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Why Being a Safe Space for All is Truly Inclusive

Inclusive and Welcoming

Over the years, I have been asked countless times what being inclusive truly means. For a long time, I only thought of inclusion in the disability realm and struggled to see a world that was truly inclusive. Now that I am raising a transgender child, I can see that inclusion means a lot more.

For years, when we planned family outings or vacations, the process revolved around where our kids would have the most fun, be able to regulate, and we, as parents, may actually feel rested and supported. We avoided major tourist attractions for fear of it being too overstimulating, and opted for quieter, less busy attractions. It was about ensuring our comfort and trying to make it as pleasurable as possible. Never once did I have to worry about my children's safety due to their gender expression.

Since my child has transitioned, my husband and I have definetly began talking about their safety.

Is it safe to travel to the same places in the states?

Will they be harassed for using the women's washroom?

Will people bully or make fun of them for wearing non-gender confirming clothes?

At our final gender assessment appointment in the summer, the psychologist talked to us about ways to keep our child safe as they transition. At first, it really threw me off. Our community has been so supportive and inclusive, that up until that point, I hadn't given it too much thought. But as we venture further outside of our bubble, I have had to implement some of the strategies she gave me. In public, I go to the washroom with them in the women's washroom or a parent waits outside the stall for them. I have conversations with people prior to them attending a class or program, to ensure they are supportive and my child will be accepted. As parents, we protect our children. Some days the worry gets the better of me, and I anxiously plan out my child's future and ways to protect them. But I always come back to the fact that I am not the leader in this situation. My job is to follow my child's lead in their gender journey and ensure I protect them as much as I can along the way. To give them the tools they need to be successful and safe in the community.

Now that I own my own business and talk with parents and professionals about inclusion and how to be more inclusive, I am acutely aware that I have a responsibility to ensure that This World's Ours Centre is a safe space for everyone. We will welcome and accept you as you are when you walk through our doors. We will continue to learn more about the LGTBQI+ community and will ensure that we are a safe space for you and your family.

What I really want you to know and understand, is that even though there are these changes happening, it isn't all scary. My child is happy, happier then I have seen them in a long time. Our day to day life hasn't changed all that much. They still love skateboarding, playing fortnite with the neighbors, and swimming in the pool. Every night I walk into their room to say goodnight and nearly trip over a pile of bowls with the remnants of cheerios and milk in them. Having a happy, healthy child means so much more to us than the gender they were assigned at birth. We see how comfortable they have settled into their new gender, and we know that this is right for them.

We are so grateful for the safe spaces they in our commuity, such as our neighborhood and their school. We not only see the effort people make to use their correct gender and name, but we see the impact this had positively on our child. My hope is that we can be a safe space for the community in Mt. Pleasant, to be a truly inclusive for our clients and their families.

Safe Space Alliance Inclusive Blog Post

Do you want to learn more about how you can ensure your business is a safe place for the LGBTQI+ community? The Safe Space Alliance is a LGBTQI+ led nonprofit organisation that aims to help people identify, navigate, and create safe spaces for LGBTQI+ communities worldwide. Being part of the Safe Space Alliance is being part of a global and collaborative safe space community.

Learn more about the Safe Space Alliance here.


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