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Frequently Asked Questions

What can I expect at a Transmission Retreat?


Transmission retreats are a great opportunity to step away from the day-to-day stress many of us face as trans masculine folks. We provide a container where you can let down your guard, learn, laugh, and connect with other trans masculine people in a gorgeous private setting.

Past retreats have included talent shows, BIPOC talking circles, pool parties, and play parties, but we also leave space for retreat goers to create their own programming or just sit back and take it all in.

Transmission retreats typically happen at Saratoga Springs in Lake County, California. There are both cabins and camping options, a dining hall, a main lodge, showers, a pool, and a hot tub! ​

When we host a retreat, we rent the entire facility and so there is no concern of encountering other guests. Cisgender facility managers will be on site, but they are well known to us, supportive, and respectful of retreat goers' privacy.  

​The retreat center is entirely clothing optional, however, we ask that people wear bottoms in communal areas and during specified pool times. Tops, regardless of chest appearance or surgical history, are always clothing optional. 

Transmission Retreats are sober events, though there will be a designated smoking area for medical marijuana. There is also a separate smoking area for nicotine. 

How do you create an inclusive space for People of Color?

In 2018, a BIPOC-majority team took over the leadership of Transmission and instituted a number of practices that helped improve the experiences of BIPOC attendees:

  • BIPOC-only space will always be available, including BIPOC only pool times and workshops

  • Transmission retreats aim for at least 50% BIPOC attendees, but will not happen with less than 40% BIPOC attendees.

  • White attendees are asked to describe their understanding of racism within and beyond the trans community when registering and are vetted based on their responses.

  • All attendees agree to anti-racist community guidelines and agree to speak with leadership if they cause harm, even inadvertent, to another attendee. Depending on the severity of the offense, they may be asked to not return.

  • Transmission will not happen without BIPOC voices in leadership. If you're interested in volunteering with us, please let us know.


We acknowledge that there may still be harm done. The leadership team asks that if you experience harm, you let someone know in whatever way feels safest to you, and we will do our best to minimize further harm. If you cause harm, remember impact is different then intent. Apologize without explaining yourself and allow the person space to heal if needed.

How ADA accessible is the retreat?

The retreat is at Saratoga Springs Retreat Center. The heart lodge and dining hall are close together and have entrances at ground level. The pathways are unpaved gravel that is well maintained, without potholes, flat and with a slight overall incline. There is one cabin with a ramp that may be accessible for some with limited mobility. There are also individual cabins without ramps. There is air conditioning in the main buildings and some of the lodging. There is a hot tub and pool. There are bathrooms accessible at ground level, but they are not fully ADA. 

If you have any questions about accommodations or specific access needs, please email us at

Email Transmission

What should I bring?


​Generally speaking, you’ll want to bring bedding (pillow and sleeping bag or blankets), ear plugs (if you’re a light sleeper), flashlight, warm layers for nights and mornings, comfortable shoes, swim suit, towel, sunscreen and hat, toiletries (low/no-scent preferred), alarm clock, and medicine. Feel free to bring a journal, art supplies, sports gear (soccer ball, baseball and glove, etc.), a refillable water bottle, and hiking poles (there are some nice trails on site). People in the past have brought instruments and had a great time making music.

Leave computers and electronics at home, and stash your cell phone out of sight and out of mind for the weekend. DO NOT BRING recreational drugs, alcohol, weapons, and pets/comfort animals. NOTE: Service animals (as defined by the ADA) are welcome but please check with us first before bringing your service animal.

What about food?

Meals are included with the cost of registration and are served buffet style. Although our chef does a fantastic job of creating a delicious and healthy menu, we may not be able to accommodate all dietary restrictions. We will update this section for more information about food storage options if you choose to bring your own, but in the meantime, please email us with any questions.

What are your COVID-19 precautions?

  • Attendees will be required to test within five days of the retreat with either by PCR or with an at-home antigen COVID-19 test and have a negative result.

  • Attendees will also be required to bring an at-home test with them and have a negative test result at registration. If you carpooled and anyone in your carpool tests positive, you will unfortunately be asked to leave even if you test negative as you have been recently exposed. 

  • Masks are required in common areas indoors unless eating or drinking. Masking at the buffet line will be especially strict to prevent any contamination of food. 

  • Masks and hand sanitizer will be readily available throughout the facility. 

  • Due to issues of systemic racism and medical mistrust within our community vaccines are not required, but they are highly encouraged. If you have questions or concerns about the vaccine and would like to talk to a medical professional, please feel free to email us at and we'll be happy to arrange a meeting with Felix who is a Registered Nurse. He will be non-judgemental, whatever you decide, and answer any questions you have with unbiased scientific information.

Is Transmission really a sober event or are you just saying that for legal purposes?

Transmission really is a sober event and it's very important that you help us keep it that way.


Unfortunately, trans folks disproportionately struggle with substance use disorders and many in our community are sober or in a tentative recovery. To ensure that everyone feels safe, comfortable, and present, the retreat is drug-free and alcohol-free.


Smoking/vaping will be permitted in designated areas only. Marijuana is also permitted in designated smoking spaces but only as needed for health. We won't ask anyone to justify their medical reason for using marijuana, but please follow the honor system and do not offer it to others recreationally.

Do I belong at Transmission?

This is a largely personal question that only you can answer. Transmission is currently for those of us who are AFAB or intersex who are connected to or exploring gender outside of the one we were assigned at birth. That includes trans men, trans masculine people, nonbinary, genderqueer, gender non-conforming, and questioning individuals.


Transmission began as a retreat primarily for binary trans men, but our community has expanded to recognize that gender is a spectrum. We have considered opening the community to trans women as well, however there are other retreats that are fully trans inclusive and we would like to hold space for the often over looked trans masculinity. As for gender expression, some community members prefer baseball caps and dad shorts. Some prefer glitter and skirts. All gender expression is welcome and encouraged. Please come and be yourself without worry for the pressure to act or be a certain way. 

You don't need to know if you're trans to come. In fact if you're questioning and discover that you're cis by coming to the retreat, that's a successful exploration of the self and to be celebrated! Your journey exploring your gender needs to be free of others' expectations. 

Transmission retreats are not for cis allies, though we do occasionally have informal gatherings where friends and family and welcome!

What is a Community Circle?

A community circle is an opportunity to sit together with the intention of becoming more present, heart directed, and connected. Participants are invited (but not required) to reveal their joys, fears, pain, or hopes in a confidential environment while the circle listens supportively without intervening. Experiencing a community circle is both deeply personal and profoundly collective.

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