Kingsley Strudwick is excited the City of Victoria will be creating the city’s first transinclusive policy

Victoria votes to create first transinclusion policy

Kingsley Strudwick admits they didn’t have a typical transgender experience growing up in rural Alberta.

Kingsley Strudwick admits they didn’t have a typical transgender experience growing up in rural Alberta.

According to Strudwick (who preferred to be referred to as “they”), many stories in mainstream media begin a person’s transgender experience being assigned a certain gender.

“As trans people we are sent such a simplified message that says ‘when you’re young you’ll be miserable, then you come out, and then everything is perfect.'”

This might ring true for some trans people, but for many, including Strudwick (who was assigned female at birth), this is just not the case.

Growing up in Camrose, Alberta, which Strudwick described as an extremely religious and conservative city, Strudwick always felt like they fit in.

The youngest of three siblings, a sister who played hockey and another sister who danced, Strudwick was never forced into gender-specific activities. Strudwick excelled in sports, playing hockey, basketball, soccer, tennis and volleyball, and was the athlete of the year and valedictorian in the grad class in high school.

Strudwick came out as queer to their parents, who were very supportive, at the age of 19.

“I never identified super strongly with the identity I was assigned with at birth . . . that never really fit for me. There were more options. For my entire life I was told you get what you get when you’re born and that’s not accurate for so many people,” Strudwick said. “I always felt super comfortable with who I was as a person. I just felt that everyone else didn’t get the memo . . . that you didn’t have to subscribe to those really rigid scripts.”

After moving to Victoria in 2009, Strudwick met many people who had a variety of experiences with gender and sexuality, which made Strudwick reflect on their own experiences.

“Meeting friends here who were trans and hearing their stories and experiences and thinking ‘oh, that sounds really familiar to me’, and having those hit home in a personal way,” said the 29-year-old Esquimalt resident.

Now, Strudwick has formed their own business, Ambit Gender Diversity Consulting, that offers training to businesses and organizations and gives them more clear parameters about how to treat transgender people in the workplace.

Strudwick believes people’s attitudes towards transgender people are slowly but surely changing.

Most recently, that change is being reflected at the municipal level.

Victoria city council unanimously passed a motion last week for councillors Jeremy Loveday and Marianne Alto (who brought forward the motion) to begin working with the local transgender community to develop a transinclusion policy for the city.

“I’m glad council passed the motion unanimously to send a clear message to the provincial government that the rights of transgender people should be explicitly protected under the B.C. Human Rights Code and also that the city will take this step forward towards creating a policy for the inclusion of transgender people in our programs and facilities,” Loveday said, adding the policy will be guided by discussions with transgender residents.

“The timing was right to begin these discussions and looking at what we can do with our city to make sure our city is safe and inclusive.”

Strudwick is excited the city will begin developing a policy.

“I’m thrilled about it. It reflects of all the work that’s been done at a grassroots level for decades. While I do feel like it’s overdue, I’m also in a celebration mode, where I am thrilled that there will hopefully be protections in place for trans and gender variant people,” Strudwick said, adding the City of Vancouver’s parks and recreation department recently adopted a transinclusion policy for programs and facilities.

“I think it’s a really natural place to start because often park facilities are very segregated in terms of gender as well as rec programming — there are girls teams and boys teams, and change rooms and bathrooms and all those structural barriers that exist for trans-folks.”

Strudwick added once the policy is created and adopted, it will be up to the community to uphold it.

For more information on Ambit Gender Diversity Consulting visit ambitgenderdiversity.com.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Swimmers, advocates plead to Victoria council for new Crystal Pool facility

Many swimmers dependant on the pool are afraid to be without any athletic resources

Victoria police seek to pilot blue-lighted vehicles for increased visibility

Police have already purchased the lights and are awaiting provincial approval

Saanich swaps last propane-powered Zamboni for electric model

Pearkes arena’s all-electric ice resurfacing fleet to reduce carbon emissions by six tonnes

VIDEO: Traffic snarled during Friday evening rush hour, now clear

Traffic was backed up all over Greater Victoria

VIDEO: Mass coronavirus quarantines seen in China won’t happen in Canada, authorities say

‘If a case comes here, and it is probably … it will still be business as normal’

Vernon woman suing McDonald’s for spilled coffee

Woman seeking nearly $10K, says employee failed to put lid on properly

Diners’ health tax not catching on in B.C., restaurant group says

Small businesses look for options to cover employer health tax

B.C. comic wins judgment after club owner slaps cellphone out of his hands

Incident happened last summer when Garrett Clark was performing in Abbotsford

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

VIDEO: Dashcam records driver’s near-miss near Sooke

Driver crossed four lanes of traffic and back over again, barely missing three other vehicles

Owner surrenders dog suffering from days-old gunshot wound to B.C. SPCA

The dog was also found to be emaciated and suffering from a flea infestation

Most Read