“the universe took its time on you
crafted you to offer the world
something different from everyone else
when you doubt
how you were created
you doubt an energy greater than us both”
irreplaceable – rupi kaur
Gender Identity & Expression
Gender identity and gender expression hold unique meanings for each individual, and both offer pathways to self-knowing and living authentically.
While sometimes gender identity and expression can align, they are different things that make up part of who we are as humans. Gender identity is a person’s innermost sense of oneself as a woman, man, both, neither, or in between. Gender expression includes all the ways that we can show or demonstrate our gender. This includes your name and pronoun.
For some within Indigenous communities, the word Two-Spirit is used. This is an umbrella term, where gender identity and expression are threads of a complex tapestry that also encompasses sexual, cultural and/or spiritual identity. The term Two-Spirit comes from the English language, and was created to capture both gender and sexual diversity within the long and rich history within these communities.
For some, society’s expectations of gender can lead to feeling trapped, and forced to be something that doesn’t align with who you are. It’s as though you have to “live up” to these expectations. Fear of harassment or discrimination may make it unsafe to publically live your gender expression and identity.
Counselling can offer a space to explore these topics a nuanced and personal way. We can increase awareness and work through worries or fears, such as how others respond to your gender identity and expression if it falls outside of “typical” or “expected” societal boxes.
Sometimes, people use the word “Trans” to describe and communicate about their gender. The word transgender is also an umbrella term that is used to capture a wide variety of people whose gender identity and/or expression does not align with the sex they were assigned at birth
It’s important to get support during your transition of exploring, naming, shifting, and then nurturing your gender identity and expression.
In counselling, we can deepen your innate knowing and understanding of yourself and navigate changing relationships with family members, friends, and your community.
For those who are seeking to medically transition by using hormones, I offer Hormone Readiness Assessments. I am part of a network called the Vancouver Island Trans Service Providers Group. I can help answer questions and connect you with other professionals who provide additional services for people who are transitioning medically.
Gender Creative Children and Youth
The curiosities, challenges and joys that come with gender identity and expression are as varied as gender identity and expression themselves. For some, gender exploration can begin early in life. If you are parenting a gender creative or gender non-conforming child or youth, and you want more information and resources, please contact me. I offer support and counselling services for parents and caregivers of gender creative children. I can help support you and address your own needs and emotions during the process.