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Transitioning

Breakfast Culture CEO Jefferson Darrell has been mentoring entrepreneur Pascale Joëlle, a genderfluid transmasculine nonbinary person who has founded Hello Gender to educate parents and leaders on issues of gender identity and expression. With so much misinformation and dangerous rhetoric around transgender children now, and in keeping with Breakfast Culture’s mission of education and empathy in business, we were pleased when Pascale agreed to share their story...


“This can’t happen anymore, Pascale!” my dad shouted as I walked into the kitchen, “You need to put a shirt on!”

 

It was July 2006 and my breasts had just started to develop. Barely noticeable but just enough to make my dad uncomfortable. Crushed, I turned around, went back to my room, and slid on my favourite black T-shirt. Why? Why was life so unfair? My cousins could still walk around without covering their chests, why did I have to?

 

My cousins were lucky enough to be born in “male” bodies. But not me, no. Life made a tiny mistake and gave me a “female” body. I was 12 when it finally dawned on me: the body I loved – flat, with no curves – was going to change. This realization was the first step in my process of transition. It took another ten years before I came across words that would broaden my understanding of gender, and another five years to access gender-affirming health care.When we talk about people transitioning, the assumption is that it’s a decision made on a whim but no, studies examining gender identity development in transgender youth show that many experience feelings of gender incongruence early in life. Acting upon that incongruence takes a long time. When trans individuals finally seek gender-affirming healthcare, it can still take years before they’re able to take hormones or undergo surgery.


Pascale Joëlle, shirtless outside with rainbow-dyed hair and a black fan with coloured moon phases on it reading, “Not a phase"
Pascale Joëlle

Some choose not to go down that path and use other means, like binding and tucking, to affirm their gender. Trans individuals who do want to access hormones or surgeries must first meet with a psychologist. At least three sessions are required for the professional to agree with a self-diagnosis of gender dysphoria and then a letter stating the need of medical intervention is written by the psychologist. Upon receiving this letter, a clinical professional can then prescribe hormones and/or refer to a surgeon.

 

At 27 years old, after binding my chest for three years, I consulted a psychologist. On September 8, 2022, the surgeon’s office called to schedule my top surgery. Three weeks later, I went in and woke up in a hospital room with a flat chest. Tears of joy running down my face, I finally felt at home in my body.

Please visit Hello Gender to find out more about Pascale’s work and about gender identity and expression. It’s an excellent companion to Breakfast Culture's approach that improves workplace cultures, creates empathy in business, and drives new sources of revenue. Schedule a talk on Calendly with Jefferson Darrell today to learn more: https://calendly.com/jefferson7/30min 

Let's Break Some Eggs! ~ Jefferson Darrell, Founder & CEO, Breakfast Culture™ Inc.




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