This video is one step towards our vision of widespread education and awareness about Transgender issues in mental health care.
We know accessible, affordable and dignified health care for all our communities is possible when we all learn and work together.


Trans Clients Speak Therapists

We are pleased to announce that the Trans Clients Speak Project founders are now accepting clients in their therapy practices. 

Philipe L. Harrington, MFT

Proudly serving queer, trans & poly individuals and couples in healing and transforming

With the power of somatics and expressive arts, I will support you in accessing more choices, skills, and creativity for whatever you are facing.

I am committed to your personal wellness and our collective liberation. Together, we can heal limiting patterns of protection from stress, trauma and social inequality and embody the transformation we want for our communities. Healing is possible.

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist #85024

Elijah Nella, MFT

I help couples, individuals, and families create the lives they want to live. I collaboratively draw upon people’s strengths, values, and competencies to navigate their way towards more fulfillment, freedom, purpose, and joy.

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist #85401


Bring Trans Clients Speak to your organization or school!

Unfortunately, transgender and genderqueer people often experience insurmountable barriers to accessing successful therapy and medical care. Either because of harmful direct experience or through the plentiful negative stories of disrespect and betrayal by medical and psychological service providers that circulate within our community, many trans people are unwilling to seek care. Due to a lack of information and experience, doctors, therapists and counseling center staff often show a lack of basic respect and empathy toward gender variant people.

The Trans Clients Speak Project is available for comprehensive trainings, video screenings, discussions and interactive workshops around transgender and genderqueer issues in mental health and academic settings. These interactive trainings are your chance to learn directly from the gender variant community and to begin healing these divisive attitudes. Our primary goal is to help you be more prepared to provide the best service possible to current and future clients who identify within the transgender galaxy or who are questioning their gender.

We cover topics including working with transgender and genderqueer clients, putting the "T" in LGBTQ, hormones, surgery, coming out, terminology, DSM controversy, our role as gatekeepers of hormone therapy and gender reassignment surgeries, how to make your workplace more accessible, being an ally in your personal and professional life and more! Email or call us today for more information. 415-735-4653

"I am grateful for you, Philipe. From your wisdom, articulateness, & passion, to your mindfulness about paper & diplomacy, you are clearly a treasure of a human being. We want you back at Edgewood!"
--Therese Noel Allen, MFT, Clinician at Edgewood Center for Children & Families, Expressive Arts Therapist & Consultant


Order your DVD today!

Now shipping!

Package includes 4 page tips & recommendations viewing guide
and digital resource packet.

copyright options

This is your chance to hear from Transgender and Genderqueer people about their range of experiences with therapists: helpful, insulting, insensitive, uplifting, pathologizing, plaguing, empowering, and healing.

Recent supporters of the panel DVD:

  • Pacific Center for Human Growth | Berkeley, CA
  • Rainbow Health | Ontario, Canada
  • Georg-Elias-Mueller-Institut fuer Psychologie | Goettingen, Germany
  • Edgewood Center for Children and Families | SF, CA
  • CIIS California Institute of Integral Studies | SF, CA
  • Native American AIDS Project | SF, CA
  • Alliant International University | SF, CA
  • Naropa University | Boulder, CO
  • Wright Institute | Berkeley, CA
  • Argosy University | Alameda, CA
  • Shawnee State University | Portsmouth, Ohio

Donations for Trans Clients Speak are now being gratefully accepted! Your donation will support our our all trans and genderqueer production crew an help offset the cost of editing, reproducing, and distributing the DVD. All the proceeds will go directly to making the video possible while supporting the trans and genderqueer individuals who do this education for free on a daily basis.

All profits will be donated to The Transgender, Gender Variant and Intersex Justice Project's (TGIJP) whose mission is to challenge and end the human rights abuses committed against Transgender, gender variant, Genderqueer and people with intersex conditions in California prisons and beyond and
EL-LA, a San Francisco program that reaches out to the Trans Latina Community in and around the mission neighborhood providing services for HIV prevention, counseling and referrals for all services available to Transgender girls and those in transition.

So donate today using PayPal!

If you are an individual who donates $40 or above, we will send you a complimentary DVD. Thanks for your investment in creating justice and for your continued allyship to the trans community by investing in our work.

The four panelists:

Ms. Billie Cooper is a trans-health advocate, a trans-peer educator for her sisters, and volunteers at The Transgender, Gender Variant and Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP), Tenderloin Health, and the San Francisco Aids Foundation.

Clair Farley is a committed community leader and mentor working to support LGBTQQ youth as the Economic Development Coordinator for the Transgender Economic Empowerment Initiative (TEEI) and the star of the documentary film Red without Blue in which she and her family share their beautiful story of transition and change against all odds.

Tonilyn A. Sideco is a heartworker who enjoys breaking people out of their idleness through social justice/community theater, filmmaking through the Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project, and by engaging in conversations that build bridges. She has previously served as the coordinator of the go/get out queer youth program at the Richmond Village Beacon and has most recently coordinated Queer Youth Action Projects at LYRIC.

Dylan Vade is a transgender educator and attorney who co-founded the Transgender Law Center in San Francisco and currently teaches medical students at Stanford and Touro Universities how to provide culturally competent care to transgender patients.


Past Trans Clients Speak Video Screenings

Past Trans Clients Speak Video Screenings

California Institute of Integral Studies
Wednesday February 3rd from 6-8
1453 Mission St. at 10th
San Francisco, CA
(Civic Center Bart)
room 607

Come and watch the new video and celebrate our contribution to Transgender education and awareness in the mental health field.

Alliant International University
April 12th at 12 pm
1 Beach St, SF CA 94133
main lecture hall room #217

Sandwiches, video screening and discussion with the producer.


