Author: HTHC Comms Team

International Transgender Day of Visibility (Mar 31)

International Transgender Day of Visibility (Mar 31)

TDOV is dedicated to celebrating transgender people. It is an opportunity to raise awareness of their contributions to society and the discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide.

If you’re looking for ways to mark TDOV today, consider these 10 things you can do Transgender Day of Visibility from Trans Student Educational Resources.

March 25th, 2020

March 25th, 2020

This roundup contains the minutes of our March all-members meeting and other news. Programming changes quickly as the response to COVID-19 evolves, so please seek confirmation on any details found below that may have changed since last Wednesday.

Support During Social Isolation

Regular group-based programs and events have been cancelled or postponed across the board. It seems increasingly likely that this will continue into Pride month in June.

An excerpt from Speqtrum’s COVID-19 statement: “Our community already experiences isolation and loneliness at disproportionately high rates. The cancellation of events, programs, and in person supports has been really difficult for some 2SLGBTQIA+ youth in our community. We also know that some of us can’t afford time off work, or to stock up on supplies to prepare for a possible quarantine. Some of us are now facing an indefinite period of time at home with parents, family members, or roommates, who aren’t supportive of our communities or identities. Some of us may be going back in the closet, or hiding parts of ourselves that we’re used to expressing. We see you, we’re here for you, and we’re going to work through this together as a community, as best as we can.”

Speqtrum is providing opportunities for 2SLGBTQIA+ youth to connect online, with activities like live cooking and games and dedicated peer support hours. Follow their Instagram for weekly updates and connect the youth you know. Read Speqtrum’s full statement (linked above) which includes other resources, like LGBT Youth Line, Trans Lifeline, and a community-created list of free supports.

Kyle’s Place has posted on Facebook that it can provide support in Hamilton, Niagara, Brantford, and Halton to trans and non-binary people needing grocery/med delivery or rides to appointments. Contact or make an inquiry through the Facebook page.

Catherine McCormack is the new 2SLGBTQAI+ Mental Health Clinician with Good Shepherd Youth Services. She has relaxed the regular intake process to be able to provide telephone, email-check in, texting and Skype support to 2SLGBTQAI+ youth (up to age 25) in a more flexible way. You can contact her directly if you’d like to refer someone who needs support. ( can provide her direct email if you don’t have it.) Catherine is also available to front-line folk for consultation and brainstorming ideas.

Kyle at Compass Community Health uses some of his time on Thursdays to make phone calls to connect with clients who are feeling isolated and need to chat. This is primarily for Compass clients but there is some flexibility to expand this friendly-calling to others in need.

The AIDS Network has extended the hours of The VAN in response to the need to close the office. It will operate its regular hours from 7pm-11pm every night, and additionally on Monday to Friday from 9:00am-11:30am, and 2:30pm-5:30pm. The VAN is a confidential service provided in partnership with Hamilton Public Health Services that travels anywhere in Hamilton and is available at a requested meeting spot. A mobile van will deliver new needles and harm reduction supplies and receive for safe disposal any used harm reduction supplies upon request. Text or call 905-317-9966.

Some clinics and practices are classifying injection visits to be “non urgent” which means they must be cancelled, and family doctors are closing their offices which further restricts access to hormone injections. Some brainstorming at the meeting addressed a specific need (Trans Community Health, NP at Youth Wellness Centre, some possible capacity at practices, Compass) but please reach out if you know of people who aren’t able to get injections or capacity to accommodate people who need injections.

If you offer or are aware of new initiatives that assist trans, gender-diverse, and non-binary folk who are negatively impacted by the public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please share them.

Call for Medical Professionals and Trainees

If you are a clinician or in training to become a clinician — medicine, physio, nursery, midwifery, etc. — HAMSMaRT (Hamilton Social Medicine Response Team) needs your help to staff social isolation centres that serve people who are affected by homelessness and COVID-19. Contact to inquire.

