Stephanie Shostak

"“You have no idea what your legacy will be, because your legacy is every life you’ve touched.” " - Author Unknown
What advice would you give to someone beginning their journey?
There is no better feeling than being able to live your true authentic life. The fear I had of coming out as transgender was all between my ears. Once I was able to get past that I never looked back; and I am glad that I was able to make a difference in at least one person's life. I'm proud that it seems to have been even more than that.

What's the most important thing the world should know about you?
When I was starting my transition in the summer of 2013, while I was halfway through my referee certification process as a Volleyball Canada National Candidate, I was contemplating if I should hang up my whistle. I was aware that there were referees, players and coaches who were lesbian, gay or bisexual, but I wasn't aware of any who were transgender. I knew this was uncharted waters and I was not sure how both Volleyball Canada and US Volleyball would accept me, as Stephanie. Ultimately, I decided that I loved the sport too much to walk away from it. I sent a memorandum to Volleyball Canada and US Volleyball to let them know about my major life event. Both national governing organizations were very supportive. The refereeing and volleyball communities in general are like my extended family, and I got no negative feedback after my announcement. That felt awesome.

How do you give back to your community?
I am a Transgender Advocate who also serves as a Director/Board Member on the Trans Equality Society of Alberta (TESA), who has a mandate to be a witness to and a voice for matters concerning Trans Albertans. In addition to this, I am also a member to the You Can Play: Western Canada Board and a member of the Canadian Federal LGBTQi2S Sports Inclusion Taskforce. I am also the President & CEO of Prism Consulting Services Ltd, who focuses on diversity, inclusion, stakeholder collaboration and engagement with a focus on the LGBTQ+ community.

Why did you join the Vanity Club?
I was attending my first Southern Comfort Conference (SCC) in Atlanta in the fall of 2011. While I was at SCC I made many friends with many VC Sisters and one of them approached me to so that they can sponsor me to become a member - and the rest is history as I was elected to the VC as part of the Class of November 2011.

What do you value most about being a member of the Vanity Club?
The friendship and relationships that I have made with my VC Sisters. I consider them to be my extended family. I have had an opportunity to meet many of my VC Sisters since I became a member and I am so honoured and blessed to have been able to do so.