A Summerland firefighter is sharing her transgender journey, which she says began three years ago - the Summerland Review reports.
In an interview with the Summerland Review, Darrien McWatters shared that she had gender-affirming surgery three years after coming out as trans.
“It’s not minor surgery,” McWatters told the Summerland Review. She had the procedure done in May at GrS Montreal, a renowned gender-affirming surgical clinic. Although the surgery was done recently, McWatters said her transition journey started in late 2017 when she came out to herself. In early 2018, she came out publicly.
McWatters initially said she was “gender fluid” and would identify as male and female at different times. But then, one day, she felt differently.
“For me, it was never about being born in the wrong body,” she explained. “I just felt the male embodiment of myself fading away.”
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, McWatters studied at Summerland Secondary School, where there were no out-of-the-closet transgender students. Now, many people in her life are LGBTQ+, including some of her children’s friends.
Although her body has physically changed and her mind has been freed by coming out as transgender, McWatters said her life is pretty much the same. She is close with her kids and has been supported by many people in the Summerland community.
She is a volunteer hockey coach and referee, and she is a volunteer firefighter with the Summerland Fire Department. After she came out as transgender, Summerland Fire Chief Glenn Noble pushed her to continue volunteering.
There are significant life changes that come with transitioning, but McWatters said she is still the same person.
“My personality hasn’t changed,” she said. “I just say I’m in a prettier package now.”