“This is our first time putting together a state-wide summit like this, and I am thrilled to say that interest in the summit has exceeded our expectations,” said EV’s Executive Director James Parish after the event hit its cap at 250 attendees signed up. “It is going to be an informational and exciting day, and I’m glad that so many people will be able to access the great resources that will be available.”
TIES happens Saturday Oct. 4th at VCU’s Commons building. The day will be filled with seminars, lectures, networking events, and other opportunities for trans folks and allies to help themselves and their communities.
“Equality Virginia has been planning a transgender summit for quite some time and thanks to the involvement and support from Virginia’s transgender community and our coalition partners, we are pleased it is coming to fruition,” said Parrish. ”It will take a lot of work, but I’m confident that we will reach a day in Virginia where nobody is treated differently or discriminated against because of their gender identity.”
Donna Price, a trans-woman leading a workshop on coming out at Saturday’s event, said her personal expereince of living in the closet for so long left her more alone then she could ever imagine. ”I have learned that the only way to resolve our fears is to confront and deal with them,” she said.
Price, who spent 25 years in the Navy before coming out as transgender, hopes her personal story and the lessons she’s learned will help those facing the same issues she faced so many years ago.
“Gathering with like-minded people with whom I have similar life experiences is both affirming and confirming of the truth of our nature,” said Price. “Living an authentic life is the most freeing personal decision that I have ever made.”
Sadly, sign-ups for TIES are now closed and the lucky 250 folks who signed up ahead of time will take part in Saturday’s events, and GayRVA will be there to help tell the stories of those in attendance.