Participants: Max & Ryan; Resources; Trans; Transitioning; Safe space; Elementary school; Advocacy; Trans advocacy
Max: Samantha gets to talk to the school counsellor.
Max: Which is fantastic. And she loves it. She’s like, I met Madame Cindy today. And it’s just really nice to know that - and we’ve said this to Samantha, we’ve said listen, there’s someone at school available to you at school outside of your friends, your teachers, you know the school principal and so on, that is safe for you to say whatever you need to say. And you don’t have to worry about it getting back to us or back to anyone. So just let it all out. Anything. And I think she’s like “ahh okay”. And so far from the counsellor, I've just been hearing like you know, “yeah she’s just a regular kid.” I'm like oh, okay, great. So obviously you here some very scary stories about like the mental health issues that come along with transition. Or that are exacerbated by traumatic experiences when coming out and so on. And I was just very worried - we were both worried just making sure that her mental health state, was okay as well as being physically transitioning and socially transitioning. Because you know, the last thing I want is you know, outwardly like “hey” but not actually being okay.
Ryan: We are aware of the stats.
Max: Yeah, we are very aware.
Ryan: So trans kids and …so we’ve been very fortunate, that you’ve said this is not the scenario for every family...
Ryan: We’ve had every resource available at our fingertips. And we were very educated to begin with. So we didn’t have a huge learning curve. We’ve been very very fortunate and very privileged in that sense that this has been a very easy transition in the sense that, in the sense that everyone has been very very well supported the entire way through.
Ryan: So, that makes a world of difference versus somebody who has to kinda deal with these things, sheltered and alone.
Ryan: As I understand it, she’s not only counsellor for the students but also for the
Ryan: The administration. So, she’s also there to help the teachers learn and answer questions and provide I guess counselling for them, if they are finding things new or difficult
Max: Or just needing intervention being able to actually use proper terminology or looking for resources and so on and providing tools. When they offered the counselling services, they offered it for Samantha specifically but they also said she was going to offer it to the teacher. And I said, focus on the teacher, because that’s…
Tara: Samantha’s, okay.
Max: Well, to be perfectly honest, Samantha is just a firecracker. She’s like, “I’m good, I got this. Call me Sam.” You know, and we are like okay. But when it comes to the teachers, I just wanted to make sure that you know that there is yet another layer of support and they are the first line. So I said, get them ready, make sure they are okay - they have the terminology they need, the concepts, and the tools that they need, and then you know, we’ll work heavily on just making sure the lines of communication are open and all kinds of stuff. But then they said, “oh yeah, you know we’re good, the teachers are good.” And I said, Wow, okay this is all working. This is great.
Max: When I speak to her - when I first spoke to her, she said, “it’s something new, but it’s something that I am super interested in, and I want to help”. And I went, “wow, okay great”. So, already open, and I went perfect. And I said, “I don’t know to what degree, what her real what her background is.” Just by her saying, I want to help and I want to be supportive. I said okay great. And she said, “so if you have anything that you want me to read, or think that would help, that I could use to also impart on you know, tools and resources for the teachers and so on.” I was like, “oh, are you sure you really want me to send you everything” …and she was like “yeah yeah.” I just kept sending her links. You know, Rainbow Health and all sorts of - is it FSO? Family Services Ottawa, kind, anything through CAMH… all these amazing resources. And she was just like “this is incredible”. She was like there’s a plethora of resources. Cause within those documents there’s even more. So she’s been very… it’s been welcome, just to keep learning, and she said she herself tries to engage her other colleagues to do the same and so on. So I have - so I have, full confidence that regardless of her experience at that time, the fact that she was open to do that, I went okay great. Yeah.