Younger transgender individuals want a extra welcoming setting, say specialists

Data concerning professionals working with these populations in Prince Edward Island and the Atlantic.

The results of this study were published in the journal of the Canadian Medical Association last week.

For Vincent Mousseau, social worker, researcher and student at Dalhousie University, creating a more welcoming environment for these young transgender people could help change this reality.

Photo: Courtesy: Daniel Abriel, Dalhousie University

For social worker who identifies as non-binary, Vincent Mousseau, the results of the study are very worrying.

These suicide issues arise because of a society that does not recognize the true value of transgender people and often denies their very existence. »

a quote from Vincent Mousseau, social worker and doctoral student at Dalhousie University

According to Vincent Mousseau, several factors can affect the mental health of transgender youth, including family abandonment and a lack of community recognition.

Trans and non-binary young people experience greater precariousness, such as living in a family home that does not accept them or is unable to offer adequate support. We also talk about very rigid systems, such as the education system, which is often not adapted enough to recognize the transgender experience.

Creating a more welcoming environment for these young transgender people can help change that reality, according to Vincent Mousseau, who works in Halifax.

It is important to integrate them in a coherent way, so it is important to respect the choice of first name, use the correct pronoun, as well as provide access to designated restrooms and team sports, says the social worker.

Anastasia Preston, Transgender Community Outreach Coordinator for the PEERS Alliance of Prince Edward Island, points out that she herself faced mental health issues during her own transition process.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Travis Kingdon

Anastasia Preston, Transgender Community Outreach Coordinator for the PEERS Alliance of Prince Edward Island, attributes these findings to societal pressure on young people’s mental health.

She describes gender awareness and transition as a difficult process.

The world constantly tells you that you are wrong, that you shouldn’t exist. You hear words like abomination and monster. »

a quote from Anastasia Preston, PEERS Alliance

Anastasia Preston points out that she herself faced mental health issues during her own transition process.

She admits to having attempted suicide five years ago.

When I was a little girl, people told me I was a boy and I acted according to what my brother was doing. But it didn’t come from meexplains Anastasia Preston.

The features offered

The range of services available to transgender people could also change that reality, according to study co-author Dr. Ian Colman, professor in the School of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Ottawa.

The transition from adolescence to adulthood is a very stressful time for all young people, but especially for adolescents from sexual and gender minorities. »

a quote from Dr. Ian Colman, professor at the University of Ottawa

In his study, he calls for the establishment of suicide prevention programs specifically aimed at transgender and non-binary teens.

These results, which show dramatic increases in suicide risk, should sound the alarm that additional support is needed, explains the teacher.

Dr. Ian Colman, a professor at the University of Ottawa’s School of Epidemiology and Public Health, is one of the authors of the study on youth suicide.

Photo: Courtesy of the University of Ottawa

Jason Buote, a transgender man who campaigns for better representation of this population on Prince Edward Island, acknowledges that the supply of resources for transgender people has greatly improved over the years.

It is no longer necessary to go to Halifax and Moncton to be served, but there are still many problems in terms of culture on the island. People need to be educated so that there is less stigma towards trans people. »

a quote from Jason Buote, activist for the transgender people’s representative on the island

Health services specializing in gender identity are offered through the public system in Prince Edward Island.

Jason Buote is a transgender man campaigning for better representation of this population on Prince Edward Island.

Photo: Courtesy of Philip Boudreau/Jason Buote

This care includes support for the transition process, including gender disclosure, hormone therapies and legal name change.

And in French?

Jason Buote adds that initiatives in the French-speaking community of the island to recognize and value the transgender population in their activities are still rare.

The LGBTQ+ community is often overlooked. […] There are no pride-related organizations for francophones on the island. That’s why we have less francophone representation in the community. We still don’t have the basics to start with.he explains.

This activist, however, points out that some organizations such as Jeunesse acadienne et francophone de l’île (JAFLIPE) organize activities for young people from the LGBTQ+ community.

It is good to do activities every four or five months, but it would be better if it was more regular and frequent.adds Jason Buote.

He explains that efforts made for the survival of French people and communities living in a minority language environment often take precedence over LGBTQ+ causes.

It seems that the LGBTQ+ community has historically not been highly valued by the francophone community and has never been a priority for francophones, says Jason Bute.

An opinion shared by Vincent Mousseau.

You don’t stop being francophone when you are a transgender person. Living in Acadia, we must create a more welcoming environment for these populations and tell them that transgender and non-binary people have their place.says the social worker.

PEERS Alliance offers two support programs for transgender youth on the island, including seedlings and roots and shoots.

How to get help:

  • Phone Help for Children Phone: 1-800-668-6868 or send a text message using the website.
  • Canada Suicide Prevention Service: 1-833-456-4566 or SMS (45 645).
  • Prince Edward Island Helpline: 1-800-218-2885.

with information from CBC

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