Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV) is an annual celebration of transgender (trans) lives and a day for allies to reflect on the discrimination faced by trans people every day. Typically, TDOV is observed on March 31. This year, the Transgender Assistance Program (TAP-VA) along with New Life MCC, LGBT Life Center, the LGBTQAI Interfaith Group of Hampton Roads, the Unitarian Church of Norfolk and the Seven Cities Medic Collective are organizing TDOV for Saturday, April 7 to honor the beauty of the trans community.
TDOV seeks to show-off the art and talent of the trans community here in Hampton Roads and is meant to empower trans and gender nonconforming individuals, as well as spread knowledge and awareness of trans issues to the community.
TAP-VA is still looking for trans artists and performers to feature at the celebration. You do not need to be a “professional” to be a part of this event. Youth are welcome and encouraged to participate as well. Spaces will be provided for local trans-owned businesses as well as any trans instructors who want to hold a class!
OutWire757 sat down with TAP-VA board member, Jay Corprew, for an in-depth conversation about TAP-VA and the Hampton Roads TDOV event.
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and what your role is in TAP VA?
I’m a trans guy, currently living in Virginia Beach, I’m 34, married. I became a board of director for TAP because I wanted to do more for my community and, as a trans person, more for the trans community.
What is the Transgender Assistance Program and what do they do in Hampton Roads?
It depends on what someone is in need of. Whether it’s getting them hormones, a name change, helping them with a financial issue, getting them into a safe home or motel, therapy, or getting the them resources needed to get a job. We also help many trans veterans. We strive to lower the trans homeless percentage. We also offer support and care, because our program is run by trans, for trans.
What are the goals of the Transgender Day of Visibility event?
To be seen and heard as a part of society. The trans community doesn’t have much a voice when it comes to LGBTQ visibility, we are often overlooked, ignored. And, it is a way to get seen and be heard as individuals who are talented, who have jobs and families, like everyone else. We are your neighbors, your teachers, your doctors and lawyers. We are everywhere and need to be recognized especially because of the issues we have up against us because we are trans.
If someone came to the event, how would you want them to feel when they walked in the door?
I would want them to be, wowed, impressed and interested. I want them to come in and be amazed and be inspired and want to learn more about the trans community. To see that these are some really cool people, doing really cool things.
What are you most excited for?
Being heard and seen in a positive way. Educating more about the trans community. The support that will come from this. I understand getting it out there will also bring negative feedback too, but that’s not even something we are worried about. I want the positivity aspect, I want great things to come from this event.
Is this event just for trans people or can allies attend?
Anybody interested in coming can attend. Any ages. Even people who are not necessarily allies, but want to be educated on the trans community, and who are curious about the trans community.
How can allies best support this event?
Telling everyone they know. Just getting the word out.
Are you going to be presenting any art at this event?
I will be, yes. I will be directing an art class that anyone can join, and I will be doing face painting for all ages. I also will be reading some of my poetry.