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

(Pixabay.com photo)
No COVID-19 baby boom in Summerland

Pandemic has not resulted in surge in births in 2020 and 2021

(Black Press file photo)
EDITORIAL: Curtailing attempts at scams

The true total of losses from all scams and frauds could be much higher than the figures on file

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

People at the beach in front of Discovery Bay Resort on Tuesday, July 14. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Heat wave forecast for Okanagan-Shuswap

Temperatures are forecast to hit record breaking highs this week

Tony Costa/ Facebook
UPDATE: Out-of-control fire burning above Peachland

The blaze sparked on Sunday and is believed to be lightning caused

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Paul Bernardo is shown in this courtroom sketch during Ontario court proceedings via video link in Napanee, Ont., on October 5, 2018. Teen killer and serial rapist Paul Bernardo is set for a parole hearing today. The designated dangerous offender, has been eligible for full parole for more than three years. Bernardo’s horrific crimes in the 1980s and early 1990s include for kidnapping, torturing and killing Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy near St. Catharines, Ont. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Greg Banning
Killer rapist Paul Bernardo faces parole hearing today; victim families opposed

Designated dangerous offender has been eligible for full parole for more than three years.

People look over the damage after a tornado touched down in Mascouche, Que., north of Montreal, Monday, June 21, 2021. Dozens of homes were damaged and one death has been confirmed. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
One dead and extensive damage as tornado hits Mascouche, Que., north of Montreal

Damage reported in several parts of the city, and emergency teams dispatched to sectors hardest hit

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Photograph By MICHAEL POTESTIO.KTW
Former Kamloops security gaurd wants job back after kicking incident caught on video

Rick Eldridge quit when a video surfaced of him kicking a man outside a facility for homeless

People participated in a walk to honour the 215 children found at a former Kamloops residential school, as well as residential school survivors. (Twila Amato/Black Press Media)
Kelowna marks National Indigenous Peoples’ Day with walk to remember Kamloops 215

“Let’s speak the truth and deal with the truth, and heal.”

Most Read