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Jo Ivester, LGBTQ+ Advocate

  • April 20, 2022
  • 7:00 AM - 8:30 AM
  • UT Club, 2108 Robert Dedman Dr, Austin TX 78712


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Never a Girl, Always a Boy

Award-winning, best-selling author Jo Ivester shares stories from her latest book, "Once a Girl, Always a Boy," that describes what it was like for her transgender son Jeremy growing up in Central Texas in a world not quite ready to accept people like him.

About our speaker:

In 1967, when Jo was ten years old, her father moved their family to an all-black town in the Mississippi Delta, where they were drawn into the civil rights movement. Because of this experience, Jo is committed to advocating for equal rights for all. Her best-selling, award-winning memoir about her family’s time there, The Outskirts of Hope, has led to numerous speaking engagements about racial relations.

In the last few years, Jo has broadened her focus to raise awareness about the transgender community. Through her writing and speaking, she shares the story of what it was like for her son to grow up in Texas and Colorado, in a world not quite ready for people like him. Jo serves on the boards of the Central Texas Anti-Defamation League and Equality Texas.

Before becoming an author and speaker, Jo received a BS in civil engineering and urban planning from MIT and an MBA from Stanford. She worked in transportation and operations management and then taught at St. Edward’s University.

Her recently published book, Once a Girl, Always a Boy, received starred ratings from Kirkus Review and the Library Journal, and has been recommended for Young Adult readers by the American Library Association through its review service, Booklist. In June, Once a Girl, Always a Boy was included in USA Today’s list of top 10 LGBTQ books to read during Pride Month, and in Parade Magazine’s list of the 24 best memoirs of 2020. It has been recognized by several magazines as one of the top reads for Spring 2020, including Ms. Magazineand Travel & Leisure. It won first place in the categories of LGBTQ and Parenting books with the Next Generation Indie Book Awards. It also won first place in the LGBTQ category of the National Indie Excellence Award, and the NIEA Juror’s Award. It was selected as winner in the Parenting category for the Reader’s Favorite Award and was a finalist in the 2020 International Book Award category of Parenting & Family.

Now living in Austin, Jo has been married to Jon Ivester for almost forty years, and has four children and five grandchildren, all living close by. She loves spending time with her growing family, remains passionate about her advocacy work, and enjoys skiing and swing dancing.


6:50am - Coffee & Networking 

7:10am - Breakfast Buffet

7:25am - Introductions & Announcements

7:50am - Speaker Introduction

8:20am - Q&A

8:30am - Have a wonderful Wednesday!

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