TransParent provides community consultation, advising and advocacy on issues related to families of trans youth. We also operate a peer support network, monthly meetings, guest speakers and a lending library of books, videos and other resources.
We meet regularly the third Sunday of every month. To find out more, check out our Facebook Page
TransParent Okanagan was started by Carrie and Wayne Broughton four years ago when their now 15-year-old son Tor officially “came out” as transgender. They were attempting to find parents and other caregivers who were going through the same things, or who had already negotiated the medical, social, and other challenges that lay ahead of them.
It was important to them that they process their own feelings about the transition separately from Tor. “Because it’s not his job – or any trans person’s job – to teach us,” Carrie says.
They couldn’t find a local group and, as Wayne likes to tell the story, he said, “Oh great. You’re going to start one, aren’t you?” And so Carrie did!
They started out by just meeting people for coffee, sometimes awkwardly looking like they were on a blind date trying to figure out who the person was they were supposed to meet. Sometimes it was just Wayne and Carrie alone in the coffee shop when they were “stood up” – but as Wayne likes to say, that was still a support group.
Eventually, Carrie connected with Trans Care BC (TCBC) and they invited her to come to Vancouver to be part of a parents’ working advisory group where she met lots of amazing parents and grandparents from across BC, some of whom were already doing this work. They also went to Gender Odyssey’s family conference in Seattle for two years in a row and met even more fantastic families and specialists from across North America, and learned so much more.
Fast forward to today, TransParent Okanagan receives grant money from Trans Care BC and supports many families through their monthly meetings, special events, workshops, and their closed Facebook peer support group. Trans Care BC also supports them by providing learning opportunities through connections with similar groups in BC. Carrie, in addition to co-running TransParent Okanagan, serves on their community advisory committee and has worked for TCBC as a special community facilitator for events and issues related to parents and families.
Carrie’s advice on starting your own organization.
“I would ask yourself, why not you? If there’s a need and you have the skills, time, passion, and drive to do the work – your community needs you to step up. Some people are drawn to politics to help change the world; those of us with the privilege of available time (for little or no pay) to act as community organizers are drawn to change the world in another way. Both are needed to create and carry out solutions for community issues. Community organizing isn’t going to get you rich – but it will truly enrich your community and provide you with unimaginable fulfillment.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has, of course, affected the organization. Carrie and Wayne miss seeing their parents/caregivers and families in person but they are finding their way with Zoom. They recently held their first Zoom workshop with a special guest facilitator and had about 20 people in attendance. The feedback they received was fantastic!
The community can support TransParent Okanagan by suggesting workshop facilitators, and special guest speakers, etc who would be interested in presenting to their group. They have grant money set aside for these events and they love to support people who are members of the larger LGBTQ+ community, whenever possible.
Carrie says, “You can also support other families of trans kids by using the correct pronouns and names, and quickly correcting yourself when you make a mistake (It’s okay! We all make mistakes). If you know a family who could use our support, please share this with them.”
For trans people, ‘passing’ is a privilege that not everyone
is afforded. If someone doesn’t pass as the gender they identify as, they can
be faced with discrimination, denial of services, harassment, and assault.
I came out as trans this past summer, and am currently in an
interesting stage of my transition where I usually am able to pass as a man,
but there are still very occasional instances where I don’t.
When I pass as a man, people are surprised when I tell them
that I work as a nanny, and some even say, “No, but what do you really do?” I originally was taken aback
by this shocked reaction, as this was just considered typical when I was
presenting as female. Now, I am sadly starting to expect disbelief and even
resistance from these statements. However, familiarity of this sort can lead to
de-sensitivity and in turn, being less willing to act, which terrifies me.
However, the most significant thing I’ve observed about
gender since I’ve come out is the toxicity of misogyny. I have noticed that people are
kinder and more respectful when I pass as male, versus when I don’t
pass as well, or when I was presenting more feminine before I came out. People
greet me openly and seem more willing to listen to what I have to say. In
contrast, the more friendly receptions I received while still presenting as
female consisted of older men calling me ‘sweetheart,’ ‘dear,’ or ‘honey.’
I obviously knew that misogyny was extremely prevalent and
harmful before I came out, being directly affected by it when I was viewed by
others as a girl. However, experiencing the profound differences in the way I’m
treated firsthand is almost beyond belief, and I am beyond disgusted and
shocked by how extensive it truly is.
Trans men and those trans enby people who present as more
masculine have a unique perspective on gender and misogyny. Many of us have
experienced gender-based discrimination in relation to femininity before coming
out, but now have a certain level of male privilege that comes with passing.
Therefore, it is so important that us transmasc folx use our newfound male privilege to speak up for those who aren’t given the same platform, listen and integrate the perspectives of all women, and call out chauvinistic attitudes to dismantle the patriarchy and ideals of toxic masculinity for everyone.
Written by James Seiben, a Youth Okanagan contributor for Kelowna.LGBT
I thought my hockey career was over when I (formally) came out as Transgender in 2018. I hadn’t played in years. Who would I now play for? I had played for a men’s team, while on feminizing hormones and nobody could tell I was secretly in transition starting in 2015. That’s what happens when you play with guys you have grown up with all your life.
