I just recently passed two anniversaries. January 12 marked ten years since I swallowed my first spiro tablet and applied my first estradiol patch. February 2 was the eighth anniversary of my legal name change in the province of British Columbia, Canada; the name I had been using for a few years was now official: Vanessa Tara Colantonio. Of course, there was more in store on my transition journey. Assessed for GRS by the BC Ministry of Health in 2014, I traveled to Montreal (my hometown) for the procedure the following year. Then came the labyrinth of phone calls, emails and paperwork for two provinces in order to change the name and gender on my original (Quebec) birth certificate: a process that took a year.
During all of this, I hosted my own blog (La Dolce Vanessa) documenting, journaling, chronicling, riffing on my journey almost everyday. Inspired by TransGriot, I had started La Dolce Vanessa in May of 2011, just a few months after beginning my transition and writing and posting for it consumed me for years afterwards. I wrote my last post and put my blog to rest at the end of 2017 and moved on to other writing and creative projects.
But besides being a transgender woman writer and blogger, I’m also a public librarian, a cat mom (actually an animal lover, in general), a vintage music and fashion enthusiast, and urban gardener. I’ve lived in Vancouver half of my life, but I’m still a Montrealer at heart. I’m a Black Canadian and also an Italian Canadian. I look forward to providing TransGriot readers with a regular column containing news and updates from the trans and Black communities in Canada: coast to coast to coast and points in-between. And as Monica would have said “a little creative writing”.
By Vanessa Colantonio (She/Her/Hers)