HAMSMaRT and Keeping Six have started a weekly newsletter to keep people informed about their work to ensure support is maintained and adapted for people who are homeless and people who use drugs, and opportunities to support that work. Subscribe by emailing Some recommended actions from the first newsletter:

  • DONATE (or ask people in your network to donate)
  • VOLUNTEER Do you have a front porch/outdoor drop off zone and storage space to accept donations of warm hats, mitts, and socks? If so, email us and let us know, we need you!
  • DONATE warm hats, warm wool socks, warm mitts (stay tuned for details on where to donate once we have procured a place)
  • VOLUNTEER Are you asymptomatic, with limited exposure to potential COVID-19 cases, and baking skills? We are looking for a few people to donate their time and skill to make home baked goods for bagged lunches. If this is you, email us and let us know, we need you!
  • DONATE juice boxes, pop, and/or groceries for baking, as requested by our bakers. If you can provide these, email us and let us know, we need you!
  • DONATE wagons for outreach.  We need 3 more large folding canvas wagons.  If you are willing to temporarily lend yours or know someone who would email so we can coordinate drop off.  
  • AMPLIFY our messages on twitter @HAMSMaRTeam and @keepingsix and by forwarding the weekly newsletter, so that decision makers LISTEN to people who are homeless and/or who use drugs about what they need right now

Qmmunity Binbrook

This new LGBTQ2S+ meet-up group in Binbrook rescheduled its March meeting to Tuesday April 18th. This meet-up is social and supportive. Feel free to bring a friend or family ally, and drop in for part of the meeting or stay throughout. Coffee, tea, water, and timbits provided!

We will provide updates closer to that date from Qmmunity Binbrook about whether the in-person meeting will go ahead or be rescheduled, as the regular meeting place (Tim Horton’s on Hwy 56 Binbrook) presently has its seating area closed.

Student Positions

We occasionally receive requests from students who are looking for summer jobs or course placements in programs concerned with trans health, gender-affirming care, and health advocacy. If you are interested in being forwarded inquiries of this type or you have opportunities you’d like us to share with students and youth, please let us know.

RHO Trans Health Mentorship Call – Updates

The email summary of the bi-weekly mentorship call that Rainbow Health Ontario offers includes a Q&A section on the clinical discussion and an updates section. We discussed the updates section at the March meeting and a participant requested that we seek permission from RHO to share these updates regularly. RHO has allowed us to! We can’t share the clinical discussion summaries, but you may join the call yourself or join up for the full summary emails from RHO at this link.

  • Sherbourne is developing new supports for trans folks of all gender identities before, during, and after transition-related surgeries. These include educational workshops, group programs, and online resources. Aiming to launch Winter and Spring 2020. Check website for updates and send questions to
  • Initial data from TransPULSE Canada now available:
  • Rainbow Health Ontario is looking for an MD or NP who is currently doing trans care in the Thunder Bay area to co-facilitate clinical trainings in that region. For more information, please contact Silvana Hernando, Clinical Educator at
  • MOHLTC processing time for applications currently at 10 weeks.
  • Participants sought for a bone density health study, post orchiectomy or oophorectomy. Must be 20 years old or over and scheduled for procedure in the next 6 months. Contact Dr. Raymond Fung for more info: or 416-915-5460.
  • 4th edition of Sherbourne’s Guidelines for trans care is now available at
  • New requirement from GRS: include a photocopy of the patient’s OHIP card with the application package.
  • Resources for creating welcome spaces: Article on ‘Caring for your patients identifying as sexual and gender minorities’ Contact Ruby if you would like an additional infographic for your working space, created by UofT.
  • Women’s College Hospital posting for a Post-doctoral Fellow – Transgender Health. For further information about the fellowship, or to submit your application package, please contact Evelina Rutkowski at
  • Next version of WPATH Standards of Care coming late 2020.
  • Women’s College Hospital Transition Related Surgery program’s Grand Rounds. Phone number and contact information on their website to get on the distribution list.
  • Telemedicine – Dr. Kate Greenaway/Dr. Chris Cavacuiti – self referral at
  • Transforming Rounds: a series of podcasts engaging with the latest research on Trans healthcare in Canada. Together, healthcare providers and trans/gender diverse health care users navigate the complexities of a cis normative health care system.

