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Dear Colleagues and WPATH Members,

On behalf of the WPATH Board of Directors, it is my distinct pleasure to welcome you to our 24th Biennial Scientific Symposium, held this year in amazing Amsterdam. I am also pleased to tell you that this is the largest international meeting WPATH has ever convened, and I hope that our Symposia will grow even larger in the future.

You are part of a very sudden (though it was a long time coming!) explosion of interest in Transgender experience, health, and rights. I wish I could say all of this interest was due to WPATH’s efforts, but that is not entirely the case: We have been as pleasantly surprised as everyone else who is active in this field. The truth is, while most of us were pursuing our ongoing work with our clients, patients, and constituencies, the long-standing efforts of many of our members to change policies and practices worldwide, and our partnerships with numerous transgender community-based organizations to provide medical and mental health expertise to substantiate their efforts, have combined with a media awakening that has put transgender people and issues in the spotlight like never before.

Just a few years ago, when the local organizing committee members and our staff and volunteers began planning this Symposium, the prevailing wisdom was that we should plan for roughly 400-500 participants. Prior to our 2014 meeting in Bangkok, where we had 525 participants, the standard projection was 350-450. And there were some on the 2016 planning team who worried that even to expect 500 would be a risk: What if we could not make our hotel room commitment? What if we could not recoup the cost of the conference through the registration fees? Planning for a smaller conference minimizes those risks. And Amsterdam is not a city with spacious convention facilities, so we thought we’d be pretty safe with a conservative number. Instead, though, we have an embarrassment of riches, with nearly 800 participants registered as I write this, a few weeks in advance.

WPATH’s staff, our Board, and the dedicated members of the local organizing committee are thrilled to have so many of you joining us this year. Our Scientific Committee has worked diligently to create a stellar program for you; our staff has worked very hard to keep everything running smoothly, and our local organizing team has also spent countless hours working to accommodate all of you in the limited spaces that were available to us.


So, again, WELCOME to Amsterdam. We trust you will be empowered by the evidence and expertise that will be shared here, as we begin a new era in the visibility and respect for transgender people and transgender health and rights. We hope you will have a fabulous time!

With tremendous appreciation for each of you,
Jamison Green, PhD

WPATH President


Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of the Local Organizing Committee, I would like to welcome you all to the 24th WPATH Biennial Symposium “Growing: Empowerment, Expertise, Evidence” from June 18-21, 2016 in Amsterdam.

Your hosts are the Center of Expertise on Genderdysphoria at the VU University Medical Center Amsterdam and the Transvisie Zorg foundation which focuses on the mental health of transgender persons and their relatives. The VU University Medical Center Amsterdam has provided transgender health care for many years. Scientific output of Dutch origin has contributed significantly to widening our knowledge about gender dysphoria and gender incongruence, and has helped develop professional standards of care. Hallmark of our service is an integrated approach including all specialties (psychological, medical and surgical) in one team.

The theme of the 2016 Symposium “Growing: Empowerment, Expertise, Evidence” reflects the growth in knowledge, experience and self-esteem in the field of transgender health care. The awareness of transgender issues in society and in the medical field is also growing, as indicated by the growing number of applications for the WPATH-symposium.

The Symposium plenary session on Saturday 18 June will take place in the main building of the VU University of Amsterdam. The Symposium parallel sessions will be held from Sunday to Tuesday, 19-21 June at the Tolhuistuin in Amsterdam. We hope you will enjoy the scientific program, the interaction and the friendship as well as the fascinating diversity and history of our beautiful capital city.

Sincerely yours,Martin den Heijer, Chair of Endocrinology,

VU University Medical Center Amsterdam
Local Organizing Chair 24th WPATH Symposium