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Betsy Hanger: TYFA Speakers bio

Betsy Hanger

Betsy Hanger is the proud mom of two children: Jeremy, age 21 and Anna, age 25. Jeremy came out to his family in November 2004 and since then has transitioned to live full-time as a transman.  Since Jeremy’s coming out, Betsy has served as secretary in the PFLAG chapter in Pasadena CA, has been trained by PFLAG Los Angeles as a speaker on transgender issues, and serves as a speaker and trainer at high schools, colleges, and social service organizations like The Trevor Project to describe the family experience of early transition.


Public advocacy for social change is not new to Betsy. In the 1980’s she volunteered with the international educational foundation Beyond War, for which she spoke with hundreds of groups as varied as the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of the California Institute of Technology and the Glendale, CA, Chamber of Commerce Beyond War developed the communication method of the “spacebridge” utilizing satellite technology to video-conference with huge audiences around the globe. Working to affect global change through local dialogue, the Beyond War foundation was a crucial factor in ending the Cold War. Many of their techniques for educating the public to the tremendous threat posed by nuclear war were adapted by former Senator Al Gore in his acclaimed film, “An Inconvenient Truth.”


Betsy is trained as a musicologist and conductor and taught music theory, choral repertoire, and musical theater in independent schools from 1981 – 2011.  Past and present volunteering activities include: co-advisor to the Windward School GSA, workshop developer and presenter for the Models of Pride Conference at USC; class correspondent for Sarah Lawrence College alumnae/i; Ambassador to Southern California for the Contemporary A Cappella Society of America; judge for the International Collegiate A Cappella Championships; member of the Walden School Board of Trustees, heading the Education Committee through two WASC studies, and the Advisory Council for Walden School in Pasadena, CA.  A native of St. Louis, Missouri, she holds a B.A. in music and history from Sarah Lawrence College, advanced degrees in musicology from UCLA, and is currently working on a Masters in Education specializing in curriculum and instruction. . She and her husband Peter live in Los Angeles, CA.