October 22, 2016
Virginia Commonwealth University Student Commons
907 Floyd Ave., Richmond, VA 23284
What is TIES?
The most important aspect of the Transgender Information and Empowerment Summit (TIES) is community. To us, community means trust, fellowship, dignity, and a shared respect for people who are transgender and gender diverse. The summit is an opportunity to build that community – to learn from and with each other in a safe and empowering space. TIES offers a variety of information that is designed specifically to serve the interests and needs of transgender individuals, partners, parents, youth, and allies. In addition, this year’s exciting workshops will offer new and returning attendees a chance to establish connections and expand their knowledge base.
Read the descriptions below to learn more about some of the programming available at the 2016 TIES. Check out the logistics page for more details.
Transgender Adult Programming
When it comes to describing TIES, Mara Keisling, Executive Director at the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) says: “Conferences like this are so important for lots of different reasons. Many people need access to resources that are provided here, and some people who want to get more involved in activism can connect with others who want to do the same. Most importantly, this is a community building tool and is a way to be there for each other and to be here with each other.” People come from all over the region to connect with each other, to be heard, and to be visible. Workshops are available throughout the day and encompass a wide range of topics, including medical care, employment, safety, and relationships. Local resource agencies and support groups will table throughout the day; and, for those wishing to update identity documents, a free Name and Gender Marker Change Clinic will be offered.
Transgender and gender diverse students enrolled in grades 6-12 are encouraged to attend this year’s first TIES Youth Conference! We’ve partnered with Gender Spectrum to create a fun and dynamic day designed to meet the needs and interests of children and teens at different stages of their lives. ROSMY facilitators will help lead the day’s activities and create a welcoming and supportive space where everyone can feel comfortable being themselves.
To register your child for the TIES Youth Conference, please navigate to the general TIES registration page and follow the prompts.
Gender Spectrum will provide a full day of programming for parents and caregivers who are raising transgender and gender diverse kids. This will be particularly helpful for those who are beginning this journey and seeking an opportunity to “ground” themselves in this new parenting context. Participants would spend the day in this foundational program exclusively designed for parents/caregivers.
Partners of MTF and FTM transitioning individuals will have the opportunity to spend the afternoon together in an intentional and supportive space. Two groups will be facilitated by experienced therapists and will allow partners to share their stories and learn from each other’s struggles and challenges as well as their hopes and successes. This space is intended for the non-transitioning partner in the relationship.
What have people said about TIES?
“I heard about TIES through the LGBT Center of Hampton Roads. The name change and gender marker change clinic really caught my eye, but what I really wanted was to interact with other people from my area and learn about all the resources that were being offered. You don’t really get these chances to meet trans* people, even if they’re only a few miles away. I feel connected to a community here.” Kaytee, from Hampton Roads
“For organizations, it’s a chance to keep our ears to the ground and be up to date on the issues that matter. At TIES, we hear people’s stories, connect and find out what we can do to offer assistance to the transgender community.” Elizabeth Wong, Deputy Director ACLU of Virginia
“This is my second year coming to TIES, and I was excited to see the improvements from last year. The closed caucus on violence and safety for the trans* community of color was a great addition. These are very real things happening to people every day, and it is important that our community talks about it and looks at how we are going to make a difference.” Erin, from Hampton Roads
“Trans* people often feel isolated, so there’s something special about intentionally coming together and meeting each other in the flesh at TIES. We are not just a couple of faces on magazine covers. We are a diverse community that is vibrant and beautiful. It’s affirming to be here and to see that.” Kara, TAP Virginia
“Getting to be here and support my partner is fantastic. I’m learning new ways to continue supporting them. Being trans* isn’t just a binary, it’s not something you can reduce. There’s depth and complexity and it feels great to learn and grow.” Jax, TAP Virginia
“I’m very thankful for TIES. This is such a special place to come together and create solutions for transgender people all over Virginia. We couldn’t do the work we do without TIES to bring us all back in one place.” Sara, from Alexandria, VA
“I heard about TIES from a professor. I’m getting ready to transition, and TIES has every resource I was looking for. There’s support for my partner, medical information, advice and experiences from other trans* people. The tangible resources are amazing and I’m walking away knowing more than I ever could have imagined.” Rae, from Richmond
Thank you to the sponsors and community voices of TIES 2016!
Thank you to the organizations sponsoring the 2016 Transgender Information and Empowerment Summit. This support is essential in making TIES possible and leads directly to the success of the event. Please show your support in every way you can to the organizations listed below. Learn more about becoming a Community Voice or contact John at email@example.com for more information about sponsorship.
Youth Conference Sponsor