Panelists' Biographies

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Paisley Currah is a professor of political science and women’s & gender studies at Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. With Susan Stryker, he co-edits TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly, a new journal from Duke University Press. He also co-edited Corpus: An Interdisciplinary Reader on Bodies and Knowledge (Palgrave 2011) with Monica Casper. And with Richard M. Juang and Shannon Price Minter, he co-edited Transgender Rights (Minnesota 2006), which was awarded the Sylvia Rivera Award in Transgender Studies and was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award. Currah’s new book, Not the United States of Sex (NYU, forthcoming), looks at contradictions in state definitions of sex and transgender politics.

Currah sits on the editorial boards of GLQ: A Journal of Gay and Lesbian Studies, WSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly, and Sexuality Research and Social Policy. He served as the Executive Director of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at the City University of New York from 2003-2007, where he helped launched the International Resource Network (, a global network of researchers, activists, artists, and teachers sharing knowledge about diverse sexualities. In 2011, he received the Michael Lynch Service Award from the GL/Q Caucus of the Modern Language Association. That award is intended “to publicize and celebrate–and as widely as possible–the range, the forms, the energy, and the history of queer activism by academics.” In 2005, he was a Distinguished Awardee at NYC Comptroller William C. Thompson’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Celebration.

The Law of Everyday Life

This panel will consider legal regulation in domains that are part of everyday life: our names, our identity documents, school, work, and family life. This panel will examine how the legal system currently impacts transgender people in these realms and how the system ought to be reformed. Panelists may discuss a range of relevant laws including but not limited to constitutional law, civil rights statutes, administrative regulations, and various doctrines in family law.

Holning Lau teaches Family Law, Comparative Constitutional Law, Asian Legal Perspectives, Children & the Law, and Sexuality & the Law. He also serves as Associate Dean for Faculty Development and as Faculty Director of the law school's LL.M. program. Professor Lau's current research examines international and comparative approaches to issues of gender and sexuality. He is presently working on projects that focus on the European Union, Hong Kong, South Africa, and the United States.

Mx. Cidney M. Holliday is a student at Elon Law and is also pursuing their Masters of Law in Public Health from Wake Forest University School of Law. They are a southern transgender Blk student interested in public policy and public demonstrations against unjust state laws.

Medicine and the Law

This panel will consider the complicated relationship between medicine and law when it comes to transgender persons. Should psychological evaluations be required before transition surgery? Should medical insurance cover treatment for gender transition? To what extent should medical evidence be required from individuals who seek to change their gender on identity documents? Should discrimination against transgender individuals be conceptualized as a form of disability discrimination? Jurisdictions around the country—and around the world—have approached each of these questions differently. This panel will examine and critique the various approaches.

Barrett Marshall is the supervising attorney at Mazzoni Center Legal Services and provides direct services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community members. Barrett focuses their practice on issues related to transgender people, family law, and insurance matters. A graduate of Temple University Beasley School of Law, Barrett has worked primarily in direct services focusing on low-income, LGBT, and youth populations. Barrett has previously worked for the Office of the Child Advocate in Wilmington, DE, and the Temple Family Law Clinic in Philadelphia, PA. In addition to overseeing the legal clinic, Barrett also serves as an educator and trainer on LGBT legal issues in Philadelphia and throughout the state. An adjunct clinical professor for Temple University Law School’s LGBT Clinical, Barrett provides academic instruction to law students and serves as supervisor to interns, externs, and other law student volunteers. Additionally, they frequently train outside organizations, such as the Philadelphia shelter system and the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania, on discrimination matters and LGBT cultural competence. In addition to work at Mazzoni Center Legal Services, Barrett regularly participates in community organizing efforts. They have worked with Hearts on a Wire, a collective that organizes around the needs of incarcerated transgender and gender variant people and for the abolition of prisons. Barrett also served as co-chair of the planning committee for the 2012 and 2013 Philadelphia Trans* Health Conference and continues to organize the Continuing Legal Education track of the conference.

