Panelists for CCPJ 4030: Reconstructing Gender: Exploring Transgender Experiences

4:30 pm
6:30 pm
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Teachers College, Horace Mann 148
Special Event
Open to the Columbia Community
Panelists for CCPJ 4030: Reconstructing Gender: Exploring Transgender Experiences

Topher Gross

Topher Gross is a 36 year-old, queer man-of-transexual- experience. Topher is a top stylist who worked for a celebrity-owned salon, a blogger for Original Plumbing magazine, the runner up in the Mr. Transman Competition, and active in the NYC queer community. He is also the face of the transgender/transsexual definition in an Oxford Encyclopedia.

Cody Dodo, MS L.Ac
My name is Cody. I identify as transgender. I was born in Jerusalem, Israel, and lived in New York for 18 years. I’m a graduate of the Swedish Institute School of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine where I studied Classical Chinese Medicine with Jeffrey Yuen, Taoist priest and healer. Two of my passions are health and spirituality, both were extremely important factors during my transition. I treat patients who struggle with their own gender identity, expression and self-acceptance. Acupuncture is a transformative healing modality. I wouldn't have been able to find the courage to transition without having had the powerful experience of this healing art.

Anthony Vavasis, MD
Anthony is a family doctor and HIV specialist. He is also the Director of Medicine at Callen-Lorde Community Health Center and provides medical care in the Health Outreach to Teens Program at Callen-Lorde. He has participated in the development and updating of the medical protocols for providing gender-affirming hormones to patients in the adult and youth programs at Callen-Lorde.

Octavia Yaz-Mine Lewis
My parents bestowed the name of Raymond Antonio Lewis upon birth to me, because that name matched my exterior. A few short years ago I changed my name to Octavia Yaz-Mine Lewis to match my interior and new found exterior. My own family didn’t even have a clue to my true being because I had been forced to grow up a certain way in “The Heart of Dixie” or should I say the “Bible Belt” of the South.

Since being in New York, I have accomplished being a graduate of Trans Justice School through the Audre Lorde Project, Becoming gainfully employed as an Educational Specialist over Transgender Programming at Hetrick-Martin Institute, Developing my skills as a Fierce Trans Activist in Albany and Washington D.C., and lastly Becoming a Foster Mother to a ten month old little boy named Ethan whom I would one day love to adopt. I am currently pursuing my Doctoral of Public Health while still remaining present and upfront in the struggle for Tran’s inclusiveness.

AJ Stachelek
My name is A.J. Stachelek and I am a transman. I started what I like to call my transition journey June 2011, when I had a talk with a friend who gave me the strength I needed, and shortly thereafter my beautiful wife, who also goes by mom, who has been incredibly supportive throughout. I look forward to raising my son and working as an educator now that I've graduated from Teachers College with my doctorate. I also look forward to my continued work as an activist through my visibility and of course, meeting all of you!

Marnie Florin, MBA
My name is Marnie and I currently identify as gender neutral/trans and am biologically female. Prior to graduate school, I worked at the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center, where I first opened up about identifying as trans. I started Columbia Business School in 2012 and I am organizing CBS’ first transgender awareness training and have worked with school administration to secure a gender neutral bathroom at CBS starting at the end of this summer. It will likely be the first gender neutral bathroom at any top tier business school.

Tanya Raymond
My name is Tanya Raymond. I was born in Haiti, raised in Brooklyn, and came to the US when I was 5. I always knew I was female born with a medical condition, which I did not understand. I don't, nor did I, ever identify as transgender or anything trans. To me, I'm as female as any cis gender female. I don't identify as trans, I'm not a gay man who wants to be a woman…I am a woman who was born with a medical condition, which I've got treatment for and surgery. I started my physical transition at 15 and have been living as my true self since then.


Carlos Correa