her current post at the helm of the nations largest transgender youth program at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, the story of her wide-ranging and multi-focused activism takes us in several directions. We see her creation of the life-changing Angels of Change program for trans youth. We follow her empowering grassroots advocacy with her nation-wide Translatina Coalition and we hear her testimony supporting LGBT imigration reform at the California State legislature and beyond.

The film screening will begin at 7pm on Friday, February 27, 2015 in HUB 302 on the UC  Riverside campus. Friday's Asterisk Trans* Conference events are free and open to the public.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Call for Programs opens online for Asterisk Trans* Conference

The Asterisk Trans* Conference is seeking program proposals that focus on building trans* community, the health and well-being of trans* people, and education and resources for trans* youth advocates. All accepted workshops will be presented over 60 minutes on Saturday, February 28, 2015.

Submit a proposal online at by November 15, 2014.

Learn more here.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Unlimited students, staff, and faculty attending Asterisk Trans* Conference with Group Registration

Unlimited folks from 15 college campuses will be attending the Asterisk Trans* Conference using Group Registration. When online registration opens October 1, anyone attending or working at Cal Poly Pomona, the seven Claremont Colleges, CSU San Bernardino, CSU Northridge, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA, UC San Diego, and UC Santa Cruz need not pay any additional registration fees.

Group Registration is $200, and includes a conference t-shirt for individuals registering to attend. It is not too late to arrange a Group Registration for your campus or organization. Contact Nancy Tubbs at to arrange an invoice.

Regular individual registration is $20 (includes t-shirt). Reduced registration is $10 (no t-shirt). Some scholarships are available for individuals unable to afford registration fees.

Monday, September 15, 2014

UC Riverside to host Asterisk Trans* Conference February 27-28, 2015

The student organization Asterisk of UCR and the University of California, Riverside LGBT Resource Center are joining forces to organize the inaugural Asterisk Trans* Conference. The conference, open to people of all gender identities and expressions, will be hosted on the UCR campus on Friday evening and all day Saturday, February 27-28, 2015.

"Asterisk is a college conference to build community for trans people and allies, to address trans health and well-being, and to provide education and resources for trans youth advocates," says Asterisk student leader Ash Preston. "We want to create a space that an unlimited number of gender awesome people can attend, while also educating allies about gender identity."

Registration will open in October, including Group Registration ($200 for unlimited students, staff, and faculty from a campus) and individual registration of $20 or $10 per person. Registration fee waivers are also available. Community members, K-12 educators, and other trans youth advocates are welcome.

"In some ways, we are filling a void by bringing together trans-focused speakers, performers, and workshop presenters to the Inland Empire region," says Nancy Jean Tubbs, LGBT Resource Center director. "In other ways, we are creating a new kind of community-building opportunity since Asterisk is organized by students to make sure the campus trans* experience is a central theme of the conference."

Asterisk Trans* Conference is receiving major support from a California Endowment grant, as well as from the UCR Office of the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs.

Follow conference updates on Facebook or on twitter using #asteriskconference