In May, 2021, Darrien McWatters underwent gender reassignment surgery in Montreal. The surgery came more than three years after McWatters came out as transgender. (Contributed)

In May, 2021, Darrien McWatters underwent gender reassignment surgery in Montreal. The surgery came more than three years after McWatters came out as transgender. (Contributed)

Summerland firefighter’s transgender identity began 3 years ago

‘My personality hasn’t changed. I just say I’m in a prettier package now.’

Three years after coming out as transgender, Darrien McWatters has undergone gender reassignment surgery.

“It’s not minor surgery,” McWatters said of the procedure which was done at GRS Montreal in May. The procedure was done three weeks ago, but the transitioning process began in the fall of 2017, when McWatters said she came out to herself. Then, in January, 2018, she came out publicly.

At first she described herself as “gender fluid,” sometimes identifying as male and at other times identifying as female. But as time went on, this term lost its meaning.

READ ALSO: Summerland transgender female follows her passion for hockey

READ ALSO: Task force shares ideas to help Canadian sports associations be more LGBTQ-inclusive

“For me, it was never about being born in the wrong body,” she said “I just felt the male embodiment of myself fading away.”

While she was a student at Summerland Secondary School in the late 1980s and early 1990s, she said there were no openly transgender students at the school. Today, a significant number of people in her circle of close friends are LGBTQI2S+. Her children also have friends and acquaintances who are LGBTQI2S+.

While coming out as transgender and undergoing surgery have been significant, many aspects of McWatters’ life have carried on as before.

She continues to have a close relationship with her children and has received support from neighbours and others she knows in Summerland.

Other activities are also continuing, as she volunteers as a hockey coach and referee. She also continues to serve as a volunteer firefighter with the Summerland Fire Department. She said Summerland Fire Chief Glenn Noble urged her to continue as a firefighter after she came out as transgender.

She reminds people that despite the changes in her life over the past few years, who she is still remains the same.

“My personality hasn’t changed,” she said. “I just say I’m in a prettier package now.”

To report a typo, email:
news@summerlandreview.com
.



news@summerlandreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

LGBTQ

 

In 2017, when this picture was taken, Darrien McWatters had not yet identified as transgender. (Contributed)

In 2017, when this picture was taken, Darrien McWatters had not yet identified as transgender. (Contributed)

Just Posted

The Binche Fishing Derby at Stuart Lake is fast approaching. (Binche Fishing Derby Facebook photo)
Binche shares excitement for upcoming fishing derby

“It’s more than just fishing,” says Dave Birdi

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Local youth vaccination clinics underway

Pfizer vaccine will be used

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. Northern Health confirmed it has the lowest vaccination rates amongst the province’s five regional health authorities. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Vaccination rates in Vanderhoof, Fraser Lake, Fort St James well below provincial average

COVID-19 immunization clinics for youth 12+ coming up in Fort St. James

Fort St. James Fire Department Captain Gary Soles (left), Fire Chief Ryan McVey (centre) and Captain John Bennison show off a new set of ‘jaws of life’ cutters. (Brooke Eschuk, District of Fort St. James photo)
Fort St. James Fire Department receives life-saving rescue tool

New set of ‘jaws-of-life’ cutters arrived last month

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

Most Read