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Virginia Transgender Information and Empowerment Summit (TIES)

Every October, transgender and gender nonconforming folks are joined by friends, family, and allies for TIES. At the 2017 TIES conference, we welcomed more than 250 individuals identifying as trans or gender nonconforming who participated in day’s programs alongside over 100 allies.

Presentation, with Liz Coston: “Gender: Outside the Binary”

Description: The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE)’s 2015 U.S. Trans Survey showed that a third of transgender people identify as non-binary, gender conforming, genderqueer or otherwise not within the binary categories of man and woman. Attendees of this session will leave with better knowledge of who genderqueer and non-binary people are, a stronger grasp of terminology and definitions to guide inclusive language practices, and increased awareness of the current political context as it applies togenderqueer and non-binary people. This session is open to all, but those who wish to become better genderqueer and non-binary accomplices are especially encouraged to attend. 


Dr. Liz Coston is a faculty member in the Department of Sociology at Virginia Commonwealth University. Their research specialization is in criminology and public policy with a focus on sexuality, gender and gender identity, and race. Their work explores the politics of visibility and how victimization is experienced differently for those whose identities converge at the margins. Additionally, they examine the role of macro level policies and social institutions in exacerbating and compounding social inequalities. As an activist-scholar, they are also involved in social justice efforts in their local community, working to alleviate the inequalities that they research.

Dr. Bethany M. (bee) Coston is an activist-scholar, currently an Assistant Professor of Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, specializing in LGBTQ+ identities, lives, and relationships. Specifically, dr. bee studies mental health, neurodiversity, disability, and chronic health; the impact of trauma and violence on resilience; and the importance of community making and collaborative knowledge-sharing in reducing health disparities. Their work has been featured in various journals and book anthologies, and for the 2017-2018 year they were a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grantee.