LGBT College Speaker

Having visited almost 70 university campuses across the nation, LGBT College Speaker Ryan Sallans is dedicated to being relatable and inspirational to diverse audiences in diverse regions. 

Eating Disorder Speaker

Clip from Gender Rebel

Since 2005, Ryan’s transition story, Scouting the Unknownhas 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 changed. 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.

Having transitioned thirteen years ago, Ryan shares reflections of what he has experienced and witnessed over the years, and how society has shifted. He closes with asking the audience to think about their struggles and challenges in life, and identify where they feel supported, while honoring their truths.

Gender Rebel LOGO Network

Some campuses also screen the popular documentary, Gender Rebel, due to Ryan being one of the subjects followed. For campuses interested in screening this documentary, contact MTV for license use.

Presentation and Trainings Offered

  • Scouting the Unknown (Campus-wide Program around Ryan’s transition story with an introduction to the differences between gender identity, gender expression, sex assigned at birth, and sexual orientation)
  • Improving Trans Inclusivity on Campus (Professional Staff Development or Student Training)
  • Eating Disorders and Body Image (including his own eating disorder recovery story titled: Becoming Ryan)
  • Classroom Discussion (including sexual orientation and gender identity social justice issues)

Events Most Often Booked For

  • National Coming Out Day or Week
  • LGBTQ History Month
  • Transgender Day of Remembrance and Resilience (TDOR) or Awareness Week
  • Pride Week or Month
  • National Day of Silence
  • Transgender Day of Visibility
  • Eating Disorders Awareness Week (EDAW)

Professional Staff Development Training
Improving Trans Inclusivity on 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.

Click on Image for Trans Inclusion Guide

Student Training 

Moving Toward Gender Inclusion through Students’ Voices is designed to assist students develop action steps and approaches toward creating more gender-inclusive environments on their campuses. Participants will share changes they would like to see on their campus, and as a group explore approaches to most effectively advocate for change.

LGBT College Speakers
  • Option 1: Campus-wide Programs Scouting the Unknown (Suggested length 2 hours) Sexing ED: Eating Disorders, Body Image and My Trans Identity (Suggested length 1 1/2 hours) OR Keynote Speech (Suggested length 1 hour) (Optional) Student meet and greet.
  • Option 2: Professional Staff Development Training Stepping Toward a Trans-Inclusive Campus (Suggested length 11/2 to 2 hours) Healthcare Services and LGBTQ Identities (Optional) Student meet and greet.
  • Option 3: Combination Package Campus-Wide Program, Student Meet and Greet, and Professional Staff Development Training.
Transgender Speakers
Transgender Speakers
Transgender College Speaker
transgener college speakers
Transgender College Speakers
Transgender Speaker
Transgender College Speaker
Transgender College Speaker

Previous Campus Engagements


  • San Diego State University | San Diego, CA | 03/2018


  • Colorado State University | Fort Collins, CO | 10/2015


  • University of Delaware | Newark, DE | 02/2013


  • University of South Florida | St. Petersburg, FL | 10/2014
  • University of North Florida | Jacksonville, FL | 03/2015


  • University of Georgia | Athens, GA | 03/2010


  • Luther College | Decorah, IA | 11/8-9/17
  • Drake University | Des Moines, IA | 04/2013 & 04/2016
  • Buena Vista University | Storm Lake, IA | 04/2012


  • Pittsburg State University | Pittsburg, KS | 11/29/2016
  • Kansas State University | Salina, KS | 11/22/2009


  • Western Kentucky University | Bowling Green, KY | 04/2015


  • University of New England | Biddeford or Portland, ME | 10/2013


  • Towson University | Towson, MD | 02/2018 and 02/2013


  • Harvard University | Cambridge, MA | 04/2017
  • Wentworth Institute of Technology | Boston, MA | 02/2016
  • Massasoit Community College | Brockton, MA | 10/2015


  • Oakland University | Rochester, MI | 10/27-28/2016


  • St. Cloud State University | St. Cloud, MN | 08/2016
  • Normandale Community College | Minneapolis, MN | 03/2016


  • State Fair Community College | Sedalia, MO | 09/21/17
  • Truman State University | Kirksville, MO | 03/2013 and 03/2016
  • University of Missouri | Columbia, MO | 10/2015 and 04/2013
  • Northwest Missouri State University | Maryville, MO | 04/2013
  • University of Central Missouri | Warrensburg, MO | 03/2012