The mentorship call is on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month, noon to 1pm. A mental health mentor is also available on the 1st Wednesday. Open to any professional (physician, nurse, social worker, mental health worker, etc.) who is already working with gender-diverse clients or who is intending to. Register (form at bottom of page) to get call access information.

Other Updates

  • Rebecca Welbourn at Health Information Technology Services has agreed to help the coalition develop materials to make using eConsult and connecting to the two transgender specialty groups (HNHB and Provincial) easier for family physicians who are new to gender-affirming care. So for example, instead of saying “eConsult is available to you” we can go more in-depth, maybe including the registration process or a “here’s what to expect” in training resources on our website.
  • LGBT Youth Line is operating is regular hours but offering support by chat, text, and email (i.e. no phone) due to its youth staff working from home. This is a support service that runs Sun-Fri 4-9:30p, and is not a crisis line.
  • The main portion of the course pilot has been completed, and the Education Working Group has gathered a lot of valuable information from participants. Adrian extended thanks on behalf of the EWG to all the participants. Unfortunately the in-person practicum where participants could interact with simulated patients had to be cancelled because McMaster cancelled non-urgent activities in medical centre facilities. We are beginning the process of seeing what we’ve learned and where the course can be improved to address feedback gathered in the pilot.
  • SAGE and other groups at Youth Wellness Centre are not currently running.
  • The coalition’s response to email inquiries is not meeting its response-time goals (three business days). If this continues we should assess whether we need to change the part of the website that advises people what to expect, add additional volunteers to increase capacity, or look at whether it’s feasible for the coalition to provide this service.
  • A non-profit corporation called Hamilton Trans Health Coalition Inc. has been established to provide structure (bank account, accept donations, enter into partnerships, contract, sell, employ, etc.) to support the coalition’s ongoing work.
  • Members identified a gap in services in Hamilton: support for partners of trans people (e.g. peer-support groups). What can the coalition do to address a gap like this? Who might be working on closing this gap already? What resources are available (e.g. Compass and TAN for space, grants to establish)? What pitfalls should we avoid (e.g. expecting volunteer labour to sustain a service)?
  • Is there a group in Hamilton to support trans women having bottom gender affirming surgery? If not, what would be a good model for such a group (like a Facebook resource with Q&A service supported by people with lived experience and clinicians, approach a health centre with an idea like this).
  • Some practitioners with full practices find themselves with an open session here or there (e.g. a counselling spot) and want to prioritize access for 2SLGBTAI+ folk; would that be best done by advertising occasional spaces to the email list or is there a better way to match up need with this kind of irregular opportunity?

Terms of Reference

At each coalition meeting we will highlight a section of our terms of reference, so we can develop a common understanding of our purpose among long-time and new members, and so we can discuss if changes are needed.

This month, the four goals of the coalition:

  1. Be responsive to requests from the community, to connect people to services or supports when they are available and to catalogue gaps when the connection cannot be made.
  2. Provide formal education opportunities that expand the capacity of the health care system in Hamilton to serve trans individuals.
  3. Provide professional mentorship that expands the capacity of the health care system in Hamilton to serve trans individuals.
  4. Advocate for trans individuals’ access to high quality, comprehensive, evidence-based and patient-centred health care in Hamilton, using the data and knowledge we have gathered through our work.

Next Meeting

The next all-members meeting of the coalition is Wednesday, May 20th at 5pm.

