Akiko Asano - Ten Oaks Project

Akiko Asano

AkikoIn 2005, Akiko was one of the only parents advocating for trans youth in Québec; her child was an affirmed female who socially transitioned at the age of 3 while attending daycare.  When she first found out about the Ten Oaks Project, she called right away to find out what the possibilities were for her child.  Over the years, both of her children would attend Camp Ten Oaks – one trans and the other cisgender.

Raising a child who identified as trans from a very young age can be very challenging. As a parent, Akiko often felt isolated.   The community around her was quick to judge and often did not believe that supporting a trans child by accompanying them through their journey was in their best interests.

Finding allies and other parents to support herself and her child was not easy, and for a long time the only connection Akiko really had was through a message board and some emails with parents in the States. Through the Ten Oaks Project, she found support, allies and friends. Akiko’s involvement with the Ten Oaks Project gave her a connection to a larger community, and she now reaches to connect others.

When she finally met with two other parents who also had young trans children in Québec, together they built the community non-profit organization called Gender Creative Kids Canada to support other parents in navigating the daily struggles to have their children recognized and respected. Today, Gender Creative Kids Canada is a website of resources, support group for parents, social group for kids and provides training for schools.

“My children have grown, matured, laughed, cried and have learned through their experience with Ten Oaks.  A great part of who they are today is a result of a once a year, one-week camp. The camp has provided a space for them to be themselves, in a safe and supportive environment which they could not find anywhere else at the time.“