Trans people, allies mark Transgender Day of Visibility in Vancouver with rally
A rally in support of trans people took place in Vancouver's Grandview Park Friday to mark International Trans Day of Visibility.
Among the speakers was 15-year-old event organizer 7ven Perks, who told the crowd: "You're not alone."
Three years ago, Perks, who uses the pronouns it/its, came out as non-binary. The journey hasn't always been easy.
"At first it wasn't that bad," Perks said. "But as I transferred to high school, not easy at all. Lots of bullying, all that fun stuff. So it could have been better, honestly."
The teen feels lucky to have a supportive family and a good group of friends that have helped it through challenges.
"I know it sounds really cheese and all that, but things probably will get better," Perks said. "They do. It just takes a while."
Perks's mother Naomi says it was important to educate herself about her child's identity.
"I wasn't that familiar with non-binary myself, so I did a lot of research and there's lots of resources available and really took the cues from 7ven on how to proceed," Naomi said.
She says the gender clinic at B.C. Children's Hospital has been helpful in offering guidance.
"The one thing that I felt is that we were the only ones going through this ... but the reality is you're not," she said.
"A lot of people are going through this and it's about talking about it and being open that you are able to find your community."
Perks moved schools because of bullying, and found a supportive group of friends who helped out with Friday's rally. It hopes the rally helps others find a safe space.
"Trans people, we're here and we're allowed to exist."