Being able to work with my community – with transgender and nonbinary youth – is an honour for me. Transgender and nonbinary youth so often hear their identities and existence denied and invalidated, and are hurt for their identities in many ways. I see transgender and nonbinary youth, and their existence and identities are real and valid. We work with a large population of transgender and nonbinary youth, because there is a large population of displaced and homeless transgender and nonbinary youth; that is just the reality of our society at this time – a reality I am not a fan of. I work hard to try and change that reality. Sometimes it is in small ways, in correcting a co-worker on a youth’s pronouns, and helping them learn. Sometimes it is fighting for larger systemic change. Transgender Day of Visibility is both about celebrating transgender and nonbinary people and about recognizing that there is still work to be done to make the world a safe place for us to exist. I think that trying to do good is an important first step on a long but very rewarding journey. A very happy Transgender Day of Awareness to all transgender and nonbinary people, no matter where they are in their journey, no matter their personal identity, no matter what anyone else says. You are real, you are valid, and you are loved.
Youth Empowerment and Support Services