Members of the trans, two-spirit and non-binary community and their allies will be gathering at the Beaconsfield Carriage House in Charlottetown on Sunday to support and celebrate transgender people.
International Transgender Day of Remembrance, which honours transgender people who have lost their lives due to violence, will officially be held on Monday with more events.
Lucky Fusca, the executive director of the P.E.I. Transgender Network, says there were some gains for the community this year, notably the motion that passed in the P.E.I. Legislature to express "unreserved support" to the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, and urge government to ensure stable funding to allied groups and improved access to gender-affirming care.
"Seeing everybody in the legislative assembly unanimously vote to support our community was very powerful, it felt very uplifting and it made me feel more safe to exist on this island," Fusca said.
Some, however, are still choosing to leave the province, they said.
"It breaks my heart because these are incredible human beings that bring so much into our society that just don't feel supported enough, they don't feel represented enough. They don't feel like they have access to services that they deserve to have on an equity basis. And so they're leaving to go to different … provinces or areas that they can access services."
Kaelyn Mercer, the two-spirit co-ordinator at the Native Council of Prince Edward Island, encourages everyone to support the transgender community no matter how they identify. (Stacey Janzer/CBC)
Fusca would like to see a peer support service available on P.E.I., where trans people are paired with others either in the process or about to start their process of transitioning and how they fit into the health-care system.
"We need to accept and acknowledge that we're in a place where most practitioners still don't know what it is that they need to to effectively treat trans patients. So in that in-between process, we're hoping that a peer support system will give some power and autonomy back to our community."
Kaelyn Mercer, the two-spirit co-ordinator at the Native Council of Prince Edward Island, said she doesn't identify as transgender, but she does everything she can to spread awareness and support the community.
"I think education is a big key factor for me. That's really important to me and even just showing up in spaces to show your support. Going to events to learn and to surround yourself with two-spirit, transgender and non-binary people and spreading the word is very important. Online with your friends or family is important as well."
The inclusive event Sunday is from 1-3 p.m. and will feature speeches, an open mic and musical performances.