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Kyle Scanlon and transgender people

Kyle Scanlon was a Canadian author and activist for the transgender and gender diverse communities.


Scanlon was born September 5, 1971 and moved from hometown Hamilton to Toronto in 1997.

Scanlon was active in Toronto’s lesbian community. After transition Scanlon was hired by the Lesbian Gay Bi Youth Line. Scanlon 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. During ten years of work for the City, Scanlon expanded the work of the 519. Scanlon became the Coordinator of the now diverse Trans Programming at the 519. Scanlon’s 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 Scanlon was recognized for 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.

Scanlon’s work at The 519 led to becoming 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. Scanlon did not live to see the day that a career serving the community would help lead to the closure of the worst parts of CAMH’s gender clinic.

The Canada section of this site is dedicated to Scanlon. Rest in power, Kyle.


Wong-Tam, Kristyn and Davis, Janet (July 11, 2012). Toronto City Council Condolence Motion: Kyle Scanlon.

Scanlon, Kyle (2008). James Cantor harasses trans speaker. [Complaint to CAMH].

Conway, Lynn (2007). Kyle Scanlon’s story.