Celebrating Pride Month with Charlotte Calliope Danielle

Charlotte Calliope Danielle (MacRae) is a Red Seal Electrician currently out of the trades and working as an Online Business Manager. Recently, Charlotte shared with us how she got started in the trades, what Pride Month means to her, and her passion as an advocate for the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.

How did you first hear about the skilled trades and what inspired you to pursue it as a career?

I first heard about the skilled trades when I was trying to find a better career than what I was in, during my 20s. I enjoyed working with my hands and I wasn't afraid of hard work, so I decided to investigate. My family worked with me to decide which trade I would want to work in: I worked a day in concrete pumping, helped construct a wood frame home from framing to drywall and more. But through it all, I enjoyed the challenges associated with electrical work and how I was allowed and expected to take my time and produce amazing installations that not only worked well, but also looked amazing.

What do you love most about the skilled trades?

I love that after working through the installations, verifications, activations, and handing over the keys, there is a strong sense of accomplishment. Saying "I built that" feels amazing. Also, the teamwork necessary to accomplish large builds is often astounding. To see fellow humans come together and build the structures that empower or move civilization ahead is profound in its own way.

What does Pride month or celebrating the 2SLGBTQ+ community mean to you?

Pride started as a riot and that riot has been fought daily since. It has not ended. We are in the midst of a huge sexual and gender revolution. Pride is a celebration of that and a reminder for all of us that we can, and should, be true to who we are, regardless of how the world sees or attempts to stop us from being free.

Pride is our chance to be visible together, celebrate ALL that we are, and show the world that we are just as awesome as anyone else.

Has the trades community become more open to 2SLGBTQ+ members since you've joined the trade? What progress, if any, has been made?

Yes, in many ways. When I first joined the trades in 2006, job sites were still full of open conversations bashing folks who identified under the rainbow. While still present, homophobia and transphobia ran much more rampant than I see or hear now. The efforts of my siblings to be visible and stand up as humans deserving of the same respect and dignity of any other human has tremendously helped. Now, folks are more willing to learn and adapt, than dig in and abuse others.

What advice would you give to people who are considering joining the skilled trades?

Join with a sense of understanding that you are fully capable of doing anything you want to, you are no different than the other folks on the site despite whatever identity you care to share publicly.

And, if you have the strength and confidence in you then stand tall and proud of yourself and all you do in the trades, help show others under the rainbow flag that they can do it too, be a positive influence and help shift the conversations even further.

Is there anything else you'd like to mention?

I am a transgender woman and there are fewer of us in the trades as well. As an advocate for 2SLGBTQIA+, I am open to being contacted by those who may need advice or assistance and my website (www.charlottedanielle.com) shares how you can contact me. 

Also, I am a Co-Founder of The Transverse, a transgender, nonbinary, nonconforming, and intersex online community centre and media network. We can be found through our website at thetransverse.net and welcome all to come and share, including those who are our friends, family, and/or allies.

Do you know an apprentice or employer champion?

The Champions of Apprenticeship are recognized for their outstanding achievements in BC apprenticeship system. These Champions are celebrated for their hard work in creating certified tradesworkers, supporting their industry and promoting apprenticeship. Do you know an outstanding employer sponsor or apprentice? Send us an email and nominate them to become a Champion of Apprenticeship!