So, when we
decided to leave Alberta in late 2018 and head back home to BC, I knew I had to
create a supportive community and sooner than later if possible.
some homework, I posted on a few hockey sites under my female alias. I had not
done the name change but knew it would be after the 3-month waiting period upon
arrival in BC. I didn’t immediately want to scare away any potential teams by
posting as Grant. As a result, I received a couple of emails in response.
always been open about being transgender. I do this with the esthetician, hair
salon, laser hair removal, spot, makeup artist, doctor, dentist, etc. I have
been criticized for this but, at the same time, people are allowed to make a
living and not deal with people they may not like.
hockey. I wrote an email explaining my situation on hormones, not fully
transitioned yet, that I have played in the past etc. I didn’t mention, I am
overweight but, I am not perfect.
I got some replies back saying this would be totally fine. I wanted to ask
again, and I think I did, but I wanted to make sure that it was a team
decision. Even if one individual did not feel comfortable, then I would get
that and respect it. They have that right, and really, they do have more of a
right to be there than me. Maybe I can be a little pragmatic but that’s
how I feel.
rather be respectful in this manner because I know it’s a delicate issue.
back and forth, I got an email and phone call offering me one last opportunity.
In the midst of a move, I wasn’t really thinking about hockey, but I took the
opportunity. Now I was scared!
that first meeting of the team was terrifying, filled with anxiety, but it went
pretty well I think. Then a week later my first actual game. What dressing room
do I use? The response was, “the same one as the rest of the team”.
Okay, a little scary. I tried to position myself in a corner, somewhere away
from everybody out of respect. I tried to get dressed and keep a low profile.
It was wonderful but at the same time, hard.
Every game I
am still full of anxiety, walking into that dressing room. I start thinking about
comments that pop up during the game. And of course, I am active on social
media and so I see how there are groups that specifically do not want
transgender people on women’s sports teams.
Not only, do
I have my own thoughts and anxiety, now I let others creep in and it’s
incredibly hard. I have thought about quitting because maybe I am that fraud
and imposter and invading a space?
team is amazing and the players have been awesome. They’ve been so supportive
and caring, but it is different than a men’s team, that’s for sure. The
dressing room talk is a lot more subtle, the game is different, and the
environment is still unfamiliar.
It certainly hasn’t been easy, but it’s worth it in the end.
Thank you to everyone who attended our February social at Cue’s! It was a blast and we had lots of new faces and even new friends from Kelowna.LGBT come and participate!
We are also so thrilled at the community turnout to the Out in Schools event at Cleland Theatre on March 5 – over 100 community members and youth were in attendance! The presentation was also at all of the middle schools and high schools this week within School District 67. Representation and having LGBTQ2+ stories told is so vital to moving progress forward for the next generation. Thank you to Melisa Edgerly for leading this community initiative!
Our apologies for getting our March newsletter out a bit late this month…this week is jam-packed with events all week long, check them out!
PRIDE PAGES BOOK CLUB: Tuesday March 10, 2020, 6-30pm-8pm @ Penticton Library
Penticton Public Library welcomes you to a new book club which is being hosted in partnership with SOS Pride Society!
The program is FREE; registration is required. In March they will be watching the Harvey Milk film as a follow up to the book.
This book club requires sign up, please contact Stephanie (Adult Services Librarian) at: 250-770-7786 or email@example.com if you are interested in attending.
SOS Pride Social
WEDNESDAY MARCH 11, 2020 – 6pm-9pm @ Brexit Pub in Penticton
COMMUNITY EDUCATION EVENT
MARCH 26 9am-2pm @ DAYS INN CONFERENCE CENTRE in PENTICTON
ENTERTAINMENT & FUNDRAISER ON MARCH 27, 2020
Looking for an unforgettable night out to celebrate a great cause?
The 2nd Annual ‘In the Name of Love night of entertainment is happening on March 27, 2020!
2nd Annual Variety Cabaret Showcase, featuring the highest class in performance talent throughout the Okanagan. Proceeds towards In the Name of Love Fund, providing adequate mental health services to the LGBTQ2+ community.
From 1920-2020; Grab your most glamorous and outrageous vintage outfits and journey through 100 years of fabulous and forbidden LGBTQ2+ history at our Speakeasy.
FEARLESS commemorates the path of unbreakable, resilient and FEARLESS folks who changed the course of history simply by existing in resistance. In the last 100 years, we have seen everything from the legalization of gay activities, to the rise of the LGBTQ2+ flags on Parliament. Imagine what we will see in the next 100 years with the same FEARLESS spirit.
Guests will be given the secret location & password upon ticket purchase. Guests will be entertained throughout the night by the most sought out entertainers in the Okanagan. If the lavish decor and intoxicating performances aren’t enough, you’ll have the opportunity to view some of the best visual arts at our onsite exhibit and silent auction.
Best Costume Prize | Silent Art Auction & Exhibit | Cocktails & Mocktails | Appies | Highly Sought Out Performing Artists | The Most Unforgettable Night of Your Life–