Kyle Scanlon was a Canadian author and activist for the transgender and gender diverse communities.
Scanlon was born September 5, 1971. He moved to Toronto from his native Hamilton in 1997.
Scanlon was active in Toronto’s lesbian community. After transition he was hired by the Lesbian Gay Bi Youth Line. He became the first openly trans man to be the Executive Director of an agency in Canada.
Later Scanlon was hired by the City of Toronto as the 519 Meal Trans Program Coordinator. At that time, Meal Trans was one of the only services available for trans people. Over his 10 years of work for the City, Kyle expanded the work of the 519. He became the Coordinator of the now diverse Trans Programming at the 519. His work expanded to include finding emergency housing and engaging homeless shelters to implement trans-positive policies, and often simply providing a supportive ear and a safe space for distressed clients.
In 2001 he was recognized for his extensive community involvement with the Grassroots Trans Community Activist of the Year award from the Serving Our Youth (SOY) program.
While presenting at CAMH trying to address the many problems with their models of care in 2003, Scanlon was interrupted during his presentation by CAMH employee and anti-trans activist James Cantor. In 2008, Scanlon described the incident:
Cantor was made to apologize to me in a letter, but there he was also clever to apologize for my feeling harassed and did not in any way acknowledge he harassed me. Like I said, semantics. I definitely was told this would stay on his file for 7 years.
His work at The 519 developed further and he became the Education, Training and Research Coordinator. Thanks in part to Scanlon, the 519 now offers a wide range of internationally renowned Trans Programs and Services.
Scanlon died on July 3, 2012. He did not live to see the day that his work would help lead to the closure of the worst parts of CAMH’s gender clinic.
The Canada section of this site is dedicated to him. Rest in power, Kyle.
Wong-Tam, Kristyn and Davis, Janet (July 11, 2012). Toronto City Council Condolence Motion: Kyle Scanlon. https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2012/rm/bgrd/backgroundfile-49114.pdf
Scanlon, Kyle (2008). James Cantor harasses trans speaker. [Complaint to CAMH]. https://www.transgendermap.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/7/2023/02/kyle-scanlon-james-cantor-incident.pdf
Conway, Lynn (2007). Kyle Scanlon’s story. https://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/TSsuccesses/FtM/Kyle/Kyle.html