SEPTEMBER 14: PFLAG Asheville Presents 360° Discussion on Supporting Transgender Youth, with Renowned Medical Expert Dr. Norman Spack, Alongside Local Advocates


August 15, 2019

Adam Polaski | 610.306.7956 |

SEPTEMBER 14: PFLAG Asheville Presents 360° Discussion on Supporting Transgender Youth, with Renowned Medical Expert Dr. Norman Spack, Alongside Local Advocates

Q&A and panel discussion with trans-affirming advocates and health service providers will take a holistic look at how communities can best support transgender young people

ASHEVILLE – On Saturday, September 14 at 12:00pm, PFLAG Asheville will present a day of discussion, education, and networking around best practices for supporting transgender young people. The organization expects people from across the Western NC region to travel to Asheville for this special event being held at The Orange Peel.

Keynoting the event is Dr. Norman Spack, pediatric endocrinologist and co-founder of Boston Children’s Hospital’s Gender Management Service (GeMS) program, the first program in North  America to medically treat transgender youth. Dr. Spack, whose 2014 TedTalk “How I Help Transgender Teens Become Who They Want to Be” has been viewed more than two million times, has been on staff at Boston Children’s Hospital for nearly 50 years. 

Dr. Spack’s speech and Q&A will be followed by a panel featuring LGBTQ advocates in Asheville answering questions from the audience. They include: Dr. Jennifer Abbott of the WNCCHS Transgender Health Program; Zeke Christopolous of Tranzmission; Allison Scott of the Campaign for Southern Equality; Elizabeth McCorvey, LCSW, MSW; and Julie Lehman & Michael Poulos, Parents and LGBTQ Advocates. The panel will be moderated by Heather Edwards, PT, Sexuality Counselor and Educator.

“I have long been a supporter of PFLAG and throughout my years of working with young people I’ve seen what a tremendous help that support can be for parents and families. When I received the invitation to speak at this event in Asheville, I said yes immediately”, said Dr. Norman Spack.

Lili O’Neill, President of PFLAG Asheville said today “In our first year as a new chapter in Asheville, we’ve offered educational events in addition to our monthly support meetings. We’ve focused on topics that provide a deeper understanding of sexuality or gender identity, or that provide important resources to parents and families. We are beyond excited to finish out the year with an event that brings together so many perspectives and facets of supporting transgender youth, with a panel that speaks from direct experiences.” 

In 2019 educational programming offered by PFLAG Asheville has included How to Support Your LGBTQ Child at School, The Intersection of Autism and Gender Identity, and Gender, Sexual and Romantic Identities 101. The organization often teams up with established non-profit community partners including The Campaign for Southern Equality, Youth Outright, and Tranzmission.

“This discussion promises to be a 360-degree look at supporting transgender youth, exploring the medical, mental, and spiritual journeys that so many families have taken. It’s exciting to have such a broad panel of community professionals and advocates uniting together in an event in support of transgender young people, sharing their knowledge and experiences,” said Heather Edwards, event emcee and panel moderator.

Members of the media are invited to attend the event. Please contact Adam Polaski at to RSVP. Full details follow:

WHO: PFLAG Asheville, presented in partnership with Tranzmission, moderated by Heather Edwards, PT, Sexuality Counselor and Educator

WHAT: “Supporting Transgender Youth,” a talk from Dr. Norman Spack, followed by a Q&A featuring local LGBTQ advocates in Asheville

WHEN: 12:00pm–2:15pm. Doors open at 11:30am. 

WHERE: The Orange Peel, 101 Biltmore Ave., Asheville, NC 28801

WHY: To learn and explore ways that community members in Asheville and beyond can support transgender young people

TICKETS: Tickets can be purchased at

RSVP: Media should contact Adam Polaski at

NOTE: Beverages, including local sodas, beer, wine, and water, will be available for purchase at the Orange Peel.

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PFLAG Asheville is the Asheville chapter of PFLAG, which works to build on a foundation of loving families united with LGBTQ people and allies who support one another, and to educate ourselves and our communities to speak up as advocates until all hearts and minds respect, value and affirm LGBTQ people. PFLAG Asheville hosts monthly peer support groups the second Wednesday of every month at the First Congregational United Church of Christ on 20 Oak Street in downtown Asheville. Learn more.