By Jessye Grieve-Carlson
On Thursday, March 30, National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) members, corporate partners, and stakeholders convened on Zoom to celebrate International Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV) at “TDOV: AN Afternoon of Connection and Community.” Hosted by NGLCC’s Transgender & Gender Expansive (TGX) Initiative, the event provided space for TGX & allied entrepreneurs and corporate partners to celebrate the TGX community, connect for opportunities, and build relationships with one another.
Jessye Grieve-Carlson, Manager of External Affairs & Affiliate Relations at NGLCC, opened the event by welcoming attendees and discussing the history of International Transgender Day of Visibility. “The creator of International Transgender Day of Visibility, Rachel Crandall-Crocker, realized that the only day specifically highlighting the TGX community was Transgender Day of Remembrance in November, which is centered on honoring TGX homicide victims,” Grieve-Carlson shared. “Rachel wanted a day for celebration and coming together – and thus, TDOV was born!”
Gabrielle Claiborne, co-chair of NGLCC’s TGX Initiative, welcomed attendees and spoke about the double-edged sword of visibility for transgender & gender expansive individuals in an oppressive society.
“Tomorrow we will be observing International Transgender Day of Visibility, a day where our courage and resiliency is recognized and celebrated,” Claiborne said. “This day is intended to be a day where we embrace who we are and who we’ve always been, with determination and resolve, and share our stories of how living authentically has allowed us to experience an unprecedented freedom…yet with visibility sometimes comes a season of reckoning, especially when that visibility challenges people and cultures beyond their own personal lived experience.”
Claiborne expounded upon the violent rhetoric and legislation in the political sphere that is harming the TGX community, and thanked audience members for their continued visibility and courage in the face of the current anti-TGX climate.
Following remarks from Grieve-Carlson and Claiborne, the program moved into lively rounds of Speed Networking. Moderated by Gunner Gardner, Membership Manager & Regional Certification Specialist at nglccNY & NGLCC, attendees broke out into small groups for multiple rounds of icebreakers and networking, getting to know other members of the NGLCC community.
“As a TGX+ entrepreneur, I get such a great sense of joy and community being able to connect with other TGX+ leaders and entrepreneurs,” shared attendee Rex Wilde, Founder & CEO of Certified LGBTBE® Rex Wilde Consulting. “With the current political climate, it’s even more important to find strength in community, and being able to gather on TDOV reminded me of the strength we have when we’re together.”
NGLCC also hosted a virtual TGX Matchmaker Program on Monday, April 3rd. With a total of 73 business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-corporations (B2C) meetings taking place, the Matchmaker Program was a resounding success for NGLCC’s TGX Certified LGBT Business Enterprise® suppliers and Corporate Partners looking to work with TGX suppliers.
Thank you to all who took part in NGLCC’s programs honoring Transgender Day of Visibility! We hope that you continue to stand up for the rights and dignity of our TGX community every day, in your daily interactions and in your spheres of influence.
Keep an eye out for our next matchmaker program to get connected with quality, competitive, diverse suppliers and corporate partners looking to do business at nglcc.org/events!
Ready to get connected with the NGLCC TGX Initiative? Visit nglcc.org/tgx to learn more!