Well, another week has gone by with lots to tell – but I’ll confine myself to Thursday and Friday.
Thursday brought another Drop in Centre and another discussion of the decision by Vancouver Coastal Health to ‘hive off’ the peer support group (the Drop In Centre) to Qmmunity and replace it with a rotating discussion group on ‘medical topics’. The main excuse for this first step in privatizing this service is ‘safety’. Apparently the group is ‘too’ poplar and has grown ‘too’ much! Needless to say, this will be a topic at tonight’s TAS meeting.
Friday, Raigen and I were invited to represent TAS at a ‘roundtable’ discussion of trans issues with Hedy Fry. There were also representatives from the Femininjas and Ambiguous, as well as Velvet Steele. Hedy did seem interested in what was said, but concentrated on the question of access to medical services.
Here are the notes I brought with me to ensure that I didn’t miss anything that I thought should be brought up:
What Is To Be Done?
• To ensure that Counselling, Hormone Therapy And Sexual Reassignment Surgery are available and covered by Medicare all across the country.
• To include explicit protection for all transgender people from discrimination.
▸ Include Gender Identity and Presentation/Expression in the Charter.
▸ Employment guidelines for the Federal Public Service and Crown Corporations.
▸ Exclude Gender Identity from Immigration decisions.
▸ People incarcerated in Federal Prisons must be assigned to a prison appropriate to their Gender Identity and have access to needed medical and counselling services.
• Educational programmes for all parts of the federal law enforcement system and the armed forces
• Educational resources made available to Employers and Unions to ease the problems associated with ‘coming out’, ‘going public’ and/or ‘transitioning’ at work.
After the roundtable we all met at a nearby coffee shop to chat. In many ways that discussion was as interesting as the one with Ms Fry. We discussed the nature of our respective organizations and what we thought we were each about. I’m not going to go into details about that here, but we did agree that we should ‘get together’ more often and I think the Femininjas and Ambiguous will be represented at tonight’s TAS meeting.