Island Sexual Health Society Be informed, not surprised!

Trans flag

Monica Helms, a trans woman, designed this flag in 1999, and it was first flown at a Pride Parade in Phoenix a year later. “The light blue is the traditional color for baby boys, pink is for girls, and the white in the middle is for those who are transitioning, those who feel they have a neutral gender or no gender, and those who are intersexed,” Helms noted. “The pattern is such that no matter which way you fly it, it will always be correct. This symbolizes us trying to find correctness in our own lives.” Source: https://www.pride.com/pride/2018/6/13/complete-guide-queer-pride-flags-0#media-gallery-media-13

Gender Affirming Care (GAC) at ISH 

December 2020 GAC update:

We are still working through our waitlist and, until we have caught up, we are not able to accept new patients for assessment. Please call the Trans Care BC Coordination Team at 1-866-999-1514 or 604-675-3647 for help with alternative service delivery during this time.  We remain absolutely committed to our GAC program and apologize for the impact we know this has. We will keep you updated as soon as we are able to accept new patients. Please note that this will not effect those clients who require hormone renewals only.  

ISH provides access to medical, surgical and social gender affirmation care for trans, non binary, 2 spirit and otherwise gender diverse folks. At ISH, we recognize that gender affirmation is a very personal journey, and different individuals will desire/need access to different types of services and care. Our role is to support you through your affirmation journey. Please note the age guidelines/wait list times following the service description.

Gender Affirming Services at ISH: or

Clinical Care:

  • Hormone readiness assessments – clients aged 16+
    • Doctors and nurses in our clinic can complete assessments for hormone readiness and prescribe masculinizing or feminizing hormone therapy.  **Please note there is currently an extensive wait list to access these services; please call the clinic if you’d like to be placed on the wait list, or if you’d like more information.**
  • Surgical assessments and referrals – clients aged 18+
    • If you need access to gender affirming surgery, providers in our clinic can help with this, either by acting as a surgical assessor and/or referring you to another provider for assessment. For more information about accessing different types of gender affirming surgeries in BC, please see the Trans Care BC website.   **Please note that there is currently a wait list for surgical assessments/referrals. please call the clinic 250-592-3479 if you’d like to be placed on the wait list, or if you’d like more information.**
  • Hormone medication monitoring and renewals – clients aged 16+
    • Clients who have previously completed a hormone readiness assessment can see a physician at ISH for medication monitoring and renewals. You do not need to go on the wait list to see a physician for a medication renewal.
  • Hormone injection teaching and supplies
    • Nurses and physicians in our clinic can give hormone injections and teach clients to do self-injections. We also offer hormone injection supplies (syringes, needles, alcohol swabs and sharps containers) on site in our store for a nominal fee.
  • Bleed control
    • Monthly or cycle bleeding can be challenging for many folks and a major trigger for dysphoria in some individuals. At our clinic, you can see a nurse or a doctor to access medication like depo-provera or a hormonal IUD which can help to alleviate and/or eliminate cycle bleeds.
  • Gender Aware and Affirming Sexual and Reproductive Health Screening and Treatment
    • Our doctors and nurses offer gender aware sexual and reproductive health screening services including Sexually Transmitted Infection Prevention, Testing and Treatment, pap/cervical screening, pelvic, genital and chest tissue exams. We recognize that screening and treatment may require extra time, the use of client specific language and discussion and other approaches to be respectful, comfortable and accessible client centred care.

Peer Support Services:

Whitney (she/her/hers or they/them/theirs) is a Trans Care BC peer support worker available to help Two-Spirit, trans and gender-diverse clients of Island Sexual Health navigate services and get connected to care. She can help to assist you in accessing inclusive physical and mental health services, as well as to connect to supportive community. Whitney is also available if you’d like to have a tea and vent about the trials of transition. Feel free to get in touch if there’s something you’d like to discuss!

Whitney is available to support clients. Please email Whitney directly to arrange.

Water coloured blue circle with text that reads "Covid Safe gender affirming fittings and bookings available 9th of November at the store at ISH

We’re offering COVID Safe gender affirming fittings and bookings beginning November 9th.

Gender Affirming Apparel (GAA):

We are proud to announce the introduction of Gender Affirming Apparel to the products we offer. This includes binders, gaffs (including children’s gaffs), and packing underwear from BC Based Your Open Closet and handmade silicone packers from Queer Owned New York Toy Collective.
We understand that these sorts of items are mostly available online – however fitting for such things (especially binders) is complex and if done wrong can come with complex health risks. We have created a system to provide Co-vid safe in-person fittings: The store will be open during regular clinic hours for general access. However, we have opened up Monday and Wednesday evenings between 5-8-pm at the clinic for private, after-hours, in-store appointments for the LGBTQ2S+ community. You can book your fitting appointment online.
This is just the beginning – and we are always open to and looking for community feedback.

Trans Resources:

In BC, we are incredibly lucky to have a provincial based resource, Trans Care BC who supports the delivery of equitable and accessible care, surgical planning, and peer and community support for trans people across the province. Trans Care BC is a BC-wide information service and resource hub. We work to make sure people have the information they need to access gender affirming health care and supports.