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Karen Shiffman Lateiner  

Author, Youth and LGBTQ+ Advocate

Author and advocate for youth with more than twenty years of experience as a mental health clinician and child development specialist providing service, coordinating programs for children and their families, and advocating for children, especially those with special needs.

In 1996, my twenty-two year old son came out as transgender, giving our family a unique challenge to learn everything we could at a time when little information was available. Not long after transitioning, Jenni, our new daughter, happy and successful, was killed in an automobile accident. Throughout these life altering experiences of gender change and profound loss, I learned to cherish life even more than I ever had before and was motivated to share my story as well as that of my child. In doing so, I have gained the opportunity to open conversations about gender diversity and the societal implications for gender non-conforming individuals, becoming, along the way, a gender diversity educator and advocate for sexual minority youth, who are at increased risk for bullying, discrimination, homelessness, drug and alcohol abuse, and suicide. Over time, I will share on these pages more about what I learn about gender diversity and life in general.

From the time before my child came out as transgender, participation in writing workshops played an important role in my life. Upon retirement, my husband and I traveled by motorhome for two years, eventually deciding to move from our home in Montclair, NJ to Phoenix, AZ, near our younger daughter. Combining my desire to continue writing with my new found love of the Sonoran Desert, I started a Hike and Write Group at a local mountain preserve to encourage other writers to tell their stories. In my spare time, when not doing book talks or giving presentations on gender diversity, I enjoy gardening, baking sourdough bread, and spending time with family and friends.

The publication of my book June, 2018 marked the culmination of years of reflection, honing my skills as a writer, and finally deciding to put my story out there in the hope that it might change, or even save a life.

Timeless Dance: A Story of Change and Loss, is part memoir, part biography of a remarkable person, and part primer on gender diversity.


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