What is Trans?
An umbrella term used for people whose gender identity is not in harmony with their birth assignment, either wholly or partially, or who experience their gender identity as radically different from what is expected of a “man” or “woman.” It includes but is not limited to people who identify as transgender, trans woman, trans man, transsexual, gender non-conforming, gender variant or gender queer. There are many communities that live under this umbrella and there is no single or universal experience of what it means to be trans.
About our Flag
Created by - Monica Helms (1999)
The Trans flag consists of five horizontal stripes. The top and bottom stripes are Light Blue to represent trans men, the stripes next to them are light pink to represent trans women and the white stripe in the centre represents the non-binary community.
What's the difference between Gender Identity & Sexual Orientation?
When getting to know the queer community, it is important to understand the difference between sexual orientation and gender identity. Sexual Orientation can be thought of as how we label and express our preference or attractions for sexual partners whereas gender identity is how we feel and express our own gender whether male, female, variant or as having none at all.
Toward whom a person’s sexual desires and drives are oriented – toward only women, or only men, or nobody, or irrespective of gender. It is separate and independent from a person’s gender identity. It can be fluid over time. The identity a person uses to describe their sexual orientation may not reflect their sexual behaviours.
Each person’s internal and individual experience of gender. It is a person’s sense of being a woman, a man, both, neither or anywhere on the gender spectrum. This sense of self is separate from biological sex assigned at birth and is not related to sexual orientation. Since gender identity is internal, it is not necessarily visible to others.
Respect Trans Folk
- Don't assume gender based solely on physical appearance.
- Ask what pronouns are preferred and be sure to use that pronoun.
- Use our preferred name in conversation and when making new introductions.
- It can be difficult to unlearn gender norms, should you accidentally misgender an individual, simply apologize and move on.
- Please don't ask someone about body parts...it's not cool!
- Make an effort to use gender neutral language in your everyday conversions. This is very cool!
Myths about Trans
- Trans is just another fad - This is not true! Trans people have been around just as long as cis-gender people.
- Transgender is a mental health issue - Health professionals including the American Psychiatric Association state that being trans is not a mental issue but a medical issue.
- Trans is just another orientation - Trans is a gender identity, not a sexual orientation, these two concepts are very different and important. Learn more here.
- All Trans people have surgery - Not all trans folk want or have access to medical procedures such as gender-affirming surgery or hormone therapy.
What is Transitioning?
Acceptance & Support are crucial in the transition process.
A host of activities that some trans people may pursue to affirm their gender identity. This may include changes to their name, sex designation, dress, the use of specific pronouns, and possibly medically supportive treatments such as hormone therapy, sex-reassignment surgery or other procedures. Each person decides what will meet their own individual needs. A person does not have to medically transition in order to identify as Trans.
What is the Transition Process?
This is unique for everyone. There is no set list of steps or stages in order to transition but there are few common steps to explore and consider in order to determine what's best on an individual basis.
Transitioning is unique for everyone. A person's gender identity should be accepted at any and all stages of transitioning.
- Social Transition - Coming out as Trans to friends and family, express use of preferred name and/or pronoun.
- Medical Transition - This can include many different options, therapies and procedures. It's important to do research, consult with a therapist and physician in order to determine what options are best for individuals needs and desire.
- Legal Transition - This may include a legal name change, updating I.D. to match gender identity and more.
Supporting Gender Identity
Respecting Gender Identity is an important part of being a Queer Ally & creating safe, positive spaces.
- Ask & acknowledge someone's preferred pronouns.
- Continue to normalize by including your own preferred pronouns
- When someone accidentally misgenders an individual, gently correct them.
- When you see gender based discrimination, Speak up!
Mark Your Calendar
Important Trans Dates
|International Transgender Day of Visibility||March 31st|
|International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia & Biphobia (IDAHOT)||May 17th|
|International Pronouns Day||October 17th|
|Trans Parent Day||1st Sunday in November|
|Transgender Awareness Week||2nd week in November|
|Transgender Day of Remembrance||November 20th|
What are the challenges of the Trans Community?
Many of our trans friends face higher rates of discrimination, violence and harassment. There are two major challenges specific to the trans community.
Negative attitudes, expressed through cultural hate, individual and state violence, and discrimination directed toward trans women, and trans and gender non-conforming people on the feminine end of the gender spectrum.
An irrational negative response to transgender and intersex people, as well as other forms of gender-bending and gender non-conformity. People who have been taught to fear, hate or otherwise feel superior to people who are trans.
The problem with 'Passing'
All too often a trans person's experience will be affected by how well they pass
The concept of 'passing' refers to an individual's ability to be perceived as their preferred gender identity and beyond that, to not be perceived as transgender. This is a harmful concept that does not reflect the diverse experiences in the Trans community.
"Finding and experiencing gender-affirming care is a very real challenge within the trans community."
Support the Trans Community
The Struggles of Equal Rights & Acceptance
Our trans community continues to face a constant challenge in attaining equal rights. However, despite the challenges and setbacks the trans community continues to stand up for our rights and take on these challenges.
For all our fellow trans and gender non-binary friends, we will continue to create safe spaces for you and raising awareness about our trans community.Learn the Basics
Queer 101: An Intro to the LGBT2Q+ Community
Get to know the Basics
There is a lot learn and unlearn when new to the LGBT2Q+ community and it's hard to know where to start. With this in mind we've created the Queer 101: An Intro to the LGBT2Q+ Community - where you'll find info about sexual orientation, gender identity, our history and more.
Get to know the Queer Community!Queer 101