Beyond Pronouns: Creating a Gender-Affirming Campus

March 21, 2022
Submitted By: Office of Diversity and Community Engagement

Join us on Tuesday, April 12, 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m. for an enlightening and engaging conversation about how we can create a gender-affirming campus at the University of Hartford. Register here to receive Zoom access information.

This program will include a stimulating panel discussion and inspiring keynote address. Together, we will explore pathways to creating a more accepting, supportive, and welcoming campus community for all students, faculty, and staff. Author Tony Ferraiolo, Director of Health Care Advocates International’s Youth and Family Program and Life Coach, will deliver a keynote address sharing his personal journey as an adult trans man and his experiences and wisdom gained from working with transgender and nonbinary youth. Following the keynote presentation, a panel of members of the University of Hartford community will participate in a discussion and Q&A session facilitated by Professor Wes Younts, focused on their experiences with equity, inclusion, and justice regarding gender diversity on campus and pathways for creating a more gender-affirming campus.

Keynote Address by Tony Ferraiolo – Beyond the Binary: A Journey to Self-Love and Acceptance 

Join Tony Ferraiolo, as he takes you on his personal journey beyond the binary that led him to self-love and acceptance. Ferraiolo will share with his audience, how he learned to accept himself and how working with transgender and non-binary youth helped him heal his own heart. Tony will also bring you along for an exploration of his work with trans youth, told through the eyes of the youth themselves as he shares drawings from his book series “Artistic Expression of Transgender Youth.” 

More about Tony Ferraiolo

Tony Ferraiolo is the Director of Health Care Advocates International’s Youth and Family Program, whose mission is to provide a safe place for LGBTQ+ youth and their families to be supported and emphasizes that love, kindness, and diversity can empower youth to walk their truth and authentically live the lives they truly deserve.

He is also known as a compassionate and empowering Life Coach and a motivating and thought-provoking trainer. Since 2005 Tony has provided trainings to over 70,000 people around the country. Tony has dedicated himself to both promoting competent and respectful health care for the transgender community, by educating providers, and advocating on behalf of patients. He encompasses a unique ability to make light of a sometimes-challenging situation which puts his audience at ease to fully participate in his trainings.

In 2008, Tony started several support groups to support transgender youth and their families, the groups meet concurrently, providing a complete support system for these families, drawing families from New York and throughout New England. Since 2008 these groups have served over 1,000 families.

In 2017, Tony was a Contributing Author for an article in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, “Ten Things Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Youth Want Their Doctors to Know.” In 2020, he was a Contributing Author for the Springer Publication, "Pediatric Gender Identity" Overview and Terminology Chapter.

Tony is the subject of the award-winning documentary A Self-Made Man, and the author of the book series Artistic Expressions of Transgender Youth.  He also hosted the A&E miniseries Transitioning, where he coached three transgender young adults through social transition.  

Tony is the co-founder of the Jim Collins Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides financial assistance to transgender people for gender-confirming surgeries. Tony also held the position of President of the board for 10 years.

This program is co-sponsored by the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, the Office of Diversity and Community Engagement, the President’s Commission on the Status of Women, the Center for Social Research, the Gender and Sexuality Studies Program, and the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Office.

Questions? Contact Christine Grant, Executive Director of Diversity, Equity, and Community Engagement (; 860-768-4220) and/or Lisa Coté, Assistant Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (; 860-768-4932).