March 16th, 2020

March 16th, 2020

The bimonthly all-members meeting is this Wednesday, March 18th at 5pm. To facilitate social distancing and accommodate self-isolation, the meeting will be broadcast with Microsoft Teams from the regular location. You have the option of joining in person at Hamilton Family Health Team (spaces limited) or participating in the meeting remotely. Please see the teleconference section of the coalition website for details.

Add a meeting reminder to: your Google calendar, your Outlook calendar.

Kyle’s Place

If you know of a trans or non-binary person in need of groceries, delivery of medication, a ride to appointments, or peer support please have them get in touch with Kyle’s Place via or message Kyle’s Place on Facebook. Can travel to Brantford, Halton, and Niagara regions.

March Events

The 2SQT Community Events calendar produced by Kyle W can be found on the coalition website under Resources. Please confirm with any event organizer that meetings have not been cancelled. We understand that the response to COVID-2019 has cancelled nearly all meetings, but greatly appreciate those service providers who recognize that social distancing and isolation affects marginalized communities in a disproportionate way and are trying to strike a reasonable balance.

Job Posting at City

The City of Hamilton has posted a position for Diversity & Inclusion Facilitator (part-time, 18 months). This is a position where a candidate who was trans, gender-diverse, or non-binary would be excellently suited to supporting the city’s work to deliver training on topics that include gender identity and gender expression. The posting on the city’s job postings site.

Pull for Pride Hamilton 2020

We’re excited that Pull for Pride Hamilton is back, and Frances’ team at Iron Sisters have named the coalition, the Queer Justice Project, and Speqtrum as this year’s beneficiaries. You may recall that Frances and Iron Sisters were named the first Foundational Sponsor of the coalition, to reflect the extraordinary impact of their support in 2019 to the coalition’s capacity to make positive change in Hamilton.

There’s plenty of time between now and June 28th… consider participating in this inclusive powerlifting event! No prior experience needed, since you’re competing for your personal best and raising money for every pound you lift. Register here.

Language Matters

Shout-out to Ward 3 Counsellor Nrinder Nann, who took time at a council meeting on February 26th to make a motion that the term “feminine hygiene products” — in another motion about a pilot project — be replaced with the term “menstrual health products.” Inclusive language matters, and it is good when we can see our elected officials making that point. (Thank you Cameron K for the tip via Facebook.)

Grant Writers Wanted

Women and Gender Equality Canada have invited Canadian equality-seeking organizations working primarily or entirely with the LGBTQ2 community to submit proposals for projects under the LGBTQ2 Community Capacity Fund. We received this invitation directly by email! If you’re interested in collaborating on a proposal to this fund to expand the coalition’s capacity, please email

Kyle’s Place

Kyle’s Place is a trans and non-binary prioritized space that is committed to fostering community, solidarity, support, advocacy and access to resources, particularly for community members who are marginalized due to race, class, age, mental health and abilities. Kyle’s Place uses a peer/mutual aid model and values the knowledge gained from lived experience.

Kyle’s Place is home to:

  • transParent Hamilton-Niagara which offers advocacy workshops and support to parents/guardians of trans and non-binary youth;
  • The Brody Brown Name Change Fund which assists with the financial burden of changing legal documents;
  • The TransForm Pop-up Shop which is a social enterprise supporting trans and non-binary folks with paid employment skills and experience; and
  • a once monthly older trans peer support group,
  • a food pantry,
  • clothing swaps, and
  • a weekly afternoon social drop-in.

Kyle’s Place offers no cost meeting space and a place to host events for grassroots agencies that are committed to and work from an anti-racist/anti-oppression perspective.

From this post on Facebook. Follow Kyle’s Place on Facebook for events and news.

February 21st, 2020

February 21st, 2020

It’s Friday! Here’s what’s up.

Camps: CampOUT & Rainbow Pals

CampOUT is a new LGBTQ2S+ youth camp running for a week this summer (Aug 23 to 28) at Silver Lake Mennonite Camp ( in Sauble Beach. The flyer is posted on the coalition website. Please forward this opportunity to other QT contacts you might have.

