June 3, 2019
I have a personal story to tell you. In November 2018 I realized that I had been living an inauthentic life. For 54 years I presented as a man, lived according to society’s definition of a man and lived with anxiety and depression all of my adult life. I realized in November that I identified as a woman.
While my sex at birth was male, I struggled to define my gender as male because I had an affinity to things related to being female. This confusion was a root cause of my anxiety and depression. Gender dysphoria is the technical term for this mismatch between sex and gender. There were signs of this disconnect over my lifetime, but I couldn’t make the connection with my true gender identity until later in life.
Realizing I am a transgendered woman has brought a sense a calmness and clarity to my life that I had not experienced. I am truly happy; I have found my place in the world.
Over the past few months I have found the courage to come out and start my transition which I expect to take 2 to 3 years. This is a new journey for me. This is a journey for my family, friends, and colleagues too. I will be sure to share with all of you what you can expect from me through this transitional period and the biggest immediate impact is that I will dress and present publicly as a woman.
A common question is what name and pronouns do I use? Please call me Bruce but I would like to ask that you use “she”/ “her” pronouns when referring to me. I am considering a name change as part of my transition and will communicate to you as this situation changes.
I want to make one thing absolutely clear. I am completely committed to my role as President and Chief Executive Officer at the Canadian Ski Patrol, in fact I would go so far as to say that I am better set up than ever to lead this organization, given this new-found clarity. I have met and interacted with hundreds of patrollers from across Canada in the past seven months and I am excited about how we are positioning ourselves for success as we go forward.
My commitment to all of you is to be as open and transparent as I can while I embark on this journey, and I trust that my leadership and accountability to the organization to date is evidence of my commitment and ability to serve as President and CEO – regardless of my gender.
On that note, I’d like to thank Anne Haley-Callaghan, Chairperson, and the entire Board of Directors, as well as my colleagues with whom I’ve shared this information. Everyone has been extremely supportive, and it speaks volumes to the positive culture of the Canadian Ski Patrol. The commitment to diversity in this organization is truly commendable and I am proud to be a part of this team.
I know that this can be confusing and want to assure you that there are no dumb questions regarding gender transition in the work place and volunteer environment. The following link https://www.skipatrol.ca/members/human-resources/ contains reference material that may prove useful to you in learning about gender transition, and please feel free to ask me questions. My door is always open.
President & CEO Canadian Ski Patrol