*THIS IS A SAFE SPACE*
Hate or discrimination of any type will NOT be tolerated.
A resource for all things LGBT, Equality, Love and Peace. 💙
I’m B. (Yup, that’s my actual legal name!)
I’m a thirty-something transguy who hails from a rural community named Hardisty, Alberta, Canada. I’m married to the most amazing and supportive partner in the world – Alix, and together, we have our little menagerie of creatures – four rescue cats, a rambunctious pup who thinks she’s also a cat and a pair of turtles named Paul & Linda. We’ve downgraded our zoo – we’ve had fish, frogs, a hedgehog, a chinchilla, bunnies, you name it. If you can think of it, it’s likely stayed here at one time or another.
It’s our perfect little family.
I grew up around here but Alix is from the U.S., I somehow convinced Alix to move here from New York City – not that it was much of a culture shock or anything! (It may have involved bribery with pie)
Our little town has maaaaybe 500 people if you include a few furry family members in there too. Hardisty is one of the largest hubs for the production and distribution of Canadian gas and oil in our country, so we have a ton of transient workers that come through at various times of the year. It’s also a thriving area for farming and ranching – primarily grain and cattle.
With it being a small community, everyone knows everyone and if something happens there’s a good chance that your neighbours are going to know about it before you even get home. Living in such a small centre can be a blessing and a curse. When someone needs help, the community comes together and supports each other like you couldn’t believe. But there is also a lot of stigma about ‘traditional values’ and ‘fear of the unknown’.
As you can probably imagine, coming out as a gender non-conforming queerio in a traditional, fairly religious farming community wasn’t the easiest thing in the world. There were a few ups and many, many downs, but I made it. I’m here today and I have a wonderful support system to thank for it.
I’m incredibly proud to say that living in this very conservative little town has not been much of a struggle at all. It’s been amazing how many folks have reached out to me to learn more about the LGBTQA community. Parents, grandparents, etc. feel comfortable coming to me with questions!
We’ve been accepted wonderfully and openly and have made many lifelong friends.
Now, I want to make myself available as a support for all other folks from small communities who feel isolated and alone. Dealing with strong emotions is 100% easier when you have a friend by your side to work with.
I created justByou.org for people to have a reliable resource of all things LGBT. Having grown up in a small community – I know how terrifying it can be to feel different. Isolated. Afraid.
I’ve spent hours looking for information online, only to be overwhelmed by the millions of different, pages, blogs, podcasts, articles, groups, etc.
My goal is to sort through all that stuff and make a list of resources that will be easier to find what information you seek! AND – if I don’t have what you’re looking for, I would like to help you find it!
As an advocate and an activist, it’s my job to help folks become more educated about LGBT issues.
And while this website may be aimed towards transgender, gay, bisexual, non-binary, asexual, queer, gender non-conforming, pansexual (etc.) folks, it is also a safe place for non-LGBTQA people to turn to for information.
When I first came out, it was assumed that I was a lesbian because I hadn’t started to physically transition to male yet. I remember my poor grandma being so confused by all the terminology that she actually went out and purchased a book – only to be completely overwhelmed with all of the information!
My cousin ended up sitting with her and saying something along the lines of ‘Oh grandma, just skip all the rest of it except these pages”. She dog-eared the relevant pages for my grandma to check out later.
This got me thinking – as clueless and terrified as I was when I first started researching the idea of being transgender (I seriously didn’t know it was a thing!), my grandmother wouldn’t have the slightest clue. I have access to the internet; an endless supply of information at the tips of my fingers. My grandma, on the other hand – still can’t fathom how, with just a few clicks on my cell phone (or small computer, as she calls it 😂) I can figure out who the 18th President of the U.S. was, his birthdate, and what he had for breakfast the day that he died.
It was then that I realized that I need to make resources for people who are maybe not sure what LGBTQ even means!
So here I am, starting up what will no doubt be a huge project. You’ll have to bear with me… I have never ran a website before and it may take some fiddling around to make it user friendly, but I promise I’ll try my best!
This project has been something I’ve been dreaming up for years and I decided that it was just time to get up and get it going. I know that there are people all over our country and other great nations who live in small rural areas and could use some perspective from someone who understands the challenges. I was fortunate to have an amazing family and group of friends who were integral in me being where I am today, but I know not everyone is that lucky. I want this to be a resource for people who relate, people who are curious but afraid to ask, and simply as a source of information for anyone and everyone!
I have people contacting me several times a week with questions, comments, concerns or curiosities about the ins and outs of gender non-conformity and queer issues. I take great pride in being asked these questions and try my hardest to pass along appropriate, relevant and useful information.
Oftentimes, prejudice is just ignorance.
Sometimes people come off as sounding disrespectful when, in fact, they simply didn’t know better. Other people seem non-supportive when they are actually so afraid of saying something wrong that they choose to stay silent rather than offend someone. If I can help people bridge the gap of awkwardness and uncertainty, then my effort will have been well worth it!
Some of the things I’m planning to include on the website are – a Q&A (and/or advice?) column, a glossary of terms, a personal blog of my experiences, guest articles, links to podcasts, etc.
If you have any requests, suggestions, etc., let me know!
So don’t be shy, introduce yourself or send me a private message if you prefer to stay anonymous- this is a safe place.
You have my word on that.