Public Speaking

“JAC is a skilled, knowledgeable, and talented teacher who tirelessly serves trans people every day. He gets complex ideas across to a broad audience with warmth and a terrific sense of humor.  Please do yourself a great big favor and bring this high-fashion genderqueer wonder to you as soon as you possibly can.”
– Kate Bornstein

In his career JAC has taught thousands of students, activists, educators, and community members about trans socially just activism and the social experience of being an early genderqueer, anti-trans pathology activist in the conservative Midwest. Over the past ten years he has traveled all over the country providing educational presentations, skill building workshops, professional trainings, keynotes, performance art, and more. 

JAC’s extensive career as a grassroots trans activist influences his down to earth, fun and sometimes unapologetic teaching style centered on combating intersectional systems of oppression including racism, sexism, cisgenderism, heterosexism, ableism, ageism, sizeism, classism, ethnocentrism, religious imperialism, colonization, and medical gatekeeping. His academic background in Psychology, Gender & Sexuality Studies, and a Masters in Social Work have made him an asset to classrooms for high school, undergraduate, and graduate level students. His talks are requested by a diverse range of people in community groups, human service and health organizations, non-profits, schools and universities, faith communities, and volunteer organizations. As a educator, JAC’s deepest passion lies in helping people access empowering tools for their activism, educational growth, and social justice work.

No two presentations are alike! JAC strives to connect with every unique group to gain an understanding for who he’ll be meeting and what they’re seeking to learn. All talks are designed for ninety minutes – two hours, including time for discussion. Custom length may be available, depending on the talk.


Survival and Resistance: Trans and Queer Resiliency in the Flyover States

As media suggests cultural attitudes are growing more liberal and progressive, trans and queer people’s experiences with safety and resilience are much more complex. The majority of trans and queer people live in the “fly over zone,” the central, Midwestern, and southern states where we are regularly isolated from resources and each other. Living in culturally conservative areas has a significant impact on how we form relationships, attend work and school, and navigate self-care. This workshop will discuss the varying avenues of activism and community building found among us, trans and queer people, in the face of struggle and resilience.

Disordering Gender Defiance: Gender Dysphoria and the Pathologization of Trans Lives

 The past 95 years have marked the modern age for transgender people, where modern medicine and forward civil policies have slowly carved out a safer place in society. And western medicine’s effort to move human differences from criminal to cultural resulted in a global pandemic of gender pathologization. While the impact it’s had on transgender populations is generally perceived as positive, it is also at the root of trans oppression and trans exclusion from resources. We see the impact of pathology spreads beyond medicine into every aspect of society at oppresses transgender and gender non-conforming people. As the transgender health field rockets to futuristic levels so has people’s awareness of our pathologization and its obstacles. The question remains on how trans needs can be met, and if pathologization is a required trade off.

“You look like a Freak…” Gender and Societal Recognition

Evaluating the cultural concept of normalcy and how it impacts members of trans and queer communities. This workshop evaluates historical trauma and systems of oppression in relation to trans and queer identities, who enforces the rules of legitimacy, why we feel we have to follow them, and how we can break them.

Bending Desire: Sexual Attraction and Genderqueer Identities 

In a culture where “sexy” is defined through feats of masculine or feminine perfection, how do we recognize desire that embodies all or none of these qualities? Attraction to androgyny is experienced in multiple spectra of sexualities, yet it’s still debated. Complex partnering dynamics formed by a variance of bodies, identities, and experiences make definitions for attraction difficult, if not impossible within traditional concepts of sexuality. In this workshop, we will discuss desire outside the binary including the language of attraction, gender normalcy’s influences, and how genderqueer and non-binary trans people continue to carve out spaces for sexual desire.

