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"Ask A Trans Person" Q & A Dives Into Issues for LGBTQ Virginians

Thalia Hernandez of Equality Virginia Moderates a Discussion
Thalia Hernandez of the advocacy group Equality Virginia moderates a group discussion about issues facing transgender people in the region. (Photo: Ian Stewart/VPM News)

In an effort to educate Virginians about issues facing some in the LGBTQ community, the advocacy group Equality Virginia held a panel discussion called “Ask a Trans Person” last night at a church in Chesterfield County. The panel series started in 2018 with forums throughout the state.

Three transgender people took questions and spoke about their experiences. One of those was Aurora Higgs, who says the state should adopt a non-discrimination policy. She says this would allow people who identify as transgender the right to a livelihood.

“If I as a trans person have a job, and I can't be fired simply for being transgender. Then that means I can afford housing. And if it's illegal for someone to discriminate  against me in housing, that means I can work and have shelter. And if I can work and have shelter, that means if I can contribute to society. That means I can do my job. I can pay taxes. I can be a good neighbor--all these things that give back to society." 

Thalia Hernandez is with Equality Virginia. She says currently there are no protections for LGBTQ Virginians under state law.

“And they can be kicked out of their house. They could be fired from their job, they could be denied service at a store for just being who they are.”

Equality Virginia hopes to introduce a non-discrimination bill to the General Assembly next month.

Ian Stewart/VPM News


Ian M. Stewart previously was the transportation reporter and fill-in anchor for VPM News.
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