Avory is available for speaking engagements on campuses, at conferences, and for organizations. Topics include transgender identities, rethinking sexuality and sexual orientation, inclusive feminism, gender and sexuality law and policy, and intersectionality. Avory is also available to do transgender and queer trainings at all levels for students, teachers, employers, and others. The following list is just a sample of available topics, and all talks and workshops can be tailored to your audience and needs. You can also see a list of previous engagements here. Avory is currently booking engagements for Summer and Fall 2014. To schedule a lecture, workshop, or training, please contact avory [at] avoryfaucette [dot] com.

Talk & Workshop Descriptions

Transgender

Trans Consent 301Trans Consent 301: There are many ways to learn about the 101 of consent in relationships, sex, and dating, but what comes next? This workshop for trans folks and our sex and relationship partners focuses on building consent culture in trans communities and learning how to model and practice consent in our lives across a range of situations. Moving past "no means no" and even "yes means yes," we'll focus on the nuances of trans dating and sexuality including communicating our preferences, talking about our trans bodies without marginalizing trans partners with different experiences, what to do with a "no," building consent-based group sex and kink spaces, what to do when desires change over time and transition, and how to communicate with partners of a different race, ability status, level of sexual desire, and/or gender identity. We'll also address some common communications challenges and get plenty of hands-on practice in communication and even flirting!

Beyond Bathrooms: How Legal Protections Help Transgender People and Why the Law Isn't Everything: An explosion of federal administrative policies, as well as state and local laws, have led to big changes for trans rights in recent years. Learn about how the law helps trans people get proper identification, secure healthcare, and avoid discrimination, and why the law alone is not enough to protect trans rights. Legal and social activist Avory Faucette will answer your questions about how much laws really help trans people and how important media activism and social support are to fill the gaps where the law falls short, especially for trans people of color and people who fall outside the gender binary.

Non-Binary Narrative as Self Care: What does "transition" mean if you don't fit the typical narrative presented by media and the medical establishment? How do you describe yourself as a transgender person if your experiences are fluid, non-medical, or a bit wibbly-wobbly? This workshop is an opportunity for non-binary trans folks and anyone who does not comfortably identify with a linear transition narrative to get together and support each other in developing new, self-affirming narratives. This is a chance to tell our stories and support each other, as well as to share practical means of self-care when peers, family, doctors, and professionals don't understand our trans narratives.

Deafhood, Transhood: Cultural Identity and Activism: What does it mean to be trans as a cultural identity? Why do some people retain a trans identity and others grow out of it? What impact do these differences in the experience of cultural identity have on activism and advancing trans rights? In this workshop, participants will learn about the idea of Deafhood and some basics of Deaf culture as a model for considering trans as a condition versus trans as an identity. We'll explore the relationship between cultural identity and activism and tackle some tough questions around autonomy in identity formation, passing privilege, and community building.

My High Heels Don't Mean My Vulva Is Female: A Workshop for Non-Binary and Trans Male Femmes (with Mel Hartsell): For trans men and non-binary people, the expression of a femme identity may tend to obscure our gender identities and make it even more difficult to convince others of their validity. This workshop will take a strengths-based approach to sharing strategies for describing, presenting, and caring for ourselves as assumed-female-at-birth femmes. We will discuss how to engage with female histories and the assumptions placed on our bodies, ways of presenting femme identity as visibly queer, engaging with women and female spaces, and conversation about our identities in different situations. We will also ground our explorations in the importance of self-care and authenticity.

Genderqueer Terminology: Beyond Pronouns: In recent years, terms such as "genderqueer," "gender fluid," and "gender non-conforming" have gained traction in queer communities online and off. As these terms move from the academy to activism and everyday life, questions arise about how language shapes our understanding of gender and our priorities as activists. This roundtable discussion will give participants a chance to tackle these questions, focusing on the intersection between terminology and activism. Does ambiguity in language help or hurt queer movements? Do we group transgender and gender non-conforming people together under the umbrella of the trans* term, or is the divide between identities and priorities too great? What are the most useful emerging terms, and is there any common understanding of the meaning of genderqueer or gender non-conforming? Participants are encouraged to contribute their personal understandings of the "state of the language" regarding genderqueer and gender-nonconforming populations, as well as the linguistic challenges encountered thus far.

