Deep Dish - Supporting the Health and Wellness of Gender Creative and Transgender Children

Thursday, September 17, 2015 -
12:00pm to 1:00pm
Amy D’Arpino, Diana Wilson & Michele Walsh, TransParent Support Group and Camp Born This Way
The University of Arizona, McClelland Park Building, 650 North Park Avenue, Room 402

Many cultural challenges and barriers exist for gender creative and transgender children. This Deep Dish discussion will highlight these challenges, as well as resources available in our community, and what is needed to provide a safe and supportive environment for these children to thrive. Amy, Diana, and Michele are involved in the TransParents Support Group and Camp Born This Way, and will discuss these supports in detail. Participants will leave with a better understanding about the unique experiences of these children and families, and what is needed to support their health and wellness.


Amy D’Arpino has been a social worker for 17 years. Amy has worked in various capacities in the behavioral health and the foster care arenas. She is a parent of a transgender child, and facilitates a support group for families of gender diverse children. Amy is a strong advocate for change, and for anyone in need.

Diana Wilson is the founder of Camp Born This Way, an award-winning Camp for Transgender, Gender Creative and Gender Non-Conforming children ages 5-16, and their families. Camp Born This Way is a place where kids can be themselves and play without fear, and their families can find friendship and support. Diana is mom to a gender creative child. She provides education to schools on how to be supportive of gender diverse children.

Michele Walsh is a program evaluator and health services researcher with considerable experience in the design and implementation of community based studies of social and health-related issues. Currently she leads the Community Research, Evaluation & Development (CRED) team at the Frances McClelland Institute for Children, Youth, and Families in the UA’s Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences. Most importantly, she is the mother of a transgender son and is learning to be an advocate for services for transgender youth in Tucson.