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5 Questions with the Trans & Gender-Diverse Community Working Group

Earlier this year we shared on our tumblr and Facebook pages that a new community advisory committee for Trans & Gender Diverse people was forming in Etobicoke. It’s called the Trans & Gender-Diverse Community Working Group, and it’s hosted by LAMP Community Health Centre. The purpose of this committee is to advise work on research, and program creation at LAMP aimed at the Trans & Gender-Diverse community. Be sure to check out their website! [Link]

We’re always excited about services and groups operating outside of capital-D Downtown Toronto, so we reached out to see if they would answer some questions…and they did!!! Thanks to the committee for participating, and we can’t wait to see what programs and ideas they generate in the future!

What prompted the committee to be formed? (e.g. Were there service gaps? Was it feedback from trans/gender diverse folks? Etc.)

Several members of LAMP Community Health Centre have been discussing moving forward with trans specific programming for a number of years. As a result this working group was formed to discover and fill in any gaps of service and community involvement at LAMP Community Health Centre [Link].

There are no age restrictions for this committee and you can commit as much or as little time as you want to. If you do not feel safe coming to a meeting in person, you can participate online through email discussion. Find out more at our website [Link].

What are the goals of the committee? (Or what do you have in mind?)

Goals are determined by the discussions we have in the meetings and online. So far our goals are centred around generating resources, community consultation surveys and focus groups, community events, and forging deeper community connections.

It’s awesome you have a page on your website explaining your use of language & encouraging folks to talk to the committee about it [Link]. Are there initiatives to make trans/gender diverse language more accessible to youth?

The main way for that to happen is for youth to be on the committee (which there are). Youth is also a very broad term. In some definitions youth are 16 to 24, and in other definitions youth are 12 to 18. Any age range category also encompasses such a wide variety of people and groups relating to race, income/class, identity, creed, religion etc.  The best way for our website to have accessible language is for us to always be looking for input on it, and for us to be able to change it based on that input. Our survey process is still in development, but if you have anything to say about the language on our website or would like to provide anonymous input on any other issues, we recommend visiting our website’s anonymous comment page [Link].

What are some other trans/gender inclusive community groups or organizations in Etobicoke?

So far we have not found any major programs or services in Etobicoke that are aimed specifically at Trans and Gender Diverse people. East Mississauga Community Health Centre, a branch of LAMP, compiled a list of Trans and Gender Diverse related services all over Toronto [Link], which lists LAMP and Toronto West Medical in Etobicoke, but nothing else. Many similar resource lists put out by other organizations do not list anything in Etobicoke at all.

What are some similar projects that have inspired or informed this committee?

We are looking to take inspiration from as many other projects as possible, but so far we have had direct influence from the work that was done in East Mississauga Community Health Centre. We have direct links with the members of this program as well as some less formal connections with members of other organizations in different parts of West Toronto.

If you have questions about this topic, feel free to contact one of our peer educators. [Link]

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