GASTONIA — The Carolinas Gender Odyssey (CGO) is hosting “an affordable family-friendly regional transgender conference for the Carolinas.” It’s inaugural event is June 3-6 at the Courtyard by Marriott, 1856 Remount Rd.

Theme is “The Wizard of Oz.” Keynote speaker is Mona Rae Mason. Mason recently completed a five-year study of male to female population in New York City entitled “The Transgender Project.”

A talent show is slated for June 4.

Can you sing, dance, recite poetry or whatever? If so, register online for your place under the lights. Acts should be 3-5 minutes, family friendly and can not include lip syncing.

Workshops and seminars will take place on June 5. That evening will feature the return of the long-time spring transgender formal dinner, Magnolia Ball, which as been dormant since 2001.

A farewell brunch will be held on June 6.

Presenters to date include: Connie Vetter; Pamela Jones; Pastor Nancy Kraft ; Madeline Goss and Samuel Allen; Dr. Lisa Griffin, Ph.D.; Kimball Jane Sargent; Stephanie Marie Voncannon; and Becky Stamler and Bobby Kitzinger.

CGO’s registration package ($85 until May 25) includes tickets for the showcase. Individual tickets are available for $10.

For complete information and schedule, in addition to registration, visit

Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen is QNotes' former associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director.