Saskatchewan

Gender fair focuses on diversity in Regina

Organizers say it's like a science fair but about gender identity. As part of Regina's Pride Week, TransSask Support Services hosted an evening event where people could ask any questions they had about gender and sexuality.

The fair is one of many events for Regina's Pride Week

Stephanie Cox is the co-chair for TransSask Support Services. The group hosts the annual Gender Fair. (Abby Schneider/CBC)

Organizers say it's like a science fair but about gender identity.

As part of Regina's Pride Week, TransSask Support Services hosted an evening event where people could go around to different tables to ask any questions they had about gender and sexuality.

"We're occupying some space we've never had before." - Stephanie Cox

Stephanie Cox, co-chair of TransSask, said the fair is a way to educate the public on the gender diversity here in our province. 

"There's agender, two-spirit, bi-gender, transgender, transexual — there's a rainbow of different kinds of identities," Cox said.

Police, drag kings in attendance 

The event also served to support people in the community who see themselves as gender-diverse.

Cox said it's a growing community in Saskatchewan.

"It's like when you go to the pride parade. You're suddenly there with hundreds, if not thousands, of people and they all support you and it's like, 'Wow, I'm actually a part of something,'" said Cox.

The event had representatives from Camp Fyrefly, Pflag (formerly known as Parents, families and friends of lesbians and gays), Regina Police Services and more. 

Camp Fyrefly was one of the groups represented at the fair. The camp is a leadership retreat for gay and allied youth. (Abby Schneider/CBC)

Dexton Bourne came to the fair as his stage persona Ivan Tuplzu — a tattooed man who lip-syncs and dances to bands like Maroon 5 and DNCE.

Bourne is a drag king, a person who performs in masculine drag. He also puts on Drag King 101 clinics across the province where people can learn make-up, wardrobe and performance tips. 

He said he wanted to come to bring awareness about the drag community, particularly the province's drag king scene. 

Drag kings Ivan Tuplzu and Tee Fortoo answered questions about drag and gave tips on makeup, wardrobe and performing. (Abby Schneider/CBC)

A slow process

Cox said more and more transgender people are in popular culture and the media.

"We're occupying some space we've never had before," she said.  

Cox, who came out as a transgender woman three-and-a-half years ago, admits that gaining overall acceptance is a slow process noting that she still goes through daily harassment from being referred to as a man to being outright insulted.

"But then again, I'm starting to also meet people more who are supportive." 

Regina Pride celebrations run until June 26.