TIES 2020 Recap

TIES 2020 Recap

Thank you everyone who joined us for the 7th Annual Virginia Transgender Information & Empowerment Summit (TIES 2020) from Wednesday, October 14 through Saturday, October 17, 2020. This event was made possible thanks to our generous sponsors, including our presenting sponsor Capital One and collaborative sponsors Cville Pride and Whitman Walker Health. For the first time ever, TIES took place over multiple days and occurred completely virtually. It was also our most successful TIES yet, with more participants than ever before thanks to the digital format! This year’s TIES was particularly focused on building connection in harrowing times, highlighting the racial justice work happening in the trans community, and making TIES more accessible.

This unique conference is designed to address the needs and interests of transgender and non-binary Virginians of all ages as well as their friends, family members, partners, and allies. More than anything else this meant building connections and strengthening our communities. Make sure to check out our online program to see all TIES 2020 had to offer.

Haga clic aquí para leer más sobre TIES en español.

See what TIES 2020 was all about!

Watch recordings of our keynotes

Watch Video

Check out photos from TIES 2020

View Photos

Read the TIES 2020 program

Read More

Leer sobre TIES 2020 en español

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What made TIES 2020 so special

  • This year, TIES welcomed nearly 700 participants from across Virginia and the country, with half being transgender or non-binary and the rest being allies, family members, providers, and partners. That makes this year’s conference was the most attended TIES ever!
  • The conference offered 24 unique workshops, featuring 37 presenters and facilitators, on topics varying from health care access to implicit bias to the work of Black trans-led organizations in Virginia, and so much more. Check out our online program to see the workshop descriptions. Thank you to our presenters and volunteers who made these workshops possible! You can see materials from some of the workshops by clicking here.
  • TIES hosted four powerful keynote discussions featuring Black trans and non-binary leaders and change makers like Stonewall Veteran and trans revolutionary Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, Dominique Morgan, the Executive Director of Black & Pink – the largest prison abolitionist organization in the US, as well as youth and adult advocates fighting for Black trans lives in their community. Click here to watch the recordings from three of our keynotes, or see below.
  • The first-ever TIES conference app, Whova, allowed hundreds of participants and dozens of community partners to connect with each other virtually, chat one-on-one, schedule meet-ups, post photos, and plan their days. Congratulations to our app leaderboard winners as well as our photo competition winner! Overall, folks sent over 3,000 messages and shared over 150 photos with each other.
  • Daily social events and chill spaces were available to unwind, relax, and come together with other participants at TIES. Congratulations to our talent show and trivia winners!
  • Almost 20 people, the most ever, made use of the TIES Wellness Center offering free conversations with trans-affirming medical and mental health providers. The Wellness Center offered services in Spanish for the first time as well. Thank you to all of the Wellness Center providers and volunteers who donated their time!
  • Interpretation between English and Spanish was available for the majority of the sessions at TIES thanks to Trans Terps DC. Conference materials were available in Spanish and English thanks to volunteer translators. Haga clic aquí para leer más sobre TIES 2020.
  • Over 65 community organizations partnered with Equality Virginia to support the event, spread the word about the conference, and connect with TIES participants. Check out the list of our community partners on our TIES webpage.
  • The TIES Legal Clinic served 41 people with free assistance on the name and gender marker change process, also went digital. Thanks to our friends at the Virginia Equality Bar Association and the University of Richmond, the clinic occurred in the two weeks after TIES where participants met with an attorney virtually. Services were offered to both English and Spanish speaking clients.
  • For the first time ever, Equality Virginia hosted an Inclusion Advisory Committee where 12 community members who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) as well as Spanish speakers of all backgrounds came together to share their vision of a more inclusive and diverse TIES that centers the needs of BIPOC and Spanish speakers in outreach, programming, and accessibility.
  • Don’t forget to check out our TIES 2020 playlist, created from participants’ suggestions!
  • You can check out the TIES Fitness & Wellness Facebook page that some participants started this year.

Watch the Keynotes

From Stonewall to a Black Trans Future: A Keynote Discussion with Miss Major Griffin-Gracy

Defending Black Trans Lives in Virginia: A Keynote Panel

Prison Abolition, Trans Liberation, & Artistry: A Keynote Discussion with Dominique Morgan

Hear from attendees:

“The community aspect was my favorite part!”

“I loved being in encouraging inclusive spaces and getting to connect with folks. I found the content and guests this year really exciting and impressive.”

“Every session I attended incorporated racial justice. This framework is so important and should be replicated at all conferences.”

“Good opportunity to connect with the community. Virtual was a nice way to connect to people I normally wouldn’t be able to connect with.”

“I LOVED the keynotes and the intentionality around centering Black trans lives.”

“Interesting and useful workshops! The virtual format was also very convenient and the resources (both within the conference and discussed at the conference) were wonderful.”

“I thought that the inclusion of POC voices and perspectives was awesome.  It felt very empowering and inspiring to hear from Miss Major and the other speakers.”

“Welcoming, informative and amazing speakers and experts. Wealth of information and resources.”

“I liked how there were more sessions regarding racial diversity this year. I also thought the addition of the Whova app was a great way to connect with people outside of the sessions.”

“I loved the community and getting to meet other folx.  I don’t think that I would have been able to attend in person, so silver lining of a global pandemic!”

Presenting Sponsor

Collaborative Sponsors

Legal Clinic Partners

Trans-friendly attorneys and law students provide TIES attendees with free legal assistance on the name and gender marker change process. Thanks to the Virginia Equality Bar Association (VEBA), University of Richmond School of Law, BaryLaw, and the Law Offices of Calderón Seguin for their assistance.

Community Voices

Community Voices are community-based organizations that get involved to support TIES by spreading the word about the conference.

Community Faith Voices

Community Faith Voices help participants get connected to important resources at the intersection of transgender identity, faith, and allyship by spreading the word about the conference.