I met Max in passing at TAN Coffee in Wolfville through a mutual friend. Over time, the person I who occasionally made me coffee became someone I have grown to have a profound respect for. Max is a person that identifies as trans, and considers themselves non-binary. For those who don’t know, being non-binary means Max does not identify as a man or a woman, and as such will be referred to using the pronouns, they, them, and their in this snapshot. I asked Max if they would be interested in a Snapshot interview and much to my delight, they accepted. Max was born in London Ontario and has lived in many places before settling down in Wolfville.
They attended Acadia University and will be graduating on May 15th of this year; if you see Max make sure to congratulate them. Soon to be owner of a new B.Sc. with a major in psychology, I asked Max what first drew them to psychology. They told me that clinical psychology was a big draw to the overall field because of its ability to help people. The objectivity was, at first, very appealing to Max because of the high degree of objectivity held when performing tests. However, after researching the targeted field, the emotionless mindset needed to perform many of the tests was not something they felt they would want to be a part of. They felt that there could be a better way to help people. One of the fields that also interested Max is sexual psychology. So, deciding to use their knowledge gathered from their education and their desire to help others, Max decided to open Valley Vixen, a sex-positive bookshop and sex store to help people become more educated in the way of sex and gender health. Regular workshops are on the horizon to provide community engagement and active communication between customers.
When I inquired about a long-term goal, Max said they have multiple ideas in the works. First being the implementation of the aforementioned workshops. The workshops are designed to become an extra source of income to provide the basis for the other plans, including the hiring of a public health nurse, being able to hand out free contraceptives as well as other resources to people in need. Max also stated “In my dream world, I’d like to be able to make enough money to provide someone with a scholarship in the future”. When we continued our conversation, I asked about the issues revolving around opening a business as a person that is trans. One thing specifically was the blurring of the line between personal and professional conversations. Max would often be asked questions about their sex life that were uncalled for because of people’s curiosity about being trans. While I assume Max is happy people are questioning different sexual norms, I am positive they find that the direction can often be an invasion of their own privacy. The opening of a sex positive shop does not necessitate the sex life of the owners be open for discussion. Even still, Max, with their wife Tessa, have opened the shop in hopes of bringing different perspectives regarding generally accepted gender roles, assisting with community sexual and gender health, and sex positivity while maintaining a judgement free zone. If you would like to know more about Max, they have their own webpage and blog below, or if interested in contacting the shop Valley Vixen, you can visit the website for contact information.