Kelowna Trans Resources



      Support Groups

       

      Okanagan Trans *Drop In Group.

      The Okanagan Trans * Drop-in is a peer support & discussion group for transgender, transsexual, genderqueer, two-spirit and intersex people in the Greater Kelowna area. We're open to all who are exploring their own gender identity. Evenings consist of informal talks, sharing of resources (we have a large number of pamphlets onsite), coffee and movies.

      We also tend to have the most current information on Kelowna resources (this page may not be up to date)

      Meetings are currently TBA. Please contact us for more details.

       

      The 3rd meeting of every month is our SOFFA night (Significant Others, Friends, Families and Allies) - if you are bringing a SOFFA, please send us an email in advance to let us know J

       

      If you're living in Vernon, we tend to have people from there come down on a fairly regular basis - rideshares, etc, are available.

      If you can't make it because of work schedules, or live fairly far away, etc, email creativecatherine@gmail.com and we can meet outside of the group times.

       

      PFLAG Kelowna

      Peer support for Parents, Friends and Families of Lesbians and Gays. Please contact for more information.

      See our FaceBook page http://www.facebook.com/groups/PFLAGKelowna/ or email creativecatherine@gmail.com

       

      Doctors who will prescribe hormone replacement therapy

       

      *KELOWNA ONLY*

                      Dr. Heather McDonald

      Interior Health Authority Health Centre

      1340 Ellis Street

      (250) 868-7873 (speak with Caroldean) -or- (250) 868-7788 (general office line, probably less useful)

      Clinic Hours: Thursdays, 8:30 to 11:00

       

      Approximately 3 months psychotherapy / regular visits are required with both Dr. McDonald and Dr. Hanon (see below) before you will be eligible to receive Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). While version 6 of the Standards of Care recommend that HRT be prescribed after either 3 months of psychotherapy or living "full time" (and version 7 recommends no waiting period), Dr. McDonald will not give someone hormones simply because they are living full time - you need to see her regularly during the evaluation period.

      Dr. McDonald is extremely hostile to those who are self medicating - she may even refuse to run blood tests for you.

       

      *Referral Process*

      For funding reasons, Dr. McDonald needs patients to be referred to her from another doctor. The process is simple, it's basically the same as if your doctor was referring you to a podiatrist. If your doctor doesn't know what to fill out under reason, just tell them to put down "Gender Identity Disorder"

       This can be your family doctor or you can see any walk in clinic doctor.

      If you have questions about your appointment with Dr. McDonald and/or would like to confirm your referral has been received, , please contact Caroldean at ‎(250) 868-7873.

       Do be aware the referral process can take months. It may be faster to access resources in Vancouver. If you are interested in this, see BC Regional Resources (PDF) and BC Travel Resources.


      Endocrinologists (Hormone specialists)

      Haiju (Henry) Chirayath (MSP# 64984) (REFERRAL REQUIRED)

      Dr. Walter Anderson Building - KGH 2251 Pandosy Street Kelowna, BC V1Y 1T1 Bus: 250-862-4398, Fax: 250-862-4463

       

      Dr. Chirayath mainly consults with Dr. McDonald - if you are coming from out of town, you may be able to book an appointment with him, but please ensure that he will prescribe HRT to you (and have a "hormone letter" from someone who he will accept it from)



      Doctors, General Practitioners

       

      These doctors may not be involved with getting trans people on hormones, but they have been friendly and have received reviews like "all have been REALLY COOL and I felt safe with them". They may also be willing to renew a hormone prescription that has expired (write a prescription valid until your next appointment) and /or willing to give you a blood test form in case you lost your original, etc. All doctors at

      Outreach Urban Health are known to be friendly. Outreach Urban Health will also serve people without documentation.

       

      Morris, Dr. Adrian

      General/Family Practice

      Capri Medical Centre

      132-1835 Gordon Dr

      Kelowna, BC V1Y 3H4

      250-717-3211

                     

      Deliyannides, Dr. Alexandra

      General/Family Practice

      Capri Medical Centre

      132-1835 Gordon Dr

      Kelowna, BC V1Y 3H4

      250-717-3211

      Quite highly reviewed.

       

      Rishi, Dr. Bharti

      General/Family Practice

      314-3001 Tutt St (this may be incorrect and she may be at the Orchard Plaza Walk In Clinic)

      Kelowna, BC V1Y 2H4

      250-763-0101

       

      Emergency Mental Health Resources

      If you need immediate assistance, call 911.

