Video - Seeing Everyone: Gender Diversity Data

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Seeing Everyone: Gender Diversity Data - Video transcript

(Statistics Canada symbol and Canada word mark appear on screen with the title: "Seeing Everyone: Gender Diversity Data")

[Jason Bett] Good afternoon and welcome. My name is Jason Bett. My pronouns are he, him, and I am the champion of the Public Service Pride Network. I would like to acknowledge that since I live and work in Ottawa, I am on the traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabe nation. I recognize that many of you live and work in different places, and that therefore you may be on a different traditional Indigenous territory. I encourage you to take a moment to reflect on the territory that you are currently on. Today is an exciting day as we kick off our fourth annual public-service pride week. Earlier this morning, we heard from Prime Minister Jean Trudeau-- Pierre-- Justin Trudeau, and raised the progressive pride flag on government buildings across Canada, and had some Canadian embassies and consulates around the world sending a clear message to Canadians, that their federal public-service is committed to the inclusion and celebration of LGBTQ2+ employees.

[female interpreter] We would like to recognize that Pride and Public-Service Week Network is built on the work of our predecessor groups, whose tireless commitment to creating a more inclusive public-service for LGBTQ2+ communities have paved the way for our networks to flourish. In 2019, a small group of federal employees decided to get together to act to create a workplace that is more diverse, safe, respective, and healthy for the-- for our public servants that are LGBTQ2+.

[Jason Bett] Today, this grassroots Network, comprised of thousands of committed employees across 60 federal departments and agencies, organizes a wide variety of programming to support LGBTQ2+ public servants all year long. The Network offers a variety of services such as mentorship, coaching, discussion panels, and events on a wide range of relevant topics that impact LGBTQ2+ employees. This year's Public Service Pride Week is our most robust yet, and we are proud to offer a full week of programming over the next five days.

[speaking French]

[female interpreter] We hope that we will be able to participate in other events, and that you will as well throughout this week. The theme this year is: Be yourself at work. And we would encourage you to do it. And not just this week, but every work during year. We all have a role to play in making our public service a diverse, safe, respectful, and healthy workplace for LGBTQ2+ employees.

[Jason Bett] I would like to thank you for joining us today, and to Statistics Canada, and to Women and Gender Equality Canada, for organizing today's panel entitled: "Seeing Everyone Gender Diversity Data", as it is events like these that allow the stories of LGBTQ2+ Canadians to be heard. Every five years, Statistics Canada conducts a census. The data gives us a snapshot of what our country looks like. It shows us who we are, and where we are going. Prior to the 2021 census, some individuals indicated that they were not able to see themselves in the two responses of male or female.

[speaking French]

[female interpreter] Following extensive consultations with Canadians, the census questions involved in the 2021 census, included new questions and variables so that more people could see themselves in the data. Earlier this year, Canada became the first country to collect and publish data on gender diversity from a national census.

[Jason Bett] Today we've brought together experts to discuss the impact and future of these data sets. How they will be used, what challenges exist, and what the next steps are. As a reminder, simultaneous interpretation, ASL and LSQ, as well as live captioning is available. Instructions on how to access these services are available in the chat. This virtual event is also being streamed on StatsCan's Facebook live, and will be recorded and shared on StatsCan's website in the coming weeks. Following today's event, you will receive an evaluation form which will give you the opportunity to provide feedback, or to ask questions. Now, let's proceed. I am pleased to introduce Josée Bégin, Director General for Statistics Canada, who will give us an overview of the new data on sex and gender. Over to you. Thank you, Jason. Good afternoon everyone. My name is Josée Bégin, and I am the Director General responsible for the labour market, education, and socio-economic well-being branch at Statistics Canada. And I go by the pronouns she and her. I'm really happy to be here this afternoon with you, and to contribute to the dialogue on gender diversity, with you the experts, academics and LGBTQ2+ organizations and communities.

