Navigating the world as a transgender, non-binary, or gender-diverse individual can mean overcoming feelings of isolation. Gender Journeys, a program that creates a space where students can grow their social support network and access resources, is back for fall 2020 and has been adapted for students to access virtually through weekly Zoom meet-ups.
The Trent Gender Journeys education and support group first met in late 2018 with support services delivered by the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA). Since the beginning, it has been well-attended by students with strong and lasting connections being formed amongst Trent’s trans community.
“The journey for transgendered individuals is one marked by social, emotional and physical changes,” says Stewart Engelberg, director of Trent Wellness Services. “Providing trans people and those who are questioning with a safe place to connect and learn about one’s own transitioning process reduces feelings of isolation and allows for the development of healthy identity and greater self-worth.”
In addition to supports offered for community building through CMHA, Trent has also welcomed two physicians to the Trent Student Wellness Centre who specialize in trans care – Dr. Kaylin Woods and Dr. Stephanie Roman.
Providing the opportunity to meet and socialize with others who have a shared experience, Gender Journeys provides accurate and current information about rights, the navigation of government processes and health care accessibility. In addition, trained CMHA staff are available to answer any and all questions about gender and transition, and can arrange one-on-one peer support for those looking for assistance with their specific gender- or transition-related goals.