Susan Gapka

Susan GapkaSusan Gapka transitioned on September 28, 1999 to fulfill her lifelong dream of living as a woman while working as a George Brown College student placement at Toronto City Hall. Ms. Gapka quickly became a trans activist joining the Board of Egale Canada, and helped develop their trans portfolio. In December 2004 Ms. Gapka was recognised for her work empowering transsexual and transgender communities when the City of Toronto awarded her the Pride Award. In 2001, Ms. Gapka helped found the Rainbow Health Network (RHN). She also founded and is Chair of the Trans Lobby Group, a former committee of RHN, which was formed to advocate for public funding of Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS). The Lobby Group was recently recognised as Pride Toronto's 2011 Honoured Dyke Group. Ms. Gapka graduated with Honours from the Community Worker Programme at George Brown in Spring 2000. Since then she has been studying Public Policy and Administration at York University and graduated June 2009 with a degree in Political Science. Ms. Gapka received several awards while at York including; the Ellen Baar Award for Public Policy twice, the Ross McMillan Award for student leadership three times, and the 2005 Deborah Hobson Award for Student Leadership from the Vice President Students' Office. The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health recognised Ms. Gapka's leadership when she received the 1999 Courage to Come Back Award. Ms. Gapka co-investigated with Rupert Raj on the Trans Health Project, a community based research project sponsored by the Ontario Public Health Association in 2003. She currently advises the At Home/Chez Soi Research Demonstration Project of the Mental Health Commission of Canada as a member of the Toronto site Local Advisory Committee and People with Lived Experience Caucus. She is one of two Toronto representatives on the project's National Consumer Panel. On October 27, 2011 Ms. Gapka was elected to Pride Toronto's Board of Directors. She is the first out trans person elected to its Board.