Exploring gender identities, transgender myths & stereotypes, transphobia, relationships, labels, health & well-being,finding support, trans communities & resources.
What is Trans or Transgender?
Transgender, or Trans: means someone whose gender differs from the one they were given when they were born. Transgender people may identify as male or female, or they may feel that neither label fits them.
The term Trans is inclusive of the Trans umbrella, but not limited to, identities such as:
- Male-to-female (MtF)
- Female-to-male (FtM)
Trans is used to describe many kinds of gender identities that fall within the vast experience of human nature. Transition: In order to express their chosen gender, transgender people may transition, or change, from the gender they were given at birth. They may change their names, pronouns or style of dress. Some transgender people also choose a medical transition, with the help of medical specialists, who will prescribe hormones and/or surgery.
Transsexual: a person who lives in a different gender to the one they were given when they were born. For example, someone who was called a ‘boy’ when they were born may feel very strongly that they are really a girl. They would be called a trans woman. If someone was labelled a ‘girl’ at birth, and they later realise that they are male, they would be called a trans man.
Gender Identity: a person’s internal feelings, and the labels they use, such as male, female, or transgender.
What does Gender mean to you?
- Young people have lots of different experiences of gender:
- For some, being male or female is something they don’t think about, it’s automatic.
- Other young people feel pressure to measure up to what’s expected of them as male or female.
- Lesbian, gay, and bisexual young people are often told that the only way to be a “real man” or a “real woman” is to be heterosexual/straight.
- Some young people feel that male or female are labels that don’t work for them.
- Other young people can feel like they want to change the gender they’ve been living in during their childhood.
Is Gender a Box?
In our society, there’s lots of stereotypes of how boys and girls are supposed to be:
- Many people act like boys and girls are opposite to each other – completely separate and different.
- Some people say that boys are supposed to like sports.
- Girls can be expected to like pink and have long hair.
- Girls and boys can be encouraged to go into certain types of jobs and not others.
Lots of us find ways to step outside these gender boxes, by wearing different clothes, liking different music, or doing a job that’s outside the norm. Trangender people are also dealing with these gender boxes. Some people feel like they don’t fit at all into the male or the female box, they might call themselves transgender. Some other people want society to be open when they completely change to the ‘opposite’ gender (transsexual people).
Note: Gender identity and transgender are different from sexual identity and lesbian, gay and bisexual. Sexual identity is about who you are attracted to; gender identity is about how you identify as male or female.2
Gender identity is the person's feeling of being male, female, both, a mixture, or neither, which is shown to other people through gender expression (clothes, hairstyles, mannerisms, etc.). It is separate and independent from sexual orientation. Trans people can be lesbian, gay, bi, straight, pansexual, etc.
A peer facilitated social support group focused on creating a sense of community and socialization in a safe space. Members of this group will assist each other as they begin and go through transition. Groups held two Sundays a month at the Windsor-Essex Pride Fest office.
A once a month peer facilitated social event held one Saturday a month at varying locations. The focus of this group is to reduce the number of Transgender individuals who are living in isolation. This program also provided clients a level of safety as they are accessing the community in a group. Dates and locations are planned and posted 12 months in advance.
The mission of Windsor-Essex Transgender and Allied Support is to enhance and sustain the health and well-being of transgender, gender queer, two spirited, gender non-binary, and gender questioning communities and their families, by providing activities, programs and services that create community; empower community members; provide essential resources; advocate for civil and human rights; and embrace, promote and support our cultural diversity.
A peer facilitated social support group for partners, friends, families, and allies of the trans community. The focus of this group is to support each other as we support those in our lives that are in transition. This group currently meets twice a month on alternating Sundays at the Windsor-Essex Pride Fest office.