This letter was sent to MLA S. Chandra Herbert on 04 November, 2014, to thank him for his ongoing support of trans* persons in BC and for specifically supporting the healthcare needs of Transgender and gender-variant persons in BC after the 02 November, 2014 BC Trans Day of Advocacy. Working closely with Trans Alliance Society (TAS) chair Morgane Oger, a transgender advocate and one of the organizers of the day of action event, MLA S. Chandra Herbert further challenged the minister of health by writing a letter asking for a number of changes to medical care for trans* persons in BC including the formation of a provincial-level trans healthcare authority where transgender and gender-variant persons are stakeholder and decision makers rather than just consumers.
From: “Morgane Oger – TAS Chair”
Sent: November-04-14 2:52 PM
To: “Chandra Herbert.MLA, Spencer”
Cc: “chair – TAS” , “secretary – TAS”, “treasurer – TAS”
Subject: re: This is a good day
Fri 11/7/2014 1:53 PM
Good afternoon Mr Chandra Herbert,
I am writing to you as the chair of the Trans Alliance Society (TAS).
As you know, TAS has been working since 2000 to advocate for and support transgender persons in BC and throughout Canada.
I am happy to share in your satisfaction and voice our gratitude for your tireless efforts in supporting justice and equality for LGBTQ persons in BC. It takes many tireless voices to get change like this implemented and we are making encouraging progress.
The Trans Alliance Society is very much encouraged by the about face announced by Health Minister Terry Lake yesterday. We are especially encouraged by the promise to make a province-wide transgender health program and have it developed via meaningful consultation and oversight from the transgender community.
TAS is well aware that provincial and health officials have made promises to the transgender community before and that a press release is not the same thing as actual change. The transgender community is concerned that the announcement may amount to little more than preemptive firefighting to diffuse the impact of our highly effective BC Trans Advocacy Day Workshop which TAS helped organize for Sunday Nov 2, 2014 where over 100 transgender persons met to decide how we will pressure Government to give us the health care we are due and very badly need.
If there is any opportunity to help Trans Alliance Society get a seat at the table when it is time to discuss oversight, we would be eager to participate in the process. In fact, we believe that the provincial transgender health program needs to be under the authority of a board with at least 50% transgender and gender-variant persons. Health strategies need to be based on partnerships rather than merely oversight.
We thank you for your long work helping trans people in BC and know you’ll keep up the pressure on the health ministry to ensure that this announcement by the Health Minister turns into actions and results.
Chair, Trans Alliance Society