      Alternately, go to Kelowna General Hospital's Emergency Department (2268 Pandosy St.) and let the triage nurse know your concerns.

      If you happen to be in the Vancouver area, Vancouver General Hospital's Brief Intervention Unit (i.e. inpatient care facility) is quite good and friendly (especially Dr. Kirk Murphy, who has a ton of trans experience from San Francisco)

       

      Types of support

       

      1.       Referral to outpatient services

      Sometimes Emergency is able to refer you to services that might be difficult to access otherwise. Kelowna has a “Macs” program that is quite good at dealing with patients that are in need of fairly intensive amounts of support/time, but not severe enough to be an admitted patient - (2 weeks of daily visits to the hospital with meals served, group therapy as well as private counseling with a nurse and a psychiatrist.

      They haven’t had the most trans experience, but can help a lot if you're having issues with severe anxiety, etc.

       

      2.       Voluntary admission

      A voluntary admission is when you ask to be admitted to the psychiatric ward. Depending on capacity and your perceived need, you may or may not be admitted and you can be asked to leave at any time to make room for patients with more severe issues.

      Do note that a voluntary admission can turn into an involuntary admission under certain circumstances.

      See http://www.health.gov.bc.ca/mhd/mentalhealthact.html for further details.

       

      3.       Involuntary admission

      In some cases, you may be placed under an involuntary hold – this can go by a number of names, "confirmed under the mental health act" (also known as "committed" "sectioned" etc) – if you have been “confirmed” you are unable to leave the hospital and are unable to refuse treatment.

       

      If you have a plan to commit suicide and are unwilling to agree to a "safety plan" there is a good chance that you will be held involuntarily. See http://www.health.gov.bc.ca/mhd/mentalhealthact.html for further details.

       

      I’ve also seen cases where a doctor told the person seeking help that they probably would not get enough care with a voluntary admission and strongly recommended that for the person to get adequate care, they be admitted involuntarily.

       

      4.       Discharge without treatment

      Hopefully you will get some level of help, but sometimes you may not.


      Psychiatrists

      Dr.  Neil Hanon (does hormone assessments along with Dr. McDonald - but you will need to be referred to him by Dr. McDonald.)

      Outreach Urban Health

      455 Leon Ave, Kelowna, BC V1Y 6J4

      Ph: (250) 868-2230

      Fax: (250) 868-2006

      http://kelowna.cioc.ca/record/KNA1319

      Clinic Hours:  Monday to Friday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

      Quite a bit of experience with trans people (previously worked in a gender clinic out of province)

       

      Dr. Paul Latimer

      Friendly, has written trans youth positive articles in Kelowna Capital News and has worked with trans people in Kelowna (although a smaller number than Dr. Hanon)

       

      AVOID

      Dr. Milanese

      Interior Health Authority Mental Health Centre

      Reasons:

      "Outed" patient to their doctor after assurances that he would not do so.

      Has said he "Does not believe in Gender Identity Disorder"


      Psychiatrists / Psychiatric Nurses

      If you're just looking to speak with someone to discuss transition, these are likely the wrong people to talk to (instead, go to Drs. McDonald or Hanon). But if you're looking to speak with someone about transition and are also having serious mental health issues (compulsive self harm, destructive behaviours, serious depression, suicidal ideation or some other condition) these are the people you should speak with / process you should go through.

       

      Jennifer & Melody, Nurses (Melody may not be currently practicing at the clinic)

      Interior Health Authority Health Centre

      Second Floor, 1340 Ellis Street

      (250) 868-7788

       

      While they do not specialize in trans people, both have worked extensively with trans people and have shown that they are incredibly caring and competent.

       

      *Referral Process*

      It's a bit confusing as there isn't a way to get directly to them.

       

      1.       Get referred to Mental Health Emergency Services (MHES)

      You can be referred to MHES by a doctor (your doctor will know the procedure) or be self referred (either call the number listed above or walk in and speak with the receptionist - it is recommended that you call in, as there may not be someone available for an intake interview and you may be waiting for several hours before you are seen)

       

      2.       Go through the placement interview (2 hours or so in length, with multiple people )

      Sometimes it's scary to admit to others that a problem is serious, whether this be fear of an involuntary hospitalization (many people with suicidal ideation don't report it to mental health providers because they fear an involuntary hold) or for other reasons.  I would recommend that you be honest - minimizing your problems or not being honest may result in you not getting the care you need and it generally takes a fair bit to be actually held.

