BC — Birth Certificates
Doty v Vital Statistics
Remove Gender from Birth Certificates!
Kori Doty is the Applicant in a judicial review of the decision by the Vital Statistics Agency to refuse a birth certificate for their child, Searyl. Searyl was born in BC, but outside of the medical system, so there was no medical ‘genital inspection’ when the child was born.
See the June 30, 2017 Press Release and some of the coverage of this case here.
Human Rights Complaint:
Trans Alliance Society et al
v Vital Statistics
Remove Gender from Birth Certificates!
Eight trans and intersex folks, along with the Trans Alliance Society, have an ongoing Human Rights complaint against Vital Statistics BC, since November 2013. The Complainants as a remedy requests that gender be taken off all new birth certificates and that anyone who currently has a birth certificate can get a genderless one.
Kori Doty — Kori is a community educator based in Sinixt Territory in southeastern BC. They are involved in the birth certificate case because they would really love to have at least one piece of ID that doesn't have an incorrect gender marker on it. They are excited about seeing these changes happen as their family grows, because they're optimistic for a better world for their kids. Their work in the world can be found at·koridoty.com.
Felix Gilliland — Felix Gilliland is a Vancouver resident but calls Snuneymuxm territory (Nanaimo) home. He identifies as trans-masculine and non-binary. Felix focuses his energy on community and equity for trans and gender variant folks experiencing multiple barriers, such as poverty, and believes that removing gender from birth certificates is essential to that. He is inspired and informed by queer history and aims to keep ‘queer’ a political identity for generations to come.
Milan Halikowski — Milan is a 14 year old superstar transboy who lives in Prince George, B.C. He transitioned two years ago, with the full support of his family – but NO support from his school.· Milan was bullied so badly that he missed more than a year of classes. And the whole thing started up again this spring when he was bullied again.· Milan was out of school for nearly 8 weeks. Even though the school system has completely failed Milan, and even though he missed almost two months of school this semester, he has still finished his year with flying colours.
There is a video about Milan called “Handsome and Majestic”.· The video has won prizes at film fests already, was shown on a gigantic screen over the street during Toronto Pride, and will be shown again at the Vancouver Film Festival. Milan has given talks to professionals, led the Prince George Pride Parade, gotten the Phoenix award from PG Pride, and served as a wonderful public role model for other trans kids, especially in Prince George.·
May 2015: BC Trans People Seek Removal of Gender Markers
November 10, 2015: Vital Statistics Responds to Human Rights Complaint
July 24, 2016: Transgender Issues: Rights with one hand, Discrimination with the Other: B.C.’s Inconsistency
Nelson Co-op Radio,
[link to Audio]
*This is not a comprehensive list of all coverage.
Federal — Passports
Human Rights Complaint: R Vandrish
v Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Gender off of Passports!
Passports are a minefield for trans and intersex people, especially trans people who are transitioning, who are non-binary, or whose gender presentation does not “match” the “M” or “F” on their passport.
Some countries have adopted a “third option” – the “X” factor. This is their solution to the discriminatory binary-only “M” or “F” sex options on passports. But this solution carries a vital flaw!
If you are traveling in transphobic parts of the world, an “X” passport will “out” you and leave you open to discrimination and maybe even violence.
Rory Vandrish has filed a federal human rights complaint to have gender markers removed from all Canadian passports. The international agreements governing passports require a sex be indicated on the passport, however they do allow a non-M/F choice – that of the “X.” But instead of accepting the “X” and risk further discrimination, Rory has given the government a second solution: if Passport Canada won’t break international agreements to remove sex designations entirely, then all Canadian passports should carry the “X” so trans and intersex Canadians won’t be distinguished from their cisgender counterparts.
Rory Vandrish — (aka Rory Jade Grey & RJ Vandrish) is a multidisciplinary genderqueer artist, writer and activist based in Toronto. Their driver’s license has a female sex marker, their health card has a male marker and they’re fighting for a passport that has no gender.
As a performance artist, Rory is active in the queer and trans theatre community, perhaps most known for their piece, Chimera, where they played twin fetuses in the womb (one male, one female) who slowly merge into one being of unknown gender – inspired by a doctor’s account of hearing two heartbeats when Rory was in the womb.
As a writer/journalist (Shameless, The Spill, Daily Xtra) and an activist, Rory broke the story on Passport Canada’s 2012 decision to maintain binary sex markers, despite complaints to Passport Canada from trans Canadians. Right now, they are taking on the federal government in a human rights complaint to remove sex markers from passports and make travel accessible for trans and intersex Canadians.
No current press releases
“Having Gender On Passports Does More Harm Than Good”, Emma Teitel, Toronto Star Touch, July 11, 2016 [LINK]
Federal — SIN
Human Rights Complaint: C. Milloy
Gender Out of Social Insurance Numbers!
Who knew that the government of Canada thinks it needs to know what your ‘gender’ is before you can work?
The application form [link] for a Social Insurance Number requires that you fill in that piece of information.
AND it requires that you produce an original identity document (birth certificate, permanent resident card, etc – which of course have your birth-assigned sex on them.
And then the information goes into the federal government database, where it can be accessed for any number of government programs.
The government has treated that information as public – information that service providers are entitled to know in advance about every Canadian. But they base their information on what is on the birth certificates, which we know are mistaken for trans people.
So trans people currently have to change their birth certificate and then change all their other I.D.
Christin Milloy says that a person’s gender identity is personal information, like race or sexual orientation. It should not be routinely required as a condition of accessing goods or services that government provides, such as S.I.N.’s
Christin has filed a human rights complaint to have gender taken out of the S.I.N. database. It is no more relevant or reliable or necessary to collect information about a person’s gender than it is to collect information about their sexual orientation or their race.
Christin Milloy filed a human rights complaint to have gender taken out of the S.I.N. database. It is no more relevant or reliable or necessary to collect information about a person’s gender than it is to collect information about their sexual orientation or their race.
C. Milloy has been campaigning at fixtransid.ca. Please visit Christin there!