Gender and Trans Experiences in Buddhism

Tuesdays | June 4 to July 9, 2024 | 6:30pm-8:00pm

Celebrate Pride Month with Songtsen Gampo and join us for our newest course! Transcending: Gender and Trans Experiences in Buddhism will meet on Tuesdays from 6:30pm-8:00pm, June 4 to July 9, on Zoom and in person at our Center in Lakewood.

This six-week course will explore connections between the teachings of the Dharma and what it means to be trans, genderqueer, and/or nonbinary. Ani Palmo Rybicki, Buddhist nun and Director of Songtsen Gampo, will co-teach this class with Em Munson, a nonbinary LGBTQ+ educator and student of Buddhism. We will discuss excerpts from Transcending: Trans Buddhist Voices, in addition to practicing meditation together.

Transcending is open to everyone. Buddhist, non-Buddhist, LGBTQ+ or straight—all are welcome!  The course will offer new perspectives and opportunities to learn from our instructors and fellow classmates as we journey toward a more understanding and compassionate world.


The fee for this class is on a sliding scale. If you are financially fortunate, please consider sponsoring another person! If you are in need of financial assistance, please fill out this form or email


TRANSCENDING: Trans Voices in Buddhism, edited by Kevin Manders and Elizabeth Marsten

  • Purchase the text here or at your favorite seller.
  • Reading assignments given upon registration. Please buy the text as soon as you can.

DATES (Tuesdays)

June 4 | June 11 | June 18 | June 25 | July 2 | July 9




    Ani Palmo Rybicki (she/her), a native Clevelander, is a nun in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. She has been a practicing Buddhist since 1988 and ordained in 1994. Ani Palmo is the Director and Resident Teacher of Songtsen Gampo Buddhist Center and has been teaching for the past eighteen years.

    Aware of the suffering of LGBTQ+ people in general, and of her queer Dharma friends in particular, Ani Palmo is delighted to offer this opportunity for dialogue on both gender and Buddhism. Her aim is to support the LGBTQ+ community, which is so beleaguered in our day, and to open the doors of understanding to those unfamiliar with their world. 

    Em Munson (they/them) is a nonbinary trans athletic trainer, sports medicine professional, and educator on trans inclusion in healthcare. They have spoken locally, regionally, and nationally on these topics, and have published research on the healthcare experiences of transgender athletes.

    As a Buddhist, Em feels strongly that their trans identity and Dharma practice have influenced each other significantly. They are excited at the opportunity to examine the intersections of gender and the Dharma through this class, and they hope to foster a dialogue that will deepen both our solidarity with each other and our compassion for all beings.

    Questions? Email or text (216) 471-8840

    Many thanks to Laura Milnor Iverson ( for allowing us to use her beautiful artwork!