Charis welcomes Trystan Reese in conversation with Charis Circle Executive Director, E.R. Anderson for a celebration of How We Do Family: From Adoption to Trans Pregnancy, What We Learned about Love and LGBTQ Parenthood, an LGBTQ family’s inspiring story of building a loving home, with lessons all families can use. This event is co-sponsored by Equally Wed. Since 2010, Equally Wed has been celebrating LGBTQ+ love stories around the world with their LGBTQ+ owned website, equallywed.com; a book, Equally Wed: The Ultimate Guide to Planning Your LGBTQ+ Wedding; their LGBTQ+ inclusive training program for wedding and event pros at equallywedpro.com; guest writing for publications such as the Washington Post; offering insights to news outlets such as The New York Times, CNN and NPR; as well as speaking around the globe. This event takes place on crowdcast, Charis' virtual event platform. Register here.
When Trystan Reese was just a year into his relationship with Biff (now his husband), the couple learned that Biff’s niece and nephew were about to be removed from their home by Child Protective Services. Immediately, Trystan and Biff took in one-year-old Hailey and three-year-old Lucas, becoming caregivers overnight to two tiny survivors of abuse and neglect.
From this surprising start, Trystan and Biff built a loving marriage and happy home—learning to parent on the job. They adopted Hailey and Lucas, and soon decided to grow their family biologically with a child that Trystan, who is transgender, would carry. Trystan’s groundbreaking pregnancy attracted media fanfare, and the family welcomed baby Leo in 2017.
In How We Do Family, Trystan shares their unique story and what he’s learned about being the best parent, partner, and person you can be. Through crisis, adoption, pregnancy—and all the usual challenges of parenting—Trystan shows that more important than getting things right is doing them with love.
Trystan Reese launched into the public eye as “the pregnant man” in 2017 when the story of his family’s unique journey gained international media attention. He was invited to give closing performances for The Moth Mainstage in Portland, Albuquerque, and Brooklyn; a video of the Brooklyn event has garnered over 2.5 million views. As interest in his family’s story grew, Trystan partnered with many major media outlets, including CNN, NBC, People, and Buzzfeed.
Trystan is an established thought leader, educator, and speaker, focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion. He is a professionally trained anti-racism facilitator and has been organizing within the trans community for nearly two decades. The founder of his own consulting firm, Collaborate Consulting, Trystan provides customized training solutions for individuals, organizations, and communities that are interested in social justice. He is married to his partner Biff and they live in Portland, Oregon with their three kids: Lucas, Hailey, and Leo. They are very happy.
E.R. Anderson is a recovering academic and down-low fiction writer who believes that words are both weapons and medicine, and never doubts that a few good stories can change the world. As the Executive Director of Charis Circle, E.R. manages the programming, fiscal, and daily operations of our non-profit and is always interested in the ways our communities can share skills and resources. E.R. is the co-founder of the Gender-Creative Parenting Collective and the Race-Conscious Parenting Collective and believes that when we invest in the wholeness and autonomy of children radical things are possible for society. E.R. came to Charis as one of the founding members of the Young Writer's Group in 1997. A native Atlantan who loves the community of words and writers in this city, E.R. reads everything from poetry and essays to horror and how-to, but they are a sucker for gritty stories gracefully told.
This event is free and open to all people, especially to those who have no income or low income right now, but we encourage and appreciate a solidarity donation in support of the work of Charis Circle, our programming non-profit. Charis Circle's mission is to foster sustainable feminist communities, work for social justice, and encourage the expression of diverse and marginalized voices. https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/CharisCircle?code=chariscirclepage
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As featured in People magazine: One LGBTQ family’s inspiring, heartfelt story of the many alternative paths that lead to a loving family, with lessons for every parent
Trystan and Biff had been dating for just a year when the couple learned that Biff’s niece and nephew were about to be removed from their home by Child Protective Services.