4 Canadian Trans People Who Made History By Being The First In Their Fields
They broke down major barriers!
It's officially Transgender Awareness Week. Canada is no stranger to the efforts and fights trans individuals have endured. Moreover, the True North has no shortage of incredible figures who have broken down barriers and put themselves on the map.
Best of all, they are the first to do it.
The awareness week runs from November 13-19 to raise the visibility of trans people and shine a light on issues the community faces on a daily basis.
Here are four Canadians who are the first trans people to ever do it in their respective fields from politics and law to hockey and pageants.
Jessica Platt (Hockey Player)
Jessica Platt is a professional hockey player and is best known for playing for the Toronto Furies.
She is also the first transgender woman to play in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League.
"Hockey has always been my passion since I first learned to skate out in the backyard when I was three," she told Sportsnet.
"But as I got older playing hockey, I didn’t fit in the locker room. I felt like I had to be someone I wasn’t."
She later publicly came out as trans and shared a sweet message on Instagram.
Kael McKenzie (Judge)
Kael McKenzie is the first transgender judge in Canada and made his debut as such after being appointed to the provincial court of Manitoba.
"We are just doing what everyone else does and we can achieve whatever we want to do with hard work and dedication," he told CBC News.
"I mean for my community, I think it means a lot. I think it means … we've hit that glass ceiling and broke through it."
Jenna Talackova (Pageant Contestant)
Jenna Talackova competed at the Miss Universe Canada pageant. She was also the first-ever transgendered contestant to participate in the show.
She was also known for taking legal action against the pageant and Donald Trump because of its ban on transgender contestants, according to CNN.
In the end, they had little choice and had to change the rules and let Talackova compete, per the report.
Julie Lemieux ( Mayor)
Julie Lemieux is the first trans mayor in the history of Canada and was named woman of the year in 2017 by Chatelaine.
The Quebec native's identity as a trans woman was not made a point during her campaign but being the first trans woman to become a mayor in Canada is something she takes pride in, according to CBC.
She was also the town's first woman mayor.
"[It] makes me proud," she told the news organization in an interview. "People see skills before status."