Thursday, March 16, 2017 




Saints and Dinners
Sex worker support group establishes Trans Supper Club 

Laura Dilley,PACE/Submitted photo

ACE Society, a Vancouver- based peer-driven organization that provides support to sex workers, is expanding its transgender-specific programming thanks to new funding from the Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH).

In April 2017, PACE Society will be launching the Trans Supper Club, a weekly meal program and drop-in service for transgender, two spirit, and gender diverse persons in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES).

The program recognizes the inequities and marginalization trans persons face and seeks to break down these barriers and builds off of existing trans-led programming already in place.

“For trans people, access to safe space can be an all too common challenge. For this reason, it is so absolutely crucial that trans and gender diverse people have the ability to create our own communities, build connection, and guide the creation of the services which are created for us” says Brenna Bezanson, PACE Society’s program coordinator.

“Further to this supports need to meet people where they are at, and work to empower and equip folks with the tools and supports they need to achieve their self identified goals” says Laura Dilley, Executive Director.

The program will link program participants to PACE Society’s Support Services program. The “Trans Supper Club” program will be situated within PACE's larger program of support services, which includes case management, peer counselling services, and transgender-specific programming. This new program will also operate in conjunction with PACE Society’s highly successful Gender Self-Determination Project, which assists transgender persons in the Greater Vancouver Area with legally changing their names and gender markers on government identification.

Together, these programs represent an important step toward improving service delivery for the transgender and gender diverse community, and reducing barriers to social participation.

“As trans people our specific needs are often either left unnoticed, or we are forced to fit ourselves into services which were not designed with us in mind. Trans-specific services, especially services created by and for trans people, sends an important message to trans people that we are seen, we are valued, and that our needs matter.” Brenna Bezanson, PACE Society Programs Coordinator.

About PACE

PACE Society is a Sex Worker driven non-profit operating in Vancouver’s DTES. PACE provides front-line support services; advocacy and education based on a harm reduction model for Sex Workers based on Sex Workers self identified needs. Our organization is committed to social justice and our services reflect the intersecting social determinants of health of the people we serve. As an organization we are committed to improving the lives of Sex Workers and highlighting the various physical, environmental and structural barriers that shape their lives and reinforce violence and position-ality.


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