Thursday, February 21, 2019


This week, we celebrated Family Day. Lets look at a new concept in families.

Click on the picture to read the story.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Transgender and a Choice for Gender Identity

In 2017, the federal government passed legislation(1) to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act adding gender identity and gender expression to the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination.

The Ontario Human Rights Commission has provided a “Policy on preventing discrimination because of gender identity and gender expression”(2).

In 2017, the Ontario Government began changing most of its forms to ask for “gender identity” rather than “sex”. This means that transgender people can chose to describe themselves as the gender they identify with, not necessarily the biological gender they were born as. Furthermore, Ontarians now have a choice beyond describing themselves as male or female on the forms such as birth certificates etc. Forms now provide a choice among Female, Male or X. “X” can be used by “Trans, Non-Binary, Two-Spirit, and Binary people and people who don’t want to disclose their gender identity”(3) No supporting documents are necessary to change one’s gender identity at Service Ontario.

(1) Canada. Parliament of Canada. Statutes of Canada 2017. Chapter 13. “An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code,” Web version:

(2) Ontario Human Rights Commission. “Policy on preventing discrimination because of gender identity and gender expression” January 31, 2014. See:

(3) Government of Ontario. “Gender and sex information on government IDs and forms,” 2017. See:

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

LGBTQ2-I? – The “I” stands for Intersex

“Around 1.7% of the population is born with intersex traits - comparable to the number of people born with red hair.” (1)
Intersex people are different from Transgender people who have clearly male or female biology at birth but do not identify with the apparent gender. Intersex people have ambiguous biological indicators - a combination of male and female external anatomy, internal anatomy, hormone levels and/or DNA. This is not always noticeable at birth.

Babies with visible intersex features have traditionally received gender assignment surgery right after birth. The Intersex Society of North America (ISNA) now recommends that such surgery should only be done once a child is able to make an informed decision as to the gender they identify with. The above information and more can be found on the ISNA website found here:

For an excellent video (18:12 min.) on the complex subject of gender identity and assignment, please use the following link to hear from Alice Dreger in her TEDX talk. She explains how gender assignment at birth is, at best, a guess:

The following link is to a video (11:27 min.) by Emily Quinn who learned of her intersex identity near puberty and identifies simply as “Queer”.
 “What it Means to be Intersex with Emily Quinn”

(1)    “It is Intersex Awareness Day - here are 5 myths we need to shatter,”
Posted in: LGBTI Rights, Amnesty International Canada. Friday, October 26, 2018

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

How is it that some people are transgender?

The origins of being transgender have been studied for decades. A University of Ottawa journal article “A Review of Transgender Health in Canada”(1) cites a conservative estimate of the number of transgender individuals in Canada to be approximately 100,000. Research into the origins of being transgender has discovered that it has a biological basis involving brain structure and genetics.

From a Harvard University website (2) by Katherine Wu: “…Transgender people appear to be born with brains more similar to the gender with which they identify, rather than the one to which they were assigned.” The website provides a detailed summary of the research with diagrams as well as some definitions of transgender language. 

Below are two links to TEDx videos by parents of transgender children.

The first video (16 min.) is by a mother about her transgender daughter and includes a piece by her teenage daughter after her transition.
“Transgender: a mother’s story” by Susie Green

The second (21 min.) is by a self-described “old, conservative, Catholic, ex-military” father about his 21-year-old son.
 “Proud to call you my transgender son” by Skip Pardee

(1)Travis William Davidson, MSc, “A Review of Transgender Health in Canada”. University of Ottawa Journal of Medicine. 2: (Nov. 2015), 40-45.
A Review of Transgender Health in Canada -

(2)Katherine Wu, “Between the (Gender) Lines: The Science of Gender Identity,” Blog, Special Edition: Dear Mister/Madam President. Harvard University,
October 25, 2016.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

"T" Stands For "Transgender"

The “T” in LGBTQ2 stands for transgender and is linked to a person’s own gender identity for who they are – not who they are sexually attracted to.  Transgender does not mean confused or gay.

It's about the gender a person experiences themselves to be. For transgender people this is different from the biological gender they were born with and are assumed to be. In the end it does not match their identity.  The easiest way to remember is that a person who is transgender is someone who does not identify with their gender at birth.

It is a common misunderstanding that all cross-dressers and drag queens are transgender – while possible, this is often not true. Cross-dressers and drag queens and kings sometimes like to dress in clothes of the opposite sex and behave like them but can still feel comfortable with the gender they were born with.

The Ontario Human Rights Commission provides a clear and detailed description of transgender and the rights transgender people have in Ontario. Here is the link to the Commission’s brochure:

Here are two video’s which offer the opportunity to hear about transgender experience from the person’s themselves - first a middle-aged minister and second a young man.

Ruth's Story
Ruth Wood, the United Church minister of Calvary Pastoral Charge in Kingston, Ontario, talks about her new journey in life, that of a transgender person transitioning at mid-life and her theological reflection on acceptance and love.

My Gender Transition From Female To Male
This is the story of a successful transition by a 20-year-old person born with a girl’s body but feeling like a boy. There are some medically graphic images.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Nilsson Flies the Rainbow Flag

Copyright Ottawa Citizen
The Senators new Goalie, Anders Nilsson, is a big supporter of the right of all people to play team sports. He even has a rainbow flag on his goalie mask.

This article appeared in Postmedia papers, this week.