In addition to the following course list, Lee is also available for custom-designed courses through collaborative design with your needs, as well as keynote presentations on a wide variety of contacts. Feel welcome to contact him with any questions!
Classes, Lectures, and Workshops
In this presentation we will examine the terminology and constructs around sex, gender identity, and transgender issues. Transgender and gender non-conforming care is about more than the language we use – it is about the obstacles and detours that get in the way of trans people receiving quality care, or receiving care at all – “outing,” safety, support, financial barriers, legal paperwork, health records, and the assumptions that are projected by providers themselves. This class will also help providers communicate with transgender and gender nonconforming individuals, and learn that most trans individuals aren’t in your office to discuss their transition – they are there because they have complex needs live everyone else. The simplest of changes in how we care for transgender and gender non-conforming individuals, we can improve care for all. This class is also a great opportunity to ask those questions you’ve always wanted to ask a transgender person, in the appropriate setting of a training.
You remember to call someone by the pronoun and name they use – good enough, right? So many people who want to ally themselves to transgender and gender diverse individuals are not aware of the wide array of ways they can help make life easier for them! Through a panel discussion, presentation, group discussions, and resource sharing, this course is a chance for people who want to build skills for allyship to learn to do so, without continuing seemingly positive things that may accidentally be causing harm. Professionals, friends, partners, and individuals of all sorts that are or want to be allies are encouraged to attend. Transgender and gender diverse individuals attending can learn how to support each other further, and build tools for helping others help them as well – including empowering their allies to do the work so that the trans people don’t have to keep doing the heavy lifting. This is about more than pronouns. This is about culture shifting at every level of society while also supporting people one on one. Let’s all work together to make this a better world for everyone.
Designing and Presenting Trans Education Classes
You’ve been asked to talk about issues concerning transgender and non-binary individuals? How do you do it, what do you include, and how can you make your message click? In this class and discussion we will discuss who our audiences are, who we are as unique educators, a wide variety of ways to present concerning TGNC issues, and what content we want to voice making sure not to forget intersectional issues as well.
Effective Speaking and Presenting Skills
Have you always wanted to speak in front of a crowd but are too jittery? Perhaps you are an experienced speaker or educator who wants their lectures and presentations to stand out and be remembered? Come learn how to effectively use your voice and body language to communicate your message in a wide variety of teaching and speaking environments. From claiming of space to audience empathy, use of vocal range to hiding your nervousness, we will plunge in together and come out more certain of our ability to deliver our message.
Examining Self-Injurious Behavior, Erotic Play, and Body Modification
Individuals self-injure and cut for many reasons: abuse, depression, attention seeking, pain management, rage, anxiety, and more. For kink sexuality, BDSM, and body modification community explorers, there are possible alternative outlets for these needs, or physically and energetically safer ways to engage in these behaviors. For these individuals, the same scars born of shame and disgust become marks of honor and survival, or take on other different meanings. In this class we will be presenting findings from interviews conducted within the BDSM and body modification communities among those who have previously been or continue to be cutters (or others using cutting or skin-breaking self-injury behavior as a tool not related to erotic or artistic partnered activities). We will examine those who have transformed their need for self-mutilation into other forms of expression — have maintained both sets of behaviors — looking at whether healthy cutting can ever take place in individual’s lives.
Finding Your Unique Voice as an Educator
What sort of presenting really calls to you, and why? Do you want to lead group discussions, lecture in front of an auditorium, provide one-on-one mentorship, or give skill demonstrations? What sorts of topics are you called to present on? Physical skills, emotional experiences, psychology of interpersonal interaction, history, and academics, or perhaps something totally different? Many of us start out presenting because we are well known for something we do and others want to learn — or because no one else would step up on a topic — but what do *you* want to teach on? What styles will best carry your message and your specific voice? Let’s look at what styles and content truly call to you, and also examine options for both. You might not of thought of what may be your calling waiting for you.
Fleshing it Out: Sacred and Profane Body Modifications
The world over, body modification is used as a way to express identity — whether that is self-identity, cultural (or sub-cultural) affiliation, personal milestones, political views, spiritual connections, or other points of personal expression. Are you aware of the modifications you have already made to live the life you currently have, such as having a specific hair style to blend in with your peer circle, or living at a specific body weight? We will look at the wide variety of body modifications available today (from henna/mehndi to hook hangs, tattoos to ritual jewelry, stage makeup to genital reconstruction surgery, breast augmentation to flesh removal), and discuss the energy and history inherent in each type of modification, and their social implications today. Let’s examine together why every act of modifying our flesh can be sacred, and every act can profane — no matter the type of alteration, no matter the transformation.
