Expressions: An Exploration of Gender & Style was born from a need expressed by Transgender and Gender Diverse youth seeking guidance within the areas of Fashion, Style, Makeup, Hair. It is the objective of the program to empower youth to face the world boldly within their style choices, and feel confident that within those choices their gender identity remains valid. You can wear a more androgynous outfit and be confident in yourself as a woman, and in the same sentiment you can build a more feminine perceived look and feel empowered as a male. It comes down to removing the perceived “rules” of fashion and style and removing “Women’s” and “Men’s”, wake up and open your closet to clothes that reflect you as an individual that is how you develop true timeless style.

“Style is the embodiment of personal expression and provides a personal insight towards our personality. Without uttering a word, we convey ourselves to the world around us. No boundaries, No limitations, No adversity, No discrimination” – Anna Murphy”

The program Expressions is a very small part of the Skipping Stone Foundation, which was founded by Lindsay Peace and Amelia Marie Newbert. On a daily basis within not only Calgary, but throughout the province of Alberta, Skipping Stone provides programming and support to Transgender and Gender Diverse youth along with their families. Some of the programs which are offered through this charitable organization founded and based within Calgary include Mental Health, Medical, Youth Mentorship, and Peer Support Groups. The work being done by Skipping Stone not only empowers youth, it saves lives. Transgender and Gender Diverse youth are shown that they matter, that they are valued, that they are loved.

“As a transgender woman who has undergone her own transition, I know what a world without Skipping Stone looks like, and how challenging it can be navigating a society which is not always welcoming or accepting of Transgender and Gender Diverse individuals. Skipping Stone is now and will forever be close to my heart and I will always be invested in helping to ensure their longevity and success. -Anna Murphy”

It takes a village, and it is through the generous support of partners within the community which help Expressions and Skipping Stone achieve success. I am happy to have the support of XO Treatment Room and Hedkandi Salon both of which will be providing services to Skipping Stone youth in addition to undergoing diversity and inclusivity training which will help them create truly authentic and safe spaces for Transgender and Gender Diverse individuals. I am also immensely grateful to Azuridge Estate for coming on board to help me create a charity event in support of Skipping Stone, which will occur on March 21, 2020. So although only being approached about building out this program merely two months ago, it is growing and it is growing fast! I am always interested in having discussions with business within community and cultivating relationships, because together with your support and generosity we create a society within not only Calgary but within Alberta which is free from adversity and discrimination towards Transgender and Gender Diverse youth.

If you are interested in learning more about how YOU can support the work being done by Expressions or Skipping Stone, please get in touch with us. Diversity should not be seen as a weakness, but rather should be seen as something which you want to invest within because it makes the community around you stronger.

Anna Murphy (@theannamurphy) was born and raised within the province of Alberta. Holding a deep-rooted love of her western heritage having been raised on a ranch, she has since developed an obsession for all things fashion and style. Anna became involved with Skipping Stone shortly after undergoing life changing surgery which now allows her to live each day as her true and authentic self. In addition to being involved with Skipping Stone, Anna sits on the board of Calgary Pride as Director of Business Development (@calgarypride) along with acts as the Volunteer Coordinator for the Canadian Rockies Gay Rodeo Association (@canadianrockiesgayrodeo). In her limited free time Anna enjoys spending as much of it with that which she loves most including close friends, family, horses, dogs, and of course… fashion!

For more information visit Skipping Stone and follow the foundation on Instagram.

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