Unable to do Without: Ableism in Activism

More and more, people recognize that trans and queer identities, and their oppression are multi-faceted and complex. Our communities’ activism is diversifying but the growth of a movement does not entirely depend on the success of its members. Every uprising sees the its most marginalized fall to the bottom with the phrase, “We’ll come back for you,” and it always has a greater influence than what is easily seen. Such is the impact of ableism on trans and queer communities, historically and today. This workshop addresses the role ableism plays within the trans and queer movements, its impact on their members, and its involvement in what we consider progress.

Related Histories; Commonalities between Native and Trans Activist Movements

The history of our communities have an impact on who we are today. We carry the pains and joys from those who came before us in our bodies, in our experiences, and in our identities. This is the foundation of historical trauma and it appears in all oppressed communities. The Native activist movement and the trans activist movement are full of commonalities including cultural, institutional, and medicalized violence, segregation, and normalization. This workshop is a space to hold, discuss, and understand how historical trauma takes shape within and around our communities and how we can continue to heal and grow.

Trans, Queer, and Broke

Financial marginalization, or what the real world calls “being broke,” applies to a disproportionate number of trans and queer people, especially youth. Society teaches a narrow view of poverty that keeps us from recognizing the experience in ourselves or feeling able to ask for help. As a result, we are left wondering why we feel insecure, anxious, scared, and/or depressed about money. There is an unseen impact when groceries are too expensive or you feel guilty buying something for self-care like make-up, binders, or clothes. Money limits our access to community, leaves us vulnerable to unhealthy relationships, and can trap us in unsafe environments. And, the idea of “going without” is romanticized, sending mixed messages about what it truly means. This discussion group is a space to share how it feels to cope with a lack of money, validate our experiences, and gain support.

Deconstructing Systems to Establish Socially Just Trans Campus Policy

This workshop discusses what issues trans people may face on a college campus, what policies are required to address their needs, and what tools can be used to make trans inclusive policy change a reality. Included in the session are opportunities for college organizers to discuss their own work to create a campus that is safe and accessible for all students.

Coming Out and Getting Back In 

Story-telling lecture analyzing the personal experience of “Coming Out,” how we learn to know ourselves, how we find each other, and how we build community.

Who Counts? Inclusion and Allyship in Trans Communities Membership 

As language and identities change, our communities must change with them. This workshop works to crack open the question of “who counts” in queer and trans communities, what identities are included, where friends, family and partners fit, and how we can promote inclusive, responsible community building where everyone has a place to call home. This workshop may be oriented towards the greater LGBTPQIA community OR specifically for trans communities.

More than Make-Up; The Art of Drag

Interactive lecture discussing a drag as we know it today; the history the gender performance, the culture surrounding it, conflicts and oppression within communities, where the community is now and what the future may hold. By request; optional drag “how-to” tips Q&A for feminine, masculine, and genderfuck performance styles.

The Power of TRANS-Formance: Trans Identities on Stage

Interactive lecture discussing trans gender performance history, culture, theory, and practice. Session discusses the unique abilities performance has to touch us and transform bodies into vessels of visibility and validation. By request; optional “how-to” tips Q&A.

“Make your Own” Topic Areas:

JAC provides sessions that involve the whys and hows of trans organizing, community building, discussing identities, and creating educational foundations. If you have specific needs or issues to address, a custom session is great for brainstorming strategies, gathering resources, creating an action plan, and learning how to put that plan into action. If your community is looking for a specific conversation, let JAC know!

  • Information for students, activists, health care providers, and educators working with trans and queer populations.
  • Informational practices for education professionals when working with trans and queer students.
  • Survivors of violence and trauma and specific socio-cultural and wellness related impacts within trans and/or queer populations, or Native populations.
  • Using activism towards strategic planning, project development and management and challenging the non-profit industrial complex.
  • Intersections of poverty, financial violence, and economic social justice in trans and queer populations.
  • Accessibility, ableism, and activist organizing; creating accessible resources and programming.
  • Performance art, artistic expression, and drag as a form of trans and queer activism.
  • And more!