Rainbow Pals is a camp specifically for LGBTQ2S+ kids and kids in LGBTQ2S+ families ages 6-12 run out of Determination Martial Arts by queer and trans identified staff. Details at

Speech-Language Pathologists & Their Fans: Call for Participation

Adrian is producing a short film on the power of rehab sciences as a course project, and his group is considering a video on how Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) empower trans individuals to express their identities. If you are an SLP or a member of the trans community who has accessed voice therapy, Adrian’s team would like to interview you for this project. Contact

Know a Guy That’s Into Other Guys?

Let’s talk about men’s stuff! Please share this discussion series offered by The AIDS Network and its 2SGBTMSM program Men4Men with your patients, clients, and networks:

Feb 26: PnP and Harm Reduction
Mar 04: Stigma and Body Image
Mar 11: HIV, PrEP, PEP, U=U

See the poster online. Follow Men4Men on social media to promote the series with a share/repost/retweet/like.

Drag Queen Storytime

The Spring 2020 What’s Happening Guide of the Hamilton Public Library highlights Drag Queen Storytime: “Drag stars Fay Slift and Fluffy Souffle tell culturally diverse stories and sing songs in celebration of families with LGBTQ2S+ parent(s) and gender-variant children. Performing at Central Library on Sunday May 24 at 2pm. All welcome.”

Rainbow Health Ontario Resources

We’re excited to partner with Hamilton Family Health Team to host some RHO training in the fall here in Hamilton, including the new puberty blocker session that is going to debut at the conference in April. Keep in mind that RHO has plenty of training and resources you can access directly if you don’t want to wait until the fall, and their programs include a focus on trans health promotion. Are your LGBTQ2S+-competent services listed in RHO’s provincial Service Provider Directory?

Film Screening: Invasion (Feb 27, Central Library)

The Hamilton Social Media Response Team invites you to its screening of “Invasion” at the Central Branch of Hamilton Public Library (Hamilton Room, Feb 27, 6:30pm). The short film provides an overview of the conflict and the position of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and people in opposition to pipelines running through their unceded land. Further information on key issues will be provided and a facilitated discussion on what health care providers can do will follow the film. More information online at

February 3rd, 2020

February 3rd, 2020

This email contains the minutes of our January all-members meeting and other news.

Program Updates

We’re so happy to see Trans Community Health (TCH) is open to new intakes. Refer clients who are eligible for services at TCH by sending an email to the clinic coordinator through the SHN contact form.

Dr. Clarke reports that her practice at Stonechurch Family Health Centre is currently full. A real challenge (but no surprise) for the coalition’s email response team, as Dr. Clarke has accommodated many folk who have otherwise struggled to find a gender-affirming family physician.

A number of our members responded to the call for providing support at the Trans ID Clinic to facilitate the necessary paperwork for participants who otherwise can’t get the necessary letters of support. Talks about that additional service are ongoing, with Dr. Bodkin sharing her involvement with the SHN ODSP clinics (utilizing residents to facilitate applications) as a great model for combining medical education and access to service. The next dates for the Trans ID clinic are March 11th and 21st.

The 2SLGBTQ+ Intergenerational Kitchen at Compass Community Health happens monthly. The next is Feb 24th, 4pm to 7pm. This event is billed as “Cooking & community for all ages.”

Compass is also starting a Trans Movement Series, with mindfulness, movement, and goal-setting for ages 18+. Starts February 20th and is a 4 week program.

Kyle at Compass is producing a calendar of events and groups for the 2SQT community in Hamilton, which is fantastic. Thank you Kyle!

Trans/Formations at Youth Wellness Centre (YWC) is up and running, with a one month waiting list. Open to ages 17 to 25, and especially suited to those also needing mental health supports in addition to gender-affirming care (HRT, assessments for surgery, letters for name change, functional aspects of transition) and support like a family educator to answer parents’ questions. A first endo clinic has run and will be an ongoing offer. Naomi is a Nurse Practitioner through Shelter Health Network offering a clinic one afternoon a week. Click here to learn more about the process of referring to YWC as a health care provider, and share the PDF poster with Dr. Hatchard’s contact info (here).

