Ryan Sallans is a public speaker, diversity trainer, consultant, and author specializing in health care, campus inclusion and workplace issues impacting the transgender community, and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) community.
Over the past fifteen years Ryan, a professionally trained sexuality educator, has conducted over a thousand presentation and training sessions to diverse audiences, including professionals, students, employees, and the general public. He is also the Lead Subject Matter Expert and script writer for e-learning courses used around the nation to train healthcare professionals and staff through Affiliate Risk Management Services, Inc and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Healthcare Equality Index (HEI).
After his appearance in the documentary Gender Rebel featured on MTV’s LOGO network in 2006, he began traveling to universities where he shares the story of his transition from female to male. His story is told with an intermixing of humor and intricate clinical details surrounding the transition process. Ryan has been interviewed twice on Larry King Live, Ricki: The New Ricki Lake Show, Trisha, NPR’s On Point with Tom Ashbrook, and HuffPost Live and has made his acting debut on the web series, Brothers. He has also been interviewed by numerous newspapers and magazines including The Advocate, USNews, BuzzFeed, The Chicago Bureau, International Business Times, Baltimore Gay Life, and The Huffington Post.
Ryan’s memoir Second Son: Transitioning Toward My Destiny, Love and Life is one of a few transgender books detailing the life and transition of a transgender man. Second Son has been noted as required reading in MaryKarr’s 2015 New York Times Bestselling book The Art of Memoir.
Ryan attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he received a Bachelor of Arts in English and anthropology, Master of Arts in English, and a Master of Arts in educational psychology.
Since 2005, Ryan’s transition story, Scouting the Unknown, has been captivating audiences on university campuses nationwide. Ryan first covers basic terminology and language surrounding sex assigned at birth, gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation. He then moves into terminology surrounding transgender and nonbinary identities and explains gender identity development.
After an introduction to language and concepts, Ryan shares his transition story where he explores the intersections of identity as his identities change. His story begins with his childhood and the struggles he had with his body, before moving into his college years where he struggled with anorexia nervosa. When he began coming out as transgender, he speaks to his experiences around rejection from family and his lesbian partner, discrimination from healthcare providers and employment, and struggles with financial resources to assist in his physical transition.
As the healthcare field continues to work on building knowledge surrounding how to serve transgender patients, there are many questions that have been unanswered. To assist in moving healthcare facilities toward more inclusive environments, Ryan shares lessons from his own personal experiences including conversations he’s had with mental health providers, treatment by medical providers when accessing transition-related care, and experiences when sharing his trans status while accessing general health care.
Many companies have questions surrounding how they can support transgender employees, customers and clients through structural changes which can include: policy implementation, training sessions, and branding. Ryan combines his own personal experience with his professional background and knowledge to help companies navigate ways to create effective change. He has found that one of the best ways to provide support, is through programming that includes open and caring conversations.
Stepping Toward a Trans Inclusive Campus is a presentation designed to help professional staff in developing action steps and plans on creating a campus climate that is open, accepting and accommodating toward trans-identified students. Ryan will cover current barriers on campus that impact trans-identified students. By pinpointing these barriers, a campus can begin to establish steps toward creating a welcoming environment.
This program can be open to all staff, or tailored to certain departments, for example, Residence Life, Student Affairs, or Health and Wellness Centers.