Summit aims to give transgender community more resources: ‘We need Virginia to stand with us’

RICHMOND, Va. -- Equality Virginia, hosted it's sixth annual Transgender Information and Empowerment Summit (TIES) event Saturday at the University of Richmond. The event is to help individuals who identify with the transgender and non-binary community.

“There's resources for mental, medical and health check ins," said James Parrish, Executive Director Equality Virginia. "There’s a legal clinic and then there’s about 40 workshops ranging from health care, hormone, advocacy, parental and family support.”

Parrish said right now the trans community is under resourced.

“They don’t have access to healthcare. The statistics for unemployment and not having housing are significant higher than other communities," Parrish stated.

James Parrish

“We’re regular everyday people trying to live. We have the same problems that everyone has, if not more problems," added Mel Howard. "We need more people to support us. We need Virginia to stand with us.”

The summit also featured different panel discussions including transgender advocacy for people of color.

“We hope by spreading the word through news and other outlets that people learn that this is going on and really start to ask why there needs to be a trans conference. There needs to be one because this community doesn’t have resources," said Parrish.

Parrish said going forward they plan on working to create non-discrimination legislation to protect gay and transgender people in housing employment and public accommodations.

If you would like to learn more about Transgender Information and Empowerment Summit, click here.

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