Some trans stories from Canada that might be of interest to trans and non-binary communities. This section was created November 2020, as I debated for a long time whether I had the time or ability to adequately cover such a large, diverse country. If you’re tuning in from somewhere in the country with a story you’d like to share, I’d love to hear it!
January 2021 – Ontario. Jamie and Ruby Alexander are a Toronto father-daughter team that designs swimsuits for trans kids. The two are behind Rubies, a fashion business that specializes in formfitting clothing for trans and non-binary girls. Twelve-year-old Ruby, who came out when she was nine, said she was proud that trans kids could take part in activities without worrying about what they were wearing.
Ruby’s dad teamed up with Ryerson University’s Fashion Zone to design prototypes for bathing suit bottoms that use “a soft compression to provide a worry free fit.” Rubies has sold roughly 1,000 swimsuits in its first year. The company is also expanding into T-shirts and underwear.
Ruby writes a personal message to accompany every shipment. “There’s other trans kids in the world that need help, and I’m happy to see them smile, and I’m proud to be the person I am,” she said.
January 2021 – British Columbia. The City of Victoria’s new Youth Poet Laureate is trans! James Summer was named to the post, a one year honorary position that will see him engage with local youth through the written and spoken word. Summer was chosen by a peer committee of representatives from Victoria’s writing community and will receive a $1,750 honorarium, as well as $2,000 of project funding. Summer said he hopes “to bring awareness about the topic of being transgender and to have important conversations about stigma and labels.”
January 2021 – Quebec Superior Court Justice Gregory Moore has given Quebec until the end of 2021 to revise several sections of the Civil Code of Quebec because they discriminate against trans and non-binary people. His ruling invalidated several articles, including one that prevented a person from changing the sex listed on their birth certificate. Moore also struck down the provision that requires someone to be identified as a mother or a father on a declaration of birth, rather than being referred to as a parent. The judge further ruled that people should be allowed to change their gender designation, even if they are not Canadian citizens, opening the door to permanent residents, refugees and people without status.
November 2020 – Nova Scotia has expanded the criteria for breast reduction covered by the provincial health insurance plan.
People who are diagnosed with “persistent and well-documented gender dysphoria” and are approved for a breast reduction surgery will now be covered. Nova Scotia already covers breast augmentation surgery for transgender women and chest masculinization or mastectomy surgery for transgender men.
The new coverage provides an option for nonbinary individuals who wish to access breast reduction procedures. The change comes after Sebastian Gaskarth, a non-binary individual, made a complaint to the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission. Gaskarth said the coverage “directly acknowledges that gender does not exist as a binary.”