A program through the Yukon Pride Centre is continuing to provide Yukoners and those in some neighbouring communities with gender gear.
Under the program that’s offered with partners GenderGear.ca, BYTE Empowering Youth and Northern Voices Rising, Yukoners can access gender gear such as chest binders, breast forms, bras, shapewear, makeup and more with applications reviewed on a first-come, first-serve basis, reviewed on the 15th of each month.
Red Cross Canada, the Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition and Blood Ties Four Directions have also supported the program.
“Individuals are encouraged to submit separate requests for as many items as they need,” states the program website. “We will do our best to fill all requests, however we will prioritize one item per person for each order.”
A wait list will be developed for items that aren’t purchased in a given month.
“The priority of our program is to provide access to one item per person minimum, so any first-time applicants will be prioritized over second requests,” it’s noted.
In a June 30 interview, Ames Val, the Yukon Pride Centre’s program development manager, said the gender gear program began earlier this year.
“There was a need,” they said, noting trans individuals often face challenges in finding gender gear locally for a variety of reasons ranging from cost to confidentiality concerns to limited options available.
During the first round of the program, the Yukon Pride Centre heard from many who were pleased to be able to access more gender gear options, Val said, noting the Yukon Pride Centre is also pleased with a number of donations that have come in to support the program.
The Pride Centre also reached out to see how the program could be improved in the future and came up with a number of changes to the 2.0 edition based on that feedback.
Among the changes are more confidential application options, a greater variety of items, more information on gender gear and confidentiality. Makeup and menstral underwear have been added to the list of available gear. Intramuscular (IM) injection kits for hormone shots is on the list of gear that’s anticipated to be available soon, thanks to a partnership with Blood Ties Four Directions.
“Any information provided through the application process is strictly confidential and will only be available to relevant Yukon Pride Centre staff to manage the program,” it’s noted, going on to state anyone with confidentiality concerns can bring them forward anonymously via the centre’s community safety page or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Yukon Pride Centre also notes it is not a healthcare service and encourages Yukoners to explore safety resources on using gender gear.
The Yukon Pride Centre will coordinate the ordering and preferred method of delivery — mail, pickup or direct delivery in Whitehorse.
Going forward, Val expects the program will continue into the future and, as was the case in the first round, officials will continue looking for feedback on how to improve the program in the future.
“I think every program can always improve,” they said. “I think it’s a very flexible program.”
Contact Stephanie Waddell at email@example.com