While it may seem ironic that I am leaving an organization after spending a year trying to make it easier for more members to have a say in how the org operates, I have decided that due to some slight conflicting values and priorities, that it is time for me to move on.
Canadian Professional Association for Transgender Health (CPATH) is a non-profit professioinal Association that is run by and for trans health professionals. Initially, voting membership was exclusive to credentialed doctors, steps were taken, with my help, to create a policy that would open the door for non-credentialed health professionals to attain voting rights, thru membership or association with organizational health providers.
For taking such a cutting edge risk, I applaud CPATH. But at the same time, I am not a health professional. I am a patient and I am an advocate for patients' rights. While both myself as an individual, and organizations I represent, have an interest and stake in CPATH's work, I feel it is best to work along side them, as opposed to being part of them. There exists a dichotomy of what's best for the doctors and what's best for the patients - and when that dichotomy leads to a dilemma, you know I will have to side with the patients. Afterall, I often refer to doctors as "gatekeepers" as opposed to experts, and I still firmly believe that the trans patient, not the doctor, knows what's best. Unfortunately, we do have a few dilemmas.
Overall, my involvement with CPATH would have to be classified as a success, as they got what they wanted out of me in terms of policy writing work, and I got the experience of not only writing a valuable policy that was accepted by an org of this magnitude, but the satisfaction of feeling that I have made that organization stronger. I leave on good terms, wish them the best, and offer to keep lines of communication open. But for the record, I am no longer an official member.