When Tyler Lumb walks into CAMH’s forensic unit, patients excitedly call out his name. A barber by trade, Tyler cuts hair on the unit two days a week. Calling it “one of the most rewarding positions of his career,” he spends his time with the patients talking about their mental health, and not only listening, but sharing his story—one that began at CAMH years earlier.
When he was around six years old, Tyler didn’t identify as a girl like his twin sister. His father taught him how to play sports and encouraged him to dress in boys’ clothes, since those things made him most comfortable. He accepted Tyler unconditionally and allowed him to be his authentic self. When Tyler was eight years old, his father passed away, and for years after, Tyler struggled with the loss and his own gender identity.