Last year, the School District of Philadelphia encouraged teachers to attend a conference on “kink,” “BDSM,” “trans sex,” and “banging beyond binaries.”
In early July 2021, the district’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion sent invitations to the Philadelphia Trans Wellness Conference to teachers and staff on the SDP Connect mailing list, promoting the conference as a way to “learn more about the issues facing the trans community.” The conference was organized by the Mazzoni Center, an LGBTQ activist organization that has worked with the district on sexual-education programs. (When reached for comment, the School District of Philadelphia described its promotion of the conference as part of its commitment to “creating equitable and inclusive environments,” and said it did “not have any information” on the number of teachers who attended the event. The Mazzoni Center did not return request for comment.)
I have obtained videos from a publicly accessible website that show that the conference went far beyond the school district’s euphemism about “issues facing the trans community.” The event included sessions on topics such as “The Adolescent Pathway: Preparing Young People for Gender-Affirming Care,” “Bigger Dick Energy: Life After Masculinizing [Gender Reassignment Surgery],” “Prosthetics for Sex,” “The Ins and Outs of Masturbation Sleeves,” and “Trans Sex: Banging Beyond Binaries.” The conference attendees included educators, activists, adults, and adolescents. There were graphic sessions on prosthetic penises, masturbation toys, and artificial ejaculation devices, which some hosts explicitly promoted to minors. As one session host explained, “there’s no age limit, because I feel like everybody should be able to access certain information.”
The conference began with presentations promoting puberty blockers, hormone treatments, breast removals, and genital surgeries. In one session, “The Adolescent Pathway Preparing Young People for Gender-Affirming Care,” Dr. Scott Mosser, the principal at the Gender Confirmation Center in San Francisco, explained that he has performed “over two thousand top surgeries,” which involve removing girls’ breasts, and that there is no age limit for beginning the “gender journey.” “I do not have a minimum age of any sort in my practice,” he said, explaining that he would be willing to consult with children as young as ten years old with parental consent. In another session open to children, “Gender-Affirming Masculine and Feminizing Hormones for Adolescents and Adults,” Dane Menkin, divisional director of LGBTQ services at Main Line Health, endorsed treatments ranging from puberty-blocking hormones to manual breast-binding for “masculinizing” adolescent girls. “I’m a strong proponent that you can bind for as many hours a day as you can tolerate binding,” he said.
Other presentations at the Trans Wellness Conference involved explicit sexual themes. Two female-to-male trans activists, Kofi Opam, a graduate student at the University of Iowa, and Sami Brussels, a medical illustrator, hosted a presentation called “Bigger Dick Energy,” in which they explained the process of phalloplasty and using an artificial penis for “navigating cruising and anonymous/casual sex life.” Chase Ross, a transgender activist and YouTuber, hosted a series of sessions on “packers,” “masturbation sleeves,” and “prosthetics for sex,” demonstrating various devices from his collection of more than 500 genital prosthetics. “I have tried and touched many dicks, right—prosthetics, real dicks, all dicks. This is one of the most realistic feeling in terms of like the inside of a penis,” he said during one demonstration. “It’s a big boy, this is, like, gigantic. Alright, give me two hours alone and I’ll get this in my butt,” he said during another.
The most extreme presentation at the three-day conference was “Trans Sex: Banging Beyond Binaries.” Jamie Joy, a self-described “kinky,” “polyamorous,” “pretty big slut,” and Lucie Fielding, a self-described “white, queer, kinky, polyamorous, visibly able-bodied, Jewish, witchy, non-binary, trans femme” led the session. The women led a presentation on politically correct anatomical language, including terms such as “front hole” and “back hole,” and shared personal information about organizing orgies for participants to “explore their fantasies and their perversions in groups.” The instructors then discussed various “kink” activities, including fetishes about puppies, Mary Poppins, and spanking. “I haven’t gotten to explore a lot of my mommy kink. And I think for tonight I’m really wanting to feel cared for, but also get punished a little bit,” said Joy.
It is important to remember that this conference is not a fringe activity. The Mazzoni Center, which organized it, received more than $5 million in government contracts last year and runs sexuality programs in schools throughout the region. The School District of Philadelphia has partnered with the Center on sexual-health research and student sexual-education programs, and the district’s director of teacher leadership, Amy Summa, sits on Mazzoni’s board of directors. Despite the school district’s euphemisms about “wellness” and “self-esteem,” the conference materials reveal a sexual ideology steeped in radical queer theory, not commonsense sex education. Parents and taxpayers should ask why the district’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion encouraged teachers to participate in such programming.