Trans Athletes: How to Win Inclusion on Feb 20 at Creating Change 2023

February 16, 2023

Join Jess St. Louis, Lex Horwitz, Shaira Chaer and me at the 2023 Creating Change Conference this Monday, Feb 20, for the panel "Trans Athletes: How to Win Inclusion" at 1:30PM in Union Square 14. Please note, the panelists and session description have been changed from the original Creating Change schedule, as some of our panelists had to cancel for unforeseen circumstances. We still have an exciting lineup and will be previewing brand new research findings on messaging to win!

Updated Session Description (Union Square 14, Feb 20, 1:30-3pm PT)

Presenters will share research on the narrative landscape surrounding trans athletes as well as proactive narrative strategies to push for transgender inclusion in sports. Trans advocates and organizations operate under complex narrative conditions that often force us into a defensive position. Kayley Whalen, trans athlete and communications expert, is joined by Jess St. Louis and Shaira Chaer from ReFrame to discuss the narrative opportunities and risks on the horizon. In the current narrative landscape, harmful stories, including widespread mis-and disinformation, scapegoat trans athletes to advance regressive policies, threatening the rights and freedoms of LGBTQIA+ people and even democracy itself. Join us in discussing the latest research and strategies to intervene in these conversations in ways that contest the gender binary and white supremacy and set us up to win liberation for all of our people.

Presenter Bios:

Kayley Margarite Whalen (she/they) was one of the first out transgender roller derby skaters competing in the Women's Flat Track Derby Association. She is an advocate and communications professional who has devoted her career to building connections across social justice movements. For over 12 years, she has led some of the biggest digital campaigns for disability justice, LGBTQIA+ justice, and environmental justice. Since 2018 her business, Kayley Whalen Consulting, has provided communications and digital marketing services to numerous organizations including National Center for Transgender Equality, New Day Films, Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network, Sins Invalid, Ocean Conservancy, and Search for Common Ground. Kayley has represented the LGBTQ community, the disability community, and the Latine community as a public speaker at events across the United States and the world, including speaking twice at the Obama White House. Kayley is a world traveler, blogger, and YouTuber. Through her YouTube channel and her blog TransWorldView, she shares stories of the artists and activists she meets around the world, in addition to covering disability and transgender issues. In 2020 she represented the United States as Miss USA in Miss International Queen, the world’s most prestigious transgender pageant.

Jess St. Louis (she/her) is a lesbian femme-identified white trans woman & communications strategist who lives and loves in Greensboro, NC. She comes out of LGBTQ liberation, racial justice, and prison industrial complex abolitionist movements in the US South. She does this work out of a belief that communications and narrative strategy, alongside the organizing work that transforms people, as well as systems, is key to winning the battle for political imagination and experiencing freedom, real safety, and dignity for everyone in our towns, cities, and world we call home. Before ReFrame, she worked with the Center for Story-Based Strategy as a network associate and trainer, RoadMap Consulting, the US Human Rights Network, and the Racial Justice Action Center, in addition to other local and national clients. She has been a student with generative somatics for over 5 years and is a learning practitioner.

Shaira Chaer (they/she) is a first-generation Dominican-American researcher, writer, and multi-hyphenate creative born and raised on unceded Lenape land, so-called New York. They have a background in feminist organizing, public health, and food justice. Chaer received their B.S. in Human Services at CUNY City Tech in 2012 and an M.A. in Urban Studies from CUNY Institute of Labor and Urban Studies. Chaer’s cultural critiques, essays, and interviews are featured in Remezcla, Vibe Magazine, Posture Magazine, Girlgaze Project, and more. They are a Senior Strategist at ReFrame, where they nerd out about all things narrative research.

Lex Pe'er Horwitz (they/them) is a queer, non-binary transgender Jewish LGBTQ+ Educator, Activist, Consultant, and Public Speaker. They received their B.A. in Psychology and Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies from Bowdoin College, where they switched from the women's to the men's Varsity Squash Team and became the first out transgender athlete in all of collegiate squash, and the first out transgender athlete to compete at Bowdoin. Through their work, Lex cultivates a powerful judgment-free safe space where all people can engage in critical conversation on gender, sexuality, and community, and become effective allies in action to LGBTQ+ folx. Email: / website: / instagram: