Posted on

Kelowna Shines Hopeful: A City Stands Strong for Trans Rights

Allies stand up for trans rights in Kelowna

Over 100 voices in Kelowna rose in vibrant harmony on February 4th at a rally for trans rights organized by Advocacy Canada, sending a clear message: British Columbian’s are willing to stand up for trans rights. This powerful display of solidarity came in response to Alberta’s concerning anti-trans policies, a worrying sign amidst a troubling trend of discriminatory legislation across Canada.

Why does this matter? Because the winds of exclusion don’t stop at provincial borders. With a BC election approaching in October 2024 and a federal election on the horizon in 2025, where trans rights and youth protection are already heated topics, it’s crucial to remind our leaders that acceptance and inclusivity cannot be swept aside.

Alberta’s actions are just one wave in a rising tide of discrimination. Similar harmful policies have been enacted in Saskatchewan and New Brunswick, directly impacting the lives of trans and non-binary individuals. These targeted measures put vulnerable youth at greater risk of isolation, depression, and even self-harm.

Kelowna’s rally stands as a beacon of hope in this darkening landscape. It’s a powerful reminder that allyship isn’t a passive stance. It’s about taking action, speaking out, and demanding fair treatment for all.

Here’s Why This Matters

Trans youth deserve safety and support: We cannot remain silent while they face increased discrimination and barriers to well-being. They need us to champion their right to live authentically and access the evidence-based care they need.

Elections have consequences: This year, our votes will have a direct impact on the lives of trans Canadians and trans rights. We must hold our leaders accountable and elect individuals who will uphold human rights and foster inclusive communities.

Solidarity ignites change: Kelowna’s rally is an inspiration, proving that collective action can create positive change. Let’s build a wave of support across the country, ensuring that trans rights are protected and celebrated, not undermined.

The fight for equality is far from over, but Kelowna’s shining example echoes a truth we must all carry forward: trans rights are human rights, and we stand united in defending them. 

Let your voice be heard. Talk to your friends, family, and elected officials. Educate yourself and others. Get involved in organizations advocating for trans rights.

Together, we can ensure that Kelowna’s hopeful glow, along with rallies that have sprung up across Canada, becomes a guiding light for equality across our country. Let’s show our leaders that in 2024 and beyond, trans rights are non-negotiable.

Help Advocacy Canada

Your donation and membership goes beyond a simple transaction. It becomes a powerful tool for change, helping Advocacy Canada ensure every person in Canada can live authentically and free from discrimination. Join the movement for trans rights, donate today, and be a part of the solution.

Donate to advocate for trans rights

By becoming a member of Advocacy Canada, you can add your voice to the chorus demanding equality and justice for trans individuals across Canada. Join today.

Transgender allies gather in Calgary and Edmonton to rally against proposed government policies

47 groups issue joint statement against Alberta’s new trans policy, rallies held

Hundreds rally in Saskatoon, Regina in further response to province’s school pronoun policies

Protests over LGBTQ school policies held across New Brunswick

Posted on

Rise Up With Alberta! Trans Solidarity Rally – Kelowna Sunday, February 4

Rise up with Alberta! Trans Solidarity Rally - Kelowna on February 4, 2024

In response to the alarming announcement of a controversial policy by the Alberta government, threatening the rights of trans individuals, particularly youth and their supporting parents, Advocacy Canada is inviting the community to come out in solidarity at the Rise Up With Alberta! Trans Solidarity Rally.

The proposed policy changes were first detailed by Premier Danielle Smith in a video posted to social media on Wednesday afternoon, including bans on gender-affirming medical treatment for those aged 17 and under, and on hormone therapy for children aged 15 and under — except for those who have already begun therapy. The list of changes will also force schools to out trans students to their parents if they are using a preferred name or pronouns.

This rally, scheduled at Stuart Park in Kelowna from 2-3 pm this Sunday, aims to address the disturbing trend of minority human rights being jeopardized in the current political landscape. Trans youth and the broader trans community are increasingly used as political pawns in populist movements sweeping the nation, including the upcoming provincial election in British Columbia this October, where trans rights and SOGI 123 will undoubtedly be a large part of the conversation.