Queer Identity and Movement-Building Applying Universal Design Principles for Universal Queer Access: Does providing accessibility feel like an insurmountable challenge for your limited resources? Re-think access in this hands-on workshop and learn to address it from the start of planning. Whether starting an organization, evaluating hiring practices, planning an event, or redesigning your website, you'll learn to identify and solve possible barriers to access before someone complains. Everyone has access needs, not just people with disabilities: learn how to make our communities safe and comfortable for everyone!

Interpersonal Communication and Disability: Ever feel frustrated when someone just doesn't get it? Is this exacerbated when you're trying to talk to a person with disabilities? Activists always say that “it's not about you,” but in this case it IS about you. It's time to take a hard look at the way we communicate and how our organizing work is hampered by not knowing how to engage with people with disabilities. You'll learn to communicate with Deaf/HH people, those on the autistic spectrum, people with social anxiety, and others in your work. Ultimately, this isn’t about disability at all--it's about building communication skills in our community.

Marriage Is Not The Movement: Two Young Trans/Queer Activists Talk Strategy (with Stephen Ira): In recent years the LGBT movement discourse has become increasingly dominated by a focus on marriage equality, while critical trans and queer priorities go underfunded and under-addressed. Two young queer activists will sound off about how we see ourselves and our peers fitting into "the movement" and our vision for a youth-led queer/trans movement that prioritizes bullying, housing, health, violence, and other serious structural issues to make lasting change. This will be a highly interactive panel where everyone is encouraged to participate and brainstorm strategy in a space that encourages radical discussion and prioritizes the needs of those most marginalized in our communities. Activist and writer Stephen Ira of the Mattachine Review blog will discuss online activism and grassroots/local strategies for youth, while Avory Faucette of the National Center for Transgender Equality will talk about how the national movement and non-profit organizations can focus on trans/queer priorities for a sustainable future.

Art, Sex, and the Abject: Often, queer femme identities can be something of a "Fuck You!" to typical ways of seeing and understanding. This lecture will present some other identities that may serve as such a "Fuck You!," looking at (dis)ability, disease, and fat through the dual lenses of art and sex. Participants will learn how bodies coded as abject are re-framed and reconceived by those who live in them, and how the rights to sexuality and agency are demanded through artistic expression.

Workshopping Your Sexual Orientation: Sexual orientation is something many of us take for granted. We may go through a struggle to define ourselves early in life, or perhaps have a mid-life shift, but once it’s set, it’s set, and we’re used to defining it by two simple questions–what is my gender, and what genders am I attracted to? This workshop will break your ideas of sexual orientation wide open. While respecting everyone’s claim to any chosen identity, we’ll be looking at other ways to define what we love, what we like, what turns us off, and what makes us hot. We’ll explore the options in a safe space and use new ways of looking at sex, gender, and orientation to make us better sexual communicators and increase our sexual self-awareness. All genders, sexualities, and identities are welcome, and encouraged to participate!

Incorporating Ambiguous Queer Identities in LGBT Organizing: The range of individuals served by queer organizations and movements goes far beyond the letters LGBT. In this workshop, we'll talk about how to include individuals who define their gender and sexuality differently in organizing that is geared towards LGBT people or a specific population.

Sex & Sexuality

Meet Your Sexual Self: How do you present yourself to current or potential sexual and/or kinky play partners? Ever struggle to describe your desires? Geared especially towards those who just aren't served by mainstream sexual scripts, including queer and trans folks, people with disabilities, POC, poly folks, kinky folks, asexual people, and sex workers, this workshop offers many hands-on practical activities and tools to interrogate your own desires. We'll go beyond the 101 of challenges we face engaging in sex or kink in marginalized bodies and identities, and really dig into getting to know ourselves and our needs and desires from a strengths-based approach. Borrowing from improv, self-help, and even the business world, you'll create your sexual superhero, start to understand your sexual personality type, form a job description for your next partner, identify the key points that need to go into your personal user manual, and give an intriguing sexual or kinky elevator pitch to present yourself as you are to the person or people you want. You'll also receive take-home materials that make it easy to tailor play scenarios to your desires and track your sexual trajectory over time.

Roleplay for Queers: In this interactive class, participants learn how to shake loose all the creative kinky stuff shaking around in their queer brains and let it flow into a roleplay scene. We'll talk about the nuts and bolts of negotiation and setting the scene (even on a budget!) before we get our hands dirty with some improv exercises. Anyone willing to participate will be encouraged to try a mini-scene—whether you're actively participating or just watching, you'll learn how to occupy a different headspace while honoring your own identity. We'll also have lots of opportunities to do some group brainstorming and conversation about roleplay ideas that might be particularly fun for queer/trans identified folks. This class is intended for queer-identified people of all genders and orientations.

