Celebrating Pride Season in Manitoba and Advancing Gender-Affirming Care: A Message From Klinic’s Executive Director

Pride Season has arrived in Manitoba, and it’s time to celebrate! Across the province, a multitude of activities await 2SLGBTQQIA+ communities and allies, providing an opportunity to showcase the resilience, talent, and invaluable contributions made by 2SLGBTQQIA+ folx. This year’s festivities promise to be an unforgettable celebration of love! 

Pride Winnipeg kicked off the celebrations with the raising of 50 Pride flags at various Winnipeg locations on May 26, including the official flag-raising at City Hall. The Festival takes place June 3 and 4, 2023, with the Rally and Parade taking place Sunday, June 4 beginning at 10:00 a.m. at the Leg. Visit the Pride Winnipeg website for a full listing of events. Come visit Klinic at our booth or join us and our Manitoba Association of Community Health (MACH) agency partners as we walk in the parade. It is going to be a blast! 

In addition to the Pride events happening in Winnipeg, there are numerous other celebrations taking place across the province. Mark your calendars for the Thompson Pride March BBQ & Rally on June 4, the Pembina Valley Pride March in Morden on June 10, the Flin Flon Pride on June 11, the Brandon Pride Parade & Festival on June 17, and the Steinbach Pride on June 25. There is so much Pride to share across our province! 

At Klinic, we also have reason to celebrate as we expand the capacity of the Trans Health Klinic. The Trans Health Klinic, established in 2009, is dedicated to serving the transgender and gender-diverse community. Clients 16 years and older attend the program for hormone initiation and stabilization as well as referrals for surgical and other gender-affirming procedures. Initially starting with 140 clients in 2009, we have grown to support over 1700 active clients.   

Due to the impacts of COVID-19 and insufficient funding, our waitlist for intake has grown to over a year, presenting a significant barrier for those seeking gender-affirming care. With much gratitude for the heart work of our team and the community’s advocacy efforts, Klinic was pleased to recently receive two years of funding from the Diagnostic and Surgical Task Force. We will be able to double our clinic days, providing care five days a week once all staff members are hired! Additionally, we can create a provincial primary care community of practice, offering support to physicians and nurse practitioners so that individuals can access the care they deserve closer to home. 

While there is still work to be done, these steps are crucial in reducing waitlists and demonstrating our commitment to the rights, health, and well-being of the 2SLGBTQQIA+ communities. We will continue to advocate for equitable access to safe, inclusive, and affirming healthcare. Together, let us celebrate the authenticity and diversity of 2SLGBTQQIA+ identities and experiences. 

Happy Pride Week! 

-Ayn Wilcox