Youth Wellness Centre has a small supply of gear (gaffs, binders) that are available for free to youth accessing their services, and also offer access to an empowerment fund, $250 per youth.

YWC is hiring a trans youth mentor, and invites members to recommend candidates who identify as trans and are trained or have experience in peer support and mental health. Send CVs to Lisa, email if you require her contact details. (Apologies if this information is no longer current, it was the case at Jan 15th.)

Marijke shared Hamilton Family Health Team‘s initiative to survey its providers’ comfort level with providing gender-affirming care, and will be planning support and education opportunities to meet the needs. HFHT has graciously offered space to host some Rainbow Health Ontario training in the fall in partnership with the coalition, possibly including RHO’s new session on hormone blockers. More details to come.

Thank you to the coalition members who have responded to the call for participants in the pilot of the coalition’s 4-week blended course on providing gender-affirming care. A report back on the course details and the outcomes of the pilot will be presented to the March coalition meeting.

Keep an eye on your email and social media accounts tomorrow: the launch of the Trans Pap 101 video coincides with International World Cancer Day. The video was produced by the LGBTQ+ Interest Group at McMaster University’s Medical School, staff physicians from McMaster’s Departments of Family Medicine and Obstetrics & Gynecology, and members of the coalition. Adrian and Allison will be presenting it at the RHO conference in April following tomorrow’s launch.

Coalition member Mela now offers coaching and personal development programs focused on sex, relationships and gender through Inland Island. Their practice specializes in queer, trans, and two-spirit communities. More details online.

YouthLine provides outreach materials describing its programs, and contacted the coalition to remind us of the process of ordering them. On the YouthLine website under the tab Our Programs click on Request Outreach Materials. Complete the request form. There is no cap on how often materials are requested. YouthLine also maintains a referral database, is your organization listed?

Qmmunity Binbrook (QB) contacted the coalition through Facebook to request help disseminating a survey for adults to assist QB to develop and prioritize its programming. A survey targeted to youth is also posted on the QB Facebook page.

Visit the Hamilton Trans Health Coalition and other coalition member organizations at the McMaster Department of Psychiatry’s LGBTQ+ Resource Fair on Wed Feb 5 at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, West 5th Campus. 8:30am to 11am, with a break for grand rounds at 10am-10:30am. If you’d like to join the coalition’s volunteer outreach team and learn the ropes at this event, contact

Thank you, Doctors

We spend a great deal of time talking about getting new folk looking for primary care into already-busy practices. To our very-busy doctor members we’d like to say: thank you for the work you do to provide gender-affirming care. You offer care in your own practice, you participate in this coalition to advocate for quality care across the community, and you mentor family physicians — new and established — as they start to incorporate gender-affirming care into the primary care they provide.

As we discussed at the January meeting, we know many of our members don’t have room to bring on new patients and are at the coalition table to deliver the best care to the patients they have. We gratefully acknowledge that and we thank you for the time you give us.

We will continue to invite you to let us know when there is space to take on someone who has faced extraordinary challenges in connecting to gender-affirming care. And when you’re feeling especially busy going the extra mile (or kilometre?) to make gender-affirming space, we hope you’ll join us in finding better ways to bring new family physicians in Hamilton on board to lighten the weight on your shoulders.

Too Much Email

If you’re finding the increasing traffic on this mailing list from announcements and discussions between members an unwelcome contribution to your inbox, you have options:

  • you can turn on digest mode, which will group the emails sent in a day into a single summary (learn more), or
  • you can switch over to an announcements-only list, which will provide key updates with less detail and no discussion (email to inquire).

Next Meeting

The next all-members meeting of the coalition is Wednesday, March 18th at 5pm.