“I needed something to do with the grief,” says Shaira Holman, who lost her spouse, Catherine White Holman, in a plane crash last November.
Departing from Vancouver on April 1, Shaira began her trek across Canada. She expects to walk more than 100 days to arrive in Toronto in time for Pride on July 4. After that, she plans to walk to Catherine’s namesake: St Catherine’s, ON.
The 4,000-kilometre journey on foot will be a fundraiser for the Catherine White Holman Memorial Legacy Fund for queers living in poverty.
“I wanted a way to continue Catherine’s work for marginalized people,” says Shaira.
A well-respected counsellor and a founding member of Vancouver’s Three Bridges clinic, Catherine wrote the Guidelines for Transgender Care and Care for Transgender Adolescents, considered the benchmark on best practices internationally.
Xtra joined Shaira as she took the first steps on her journey. We filmed her departure from Vancouver on April 1, and we caught up with her again on April 3 in Mission, BC. By then, she had covered about 90 kilometres on foot.
Watch the first steps of Shaira’s journey:
To make a donation and to follow Shaira Holman’s travelogue, check out
— with files from Samantha Sarra