Emotional and Physical Self-Care for Conventions: If you've ever been to a multi-day kinky event, you know about it. That sudden drop mid-con, whether it lasts five minutes or half a day, can be a brutal part of the experience. You're cranky, you can't find a play partner, or you're just exhausted. Great for newbies but also appropriate for old-timers, this class will lay out all the things that can go wrong during a con and provide practical steps for addressing them. Going beyond scene after care or post-con drop, we'll focus on ways to prevent those little lows during the convention itself and how to handle them when they occur. This class is appropriate for a range of participants, including single and partnered, introverts and extroverts, people with disabilities, and people with specific communications challenges.

Care and Feeding of Your Sexuality: What is your sexuality trying to tell you? Participants will walk away from this session with a personal manual on how to care for their sexuality, applicable to both self-care and conversations with sexual partners. Exercises in this highly interactive workshop will encourage us to think about pleasure, creativity, challenges in our sex lives, and sexual relationships in a radically creative way. The workshop will help participants frame their thinking about sexuality and will enable everyone to take this tool back to their communities, partners, and friends. We'll consider kink, disability, polyamory, healing from sexual trauma, and fetishes, among other topics, and use techniques from group brainstorming to mind mapping to poster creation to spark new ideas.

Creative Genderplay for the Masses: Genderplay isn’t just for those who identify as transgender, for those who like to crossdress, or for those who like to roleplay as a gender other than the one they identify as. This interactive workshop introduces a wide variety of ways to play with gender—from service and language use to highlighting certain aspects of gender presentation in a roleplay scene. We will discuss aspects of gender including identity, expression, and roles and we will brainstorm different ways to incorporate these into kinky play. We will also consider how gender interplays with other aspects, such as your kinky interests, culture and ability. And we will cover how to make a genderplay scene safe and consensual for everyone. This workshop is open to people of all gender identities, presentations and sexual orientations.

Sometimes a Penis Is Not Just a Penis: Body-Affirming Sexuality Talk for Everyone: The sexual scripts we learn in school, from our families, and in the media often feature remarkably narrow understandings of embodiment: not only are we taught that our bodies should be sexual only in a heteronormative context, but we also learn a very narrow vocabulary around describing our body parts, what parts of our bodies are and aren’t sexual, and how to describe the sexual acts our bodies perform. These scripts leave out many queers, trans people, fat people, people with disabilities, intersex people, asexual people, and others who don’t view our bodies according to the dominant culture’s prescriptive norm. Participants in this workshop will identify this narrow language, interrogate it, and take part in activities that re-imagine how to talk about sex both in interpersonal contexts and when communicating with the wider world. We’ll focus on how to affirm individuals’ experiences of their bodies as sexual through a body-positive lens, rather than applying body shame and sex shame to those whose bodies aren’t coded as “normal” in sexual contexts.

Negotiating Your Kinky Perception: Are you ever frustrated with how you're perceived in the scene? Are you looking for different or more authentic play experiences and kinky relationships but have trouble getting what you want? This lecture will look at different frameworks including queerness, trans*gender, and (dis)ability to help attendees extract practical skills in how to present oneself in public spaces, how to overcome assumptions, how to identify one's own deepest desires, and how to negotiate for scenes and relationships that honor them.

Say Hello to My Sparkly Dildo: Creativity in Fucking While Femme: The power of femme as artistic, playful, and creative can be electrifying in sexual spaces, particularly when sexual obstacles come up. We'll talk about the sexual potential of femme identity as a creative force, with particular attention to bodies and sexualities that are coded as non-normative in the mainstream. We'll come up with ways to use the same creativity involved in crafting a femme identity to make sex fun and imaginative, and we'll brainstorm ways to use that creativity in difficult situations, including addressing histories of sexual assault and gender-related trauma.

Embodied Sexualities: All of our bodies are policed through an intense application of sexual scripts, starting from a very young age. We learn what parts of our bodies are meant to be sexual, sexual meanings of nudity in our culture, how we are supposed to use our bodies in sexual ways, and how different bodies are sexually desired or avoided. Using frameworks of transgender sexuality, (dis)ability, and asexuality, this workshop will interrogate participants' learned sexual values as they relate to the socially constructed body, and attempt to break open dominant sexual scripts to view the body as sexual in new ways.