Transgender Leadership Coalition of Virginia
Since 2014, Equality Virginia has been providing tailored, direct support to organizations that specifically serve the transgender and non-binary community. Too often trans and non-binary leaders face burnout and the organizations they lead have historically lacked adequate funding and large leadership benches due to the many unmet needs in the community.
In the summer of 2019, EV reimagined how we could best work in collaboration to serve Virginia’s trans-led organizations, build the capacity of trans and non-binary leaders, and increase visibility for the entire trans community. With input and interest from the community, EV launched the Transgender Leadership Coalition of Virginia (affectionately called “the Coalition” for short).
Who are we?
The Coalition brings together transgender and non-binary leaders who represent organizations specifically serving trans and non-binary Virginians.
The Coalition envisions a Commonwealth where all trans and non-binary Virginians are free from discrimination and have access to resources that allow them to thrive and flourish.
The Coalition exists to provide mutual support to trans-led organizations of all types with information and resources, opportunities to build their capacity, and space to connect and build statewide community. Through these actions, we hope to create increased trans leadership, visibility, and empowerment.
Through the value of trans visibility, the Coalition collaborates to provide workshops and advocacy opportunities for trans and non-binary led organizations to build understanding and support for their local trans community.
Through the value of trans empowerment and leadership, the Coalition:
- Builds up each member organization’s capacity
- Cultivates each representative’s skills in leadership, resilience, and self-care
- Facilitates access to resources and information
- Provides opportunities to build community among organizations serving trans and non-binary Virginians
What do we do?
The primary way the Coalition works together is through monthly meetings that occur on the last Wednesday of every month from 6:00-7:00pm. At meetings, EV staff and Coalition members lead educational discussions on a topic of interest that members have voted for. Past meetings have included discussions on trans voting rights, trans homelessness, Two-Spirit advocacy, Black Trans Lives Matter, and so much more! Additionally, there is always dedicated time to share resources and information, make connections, build community, and get advice from other trans and non-binary leaders.
Moving forward, the Coalition is hoping to get more involved in direct advocacy for transgender, non-binary, and LGBQ Virginians, with a particular focus on Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities.
The Coalition keeps in touch through a private Facebook group where we share resources, pose questions, make collective decisions, and forge meaningful long-lasting relationships.
In a post-pandemic world, EV and the Coalition will host an annual meeting for members to come together in person to continue building community among trans and non-binary leaders representing organizations throughout the Commonwealth.
Finally, EV maintains a directory that Coalition members can opt into so trans and non-binary leaders can stay connected more easily.
Democracy in Action:
The Coalition operates on democratic principles so that all members are empowered to be leaders within the group.
- Each organization gets to vote on the monthly meeting’s educational discussion topic
- There is an anonymous feedback form where members can leave their input and, if they choose, request that it be discussed at a future meeting
- Coalition decisions are made by consensus during monthly meetings and in the Facebook group
Ready to join up?
If you are a trans or non-binary leader representing an organization that serves the trans and non-binary communities in Virginia, you can contact [email protected] or use this form to join the Coalition: bit.ly/TransCoalition. You can also reach out to [email protected] if you have any questions or are looking for other ways to get involved.