Embracing the Trans Recovery Community at TWC’s Alliance Program


The following gratitude post was written by TWC Alliance alumni Matty Shepherd on their journey through recovery, and details how inclusion and support of the LGBTQ community can help in the healing of souls, and the living of authentic lives for those who identify as Transgender.


Treatment for drugs and alcohol in Vancouver did me a lifetime of good. Not only did I start spending a lot of time in the fellowship and start learning of a new way to live, clean, I was surrounded by some amazing people. People who taught me it was okay to be me.

During my time in treatment at the Alliance recovery program, I made quite a few openly gay and non-binary lifelong friends who helped me start feeling comfortable to let my guards down and embrace myself more.

This is where I first started to try out wearing make-up. They gave me my first foundation, brush, taught me how to use eye concealer. One of the guys used mascara to colour in his facial hair and saw how much fun I was having exploring make up and gave me his mascara!

Guys at the house started to take notice, and naturally started calling me ‘she’.  Man did that feel good! People could tell that me just using the bit of make-up and being referred to as a ‘her’ gave me a glow.

Now when a drag queen showed up, and we befriended immediately, he showed me a thing or two. Rather shyly, I snuck into his room quietly with one of my dearest friends to try out his wigs. That was a hoot! Then he even gave me some feminine items. Some more make-up and my first dress. I have it with me now hanging up in my closet. He even gave me my first bra.

I started to love where this was taking me and gave me a new skip in my step. The amazing drag queen even brought me to my first trans meeting within Vancouver. That was nerve racking.

Besides my close friends being in on my experimenting, no one knew. So going to a trans meeting was really great all in all. It was a social gathering with other transgender and LGBTQ2 individuals within the community.

I did go to a clinic called Three Bridges (which the trans social group I went to was through) and there I was able to get some information and ask a lot of questions, although at the time I was not ready to follow through with going on hormones and such.

Alliance was a safe haven for me from my addiction and being such a unique recovery program, really was the first place where I felt ‘allowed’ to embrace my inner self like no other way I had before.

Forever grateful to alliance, will always hold a special place in my heart.

Matty Xo


To learn more about the Alliance program at Together We Can click HERE.

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