[Trans] Inclusion at [VSAC]: Past and Present

Becoming [trans] inclusive is a process. Though they may not have shared their [trans1] identity, we know that [trans1] people have been an important part of VSAC’s history, whether by contributing as board members, volunteer or staff; by attending events, or donating; or by accessing services. A decade ago the Centre officially opened services to trans women and in July 2013 [VSAC] took inclusion a step further and opened services to all [trans1] and gender variant survivors. We hope that all individuals feel comfortable sharing all aspects of who they are at [VSAC], and that our understanding of gender will only improve through this process.

Check out our video blogs with updates on our trans inclusion work!

Alyx MacAdams, Trans Inclusion Coordinator, sitting on a couch for vlog update

A group of youth in are connected by yarn wrapped around their wrists

What’s Changed?

There are many changes that have already happened to make our services more accessible for [trans] survivors such as

  • Changing our name to the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre
  • Community consultation through: 1) community dialogue events; and 2) a smaller core of [trans], gender variant, and non-trans allies who serve on an advisory committee
  • Asking people’s preferred pronouns; giving the space for people to share about their gender identity if they wish to do so
  • Incorporating trans inclusive posters and safer spaces stickers to our office decor
  • Training for staff, board and volunteers
  • Updating language on our website, pamphlets, or any resource materials
  • Partaking in a bi-monthly meeting with other [trans] service providers to discuss best practice; pushing for more transparency and involvement of trans community in these meetings
  • Implementing a “core” training for new volunteers and staff which includes [trans] inclusion
  • Incorporating conversations about supporting trans survivors into SART training

What’s Happening Right Now?

  • Facilitating workshops for community partners about what [trans] means and how to make services [trans] inclusive
  • Inviting trans community to partake in creating and delivering trans inclusion workshops with community partners
  • Connecting and working with other service providers to work towards better serving local [trans] communities
  • Coordinating efforts for training and more inclusive services with the Victoria Women’s Transition House, with whom we share our reception space
  • Creating brochures, info packages, and resources pertaining to [trans] survivors
  • Consulting and training with Forensic Nurse Examiners and local Police detachments about better supporting [trans] survivors
  • A mail out to community partners and donors about what it means to be a [trans] inclusive VSAC and why we feel it is important
  • Further community consultation, through an advisory committee and community gathering events
  • Updating hiring policies (bonafide women-only positions) to be inclusive of all trans applicants
  • Outreach to trans community to be on the SART team or in