On the 2023 International Trans Day of Visibility, United Way of Calgary and Area reaffirms our commitment to transgender people within our community.

“The message today, and every day, is simple: the lives of transgender individuals matter, and their rights are human rights,” said Karen Young, United Way president and CEO. “Transgender men are men, and transgender women are women; this is an indisputable fact that guides us as we act to ensure safe spaces and a completely welcoming community for all.”

“We know that everyone benefits when people feel accepted and welcomed in the community,” added Young. “Social inclusion is an important area of focus for United Way because it is foundational to our collective wellbeing. However, too many transgender people in our community are excluded—too often, their very existence is challenged. We need to work together to create meaningful policy and programming that supports transgender and non-binary citizens in our community.”

Anna Murphy, a community leader engaged in advising many groups on current issues facing trans people, recently met with Young and Pam Krause, Centre for Sexuality president and CEO, to discuss the state of gender diversity in the broader community.

Pam Krause, Karen Young, and Anna Murphy.

“What we see happening in the world warrants our attention,” said Murphy. “We need to respond to hatred and exclusion with urgency. We need actions of allyship and investments in inclusion.”

As part of United Way’s commitment to inclusion, especially for gender and sexually-diverse people, we invest in agencies that work to increase social inclusion so all people feel connection and belonging in their communities. In doing so, we are helping to create more safe spaces for transgender people.

United Way is also a long-time funder of the Centre for Sexuality—a nationally recognized, community-based organization delivering programs and services that work to normalize sexuality and sexual health. We are proud to support them as they lead the way in the areas of sexuality, healthy relationships, human rights, gender identity, sexual orientation, equality, and consent.

“On this Trans Day of Visibility, it’s important to recognize the discrimination that still exists in the 2SLBTQ+ communities, particularly for trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming individuals,” says Ms Krause. “Today it is important to show our allyship. But we must be active allies 365 days a year.”

The Centre’s critical work with 2SLBTQ+ communities includes Camp fYrefly, the Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) Network, and From Me To We, a healthy relationships program for non-binary, gender non-conforming and trans youth.

On top of that, all the Centre’s school-based work with students includes a component of inclusion for 2SLGBTQ+ individuals. Their training centre’s professional development workshops also help organizations create a culture of respect for 2SLGBTQ+ clients, customers and co-workers.

“We are very proud of the work we do every day to support the 2SLGBTQ+ community and we are honoured that United Way of Calgary and Area has supported us in this journey,” said Ms. Krause.

“Allies and friends like United Way and the Centre for Sexuality are so important as we strive to bring about meaningful improvement in our society,” said Murphy. “As more like-minded people and organizations join us, we will make a community that is truly inclusive and safe for all.”

For resources for the International Trans Day of Visibility, visit:

Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity
It Gets Better Canada

Additional resources for trans individuals:

Centre for Sexuality
Skipping Stone
Trans PULSE Canada
Trans Lifeline
Calgary Outlink