Welcome! In this section of my website, you will find information about my community-based mental health and support work. As an academic whose research and writing centres marginalized people, I believe that it is essential to ground my thinking in participatory social justice, accessible education, and advocacy.
Currently, I put much of my time and energy into transgender mental health, including peer-to-peer counselling, distribution of resources, and the institutional promotion of overall wellbeing. Because transgender people are often denied basic care through overt and institutionalized transphobia, networks amongst trans community are invaluable. Several non-profit organizations aim to support and reinforce these networks, participating in a long history of transgender resilience and resistance – that is, transgender people coming together on their own terms and fighting for basic human rights.
Trans Men & AFAB Surgical Support Groups
I currently run three peer-to-peer groups at the Sherbourne Health Centre. These monthly sessions provide surgical support for trans men and AFAB identified people. For more detailed information about these specific programs, follow this link. For more detailed information about other LGBTQ programming at the Sherbourne follow this link.
I am also a lead operator for Trans Lifeline, a groundbreaking crisis hotline staffed exclusively by transgender people, providing peer-to-peer support in North America (Canada and the U.S.). This non-profit centres the lived experience of transgender people and, although the line is primarily for those in a crisis, volunteers help callers with a wide range of issues including suicidality, self-harm, isolation, transition resources, and gender identity. For more information or to get involved, follow this link.
Transgender Fund CUPE 3903
Since 2013 I have sat on the Transgender Fund Committee, a part of York University’s union (CUPE 3903) equity policy and benefits package. This fund adjudicates financial support to trans identified union members, providing assistance with everyday trans-related life necessities and gender affirming surgeries. CUPE 3903’s Trans Fund provides an unmatched service to transgender employees at York, supplementing the enormous transition-related costs that are often financially inaccessible. As far as I know, it is the first and only trans-specific union health care fund.
Additional Community Support Work
I have been involved with several other collectives and organizations that, in different ways, aim to support marginalized people’s overall health while also challenging systemic oppression and discrimination. In the summers of 2015 and 2016, I volunteered for Camp Ten Oaks, a week-long camp for LGBTQ identified youth, and/or youth who come from LGBTQ families. At York University, I have been a member of the Trans Caucus (2013-present), the Safer Space Coalition Committee (2014/15), Cinema Politica (2013-2015), and the Executive at the Centre for Feminist Research (2011/12). When I lived in Peterborough Ontario, I focused on anti-poverty work and was active with both Food Not Bombs and the JustFood program through the YWCA (2010/11). During my undergraduate at Trent University, I was the Women’s issues Commissioner for the Student Association (2009/10), a member of the Trent Queer Collective (2009/10), the Centre for Gender and Social Justice (2006/07), and cofounded a monthly peer-support group, Radical Approach to Women’s Wellbeing (2007/08).