Equality Virginia will host three “Ask a Trans Person” panels in the Hampton Roads region throughout December. The free panels will include local transgender community members sharing their experiences along with a Q&A discussion.
According to national data, only 16% of people say they personally know someone who is transgender. The panel series aims to raise visibility about the transgender community, while highlighting the need for nondiscrimination protections for transgender Virginians.
The “Ask a Trans Person” panels will take place at the following locations:
- December 5, 6:30-8 p.m. at Virginia Wesleyan University, Hofheimer Theatre, 5817 Wesleyan Drive, Virginia Beach
- December 10, 6-7:30 p.m. at the East Suffolk Recreation Center, 138 South 6th Street, Suffolk
- December 17, 6:30-8 p.m. at the Hampton Public Library’s main branch, 4207 Victoria Blvd, Hampton
“Many people are still learning what it means to be transgender and the panels are a safe place to ask questions and engage in respectful dialogue with fellow community members,” said Thalia Hernandez, Equality Virginia’s transgender program coordinator and event moderator. “One of the topics the panel will focus on is the need for nondiscrimination protections for gay and transgender individuals. Many people are surprised to learn that there are no statewide laws in Virginia that protect LGBT people from discrimination in their daily lives.”
Under current Virginia law – as in 29 other states in the nation – LGBT people are not explicitly protected from discrimination. That means that LGBT people can be fired, evicted or denied service in restaurants or stores.
Registration for the events is required. Please visit www.equalityvirginia.org/events to sign up.