Next Up Calgary alum and Calgary OutLink in the news

Transgender people in Calgary will soon have a fresh, updated resource to consult during what some in the community describe as an overwhelming time.

On Sunday, Calgary OutLink will launch a new resource guide filled with information for those thinking about transitioning. The comprehensive pamphlet, also available online, will cover everything from the effects of hormones to changing your name to lists of local doctors.

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“Early on in your transition, I would maybe describe it for some people as a security blanket,” said Gwen Bretzke. “It’s a piece of information of facts and what to do that can be comforting if you are overwhelmed by it all.”

Bretzke said the fact sheet has a step-by-step guide that can help someone who doesn’t know where to start.

Brett Mason, the operations and education co-director for Calgary OutLink, said the guide should be really useful for people.

“One of the barriers for folks is not knowing how to access services that they might need, and the other barrier is just that there aren’t enough services,” said Mason.

He added there are long wait times for transgender people to get on hormones and to get surgery. There are three psychiatrists in Alberta who can refer trans individuals for surgeries.

“The biggest thing that Calgary needs is: more,” said Bretzke. “It’s a very small community and there’s a lot of important information and a lot of things you need that aren’t really available in Calgary but would be available in other cities this large.”

Where to go:

The guide will be launched at an event this Sunday that will also feature a clothing swap and live music. It takes place at 303 – 223 12 Avenue SW from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and everyone is welcome.
The guide will also be available online at