I received my Canadian census 2016 form today.  And I can see that even though trans people nation wide have come out, paraded and gone to court to fight for our right to be acknowledged and recognized.  Statistics Canada still do not think we are important enough to be counted.  I refused in 2001 to check off male or female on my form, it would be incorrect and uncomfortable.  Some would suggest adding “other”.   I am not an “other”, I am “transgender” or simply a person not living as a woman but living as a trans woman.  The term “other” is good for all those who have chosen to not identify a gender one way or another, which is their choice.  For the census to really know how many of us exist they must add the options of “Transgender” or “T” or “other” for people who choose no specific gender, or are born both.

There is a way to handle this, and I have checked with statistics Canada on this, and did this in 2001 and two other forms that came after.  At least statistics Canada was willing to listen, as both my letters to human rights and my M.P. at the time, went ignored.  When you get your form and you are trans or gender queer or intersex or non-binary (or what you choose), here are some of the things you can provide on your form:

Do not check male or female.  But you must comment at the end of the form including your gender of choice.  And have as many of your cis supporters do the same, the more people who do this then the more attention will be paid to the gender choices being broadened on the next census.


Note:  If you are doing this online.  It will give the options of Male and Female only as the “sex”.  Do not fill in either of the categories, it will try to get you to fill one in, just keep going “next” and it will stop asking.  Make sure you fill in a comment.

It is recommended that your comments read something like this:

“I opted to leave question e-two blank as I identify as [insert sex/gender identity or identities]. If you must, classify me as [pick one: female, male] for analysis and update the 2021 Census to be completely non-binary and to have a third and fourth gender/sex category.”

If any of the employees from statistic Canada call your home or visit your home, you simple explain why you chose not to fill in the gender options, and that you have made your comments on the form, as instructed by statistics Canada.

* If they insist that you pick a binary sex box, they can be reported to or by calling 1-800-263-1136 with their name, location, date, and why you are reporting them. * 

Here are my references and documents from 2001:

The first trans person to refuse to participate in the Canadian census 2001, claiming she would not participate in any survey, government run or otherwise, that did not include or recognize trans people.  Documents here.  Newspaper article in the National Post.  Newspaper article in the Toronto Sun.