IDAHOT: We Belong 2020

As a female-identified transwoman, it is essential for me to feel included amongst my community, especially on the milestone days of each year. This year on May 17th, 2020, in honour of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, it was a pleasure to be included and take up space at WE BELONG hosted by MOYO Health and Community Services.

Through our series of videos, you have experienced the contributions of so many beautiful and talented folks. We had the privilege to hear a variety of thoughts, evidence, and perspectives.  We discussed the many issues with the system in which we live. And, it served as a reminder that there is still much work to be done.

In Peel, there is a distinct lack of social and healthcare services, and an equal amount of stigma aimed at 2SLGBTQ+ folks, especially so where it pertains to trans-identified people. I had left the care of medical practitioners because their staff constantly misgendered me. I was fortunate enough to be directed to an excellent nurse practitioner. Erin Zeigler is a nurse practitioner with The Wise Elephant in Brampton. One of the very few medical clinics in Peel that I can name. It is easy to count on one hand the medical clinics within Peel that openly support the 2SLGBTQ+ community. It really shouldn’t be.

There has been a push for many years now towards the youth in our community for services aimed at employment help, social support etc. That’s amazing. But, do we suddenly stop needing services once we age out of the youth population? What about the youth who were previously receiving services, whom no longer qualify, yet still find themselves in need? Where are all the supports for social programming,  employment assistance, and medical care for non-youths? The “golden years” for the 2SLGBTQ+ community aren’t so golden when consumed with concern about how they will access much-needed healthcare services and social supports.

My heartfelt thanks go out to MOYO for inviting me to this lovely event and all of the contributors involved. From the beautiful music of Brenda MacIntyre, the Wisdom of Rosalyn Forester, the talented dancer Sam Yoon and our keynote speaker Dr. Andrew B Campbell’s passionate talk, it’s an event to be remembered.

Written by: Laura Vincent

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