Quinn Nelson, a transgender university student, told CBC she identifies as neither male nor female. She would like to have another option on the census questionnaire.

Quinn Nelson, a transgender university student, told CBC she identifies as neither male nor female. She would like to have another option on the census questionnaire.
Photo Credit: CBC News

Male, female choice on census lacking: activists


Canadians will soon be obliged to fill out a questionnaire for the 2016 census and they will be asked to check a box for gender with only two choices: male or female. That excludes a whole spectrum of people who identify with neither, says Helen Kennedy of the advocacy group, Egale Canada Human Rights Trust.

While Canada is seen as progressive on LGBTQ rights, it still only asks people whether they are male or female on its census questionnaire.
While Canada is seen as progressive on LGBTQ rights, it still only asks people whether they are male or female on its census questionnaire. © Canadian Press

‘We’re effectively excluding people’

“There are people in every region of this country who do not identify as neatly as male or female and are gender non-conforming, they are gender-variant, they’re transgender, intersex. So, we’re effectively excluding those people from our society,” she says.

“And when you do that you’re not open to looking at where our services are lacking in terms of addressing the needs of gender-variant people…There could be effects in terms of allocation of health funding, housing, work around education,” says Kennedy.


New government more open

Egale first raised the issue in 2006. She notes that Canada’s government changed hands after the October 2015 election and that the new administration is more open to discussion on gender issues. It will be too late to make changes to the 2016 census, but Egale will lobby for change for the next census in 2012.

Categories: Society
Tags: , , , , , ,

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1. RCInet.ca’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. RCInet.ca reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3. RCInet.ca’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish or in one of the two official languages, English or French. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available


One comment on “Male, female choice on census lacking: activists
  1. Avatar Fabio Tagetti says:

    Just add ‘other’ as a third choice

    Fabio Tagetti – Legnago (Verona) Italy