Vancouver School Board's vote to approve Gender Identity policy

On June 16th, 2014, the Vancouver School Board joined Toronto and Edmonton districts when Trustees voted 7-2 to approve its Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Policy. Vancouver becomes the first district in British Columbia to include guidelines specific to trans* and gender-nonconforming, or gender-creative, students and families. "All of the parents who come into my office want the same thing for their children: to be happy and have a successful future," shares Dr. Wallace Wong, a clinical Psychologist and WPATH member, who specializes in working with transgender children.

The four major changes this policy will bring to students and families this September are:

1. Names and Pronouns - students will be addressed by the names and pronouns they prefer to use.

2. Gender-neutral Bathrooms - The Board will strive to make available single stall washrooms at all school locations. Many Vancouver schools already include a single stall, wheelchair accessible washroom.

3. Sex-segregated Activities - Schools will reduce the practice of segregating students by sex; and trans* students will have the option to be included in the group that corresponds to their gender identity.

4. Staff Training: Professional development will be provided for staff and counsellors and each school to identify a Safe Contact who is able to act as a resource person for LGBTTQ+ students, staff and families.

WPATH congratulates the staff of Vancouver Coastal Health who were invited to speak by the Vancouver School Board, as well as members of the BC Trans Clinical Care Group who sent letters and/or spoke at the public meetings.  Eighteen WPATH members contributed to this successful outcome.

The full policy may be found here: http://ow.ly/xLRf6