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LGBT mental health

Transgender Health Program

Vancouver Coastal Health launched the Transgender Health Program (THP) in 2003 to address the health needs of transgender people. Lukas Walther, coordinator of THP, describes the program as a key hub for information and resources for anyone dealing with gender issues in British Columbia, as well as for their care providers and family. The program offers peer counselling, support, advocacy and educational workshops, and helps connect people with the right service provider for their needs.

Qmunity—BC’s Queer Resource Centre

Qmunity* has been serving lesbian-gay-bisexual-trans (LGBT)—or queer—folk and our allies for more than 30 years. Our programs and services help to enrich queer and other communities, advance the health and well-being of queer communities, and build capacity (that is, help individuals develop their personal gifts and abilities to benefit the community). We also advocate for justice, challenge stereotypes and affirm the worth of all people.

Safe Spaces in BC’s Interior

Kari is Coordinator of Safe Spaces at Interior Community Services in Kamloops, where she brings her passion and creativity to supporting LGBT youth and their allies. Jenny is a Population Health Facilitator with the Interior Health Authority. She focuses on injury prevention, with a particular interest in addressing suicide prevention among youth ages 10 to 24 years

Reducing Barriers

I’ve been giving awareness training on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities for Education Outreach Services at Qmunity, BC’s queer resource centre. I’ve led trainings for health care, social service and criminal justice workers, as well as students at colleges and universities.

Treatment Delayed Because I Was Gay?

In my 45 years of existence, sex between two men in Canada has gone from being a criminal offence and diagnosable mental illness to being an act that “consummates” a marriage recognized by society, government and some churches. Despite these legal, medical and social advances, the reality is that being gay and having a mental illness can result in delayed or inappropriate treatment. My story is a case in point.

The Light

I have a mental illness, I’m gay and I’m a person of colour, from a South Asian community. I belong to a cultural community where most people do not accept homosexuality and many people do not understand mental illness. But over the years I’ve found ways to overcome my challenges and focus on my strengths.

Pathologizing Sexuality and Gender

What makes us desire partners of one sex or another? What makes us feel “male” or “female”? What is “normal” and what is not? What can be considered “pathological” (i.e., unhealthy or sick)? These questions have taken on great importance over the last hundred years as researchers and the general population wrestle with the diversity of sexual and gender expression.

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