Becky Stamler was born in Louisiana and grew up in northern Alabama. She graduated from the University of North Carolina Charlotte with a master’s degree in counseling and a graduate certificate in substance abuse. Her credentials include Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) from North Carolina Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist (LCAS) from North Carolina Substance Abuse Professional Practice Board. Becky has worked for many years with people who have substance use disorders, with a special focus on opioid addiction and co-occurring diagnoses. She has had extensive training to assist people with issues related to gender identity or sexual orientation. Becky’s approach to the treatment experience is to provide a safe, non-judgmental environment with an integrated emphasis on meeting each individual’s needs. She supports people on their recovery journey through the use of cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, 12-step theory and other non-traditional concepts that work for the individual. Becky Stamler works at The Blanchard Institute which offers outpatient mental health, addiction treatment and family services for adults and adolescents.

HB2 and the Law of North Carolina

HB2 ushered in a new era in the fight for transgender rights in North Carolina. With litigation pending in the 4th Circuit, our transgender citizens must navigate the daily realities of living under this law. This panel will explore the legal implications of HB2 at a regional, state, and local level, while also discussing the next steps in fighting to eradicate this law from our state.

Chris Brook grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina, and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for his undergraduate and law degrees. After graduating from Carolina Law in 2005, he worked in private practice for three years at the Raleigh civil litigation law firm of Cranfill, Sumner and Hartzog. In 2008 he joined the Southern Coalition for Social Justice in Durham, where his practice areas ranged from environmental justice to constitutional law. Brook joined the ACLU of North Carolina as its Legal Director in 2012. His practice areas correspond with the ACLU’s civil rights and liberties focus, touching particularly on racial justice as well as privacy and women’s rights. In his time with the ACLU-NC, he successfully argued in defense of North Carolinians’ First Amendment rights in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and has played a key role in litigation and advocacy efforts to secure the freedom to marry for LGBT North Carolinians as well as to safeguard voting rights throughout the state. In 2015 he was chosen as the recipient of the Outstanding Recent Graduate Award by Carolina Law and the Community Impact Award by the LGBT Center of Raleigh. He also received the Gwyneth D. Davis Award from the North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys in recognition of his work to promote the rights of women under the law in 2016.

Zeke Christopoulos is the Executive Director of Tranzmission, an organization dedicated to making the lives of non binary and transgender people safer, healthier and happier through education, advocacy and support. Organizations Zeke has served in the past include the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference, the Presidents Council on the Sexual Health of America, Southern Comfort, SETHS, and the North Carolina Trans Leadership Board. He has been featured in multiple media outlets including CNN, BBC, the New York Times. Zeke has worked on transgender advocacy and education on national, state and local levels for the past twenty years. He lives in Asheville, North Carolina with his wife and family.

Luke Largess graduated college in 1979 and worked as a social worker, school teacher and carpenter before entering UNC law school in 1987. While a law student at UNC, Luke helped start the North Carolina Legal Education Assistance Foundation (NC LEAF) that provides educational debt assistance for public service lawyers. He was a partner at Ferguson, Stein, Chambers from 1990 to 2009 and has been a partner at Tin Fulton Walker & Owen since then. Luke’s practice includes trial and appellate work in state and federal courts, primarily in employment, civil rights and education matters. At Ferguson Stein Chambers, Luke represented the class of black families in Belk v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, the effort to keep the desegregation orders in place from the historic Charlotte case of Swann v. Charlotte Mecklenburg Board of Education. At Tin Fulton, Luke won a $1.1 million due process verdict case for a school teacher falsely accused of misconduct but denied a hearing to clear his name and save his career. In 2014, Luke was one of the lawyers in General Synod of the United Church of Christ v. Reisinger, which successfully overturned Amendment One, North Carolina’s ban against same-sex marriage. Click here to read the court order striking down North Carolina’s Amendment One. And Luke is one of the lawyers representing the plaintiffs in the challenge to SB2, the state law that allows magistrate judges to recuse themselves from performing marriages out of religious opposition to the right to marriage equality.

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