Meet Trainer Tess Benser

Tess Besner, HFP TrainerTess Benser

Health Federation of Philadelphia

Program Manager, Trauma Informed Training

Community Advocate. Educator.


Tess Benser (they/them/theirs) is a well-being, social justice, and sexuality educator who lives in South Philly. Tess holds a Master’s degree in Women & Gender Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Prior to joining Health Federation of Philadelphia, Tess was the Assistant Director of Outreach & Engagement at the West Chester University Center for Women & Gender Equity where they maintained multidisciplinary collaboration with departments across campus in planning and implementing programs, policies, and protocols for gender equity as well as creating microlearning content for the CW&GE social media and monthly newsletter on topics of gender justice, racial justice, disability justice, queer & trans liberation, reproductive justice, mental health, trauma, & sexual violence and harm.

Their previous work experience has included direct service HIV/STI/Hep C counseling, testing, and referral, harm reduction and opioid overdose education, and creating trainings on topics of sexual violence and harm, intimate partner violence, inclusive and comprehensive sexuality education, accessibility and universal design, and LGBTQIA+ inclusion. Tess serves on the Board of Directors for Your Empowered Sexuality (YES!), a Philly-based nonprofit that provides anti-oppressive and shame-free sexuality education through a social justice lens to people of all ages and across various forms of media. 

Fun facts: Tess sings in Rise Choir Collective, a choir that aims to get people singing, living into our full selves, sharing the vision for a better world, and singing our values. Tess is originally from Wisconsin, and yes, they love cheese. 

Training expertise

LGBTQIA+ Inclusion

Trans inclusive health care practices

Sexuality, sexual health, & reproductive justice

HIV, STI, and Hep C prevention

Mental health & well-being

Sexual & intimate partner violence

Boundaries & consent practices 

Best Practices for Trauma Informed Approaches

Disability justice, accessibility, & universal design