Public Speaking

Calpernia Addams Oxford University Oxford Union 2014

Calpernia Addams, Oxford University, Oxford Union 2014

Calpernia is an experienced and versatile live entertainer, hostess and public speaker. Contact her at to inquire about bookings.

Colleges and Universities:

Calpernia has spoken at major universities, colleges, corporations and events across the country and the world. She usually makes herself available to any classrooms or professors who might want to have her speak to their classes on the day of my presentation, as well. Some recent engagements:

  • Oxford Union at Oxford University, England
  • Warner Brothers
  • Procter & Gamble
  • Lavender Law National Conference
  • Johns Hopkins
  • UCLA
  • Northwestern University’s Rainbow Week: Keynote address (with Andrea James)
  • Eastern Kentucky University “Come Together Kentucky” conference keynote speaker
  • UC Long Beach
  • University of Colorado’s TRANSforming Gender: Sexualities, Cultures and Identities In and Out of the Academy keynote speaker (with Andrea James)
  • Harvey Milk School in NYC
  • University of Minnesota


An engaging and fun speaker, Calpernia has addressed serious topics such as gender politics in Hollywood media, trans portrayals in media, the position held by trans people within the GLBT community as relative to legal issues and all kinds of other subjects. Some corporate and conference events at which Calpernia has spoken recently are:

Calpernia runs a successful, profitable production company called Deep Stealth Productions with business partner Andrea James, also a trans woman, and they make a wonderful team for college and corporate speaking engagements where two speakers are possible. They’ve worked with Jane Fonda, Felicity Huffman, Eve Ensler, Troy Garity, Lee Pace, “CSI“, “The Vagina Monologues” and countless other artists and productions. Deep Stealth has produced two films, “Casting Pearls” and “Transproofed“, as well as a series of wildly successful instructional videos for the trans community.

Calpernia is a published author, with a memoir titled “Mark 947“, about growing up in a fundamentalist Christian household in Nashville and her later careers as a military medic and a showgirl. She contributes regularly to The Advocate, Huffington Post, OUT Magazine, many local Los Angeles GLBT publications and writes a column for Psychology Today online.

Andrea and Calpernia run eight websites with 5000+ pages of free original content serving 4,000,000+ visitors a year who are looking for information related to transition, Andrea’s consumer information sites on hair removal and Calpernia’s successful blog at

Calpernia has helped raise many thousands of dollars for causes such as the prevention of violence against women and girls, the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, APLA, No on Prop 8 (the anti-gay marriage amendment in CA), The Royal Court of LA (serving mostly minority trans women in LA), LifeWorks GLBT Youth Mentoring, PEN in the Classroom (connects school kids with famous author mentors) and many other causes. She has hosted countless fundraisers and benefit shows in Los Angeles, as well as participated in events in Chicago, New York and her home state of Tennessee.

Calpernia starred in nationally and internationally aired MTV/Logo’s Transamerican Love Story, the first out transsexual dating show in the world, which won a 2009 GLAAD Media Award.

Calpernia is a decorated veteran of the first Gulf War, having served on the ground with the Marines as a Navy medic in Saudi Arabia during the entire war.

Calpernia is a successful acoustic singer/songwriter who has toured internationally, with a song appearing in Facebook’s first national television commercial and a live performance for the US Attorney General. She has several successful dance singles, including “Stunning”, which currently sell on iTunes.

Personal information about Calpernia can be found at

Booking and Travel Needs

“I love to travel and speak to groups, and find it very inspiring to connect with concerned and active people. Most everything listed below is information on streamlining the process. You won’t find any diva demands, just tips and suggestions learned from almost two decades of travel related to activism and outreach. Thank you!”

Calpernia has traveled extensively both in the US and abroad for various work and activist engagements, and has worked out optimal travel and booking needs over time.

  • The primary practical consideration for Calpernia is that it cannot cost her money to travel to and speak at an event. It is very difficult to pay for major travel expenses such as airfare or hotel and then invoice your organization later — what is essentially a loan to a large school or corporation from an indie film actress and activist, especially in the current economy, creates hardship. There are countless small expenses involved in traveling, from public transportation/taxi fare in the destination city to materials and preparation supplies. It can be a major undertaking, both financially and in terms of time away from work.
  • Events local to Los Angeles or in Calpernia’s home state of Tennessee: Public speaking is not a major source of income for Calpernia, and she is always willing to talk about contributing time to events and projects that are happening for a special cause. Events local to Los Angeles or her hometown of Nashville are much easier for her to attend, and can require less resources. Events benefiting a severely underfunded non-profit cause are certainly important to Calpernia and receive special consideration.
  • Transportation to and from the airport at both the departure and destination cities is very helpful. For student and charitable organizations working on a very tight budget, we sometimes book the Los Angeles side of airport pickup and delivery with Prime Time Shuttle. These shuttles involve an extended journey picking up and delivering multiple passengers from and to multiple locations, so a taxi or other form of transportation is more ideal if possible, even a local contact willing to drive Calpernia to and from the airport. Transportation in the destination city can be arranged as you wish, whether it be a student/organization worker or a service.
  • Hotel accommodations – A non-smoking room in a safe area, preferably with walking access to inexpensive dining and markets is necessary.
    • VERY IMPORTANT: Calpernia never uses in-room amenities such as the mini-bar , and only orders from room service if it is expressly included in the booking, so providing the hotel with the event’s credit card or account number to hold the room spares Calpernia being required to provide her own debit card number (she does not use credit cards) and having potentially hundreds of dollars of her own money placed “on hold” by the hotel until checkout to cover these potential uses. Depending on the hotel, up to $150 or more of a guest’s bank account per night of planned stay can be placed “on hold” upon check-in to cover potential use of amenities such as room service. Having hundreds of dollars of her personal funds placed on hold during her stay can be a deal-breaker when considering whether travel is feasible or not.
    • Especially for student and charitable organizations on a limited budget, a fancy hotel is not necessary, but somewhere clean, safe and located near the school or the airport is good.
  • Protection – In some few occasions, conservative student groups or other conservative interests have actively protested the presence of a gay-friendly, “out” transsexual speaker on campus. If an environment of active hostility is present, we trust that school security will be notified and on hand to maintain peace and safety.
  • An honorarium/Speaker’s Fee is always helpful, because taking time off from work in Los Angeles is very costly and travel in general has become a bit of a nightmare these days, especially from a large airport like LAX. If the budget includes it, per-diem is helpful to cover meals and supplies, which always cost so much more when one is on the road vs. eating and staying at home.
  • Pre-arranged date of payment: Receiving funds from schools and student organizations often comes at the end of a complex process involving lots of paperwork, filings and requests to various offices. This can take (and has taken) many months if not arranged properly beforehand. These arrangements must be made beforehand, with a firm date in place for the payment of travel expenses, per-diem and honorarium/fee. I can’t stress enough that if a trip costs Calpernia a great deal of money up front, to be repaid at a later date weeks or months down the line, it becomes a financial drain rather than a positive sharing experience.

Calpernia says:

Thanks for considering me, and let me know what you think about these requirements. I’m flexible to a point, if necessary, but I’m pretty minimal with my needs so they have never been a difficulty so far. I’d love to be able to come and talk to everyone!


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