Equality Virginia’s Transgender Visibility Initiative will host its 5th Annual Transgender Information and Empowerment Summit (TIES) on Saturday, October 20 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM at the Parham Road Campus of J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College in Richmond.
Since 2014, TIES has provided vital resources to transgender and gender nonconforming community members and their allies. The annual event offers workshops, mental and medical health consultations, legal assistance, HIV testing, access to statewide local resources, and a space for community building. Attendance has grown each year with the 2017 conference welcoming over 400 individuals, more than half of whom identified as transgender or gender nonconforming.
The 2018 TIES conference will welcome keynote speaker, Sarah McBride. McBride is the National Press Secretary for the Human Rights Campaign and author of Tomorrow Will Be Different: Love, Loss, and the Fight for Trans Equality. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Equality Delaware, that state’s primary LGBTQ-advocacy organization. In that capacity, Sarah helped lead the successful effort to add gender identity and expression to her state’s nondiscrimination and hate-crimes laws. Sarah became the first openly transgender person to address a major party political convention when she spoke at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
McBride’s address at the 5th annual conference will focus on the current state of the movement and the path forward toward equality and justice. On returning to TIES, McBride said, “having attended the first Virginia TIES in 2014, I’m incredibly excited to return. It’s an affirming, informative, and powerful gathering of trans people and those who love and support us, and I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of it. Thank you to Equality Virginia for organizing one of the premier conferences in support of trans equality!”
Vee Lamneck, Deputy Director at Equality Virginia who leads the organization’s Transgender Visibility Initiative said of the event’s growth, “In the five years since TIES began, we’ve found that a shared sense of community is the most important part of TIES. We are grateful to see trans community members, their families, and allies return year after year to build an inclusive space where they can learn, grow, and lean on each other.” Lamneck added, “It’s an honor to welcome Sarah McBride back to TIES to share her vast knowledge and experience. Her words are sure to inspire.”
TIES is the largest conference of its kind in the South. The event is free to attend, and registration is required. The event will be held on Saturday, October 20, 2018, at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College’s Parham Road Campus in Richmond from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. For more information visit www.equalityvirginia.org/ties