Is Transmission only for male identified folks?
No! Transmission welcomes the broad spectrum of trans, gender non-conforming, and questioning AFAB (assigned female at birth) people. This includes but is not limited to trans men, trans masculine, non-binary, genderqueer and gender non-conforming people. All gender expression and identities within, including femme, are welcome and celebrated.

How far along do I have to I be in my “transition” in order to attend, or to fit in?
You don’t need to be anywhere in particular in terms of a social or medical transition that affirms your gender identity. Come as you are!

I’m not sure if I’m trans, or “trans enough”. Can I come?
Many people in our community have wrestled with the question, “Am I trans enough to be here?”. The answer is yes! If you’ve questioned your gender to the point you end up on the FAQs page of trans and gender non-conforming retreat, wondering if you belong, you do and are invited to attend.

Why is the retreat only open to AFAB people? Why do you even use AFAB? I hate thinking of myself that way!
We wrestled with this distinction. None of us on the leadership team like “AFAB (assigned female at birth)” to describe ourselves but we wanted to make it clear for anyone interested if this retreat applied to them. We considered expanding the retreat to include AMAB (assigned male at birth) folks but as we don’t have any AMAB folks on our team yet to voice needs and concerns we thought this out of our area of expertise. We’re ever growing and will be tackling this question in the future.

What if I’m not AFAB or AMAB? Can I attend?
Not everyone in our Transmission family is dyadic. In full disclosure, we are largely ignorant about experiences and needs pertaining to being intersex but you are more than welcome to attend. This is another one of those areas we need to grow in to be more expansive.

What age group attends Transmission retreats?
Transmission retreats are limited to adults (18 years or older). We get a great mix of ages, with balanced representation from every decade.

I’m straight … or gay or bi or queer or asexual or pansexual or poly or exploring. Will I fit in?
Yes, you’ll fit right in! People of all sexual orientations attend Transmission.

Do People of Color attend? Do you offer PoC-centered activities?
Yes and yes! Our TM Leadership Team, retreat Planning Teams, and workshop facilitators include PoC, and we offer a PoC-only space 24/7 during the retreat. Our goal is have 60% of attendees be PoC.

Do you offer scholarships? How do I apply?
We now offer a sliding scale registration funded by donations and based on what each person can contribute. No one will be turned away due to lack of funds. If the sliding scale is still cost prohibitive, please send us an email at info@geared4transmission.org and we’ll work something out.

How do you set the registration fee? Where does the money go? 
Transmission is not-for-profit and all volunteer run by trans folks (no paid staff) to keep prices as low as possible. Registration fees are set to “break even” (pay for our costs). Site rentals and meals amount to 85% of our expenses. Ongoing fees for our website, software, and services provided by our nonprofit sponsor (bookkeeping, insurance, etc) comprise 8% of our costs. Materials and supplies for each retreat total 7% of our expenses. Donations allow us to offer a sliding scale for our community.

Does Transmission organize carpooling?
If you need a ride or can offer one, select the rideshare option when you register. We will add you to the rideshare board so you can coordinate with others who want to carpool. While there are no guarantees, everyone has found a ride so far.

Which airport is closest?
Our retreats are held in northern California in rural areas that don’t have major public transportation hubs. If you need to fly in, you will likely want to rent a car to be sure you can get to and from the airport on a schedule that works for your flights. Driving times shown below are based on sites we’ve used in the past.

  • Sacramento International Airport (SMF) is about 2.5 – 3 hours by car, provided you can avoid commute hours.
  • San Francisco Int’l Airport (SFO) is about 2.5 – 3 hours by car, provided you can avoid commute hours.
  • Oakland International Airport (OAK) – about 2.5 – 3 hours by car, provided you can avoid commute hours.
  • Santa Rosa  Airport (STS) is about 90 minutes by car, but you might not be able to get a direct flight (very small airport). Carpooling is likely an option from this airport as most folks pass through the area on their way to the retreat.

