Community resources for transgender, gender questioning and gender diverse people…
By Jumol Royes
Did you know Canada is the first country to provide census data on transgender people?
Last year, Statistics Canada released data from the 2021 census showing that of the 30.5 million Canadians aged 15 and over counted in the census, 100,815 people, or 0.33 per cent of the population, identified as transgender or non-binary: 31,555 identified as transgender women, 27,905 as transgender men and 41,355 as non-binary.
By differentiating between sex at birth and gender identity, Canada became the first country in the world to collect and report statistics on people who identify as trans or non-binary on a mandatory census.
But trans Canadians are more than just data points. Like all members of diverse 2SLGBTQI+ communities, they struggle to find safer spaces where sexual and gender identity are affirmed and supported. They often require specialized programs and supports that empower them to live full and meaningful lives.
Here are five organizations serving trans folx from coast to coast to coast.
PEI Transgender Network
Where: Charlottetown, PEI
Who they are and what they do: This grassroots non-profit is committed to equity and inclusion for transgender and gender diverse (TGD) communities in Epekwitk (also known as Prince Edward Island). They work to improve the experiences of TGD communities by providing supports and resources to community members and their families and friends, including individual and group peer support and systems navigation as well as DEI education and training services to professionals and the public.
How to connect: Email email@example.com.
West Island LGBTQ2+ Centre
Where: West Island, QC
Who they are and what they do: The only LGBTQ2+ resource in the West Island region of Montreal, this is a place where lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, two-spirit and people of other sexual orientations and gender identities are welcomed with open arms. They offer drop-in support programs for LGBTQ2+ youth between 13 and 20 years of age, weekly dinner for adults and older adults, support groups for transgender and gender diverse people, young adult social groups and family support groups.
How to connect: Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hamilton Trans Health Coalition
Where: Hamilton, ON
Who they are and what they do: A non-profit coalition of health care providers, advocates and community members working together to increase the capacity of health systems in Hamilton to meet the needs of trans, gender diverse and non-binary people. While not a medical clinic, they offer information and referral services to Hamiltonians and surrounding communities and specialize in referrals to gender-affirming health care. They also provide education workshops for health care providers with a local focus on trans-related issues.
How to connect: Email email@example.com.
Chilliwack Gender Support Network (GSN)
Where: Chilliwack, BC
Who they are and what they do: The GSN is comprised of transgender individuals, parents of LGBTQ2IA children, partners and families of trans folx and various medical and mental health service providers. They are committed to promoting and providing trans-competent, gender-affirming services in the community, including medical advice and counselling, gender affirming apparel, mental health services and support groups.
How to connect: Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where: Whitehorse, YT
Who they are and what they do: A community-led initiative with community centres across the Yukon that offer safer spaces, resources, supports, online and in-person programming and community connection to 2SLGBTQIA+ Yukoners and their loved ones. Programs include health and vaccination clinics, direct aid for 2SLGBTQIA+ folk in Watson Lake experiencing housing insecurity, the Yukon Gender Gear Program providing free access to gender gear and the Utility Payment Program covering $500 in utility blls per eligible household.
How to connect: Email email@example.com.
To find trans resources in your local community, visit the IN Directory, Canada’s national 2SLGBTQI+ community resource directory, at inmagazine.ca/directory.
JUMOL ROYES is IN Magazine’s director of communications and community engagement, an Ottawa-based poet and storyteller and glass-half-full kinda guy. He writes about compassion, community, identity and belonging. His guilty pleasure is watching the Real Housewives. Follow him on Instagram @jumolroyes.