Gender variant life in Canada

Gender variant life in Canada

It was a struggle at first to find enough detail on the lives of gender variant people. In class we had talked about Asia and the America’s as the most known locations. I took a chance and typed in Transgender in Canada. I was amazed at how useful and how relevant the links were for the search. With previous countries such as Thailand, Brazil etc. the relevance of links was considerably lower.

 Rights in Canada

Canada happens to be one of the most advanced LGBTQ rights countries. Same sex marriage is legal. The rights of LGBTQ are almost the same as legal rights for non-LGBT citizens. This is more than any other country in the world.

Canada has had anti-discrimination laws in employment since 1998, adoption by same sex couples is accepted except Nunavut and the Yukon, Gays are allowed to serve openly in the military, you have the right to change your legal gender and Lesbians have access to IVF (in vitro fertilization). However men who have sex with men are not allowed to donate blood.

There is a proposed amendment Bill C-389, which seeks to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and Criminal Code to add gender identity and gender expression as prohibited grounds for discrimination.

Although everything might seem rosy the problems mount up in Canada. SRS’s are refused in some provinces of Canada, unemployment is very high, and discrimination is still very real.

Daily Challenges

Many live in poverty due to costs of health care. Transgender people with mental health issues are often forgotten about due to the inability to communicate and social incapability. In a recent report:

49% were unemployed and 26% needed the use of anti-violence services or envisioned needing it in the future.

There is a lack or report for Transgender parents due to the assumption that there are no transgender parents.

Health Care

The most recent report on healthcare in Canada was the refusal of funds, for two Trans people, for basic health care. Alberta and Manitoba refused health care due to budget costs.

 Only problem is that cutting coverage for such surgeries amounts to only $700,000 in savings.  The overall health care budget for Alberta is almost $13 billion; the deficit is approximately $4.7 billion (Canadian Provinces Deny Transgender Health Care, Cara).

Manitoba actually doesnt incur a lot of requests for Sex Reassignment surgeries and has recently rejected to cover hormone therapies and SRS’s.

“This is despite the fact that the province has increased spending overall this year by 4.4% and still expects to have a $48 million surplus (Cara).”

Cara declares:

It’s the height of transphobia, and it’s going to have a very real, extremely harmful impact on the lives of those affected.  And thanks to the fact that transphobia is inherently dehumanizing, the powers that be just don’t give a shit (Cara)

The Curvature piece was especially interesting because it outlined the views of those in charge of healthcare. The Bills and laws were passed but they do not control the budgets for healthcare. Reasons such as budget cuts and the downward spiral of the economy will most probably always stand up.

The Transgender Experience

“From what I am seeing in my transitional journey, the route for “transsexuals” in Quebec and other parts of Canada is improving all the time. Some provinces pay some of the medical costs, and completing the legal paperwork is fairly routine now (The Transgender Experience, Jill Page).”

There are positive feelings about transgender life but from the amount of time spent researching transgender lives in Canada, and Canada being one of the leading LGBT countries, I would have expected more positive stories and outlooks.

Links:

http://www.slapupsidethehead.com/2009/08/canadian-policy-changes-remove-transgender-recognition/

http://communities.canada.com/montrealgazette/blogs/patentpending/archive/2010/09/14/the-transgender-experience.aspx

http://thecurvature.com/2009/05/16/canadian-provinces-deny-transgender-health-care/

http://www.trans-health.com/displayarticle.php?aid=27

http://dentedbluemercedes.wordpress.com/2008/01/20/status-of-transgender-life-in-canada/

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One response to “Gender variant life in Canada

  1. Interesting. I wonder why we don’t hear more about this from Trans writers or activist? Or maybe we just haven’t explored that enough. Seems like a step forward though even if there are still a lot of issues to be solved.

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