Rainbow Health Co-operative is BC’s largest trans owned organization. We are a community owned, not-for-profit organization with the mandate to provide healthcare, livelihood and related services to under-served communities. We are incorporated under the laws of British Columbia as a Community Services Co-operative which requires us to use our revenues only for community purposes. Our Canadian charitable status is pending and expected in 2018.
Our membership is open to all, but our focus is the gender diverse community.
Our primary service is to support individuals and families living with transition related to gender. We mainly promote existing groups and establish new ones through Hans Kai 4 Trans, Canada’s most comprehensive gender wellness program.
We avoid labels such as trans fem, trans masc, non-binary, and work from the understanding that what matters is the degree a person experiences gender dissonance. Gender dissonance (Julia Serano) is a cognitive dissonance between subconscious sex and biological sex that without management conflates into Gender Dysphoria. We believe Gender Dissonance to be an innate chronic condition that affects from .25% to 2.5% of people everywhere. While Dissonance is innate, Dysphoria is not. We refer to Dissonance as the trans condition and to Dysphoria as the trans experience.
We use the metaphor of being born with six fingers – in itself – neither good nor bad, just different. Gender Dissonance is simply one more variant of the human condition that the force of evolution maintains in the genetic mix. But since we live in a world of five fingered people we have few positive cultural models.
Beyond this distinction of our condition, we conform our practices to the WPATH Standards of Care, current edition.
We recognize three areas of transition related to gender, social, physical and personal that are distinct but interrelated.
These changes to our bodies, our relationships and our selves, cause stress, anxiety and depression, as Serano puts it, “Dissonance conflates into Dysphoria without management”. The purpose of 0ur gender wellness program – Hans Kai 4 Trans is to assist in managing our dissonance to avoid Dysphoria and to mitigate the health risks associated with hormone therapy.
We acknowledge with respect the Indigeneous peoples on whose traditional territories we live, work and play across BC, whose historical relationship with the land continues to this day and We apologize for our collective treatment of them.