       

      The persons interviewing you will place you into one of several programs - the "Rapid Response Clinic", ASTAT or something else. Both Jennifer and Melody work for the ASTAT team.

       

      3.       If you are referred to the ASTAT program, make sure you request to see someone who is well trained on trans issues, specifically Jennifer or Melody, then wait until you receive confirmation of who you're going to see.

      Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that you will see either of them, but I would encourage you to stick with the person you are placed with. Most psychiatric nurses there are friendly and they work with people who have had experience with trans people.

       

      The BPD program / DBT program in Kelowna is also quite good and trans friendly.


      Psychologists

      Dr. Bill Maniago

       #204 3001 Tutt St

       Kelowna, BC V1Y 2H4

      250-864-4847

       

      Gary W. Lea, Psy.D R.Psych.

      #350 - 1855 Kirschner Rd

      Kelowna, BC  V1Y 4N7
      Ph: (250) 762-2525
      Fax: (250) 762-7987

      "I would be pleased to offer my services to the GLBTTQ community in the Okanagan, more generally, and the Transgendered community more specifically. As a clinical psychologist, my work with the community has continued for over 20 years and involved about 100 people thus far. I liaise with The Transgender Health Program in Vancouver as needs may arise, and have played a role in about half a dozen gender changes. My assessments pertain to the person's mental health and psychological readiness to undergo gender reassignment surgery.

      I have never done private hormone assessments as dealing with hormones is a medical act, and I am not trained or licensed to do them."

      $150/hour, may not be taking new patients but if you mention you're dealing with trans issues you will likely get seen. Also works with trans people and their families.

       

      Kristina Towill

      #306-3001 Tutt St

      Kelowna, BC V1Y 2H4

      (250) 763-3302

      $175/hr (highly reviewed by 2 people, details to be posted)

       

      "I've seen Kristina approx 7 times over the last year or so. I've found her to be direct yet reasonably sensitive. I appreciate a direct approach, but some could be put off by it to an extent.  She is progressive in her views and approach to trans healthcare and supportive and understanding of most trans issues. I'm not sure of numbers, but believe that she has had many trans clients.  I am open with her about all aspects of my life, experiences and preferences and have found her to be non-judgmental in all cases.  She has had good suggestions for communicating and addressing trans issues with children, family and work.  I  believe her to be an intelligent, grounded person, which makes communication enjoyable and is not necessarily typical for mental health professionals.  She holds a PHD in psychology so can provide MSP letters relating to transition.
      The downside is that she runs a private practice that is both busy and pricey..."

       

      Ellwood Ann-Louise

      #306-3001 Tutt St

      Kelowna, BC V1Y 2H4

      (250) 763-3302

      $175/hr


      Speech Language Pathologists

                      Iceton Speech Pathology Services

                      #304 3330 Richter St, Kelowna, BC

                      250-864-6080

                      MLIceton@shaw.ca

                      Mary Lou will run the "Changing Keys" program if it is ever implemented locally. For more information on Changing Keys, click here.


      Social Workers / Advocacy

      Julia Foulston

      Outreach Urban Health

      455 Leon Ave, Kelowna, BC V1Y 6J4

      Ph: (250) 868-2230

      Fax: (250) 868-2006

      http://kelowna.cioc.ca/record/KNA1319

      Clinic Hours:  Monday to Friday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

       

      Julia has done quite a bit of work with trans people in Kelowna and has assisted many in accessing resources, etc. She's great.

      Social worker John Malito has also been great, although he primarily deals with housing issues and is only present at outreach 1 day a week (currently Tuesday mornings/early afternoons, but call the office to confirm his hours)

       

      Living Positive Resource Centre

      168 Asher Rd., Kelowna BC V1X 3H6

      Ph Toll Free: 1-800-616-2437

      Ph: (778) 753-5830

      Fax: (778) 753-5832

      Office hours:  Monday to Friday, 8:30am - 4:30pm

      info@lprc.ca www.lprc.ca

      Living Positive Resource Centre is a non-profit organization in Kelowna, BC, which provides support and advocacy services to people in need within the Central Okanagan. Having started out as an AIDS service organization in 1992, we have since expanded our mandate to serve anybody experiencing issues relating to housing, income, nutrition, access to health care including addictions and mental health services, connections with natural support systems, and other determinants of health.

