A new initiative called 'Trans Canada Project', aiming to amplify transgender and non-binary voices across Canada has been started by two gender diverse people in Eastern Canada - CBC News reports.
In an interview with CBC, Kelly Schwab said when she came out, she was looking for stories about other Canadians coming out on the internet but couldn't find many. Schwab said it was easy to find stories from Americans, English people, and Australians, but she specifically wanted to hear about the Canadian experience.
That's when Schwab found Cary Scott online, and the duo created their own online series to uplift gender-diverse people. Their newest venture is the Trans Canada Project, a YouTube series that features interviews with people from Ontario, Alberta and the Maritimes. The series launched in April and also includes personal stories from Schwab and Scott.
"It was very emotional, but it was also very cathartic," Schwab told CBC Saskatchewan's The Afternoon Edition. "It really released a lot of good feelings and was just so nice to be able to get it out."
In the online series, she shares stories about her happy childhood in Prince Albert but would go to sleep at night and pray to become a girl. After coming out, Schwab said she got a lot of support from the LGBTQ community, and so have their guests.
"The cast members themselves are so thrilled to have a venue. They didn't think anyone would be interested in hearing their stories. But the stories have been so poignant and so beautiful to listen to," Schwab explained.
She added that the project made her realize that she is not alone, and there is a silver lining in each of these stories.
"It's something I've felt as well, that being able to transition and being able to be my authentic self has brought me an enormous sense of relief and joy. And that seems to be a feeling shared by most of the people we talk to," she said.
She added that it's essential for gender-diverse people to hear stories that resonate with them.
"The larger population, we would love them to be able to see trans, non-binary people as just regular people that are," Schwab said. "Just part of your neighbourhood, part of your own community … just people who love like everybody else."
Scott and Schwab are constantly searching for Canadians to share their experiences. Watch the Trans Canada Project here.