What should I bring?
We’ll send you a packing list after you register, but generally speaking you’ll want to bring layers of clothes appropriate to the weather, comfortable shoes, swimming attire, scent-free personal toiletries, a towel, bedding (pillow plus sleeping bag or blankets & sheets), earplugs (for sleeping), a flashlight and batteries, a journal or notebook, and reusable water bottle. You are welcome to bring acoustic instruments, too.

Leave these at home: laptops, ipads, electronic games, recreational drugs, and alcohol.

Can I bring a service animal? Can I bring an emotional support animal?
 In our experience, retreat sites allow ADA service animals but do not allow emotional support animals. If you wish to bring an animal to a retreat, send us an email ASAP so we can check with the facility. Include your answers to these questions: (1) Is this a service animal that is highly trained to perform a necessary function related to one or more disabilities you have? (2) What work or task has the service animal been trained to perform for you? and (3) What type of animal is it?  Please note: if your service animal is disruptive, the facility may ask you to leave.

What happens during a retreat? Are the organized activities mandatory?
We offer a full schedule, and you choose what you’d like to do. You can participate in the group circle after breakfast, go to activities and workshops in the afternoon, and join a sing along or check out the Open Mic Night after dinner. You can create your own “pop up” workshop or discussion circle, or take a hike, go swimming, hang out, play games, take a nap … you get the picture! It’s totally up to you to decide how to spend your time at Transmission. You can do whatever fills your heart, provided you remain sober, treat others kindly and respectfully, and keep noise levels low after 11pm.

What is a Group Circle?
A group circle is an opportunity to sit together (in a circle) with the intention of becoming more present, heart directed, and connected. Participants speak authentically from the heart, one person at a time, in a confidential environment while the circle listens supportively without interrupting or talking back. Sharing is completely optional, and listening compassionately is just as important as speaking from the heart. Experiencing a group circle is both deeply personal and profoundly collective. Attending is optional (like all of our activities), but participants who sit in group circles report getting the most out of our retreats, so we hope everyone attends.

I have food restrictions and special dietary needs. Can you accommodate me or should I bring my own food?
The registration form asks participants to list their food restrictions. We have found that most sites can accommodate the most common dietary needs such as gluten free, lactose free, vegan, vegetarian, nut allergy, and shellfish allergy. However, if you have concerns, please contact us by email ahead of time (and early) to discuss your restrictions and whether bringing your own food would make sense in your situation.

Are Transmission retreats fragrance-free?
Yes – attendees should bring scent-free clothing and fragrance-free personal care products. Fragrances in laundry detergent, fabric softener, and personal care products have triggered asthma, migraines, flu-like symptoms, and more in some folks at past retreats, so we are now scent-free.

In the spirit of caring for community, participants bring fragrance-free clothing and personal care products (shampoo, body wash, soap, hair products, body lotion, shaving cream, deodorant, sunscreen, etc.), and do not wear aftershave, cologne, body spray, etc. You can find a partial list of fragrance-free products here and here.

If you don’t have fragrance-free laundry products, you can hang clean clothes outdoors for a day (in sunlight if possible) or you can re-wash clean clothes without detergent or fabric softeners to remove most of the scent.

Are your gatherings tech-free?
We unplug from technology during Transmission to facilitate connecting to each other. Your phone can be used as an alarm clock, watch, or flashlight provided you set it to silent and “do not disturb” mode and don’t engage in email, texts, social media, games, surfing the web, etc.
In case of emergency, your loved ones can reach you through the facility’s landline, which is provided to folks after they register.

Is Transmission a clean and sober retreat?
Transmission retreats are substance free. Attendees agree to be clean and sober. Recreational drugs, marijuana, and alcohol are not allowed.

What about medicinal marijuana?
Participants with prescription medication (including medicinal marijuana) should bring and use their medication discretely to treat their medical condition as instructed by their doctor. Sharing or recreational use of prescription medication of any type is not allowed.

Do you have any retreats planned?
We hold 2 to 3 retreats each year. Check our retreat page for a list of upcoming retreats.