       

      The LPRC website has an extensive list of local resources, including shelters,

      showers / laundry, food assistance, etc. Check under "Resources"

       

      Catherine Mateo, Trans Resources Advocate

      creativecatherine@gmail.com

      (250) 863-0209

       

      Okanagan Mental Health and Addictions Services Guide

      https://secure.interiorhealth.ca/uploadedFiles/Health_Services/Mental_Health_and_Addictions/OkanaganServicesGuide.pdf


      Shelters / Charitable Assistance / Housing

      Kelowna Women's Shelter

      The Kelowna Women's Shelter was formerly open to post-operative trans women with medical proof of surgery, but is currently extremely hostile towards trans people. When contacted in late 2011, staff refused to accept a post operative trans woman and when I attempted to follow up, said that children needed to be "protected" from trans women and that there are "safety issues" with trans people, implying that trans women were sexual predators.

      While this may simply be the bigoted and uninformed opinions of a single staff member, I have asked for clarification of their position as well as their exact policy, but shelter staff have ignored requests for further information. They have also rejected an offer of education on trans issues from both myself and someone who is involved in a trans positive women's shelter in Vancouver and has done advocacy work on this issue.

       

      Youth - Pennylane Transition Shelter

      Call for location - 250 861 5593

      Friendly and has housed trans youth in the past, but other youth there may not be as friendly.

       

      Other shelters - I don't know, I haven't done research on - LPRC (above) may have further information. If you need assistance, email e-mail me and I'll find out for you.

       

      Youth - Boys and Girls Club / Richter Street Overnight Program / Kelowna Youth Shelter

      Fully trans friendly, you will be housed according to gender identity.

      2337 Richter St, Kelowna BC (250) 868 8541 x9 - if doors are locked, call to get in.  shelter@boysandgirlsclubs.ca

      A voluntary resource for youth ages 13-18 that are homeless (absolute or relative) or at risk of homelessness and have no safe alternatives. The resource is open from 8:00 pm until 8:00 am, 7 days per week with weekend services (closed between 4pm and 8pm Saturday and Sunday). Youth may refer themselves to the program or be referred by anyone in the community, including MCFD and other youth serving organizations. The shelter operates on a first come first serve basis and accommodates up to 10 youth per evening. Males and females are housed in separate areas of the shelter. If the resource is full, all attempts will be made to connect youth with another community resource, including but not limited to MCFD After-hours Social Workers. Intakes are done until 2:00am. Entrance is on the side facing Richter St.

      Salvation Army - While no shelter exists in Kelowna, this is their current policy on trans persons. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151010869035582&set=o.7930880987&type=1&theater

       

      Other housing resources:

      www.padmapper.com - Really cool resource that lets you filter all kijii and craigslist ads by price, etc.

      Castanet Rentals - Castanet's rentals aren't listed in padmapper and they have a really good under $500 section.

      Low income dentists 

      http://kelownagospelmission.ca/services/dental_clinic (Gospel Mission is friendly)


      Food

      Kelowna Community Food Bank

      www.kelownafoodbank.com

      I've personally used their services, they've been friendly, Mismatched ID was not an issue for me.


      Others

      I don't know their current policies. I believe they all give out food once a week.

      • St. Micheal's Church - 608 Sutherland Ave, 250.762.3321
      • Salvation Army 250.765.3450
      • St. Vincent de Paul 250.765.0800


      Registered Massage Therapists

      Luke Cockwell

      SAGE Massage Therapy Clinic
      998 Laurier Ave, Kelowna, BC V1Y 6B1
      250-868-3225

       

       

      Jolene Beilstein – The Core

      http://www.thecorekelowna.com/the-team/jolenebeilstein

      Suite 102-1441 Ellis Street

      Kelowna, BC V1Y 2A3

      (250) 862-2673


      Laser Hair Removal

      Beyond Beauty Medi-Spa

      3131 29th Street, Vernon, B.C.

      250-260-1500,

      While this resource is located in Vernon, it is significantly cheaper than laser in Kelowna. $50 a session.

      Uses Lightsheer Diode XC 12mm. Mention "Kelly" to receive that price. Be advised that price may change in the future and it may change if you have fairly thick facial hair.

       

      Nicola's Laser Studio

      #102-1289 Ellis Street, at "The Cannery Lofts"

      Kelowna B.C V1Y 9X6

      250-862-5152

      nicolaj@shaw.ca

      I believe they have the best price in Kelowna.

