Edva

Chester, VA

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My name is Edva. I am a social worker, a graduate of UC Santa Cruz (Go Banana Slugs!), proudly Jewish, and also an ally to the transgender community. I got interested in advocacy for the transgender community when I was going to college as an anthropology major studying gender and culture. This opened up my eyes to the huge gap in resources for people who have been historically marginalized. I decided that addressing this issue would be my life’s works, so I got two degrees in social work.

I now work at a nonprofit organization that helps people affected by intimate partner violence and harassment as the LGBTQ client services coordinator. I’m honored to be able to help the transgender community by connecting them with our services and by educating other people about transgender identities and specific needs. I often do presentations for organizations in my area about how to help LGBTQ people who have faced intimate partner violence and harassment. I want people to leave from my presentations ready to be a better advocate for everyone.

At work, I have transgender clients who have had so much difficulty getting a job simply because of who they are, and that should not be the case. Housing is also a huge issue for transgender people fleeing from intimate partner violence. The last thing they need is a landlord or realtor discriminating against them when they are looking for a safe place to stay.  All Virginians, including transgender Virginians, need a place to work and live so they can stay on their feet no matter what obstacles may come their way. This is why I support nondiscrimination protections in housing and public employment for transgender people.