TAS was founded early in 2001 as a province-wide coalition, with the aim of building connections between individuals and groups working on trans issues. The purpose of TAS is to:
- provide varied forums and resources to assist in the personal development, growth, and contact of its members with the transgendered community
- promote knowledge and understanding of trans culture in all its diversity
- build a sense of community through contact with other organizations or individuals sharing similar objectives
- work toward removing all forms of barriers that negatively impact the transgendered community
From 2000-2003 TAS functioned primarily as a conduit for information-sharing in the Lower Mainland and Victoria through its newsletter, website and news, discussion & advocacy.
In the wake of the cuts to the Gender Clinic in May 2002, groups and individuals from across the province started working together very closely to create a new plan for gender transition/crossdressing service delivery and to protect MSP funding for transition-related surgeries. A number of people involved in that campaign felt that a stronger province-wide coalition would be of great benefit to both sustain long-term campaigning on provincial issues and also facilitate the sharing of resources.
There are already a number of groups that very effectively provide peer support, education, and advocacy on local levels. TAS does not duplicate the work of local or regional groups. Instead, TAS is a vehicle to accomplish work that can’t be done by one group alone, and that will benefit trans people throughout the province.
How TAS Works
TAS is a coalition of groups and individuals from across the province. People can get involved through theSteering Committee (which takes care of the day-to-day work to keep TAS going), or Working Groups that take on specific projects as part of TAS.
The Chair, Secretary and Treasurer, are people who self-identify as trans and are elected each year by TAS members. The Steering Committee meets as needed to ensure TAS is functioning smoothly. Meetings typically happen every month, with additional discussions as needed by email or phone.
As per the TAS Constitution and Bylaws, the Steering Committee is made up of three elected Directors who self-identify as trans, in addition to representatives appointed by member groups.
The elected Directors for 2014 are:
- Chair: Morgane Oger, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Treasurer: Catherine Mateo , email@example.com
- Non-binary representative: Jesse Haines, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Secretary – email@example.com
Member group representatives on the Steering Committee are vacant at the moment while the executive attempts to revive the organization. If you are willing to sit on a committee please let us know.
The rest of the Steering Committee is made up of representatives from member groups.
Working groups are trans people and allies from groups affiliated with TAS, or people who are individual members of TAS.
Working Groups have a focus on a specific issue. Meetings typically happen once a month, with additional discussions as needed by email or phone.
At a meeting of all members in June 2003, three Working Groups were formed: Advocacy, Education, andPeer Support. Each Working Group is made up of reps from TAS member groups and individual members. A liaison from the Steering Committee is involved in each Working Group to facilitate communication.
The Advocacy Working Group
- Reviewing the advocacy section of the TAS website and suggesting changes/additions.
- Contacting advocacy groups around BC to find out how trans-friendly and trans-knowledgeable they are.
To get involved, contact the Steering Committee liaison, Donna Lindenberg, by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 250-413-3220.
Education Working Group
There are four projects currently underway by Trans Health:
- Identifying trans education materials available in electronic format (websites/PDF files).
- Creating a trans print archive in the public library system.
- Developing a province-wide Speakers’ Bureau.
- Creating sample workshop outlines that can be used by anyone wanting to do trans workshops or presentations.
To get involved, contact Steering Committee liaison by email email@example.com.
Peer Support Working Group
The Peer Support Working Group is brainstorming ways to strengthen existing peer support resources (e.g., through training for group facilitators) and create a one-on-one peer support program. Members are contacting other peer support programs to see how they are structured and to explore the possibilities of partnership.