Saturday night’s transgender fashion show in Falls Church was full of sparkles, silk and a little bit of skin.
The event was hosted by NOVASalud, a group that tries to fight the stigma surrounding AIDS, as well as promote prevention education. The event was aimed at crushing social stereotypes.
“The transgendered community has encountered a lot of discrimination in the community and we thought an event like this would help the community understand the transgendered community and help to dispel some of the stigma and discrimination they face,” says Ellin Kao, the program director for NOVASalud.
Former Navy SEAL Kristin Beck served as the mistress of ceremonies. She has received a lot of attention lately after making the public decision to become a woman.
“I spent 20 years in basically the toughest of the tough, the Navy SEALS, a pretty rugged organization. So after 20 years of that, I’m a little older, a little more experienced. I wanted to start trying to live my life in happiness and peace with myself. I always had this internal struggle being transgender so right now I’m going to start trying to live happy,” Beck says.
The models were in different stages of their transition and many of them have overcome obstacles as a transgendered person.
“It’s hard and it’s a tough road for us, but I think everyone should come equally and all of us should have a role in this,” says model Alison Alcantara.
While the mood of the fashion show was happy and lighthearted, Beck reminded the guests why they were there and stressed that everyone should be treated equally.
The women offered advice to those who might be struggling with a similar situation.
“If they don’t have love from their family, we, because we’ve been going through the process already, should love them as well,” says Alcantara.
“Find someone you trust because that’s the most important thing,” Beck says.