[speaking French]

[female interpreter] To kick off the discussion today, I would like to share some background information, as well as some key figures from the 2021 census on gender diversity.

[Josée Bégin] Some individuals expressed that they were not able to see themselves in the two existing responses of male and female, under sex question in the census. Following extensive consultation and countrywide engagement with the Canadian population, as well as testing of new content, including with transgender and non-binary people, the census evolved, as it has for more than a century, to reflect societal changes. For the 2001 census-- 2021 census, sorry-- the precision of "at birth" was added to the sex question on the census, and a new question on gender was included.

[speaking French]

[female interpreter] On April 27th 2022, Canada has become the first country to collect and release data on transgender and non-binary people from a national census.

[Josée Bégin] In May 2021-- so, we can go to the-- the next slide. In May 2021, there were around 100,000 transgender or non-binary people in Canada aged 15 and older, living in a private household, representing one in 300 people aged 15 and older. There were 41,355 non-binary people and 59,460 transgender people. Next slide, please. Here is a word cloud showing different terms used by people to specify their gender. Over two thirds of people aged 15 and older, who provided answers to the write-in option, used the term non-binary when specifying their gender. Almost one third of non-binary people described their gender using terms other than non-binary, including fluid, agender, queer, gender-neutral, two-Spirit, neither man nor woman, and gender-nonconforming. Next slide. Younger generations had larger shares of those who were transgender or non-binary. The proportion of transgender and non-binary people was three to seven times higher for generation Z at .79 percent, and millennials, .51 percent, then for generation X at .19 percent, baby boomers, .15 percent, and the older generations, the interwar and greatest generations at .12 percent. Next slide. So, non-binary and transgender people were younger on average than cisgender people. In May 2021, the Canadian population aged 15 and older, had an average age of 40-- 48 years old. In comparison, the average age of the transgender population was about 40 years, while that of the non-binary population was about 30 years. Gender diversity was highest among those aged 20 to 24, almost one in 100 of whom were transgender or non-binary. Next slide, please. Although transgender and non-binary people live in every province and territory in Canada, gender diversity varies by region. Ontario was home to the highest number of transgender and non-binary people. In 2021, close to two in five, or around 40,000, transgender and non-binary people called Ontario home. And this corresponds to Ontario's share of Canada's population aged 15 and older. Next slide, please. Relative to their total populations, it's in Nova Scotia, Yukon, and British Columbia, where we found the highest proportions of transgender and non-binary people among provinces and territories. Almost one in 200 people living in each of Nova Scotia, at .48 percent, Yukon at .47 percent, and British Columbia, .44 percent, were transgender or non-binary. Proportions above the national average of one in 300 people. Among the provinces, Québec had the smallest proportions of transgender at .14 percent and non-binary at .09 percent people, followed by Saskatchewan at .16 percent and .12 percent, respectively. Next slide, please. Over the last 40 years, there has been a series of conceptual changes related to families that were introduced in the census to better reflect how Canadian families have evolved over time. Of note, it is in 2001 that information on same-sex common-law couples was provided for the first time, while information on same-sex married couples became available in the following census. In 2021, information on different gendered couples, same gendered couples, and transgender or non-binary couples, became available for the first time. More information on the new concept of gender diversity of couples can be found in the fact sheet entitled "Gender Diversity Status of Couples, New Information in the 2001 Census," which is available on our website. Next slide, please. In 2021, of the 8.6 million couples in Canada... 32,205 included at least one transgender or non-binary person. Same gendered couples, that is couples in which there were either two women or two men, and both members were cisgender, numbered at 95,435. Together, same gendered, transgender or non-binary couples represented 1.5 percent of all couples in the country. Next slide, please. Here's an image of how the data, the census data, by gender, are disseminated. Our goal is to maintain the balance between disseminating as much disaggregated gender data as possible, and preserving confidentiality. Depending on population thresholds that were determined by statisticians, it is sometimes possible to publish information using the three category gender variable, men, women and non-binary persons, or the gender diversity status, which is a derived variable using both three category gender, and sex at birth. So, that would be cisgender men, cisgender woman, transgender men, transgender women, and non-binary persons. However... because the transgender and non-binary population are relatively small, it will sometimes be necessary, for confidentiality reasons, to publish information using the two category gender variable. That is men plus, and women plus. Individuals in the non-binary persons category are distributed in the other two gender categories and are denoted by the plus symbol. A randomized imputation method by donor, using demographic variables other than the sex at birth variable, was used to create this variable. More information on the gender variables in the population thresholds can be found in the fact sheet, "Filling the Gaps, Information on Gender in the 2021 Census," which is also available on our website. Next slide, please.