  • Metropolitan Community College | Omaha and Elkhorn, NE | 06/2017 and 06/2016
  • Bellevue University | Bellevue, NE | 2005 – 2015
  • Doane College | Crete, NE | 2005 – 2015
  • University of Nebraska | Kearney, NE | 03/2011 and 10/2012
  • College of St. Mary’s | Lincoln, NE | 2005 – 2010
  • Nebraska Wesleyan University | Lincoln, NE | 2005 – 2015
  • University of Nebraska | Lincoln, NE | 2005 – 2015
  • Southeast Community College | Lincoln, NE | 2005 – 2018
  • Creighton University | Omaha, NE | 04/2009
  • University of Nebraska | Omaha, NE | 03/2011

New York:

  • Tompkins Cortland Community College | Dryden, NY | 03/2018
  • Hofstra University | Hempstead, NY | 03/2016
  • Alfred and Alfred State Universities | Alfred, NY | 11/2013
  • State University of New York | Oswego, NY | 11/2009

New Jersey:

  • Kean University | Union, NJ | 10/10/17
  • Rutgers University | Camden, NJ | 03/2013

North Carolina:

  • Warren-Wilson College | Asheville, NC | 03/2011
  • University of North Carolina | Wilmington, NC | 03/2011


  • University of Oregon | Eugene, OR | 02/2014


  • Ohio State University-Mansfield | Mansfield, OH | 02/2018
  • Bowling Green State University | Bowling Green, OH | 11/2006 and 03/2007


  • Pennsylvania State University – Berks | Reading, PA | 10/2015
  • Lehigh Carbon Community College | Schnecksville, PA | 10/2015
  • Bloomsburg University | Bloomsburg, PA | 11/2011
  • Ursinus College | Collegeville, PA | 03/2013
  • Allegheny College | Meadville, PA | 11/2012
  • Lehigh University | Bethlehem, PA | 10/2014
  • Lehigh Carbon Community College | Schnecksville, PA | 10/2015
  • Pennsylvania State University | Reading, PA | 10/2015

Rhode Island:

  • University of Rhode Island | Kingston, RI | 11/2015 and 03/2012
  • Roger Williams University | Bristol, RI | 11/2013

South Dakota:

  • University of South Dakota | Vermillion, SD | 03/2013


  • University of Tennessee | Knoxville, TN | 04/2016


  • Texas Tech University | Lubbock, TX | 11/15-16/17


  • Pierce College | Puyallup, WA | 05/30/17


  • University of Wisconsin-Whitewater | Whitewater, WI | 02/2018
  • Medical College of Wisconsin | Milwaukee, WI | 02/2017
  • University of Wisconsin-Platteville | Platteville, WI | 10/08/2016
  • University of Wisconsin | Kenosha, WI | 02/2010 and 11/2010


  • School for International Training (SIT) Graduate Institute | Brattleboro, VT | 04/2017


  • Virginia Tech | Blacksburg, VA | 03/2013 and 03/2014
  • James Madison University | Harrisburg, VA | 02/2014 and 02/2016
  • Madeira Private High School | McLean, VA | 01/2015
  • I saw Ryan at the MACURH Regional Conference and my students and I agreed that we needed to bring him to our campus to speak. His program FTM: Scouting the Unknown was inspiring, informational and honesty. He was wonderful to work with for the program and training session, I would highly recommend that you consider bringing him to your campus.

    Melissa Hettmann, RHA Advisor/ Mitchell Hall Residence Hall Director, St. Cloud State University

    Melissa Hettmann
  • “As I watched Ryan Sallans tell us his story…I kept looking at the faces of the students in the audience. They were listening as closely as I was – and with similar respect. I realized that Ryan was probably saving the life of someone in that room, and that I could multiply that saved life many times over.”

    Dr. Laurie Bernstein
    Chair, Department of History Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Camden
  • “I cannot say enough how much the JMU community truly enjoyed and learned from Ryan.  The professional development for a trans inclusive campus provided an opportunity for meaningful learning and discussion among our Student Affairs professionals.  The campus-wide presentation Sexing Ed was incredible!  I looked around several times throughout to see students that were completely absorbed.  Ryan has the ability to engage audience members, he is an outstanding speaker.”


    Veronica Whalen Jones
    Health Educator, James Madison University
  • “If you’re looking for a speaker who can address the subtleties and nuances of sex, gender, gender identity, and gender expression without confusing beginners or offending more knowledgeable audience members, I highly recommend Ryan Sallans for your next program.”

    Maure L. Smith-Benanti
    Assistant Director Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Transgender Education & Support Services, University of Oregon
  • “Our primary goal in the grant project was to help our campus become more trans-inclusive. We were looking for a warm, authentic and knowledgeable person to help campus administrators, faculty and staff create a welcoming and inclusive community. Ryan did all of that and more! By meeting with trans and gender nonconforming students the evening prior to the training and learning their concerns, he was able to make the session relevant and real for our own campus.”

    Kaitlin Legg
    Assistant Director, UNF LGBT Resource Center