Our Intimate Selves: Examining Sex, Gender, Orientation, Intimacy, Relationships Styles, and Sexual Behavior
When a baby is born, we lift them up and declare “it’s a boy” or “it’s a girl.” With one fell swoop a child’s gender identity, orientation, life experience, sexual behaviors, and social interactions have been painted upon them… but we are more complex than that. In this class we will examine homosocial behavior, transgender issues, heterosexuality, chromosomes beyond xx/xy, and the cultures that affect our assumptions. From gender roles to prison sex, linguistic colonization to slut shaming, let’s look at humanity through a broader lens! Buckle up for a wild ride through the diversity of the human experience.
Power Exchange, Power Dynamics: Conscious Inequality, Dominance and Submission
Power permeates our every interpersonal interaction, from how we interact with the grocery clerk to how we play in the bedroom, and there is a difference between unconscious and conscious power use. However, in a variety of alternative sexuality and BDSM populations, these concepts are eroticized, often glossing over the context where these consensual erotic power plays come from. Let’s examine where power arises unconsciously in culture, various types of power exchange dynamics, and why people would want to engage in them (for an evening, a long-term connection or between lifetimes). This will include conscious and unconscious roles, personal and cultural trauma, bonding within relationships, and even destructive behaviors. Power is power, but inequality is not inequity, so let us look at this together with eyes wide open.
There are a lot of words out there for gender, sex, and sexuality nowadays. Join us as we dive in to look at definitions, disclosure, desire, discussions to have, and how to explore this gumbo pot of identity and expression. The assumptions around gender need a lot of work. What are our sexual and gender myths and truths? What do we want to do with our bodies? How do you play with folks who are going through these journeys? Because you know what? We are ALL on a gender journey. Let’s get analytical, let’s get sexy, and let’s open our hearts as we (re)think gender.
Traversing Gender: Understanding Transgender Realities
When a baby is born, we lift them up and declare “it’s a boy” or “it’s a girl,” but the world of gender is more complex than this. We will examine the terminology around gender identity and transgender issues while looking at the differences and crossovers between sex, gender, and orientation. From medical care to chromosomes beyond xx/xy, legal issues to culture’s belief of what gender roles are “supposed” to look like, let’s look at humanity through a broader lens!
Understanding Sacred Kink: The Eightfold Paths of BDSM and Beyond
The worlds of BDSM and Fetishism tap into a rich and varied history of human magical, emotional, spiritual, and energetic experience. Let us have a curious mind as we explore and analyze eight major routes to altered states of consciousness, and how they are accessed in alternative erotic expression. Rituals are passed down among “Leather” community through the gifting of tribal garb. Rhythm is an access point for cathartic flogging. Peeking at thousands of years of sacred practices from monasticism to O-Kee-Pa (Sun Dance), ecstatic dance to channeling, we will examine how these tools have been “perverted” by modern erotic adventurers. In doing so we will become aware of these diverse journeys and approaches, with more awareness for the future of our own academic and interpersonal investigations.
What Labels Give Us, What Labels Take Away: The Power of Gender and Sexual Identity Labels
Before many of us were born, we were given gender labels that set our life course in motion. In this discussion and personally explorative class, we will dive into looking at a variety of questions: What labels have you been gifted, inherited, chosen, been forced into, or run away from? How does your internal identity for yourself affect your outside identity and your interpretation of gender and sexual roles you play or fill? What power do your labels grant you for flirting, community exposure, personal interactions, group dynamics, and more? What do you lose by stating a specific label or expressing it physically at first meeting another individual? How are these labels formed, and why don’t we just scrap them all? Labels can get us hot, labels can turn us off, labels drive us mad, and labels give us hope for claiming our own sense of self. Let’s challenge ourselves, look deep inside, and examine how it all affects the current communities we are part of.
Some educational material needs to be explored more deeply to truly absorb, or appreciate, the material. Over the years, Lee Harrington has developed these intensives as an opportunity for a group of students to dive into a topic, as well as other intensive learning opportunities for individual students. The one listed below is three to four hours long, though Lee has also developed curriculum to cover more complex topics over a series of classes rather than single weekend intensives. To bring an intensive to your town, please contact Lee.
Effective Speaking and Presentation Skills
Have you always wanted to speak in front of a crowd but are too jittery? Perhaps you are an experienced speaker or educator who wants their lectures and presentations to stand out and be remembered? In this 6-hour intensive, come explore how to effectively use your voice and body language to communicate your message in a wide variety of teaching and speaking environments. From claiming of space to audience empathy, use of vocal range to hiding your nervousness, we will plunge in together (with our bodies and minds alike) and come out more certain of our ability to deliver our message.
Bring tools for taking notes and have an open mind for exploring the joy in passing on our passions. Students will receive a digital take-home packet, beyond in-class resources, for further developing their unique voice and skills.