[speaking French]

[female interpreter] And here we have it-- Here we have the "Filling the Gaps, Information on Gender in 2021 Census." Stay tuned to that--

[Josée Bégin] default in their data tables and analysis. Additional analysis of various sociodemographic and socioeconomic characteristics of the transgender and non-binary populations, will be forthcoming once all census data are released. Next slide, please.

[speaking French]

[female interpreter] So, on behalf of statistics Canada, I would like to thank everyone who took the time to complete the 2021 census. Your participation has enhanced our ability to fill important statistical facts on gender diversity in Canada, and to provide greater visibility to the LGBTQ2+ community.

[speaking French]

[Josée Bégin] I just want to end my presentation on reminding everybody that trust is at the foundation of how Statistics Canada operates, and without it, we cannot fulfill our mandate to deliver timely and accurate data. So, we are committed to protecting your privacy, it's the law. And all the data that we collect are anonymized, encrypted, and de-identified. So, it's never possible to connect data that are made public. It's not possible to connect them back to you, or to your household. And again, information on the trust centre can be found on our website. Thank you and Jason, back to you.

[female interpreter] Thank you so much, Madam Bégin, it was just wonderful. It was really great. So, now we're gonna proceed on with today's discussion. First of all, we have Dominic Beaulieu Prévost, who is the Director in the Department of Sexology at the University of Québec in Montréal. We have Monica Greenbaum, she's the Executive Director of LGBTQ2+ family coalitions.

[Jason Bett] ...Indigenous knowledge translation lead at Chee Mamuk, an Indigenous health program at the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control. And we have Anu Radha Verma, who is a research manager at a community-based research centre. So, let's start with the first question.

[speaking French]

[female interpreter] So, now I would like to start with the first question that we have. So, for some people, the 2021 census marks the first time that people were able to see themselves in official data collected by the federal government. The first time there was a box that they could check that reflected who they are, and the first time that they could see themselves truly represented in the data. So, I would like to ask my first question to Mr. Dominic Beaulieu Prévost-- Beaulieu Prévost, pardon me-- What is the significance of this collection and result in data? How are we, academics like his colleagues at the University of Montreal in Québec, in Montréal and other fine institutions, use this material? Well, that is a big question, here. And, my pronouns are also he and him. First of all, I think that what the census brings is a step ahead in order to show the invisibility, to make us visible, particularly with people with-- that are trans, non-binary. And that is toward something that you mentioned in your summary. In 2001, we recognized same-sex couples. In 2003, I worked on the first matter regarding reorient-- sexual orientation, that was put in surveys of Statistics Canada now it's been there for almost 20 years. So, now we have recognized diversity, gender diversity that is... and the association between-- the differences between sex and gender, and matters that are beyond people-- the binary aspect of people. So, the main thing that that allows us to do is to get over that barrier of invisibility for those people who are gender diverse, and also for their families, their parents, and their loved ones. Many other things-- I would like to give the other panellists an opportunity to provide their opinion on this. But I would just like to talk about the utilization of this. So, I am the, uh Director of-- in the Department of Sexology at the Université du Québec à Montréal. So, this change in the census is going to really help out sexolo-- sexual practitioners, that is, and that will really help people... in terms of reflecting their reality and understand who these people are, where they are. And in terms of all further surveys of Statistics Canada, can discuss gender diversity and other social matters that are important throughout Canada.