Wilbur Turner, President of Advocacy Canada, emphasizes, “It is crucial that we come together as a community to stand against policies that undermine the rights of trans individuals. Our collective voice is powerful, and events like these serve as a crucial reminder that we must actively protect the rights and dignity of every person.”

We urge community members to stand in solidarity, not only with our Alberta counterparts but also to proactively protect the future of our own community. This rally serves as a poignant reminder that our collective strength is essential in defending the rights and dignity of every individual.

Details:

– Event: Rise Up With Alberta! Trans Solidarity Rally

– Date: February 4, 2024

– Time: 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

– Location: Stuart Park, Kelowna

About Advocacy Canada

Advocacy Canada is committed to defending the rights and dignity of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community through advocacy, education, and community engagement.

Posted on

Responding to Concerns about Youth Transitioning: A Trans Youth Perspective

By Jade Walters

Editor’s Note: There is a lot of hateful and unfounded online content about youth transitioning. Much of the online chatter and opinions about this are based on misinformation and propaganda and are largely germinated by far-right Christian Nationalists and politicians to further their agenda. A young trans woman, Jade Walters (she/they) shares their experience in response to this. We’re incredibly grateful for advocates like Jade who are willing to stand up in the face of hate to make a difference for their community.

I feel that I have a fairly unique perspective on this issue because, on top of being trans myself, I have spent the past several years running a grassroots organization that offers peer support services to transgender people over the age of 16. Between this group and Kelowna’s Etcetera group, which offers similar services to people under eighteen, these are the only services in the Okanagan that offer peer support to trans people, and as such, I get to hear a lot of the experiences of trans people as well as detransitioners.

One misconception about the trans community, I find, is that many people believe we simply want everyone who is considering a transition to seek medical intervention and transition as quickly as possible. In my experience, this is not true. Many of the people who attend our group are people who are questioning whether they are transgender or not, and as a facilitator of the space, it is not my goal to convince anyone that they are trans– that would just lead to more problems for that person down the road. Rather, we aim to hold space for that person to talk about how they’re feeling, what they’re going through, and listen to some other people’s experiences, and come to their own conclusions. We also recommend that they perhaps talk to a counselor, therapist, or psychiatrist about these feelings so that they can make an informed decision.

Another note – I do not know of any people within my community that vilify detransitioners. In my mind, if someone chooses to detransition, that is their prerogative, and ultimately all that I want for them is to feel comfortable in their skin. If someone comes to me and is wanting to discuss their feelings around detransition, they have both my ear and my full support. The transgender community does not proselytize with the goal of getting as many people to transition as possible– we do not count people transitioning as a “win” for our community, nor do we see detransitioning as a “loss.” Rather, we just want people to have the space and resources to do whatever is right for them in particular.

Another misconception I have seen repeatedly is that children are being shuffled through the medical transition process like so many cattle to slaughter. Again, this is not the case. For adults, it is necessary to be diagnosed and receive approval from two medical professionals in order to get on hormones. This isn’t surgery, this is just hormone medication, and this is the process for adults. For children, the vetting is far more rigorous, and they are very rarely given access to hormones, much less surgery. 

Now, if I had the option to transition when I was say, 13 or 14, I definitely would have taken the option of seeing doctors and therapists. But I cannot turn back time. Knowing, however, that children are experiencing the same thing now that I experienced at that age, I am happy that there is more visibility of transgender issues so they can go to these support groups, can talk about it with their parents (provided that they are supportive), they can go to therapy to discuss these feelings and where they might be coming from. If these children go through this process and find that hormone blockers would be helpful for them, they would still have to discuss this with multiple doctors in order to receive a prescription, and if these kids reach this point, I am happy that they are getting the care they need, both from their medical community and their family.

For the kids who are dabbling with the idea of transness as something they might be interested in, but aren’t sure that it’s something they want to commit to, let them try on the clothing they wanna try, let them mess around with a different name or pronouns, let them know that you’ll love them whatever they end up doing, and in like, 60% of these instances it’s gonna be something that they engage with for a year or two and decide that ultimately they aren’t trans. The ones who are trans, they’ve been given a supportive environment for self-discovery, which can’t really harm anyone. For the ones who determine, or come to the conclusion that they are trans, they’ve been given a supportive environment and can go through the same standardized processes that everyone else has to go through.

No one is trying to force kids into being transgender – we are simply trying to make sure that resources are available for those who need them.