(Community advocate for transgender rights and mental health, Amanda Jetté Knox, received the 2021 Order of Ottawa on November 18, 2021 from Mayor Jim Watson. Graphic: Stittsville Central)
Amanda Jetté Knox is an award-winning author, journalist, public speaker, and human rights advocate for the LGBTQ2S+ community. Amanda is a 2019 Chatelaine Woman of the Year, one of 2020’s Top 25 Women of Influence, was on Today’s Parents’ Most Influential Parents list, and was recognized for her community service at the 2021 Redblacks season opener game. She is a public speaker, blog writer and advocate for mental health and carries her torch high for transgender rights.
On November 18, 2021, Amanda Jetté Knox was honoured for her advocacy of transgender, gender-creative, and non-binary youth and her work helping others with mental health issues. Amanda is now a 2021 Order of Ottawa recipient, presented by the Mayor of Ottawa, Jim Watson, at a ceremony that took place at City Hall.
Stittsville Central reached out to Amanda to gather her thoughts on this honour. “It’s truly an honour to receive this recognition from the city. I never expected it and I’m still processing it,” she told us.
Amanada shared her own story, “I’ve had a series of challenges in life, from mental illness to homelessness, but each one has taught me something I’ve been able to use in my work today to help others, and I consider that a gift. Empathy is the most important tool I have, and it’s been largely cultivated through my own experiences”.
Amanda is a nonbinary person, the mother of a nonbinary child, and the spouse of a transgender woman. She has shared her experiences with the world, advocating on behalf of loving, inclusive families everywhere. Amanda’s work, both in activism and in writing, teaches the perspective ‘lead with love’. She dedicates her time to improving healthcare access, school environments, and overall acceptance not only for her child, but for all of the trans and nonbinary children who follow.
“As a nonbinary person, I consider it a sign of progress and inclusion for our greater community. I want other trans and nonbinary people—especially younger people—to see me receiving this honour and know they can do anything. I want parents of LGBTQ+ kids to see this and know their children have bright futures with the right support,” Amanda imparted.
Her 2019 book, “Love Lives Here: A Story of Thriving in a Transgender Family”, was a national bestseller, an Indigo Staff Pick of the Month, and finalist for the 2020 Ottawa Book Awards. Her writing and her family’s journey have been profiled on CBC, The Globe and Mail, Chatelaine, Today’s Parent, Upworthy, Buzzfeed, O Magazine, The Today Show, and various other national and international publications, podcasts and media outlets.
Amanda expanded her advocacy to become a visible spokesperson for families. Over the years, Amanda has strived towards reaching as many parents as possible, with the goal of ensuring every single child in our local community (and beyond) has the opportunity to thrive.
“What I hope this demonstrates, more than anything, is that our community is striving to be more inclusive and equitable. Ottawa continues to be a city I’m proud to live in, love in, and raise a family in,” Amanda expressed.
Amanda will continue to celebrate diverse families and encourage youth to embrace who they are. We wish every success for Amanda in her future advocacy and dedicated work in mental health.