Transgender people and the DSM

Cross-gender identification is as old as humanity itself — it has been expressed in a variety of ways across cultures and throughout history.

Gender variant individuals have been challenging stigmatization, oppression, and invisibility for decades. A larger international transgender rights movement emerged in the late 20th century.

Transgender people and their allies continue to challenge DSM systems of classification as pathologizing, dehumanizing, and non-responsive to the needs of Transgender communities.

We are building our own cultures of education, resilience, and health care services.


Continuing our Learning: More Resources

This is not a Transgender 101 video. We will hear experiences from several individual people's lives. To help contextualize and deepen the following stories and information, we encourage you to access additional films, books and the Internet for basic information about terminology and additional genders, cultures and recommendations.

Gender Variant Resources Database Online
The San Francisco Public Library has an excellent online resource of books, articles, journals, films and websites called
TRANScending Identities: A Bibliography of Resources on Gender Variance, Transgender and Intersex Topics

Diagnosing Difference
This film by Dr. Annalise Ophelian
full‐length documentary 
their lives 
communities. See clips!


This panel and video were created by a community of people who are committed to creating affordable, accessible and dignified mental health care for all people.

Ms. Billie Cooper
Clair Farley
Dylan Vade
Tonilyn A. Sideco

Panel and Video Crew
Philipe Harrington | Producer and panel co-organizer
Elijah Nella | Panel co-organizer
Ami Puri
| Editor and Videographer
Jai Arun Ravine
| Project Manager
Amber Field
| Videographer
Alex Safron
| Videographer
Dave End
| Original music

Financial support

Ami Puri
Barbara Dean
Dan Scharlack
Deborah Stone
Evan Schloss
Kathryn Weaver
Laura Dean
Lydia Hallay
Surendra Puri
Zak Sinclair

CIIS Diversity Fund
CIIS Student Alliance

Special thanks to
Adele Carpenter, Annalise Ophelian, Antonietta Delli Carpini, Becki Tinsley, Brima Jah, Carly Lukas, Catalyst Project, Colin Wolf, Connor Dale, Dan Scharlack, Dustin Smith, Fei Hu, Jen Parr, Jim Howley, John, Madeline and Chris Nella, Julia Ellis, Kristen Crowley, Laura Dean, Lil Milagro Martinez-Cornejo, Mark Farley, Marlena Zahm, Sarah Schaafsma, Shirley Strong, Susannah End, Tim Simons, Zak Sinclair and the many other Genderqueers, Transpeople and Allies who support us.

...and all those who live their gender intentionally, proudly, loudly and unapologetically.


Trans Clients Speak! panel a success!

On the warm evening of Tuesday, April 21st at 6pm, over 110
therapists, mental health practitioners, and therapists-in-training
across the Bay Area filled Namaste Hall at the California Institute of
Integral Studies (CIIS) to hear directly from transgender and gender
queer clients and consumers of therapy and mental health services.
Trans Clients Speak: A Transgender Educational Panel for
Psychotherapists and Mental Health Practitioners created a rare
opportunity for transgender and genderqueer people to speak about
their helpful, insulting, insensitive, uplifting, pathologizing,
plaguing, empowering, and healing experiences with therapists.

Three professional videographers documented this unique evening. An
educational DVD for therapists, students, and allies will be released
in the fall.

Among a multiplicity of important stories and statements, the four
panelists addressed: why they've accessed mental health services, what
has been supportive, what was harmful, and their ideal vision of
therapy services for trans folks to come. Panelists addressed
specifics such as: how to create respectful forms; making waiting
rooms and offices more inviting to trans folks; the negative impact on
the therapeutic relationship when therapists act as gatekeepers to
hormones and surgeries; and a desire for therapists to give up
assumptions around trans and gender queer identities and sexualities.

Several panelists spoke about their desire for non-trans-related
therapy, just like non-trans clients receive. Inspired by the event,
several audience members shared with event organizers ways they are
now in the process of creating new programs and respectful practices
in their organizations.

Two CIIS counseling psychology graduate students, Philipe Harrington, a
genderqueer-identified student of Expressive Arts Therapy and social
justice organizer who works with LGBTQ youth and allies, and Elijah
Nella, a transgender Integral Counseling Student and HIV Test
Counselor who is starting practicum this fall at New Leaf, have worked
with the panelists to organize this event since December.

The four unique panelists took turns sharing about their lives and
experiences accessing mental health service. Ms. Billie Cooper, a
trans-health advocate, a trans-peer educator, who volunteers at The
Transgender, Gender Variant and Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP);

Tonilyn A. Sideco, a social justice/community theater creator and
filmmaker who has worked with the go/get out queer youth program and
the Queer Youth Action Projects at LYRIC;

Dylan Vade, a transgender educator and attorney who co-founded the
Transgender Law Center in San Francisco; and Clair Farley, a committed
community leader and mentor working to support LGBTQQ youth as the
Economic Development Coordinator for the Transgender Economic
Empowerment Initiative (TEEI), shared their honesty and vulnerability in
addressing their personal experiences with mental health and psychotherapy

This historic event was the product of over a dozen CIIS and community
volunteers who care about affordable, dignified, and accessible
healthcare for all people. The panel was sponsored by CIIS Student
Alliance, UNITE!, and the CIIS Diversity Program.

Elijah and Philipe welcome any feedback about the event or future
events at If anyone is inspired to create
another panel to amplify the voices of another group of people who are
marginalized by the healthcare system, Philipe and Elijah are offering
support to make these events possible. Please email if interested.

Look out for the TRANS CLIENTS SPEAK DVD that will be available on
pre-sale this summer!


Contact Trans Clients Speak