Public Session

On Thursday April 11th 2019, the 3rd EPATH conference will host a public plenary session. Keynote speakers will present actual challenges in the academic, clinical and policy domains of transgender health care.

This session – open to the public free of charge – specifically invites NGO’s, public authorities and the general public interested in the topic of transgender health care. If you have NOT registered for the conference, please register here for catering purposes.

Keynotes in the Public Session

Religion, Spirituality and Wellbeing for Trans People – by dr. Susannah Cornwall


This keynote lecture introduces some historical and contemporary responses to trans people from various faith traditions prevalent in Europe, including Christianity, Judaism and Islam, and asks whether and how religion and spirituality may be positive sources of wellbeing for trans people today. It identifies barriers to good spiritual care provision within healthcare systems, and explores how these may be overcome.


Susannah Cornwall is Senior Lecturer in Constructive Theologies at the University of Exeter, UK, and director of EXCEPT (Exeter Centre for Ethics and Practical Theology). She currently leads the Modelling Transgender Spiritual Care project in partnership with the West of England NHS Specialist Gender Identity Clinic. She is the author of several books on the theologies of sex, gender and sexuality, including Sex and Uncertainty in the Body of Christ: Intersex Conditions and Christian Theology (2010); Controversies in Queer Theology (2011); Theology and Sexuality (2013); and, most recently, Un/familiar Theology: Rethinking Sex, Reproduction and Generativity (2017).

She also edited Intersex, Theology, and the Bible: Troubling Bodies in Church, Text and Society (2015); Thinking Again About Marriage: Key Theological Questions (2016, with John Bradbury); and a special issue of the journal Modern Believing, on variant sex and gender, law and the church.

Depathologisation: opportunities and challenges – by Dinah Bons


Depathologisation is currently the greatest opportunity to improve trans people’s health and well-being. For it to become a reality many agents must take action: governments, insurers, institutions and professionals. We are at crucial time: the WHO has taken a clear position to end stigmatisation through wrongly coding trans identities as mental illnesses, countries and regions are passing depathologising legislation and healthcare protocols are being developed. On the other rising populist sentiments across Europe put pressure on trans people and might distort the historic chance to revolutionize how we think trans-specific healthcare. TGEU will briefly offer an overview of the current situation in Europe, potential obstacles and give an inspiring outlook of progress that is also taking place.


Dinah Bons is the strategic director of Transgender Europe (TGEU) working on the implementation of the strategic goals and development of the organisation, representation, fundraising and cooperation. She works closely with the Policy team. She is also founder and director of the Amsterdam trans health clinic; a trans led medical center with health care, psychological care, social care, HIV and STD care. She has been an activist in Trans United, PROUD Union for sexworkers, HIV Vereniging, NSWP and ICRSE and has a background of 15 years of management experience. Dinah brings intersectional stigma to the table, cross-cutting ethnicity, discrimination, erasure of trans black and people of colour, sexworkers’ rights, access to trans health care for minorities and speaking up for trans migrants.

Becoming myself – by Vladimir Luxuria


Member of Parliament of the 15th Legislature during the Prodi government, she was the first transgender person to be elected to the parliament of a European state. She promoted and was the first to sign the bill of law on transgender rights, and has been committed to LGBT+ rights for many years with the Circolo di Cultura Omosessuale Mario Mieli, where she has served as artistic director since 1993. During this time she was responsible for creating the renowned Muccassassina event, which today still represents a cult event for LGBT+ friendly nightlife in the Capital, and which over the years has hosted international artists of the caliber of David LaChapelle, Grace Jones, Rupert Everett and Alexander McQueen. In July 2012 she gave a talk at the Global LGBT Workplace Summit, an international debate on employment organised in London by OUT and EQUAL, a US organisation engaged in securing workplace equality for the LGBT community. An undisputed commentator on major newspapers and the most important national television programs, she has also written novels and was awarded the Premio Margutta for literature in 2011.