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

JAK's Liquor Store in Penticton will be donating 10 per cent of its sales on Saturday, June 19, to the Penticton Salvation Army Food Bank. (Photo from JAKS.com)
Stock up your liquor cabinet and support the Penticton food bank

Jak’s beer and wine store is donating a portion of sales to local food banks Saturday

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

The illegal open fire above Naramata continues to smoke on Friday, June 18. The fire was left to burn itself out by BC Wildfire. (Monique Tamminga - Western News)
Illegal open burn in Naramata will be left to smoke

BC Wildfire could not confirm whether the property owner had been fined

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

Keremeos’ heritage Grist Mill and Gardens. (Brennan Phillips - Keremeos Review)
Keremeos Grist Mill looking forward to restrictions easing with exclusive concert planned

Juno Award-winning folk artist Valdy is set to take the stage

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Earls On Top at 211 Bernard Avenue in Kelowna. (Google Maps photo)
Downtown Kelowna’s Earls ordered closed after COVID-19 transmission

Earls on Top on Bernard Avenue will be closed from June 18 to June 27

A motorycle crash has been reported on Westside Road. (Google Maps)
UPDATE: Westside Road reopened following motorcycle crash near Vernon

AIM Roads advises drivers to expect delays due to congestion

(File photo)
Penticton not holding Canada Day activities out of respect for Indigenous people

Cities across B.C. are cancelling the holiday after an increased spotlight on Canada’s dark history

Dereck Donald Sears. (Contributed/Crimestoppers)
Murder charge laid in relation to suspicious Kelowna death

Dereck Donald Sears is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Darren Middleton

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Most Read