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 at ISH 

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:

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 a 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:

Lux (they/them/theirs) is a Trans Care BC peer support worker available to help Two-Spirit, trans and gender-diverse patients of Island Sexual Health navigate services and get connected to care. They can help to assist you in accessing inclusive physical and mental health services, as well as to connect to supportive community. Lux 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!

Lux is available to see clients (by appointment) the 1st and 3rd Monday of the month from 10am-4pm except on Stat holidays.  If you’d like to book with Lux, please call the clinic 250-592-3479 or you can also email Lux directly.

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.