Dryden has already laid the groundwork for acceptance and tolerance.
That was the feeling Kaeden Seburn and Behc Jax-Lynx had after meeting in the community where they spoke about supporting and affirming transgender and gender diverse youth.
Seaburn and Jax-Lynx are Ottawa based trans and non-binary identified public educators who study and facilitate workshops regarding transgender, non-binary and gender diverse history, educational, social and health best practices, as well as youth-led community development. More recently they have been driving across rural Ontario putting on workshops and to train and speak with professionals who are working with and supporting children and youth.
“I think that all of the conversations that we had with everyone were amazing, I’ve been really impressed throughout our tour with all the conversations that we’ve had,” said Seburn.
“When I tell stories and scenarios I think that in rural spaces and smaller towns people always think they are really far behind the city but when I share stories and experiences that I’ve had in the city where I tried to do this thing or tried to make this change and that was the response that I got, people just intuitively have an understanding of what it means to be supportive and affirming, that it doesn’t need to be complicated or as difficult as it seems in the city, so I think that really you are not behind at all.”
The pair emphasized that in a smaller community like Dryden it is easier to be connected and to find support.
“In each town we wouldn’t know who is supportive or who is interested in these conversations and that was one of the things that struck us both is how welcoming people are and how they want to engage in the conversations as well as inviting us to engage in the conversations that are already happening around health services and best practices.” Said Jax-Lynx.
“We are really talking about assessments for youth and ways that we can demedicalize the lives and experiences of transgender youth so that they are able to not be stuck in a health or medical model but that there can be that aspect of just being out in the community and being connected and to do other things which I think that within smaller towns is much more feasible, there’s a lot more connection with parents and health service providers and community members because everyone knows each other.”