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Inuvik Man Speaks Up About Being Transgender in a Small town

Draydon Allum says while growing up that there weren’t always resources to learn about being transgender in his small town in Inuvik.

Allum said he always knew he wanted to transition someday, and to start taking testosterone as part of that process, but with limited access to transgender-specific care in the territory, he wasn’t sure how. 

Growing up in the remote, northern town, he said there were no resources available to learn about being transgender — until he helped start the Aurora Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) at East Three Secondary School. 

Kirsten FennCBC News

To read more of this story, follow the link to CBC News

(Image Credit: Submitted by Draydon Allum)

First in Their Fields, These Trans People Made History

These transgender Canadians have broken down barriers and made history by becoming the first in their fields.

Canada is no stranger to the efforts and fights trans individuals have endured. Moreover, the True North has no shortage of incredible figures who have broken down barriers and put themselves on the map.

Best of all, they are the first to do it.

Osobe WaberiNarcity

To read more of this story, follow the link to Narcity

(Image Credit: Jplatt32 I Instagram)

TransParent Okanagan Meeting

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

Getting to Know TransParent Okanagan

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.”

YO – Gender Stereotyping is F#*ked

What I’ve Noticed About Gender

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