A dazzling and vibrant young woman, Khate Lessard perfectly embodies the image of someone who “follows her true nature.” She may appear successful and calm today, but the road leading to this state of well-being was a rocky one.
As part of the campaign Pride in all its colours, we sat down with Khate at a tasting we organized for our new mocktails crafted with Eska sparkling water and made to match the colours of the Pride flag, a cause especially close to her heart.
Khate spent her childhood and adolescence in the body of a boy, in a loving family in Quebec’s Abitibi region. “I hid for a long time. When I was young, I knew the exact time my parents got home from work and I used the time I was alone after school to lock myself in my room. I tried on my mom’s bras and dresses and danced in front of the mirror. I did that every day.”
As time went on, my secret became harder and harder to keep. I felt a burning sensation inside me, a kind of overwhelming malaise. The day she decided to share her secret felt like a liberation. “That’s when I really began to live. My true nature is to be a girl.”
If it’s already hard to be open with yourself, revealing your true self to loved ones can be really tricky. “My parents are amazing, but it wasn’t easy for them. It was my second coming out. I had already told them I was gay, and then, several years later, I told them I wanted to have gender confirmation surgery. They’ve always supported me, but they were worried. They were scared to see me go down such a difficult road. My gender confirmation surgery was a huge process, for them and for me. “Changing your sex means changing your life.” Since they are really close, Khate chose to confide in her sister first when she decided to discuss her feeling that she was a woman. “My mom also told me something that had a huge impact on me. She said, ‘I prefer to gain a daughter than to lose a child.’ That says it all.”
Undergoing an operation meant that Khate also had to contend with a long recovery process that took the better part of a year. “Today I’m doing really well. I’m really close to my family and comfortable in my own skin. Despite the difficult journey to get here, I can definitely say that it was worth following my true nature.”
These days, Khate travels all over Quebec giving talks and sharing her experience with high school students. When I talk to them, to young people who are questioning, I tell them to take their time. There’s no need to hurry when it comes to affirming your homosexuality, or being trans, or anything else. I also tell them to talk to someone in their close circle whom they can trust, or to a social worker. We’re often worried about being judged or not taken seriously, but those people are really there to help. In terms of beginning a transition, you can make a list of the advantages and inconveniences. It might seem trivial, but sometimes writing things down can help you find answers to our questions.”
Each year, Khate gets involved in Gay Pride, an optimistic movement that’s helping move society towards a community that’s open to everyone, where peace and love reign. “I invite everyone I know to participate. Even my grandparents get involved! Even if it’s just with a small flag planted on a lawn, there’s a colourful message that’s full of love.”
Originally from the Abitibi region, Khate is excited to join forces with Eska, the pride of her region. “Eska comes from my neck of the woods and happens to be the best water in the world! Everyone is so proud of it. The esker is an amazing natural resource and the company creates great jobs in the area.”
This summer, get inspired by Khate Lessard’s joie de vivre and show your true nature by enjoying one of our six mocktails created in the colours of Pride!
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