       

      Custom Laser Hair Removal

      #213 - 1511 Sutherland Ave, Above Lee's Music

      Kelowna BC V1Y 5Y7

       (250) 861 - 1141

      info@customlaserhairremoval.com

      Deb is great, but she can be fairly expensive compared to other laser providers.

       

      The Studio - Electrolysis & Waxing By Nicole

      290 Eugene Rd

      Kelowna, BC V1X 2M2

       (250) 491-3400

       

      Serenity Aesthetics

      Plaza 97 - 2483-7 Main St

      West Kelowna, BC V4T 2E8

      250.768.0309

      http://serenityaestheticsskincare.com/   

      Around $130-140 for the face+neck, friendly laser tech.

       

                      Electrolysis and Esthetics by Nicole

                      685 Tartan Rd.

                      Kelowna, BC

                      250-878-5035

                      www.ElectrolysisAndEstheticsByNicole.com  


      Chiropractors

      Dr. Raymond Roy

      http://www.mykelownachiropractor.com

      250-861-1332

      3019 Pandosy St, Kelowna, BC V1Y 1W3


      Blood Testing Labs

      Valley Labs

      Both Rutland, Mission and on Leon have been friendly.

      Request that they called out a preferred name if you have not had your legal name change yet.


      Government Agencies / Documentation Changes

      Vital Statistics Agency
      1475 Ellis Street, Room 101
      Kelowna BC V1Y 2A3
      250-712-7562

      Have been very polite and friendly on several occasions.

      See http://dl.dropbox.com/u/932389/Trans/VCH2011/Changing%20Name%202010.pdf for more information on changing your name.

       

      ICBC Also friendly.

      1720 Springfield Road  

      Kelowna, BC V1Y 7W2
      (250) 860-4069


      Hairdressers

      MOD Salon

      Water Street

      250-712-0009

       

      Loyal Hair Therapy

      loyalhairtherapy.ca


      Wigs

      Mary Claris

      549 Bernard Avenue

      Downtown Kelowna (Next to Mad Mango Cafe)
      250-862-8406

      http://www.maryclaris.com/            


      Clothing

      Just for Us

      Just for Us is an exclusively Plus-size Fashion Consignment Store located in the heart of Kelowna. We carry a fabulous selection of clothing designed especially for women with curves in eye-catching styles to freshen up your wardrobe throughout the year.

      www.Just4us.ca

      "Jennifer was willing to stay late and give clothing advice when I was looking and felt uncomfortable shopping with others around"


      Pharmacy

      Costco

      Cheapest place for prescriptions in Kelowna. This difference can be significant (Androcur is 50% cheaper at Costco than at Shoppers)

      See this document for more pricing information

      http://dl.dropbox.com/u/932389/Trans/Stepping%20Forward%20Canada%20Meds.pdf

      You don’t need a membership, just tell people at the door that you’re going to the pharmacy and they will let you in.

      They've been very friendly with several people who have gone there.

       

      Shoppers Drug Mart

      Both the Bernard (Mall), Westbank (downtown) and Hwy 33 (by Coopers) stores have been quite friendly.

       

      Dyck's Pharmacists

      Local shop that compounds (you need this if you're getting injectable estrogen and some creams) - if there is a shortage of medication at other pharmacies, they should be able to make some for you (for example, spironolactone was out of stock at most pharmacies for about a month, people had to go to Dyck's to get their medication)


      Schools

       

      UBCO 

      The Pride Resource Centre is friendly.

      For trans* students, UBCO WILL change a student's name and gender marker WITHOUT a court order, however it seems that many at the college are unaware and may be under the mistaken impression that some sort of court order is required.

       

      Please see Erin Shannon erin.shannon@ubc.ca in Enrolment Services.  Also, because housing's computer system isn't necessarily linked to enrollment's system, also see Peggy Walker, Residence Administration Manager peggy.walker@ubc.ca especially if you live in a dorm like Similkameen where access cards are used on gendered bathrooms (every so often, card access might be reset and if you don't have the proper gender marker within UBC's systems, you can be locked out of the proper bathroom)

       

      Trans students are still offered / restricted to private rooms, but if you are interested in a quad/shared room, that has been done for several trans students in the past and shouldn't be a problem - just be nice to the housing folks and give them a fair bit of notice :)






Comments