[speaking French]

[female interpreter] So, I'm just going to stop here. I'd like to allow my other colleagues to continue. If you would like, I can continue speaking later on. Yes, thank you. Mona, I'd like to know, do you have something that you would like to add on your part? Yes. Indeed, I do. I'm just turning on my video. Thank you. Well, hello. Hello everybody. So, can you see me and hear me? You see my video? Great! So, my name is Mona Greenbaum, I use the pronouns she. Elle in French, she in English. I think I'm the only person on the panel who's not a researcher. So, I'm going to talk very simply. I work in a community organization at the coalition of LGBTQ2+ Family Coalition. We provide information for professionals-- future professionals as well, we inform people who are working within health, social services in the community. We inform physicians, uh, police, and all kinds of information regarding the issues of people's plurality and gender diversity regarding LGBTQ2+ families, transgender, non-binary people in the, uh, school settings, and also even in sports related settings. So, all of our information is based on the idea, if we want to influence people, and indeed, that's what we want to do, in order for them to be more inclusive in their practice, in order to become less transphobic, or homophobic. We have three different categories that we-- we'll have to work on. Uh, the cognitive level, with basic concepts, and also in terms of testimony, and finally, in terms of empowerment by providing these people with tools and resources that can easily be applied in their workplace. So for us, this......this data in the census is not as important [indistinct] the symbolic value that the government of Canada has put into place, separating the fact that people are able to finally be able to contribute in terms of their sex at birth, as well as their gender, regardless of the subjects that we're covering. We start by demystifying these certain elements in the framework regarding, be it, uh, sex at birth, people's identity, people's sexual orientation, people's orientation. And in general within society, the majority of people get confused between "sex at birth" and "gender". When a child is-- a baby is born, the first thing we do is we look between the child's, uh, legs to see their genitals to determine whether it is a girl or a boy. But we don't know the gender because that is something that is discovered later on. But, what we see in our genitals, what exists in terms of our genitals, is something that we find on all kinds of documents. For example, when I present my passport at the customs office, they're probably-- they're probably not wondering what...
...what this person-- what this person genitals, but they think, "Oh, woman." But in the Indigenous communities, before-- before colonization, and perhaps my colleague Harlan will be discussing this, but in Indigenous cultures, it was-- they didn't talk about a person's gender. They waited till the person grew up. We gave the infants time to grow up, whether the infant or boy, girl, wanted to have a different gender, and there were seven or eight different genders. So, our precise data are less important, but now we can say in all of our information, that starting in 2021 here at the Coalition, the Canadian government has started to separate these physiological elements of our bodies and our gender identity. And that is something that is very progressive. And that really is something founded in Indigenous values before colonization. So, I would now like to pass the microphone to my colleague.

[Harlan Pruden] Would that be me, Mona? Thank you so much.

[speaking French]

Greetings and happy Pride! Wow. What a great way to celebrate Pride! [speaking Indigenous language] Greetings, my relatives. My government name is Harlan Pruden, and my Indian name, and I do use the I word, is [indistinct name] It is actually in Sioux. I was doing some work on the roads by the reservation, and they honoured with the name [indistinct name]. I am First Nations Cree. My mother is from the Beaver Lake Indian Reserve, my father's from the Saddle Lake Indian Reserve. Two different reservations, but the same signatories to Treaty Six. Before I go any further I wish to acknowledge that I work, play, and live, um, as a guest of the Coast Salish Peoples, specifically the Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh, and First Nations People. I am so honoured that they tolerate my presence, on and in their territory and home. Now, this land acknowledgement is not some sort of perfunctory words, this is me humbly acknowledging and positioning myself as a guest, um, in and on their territory, 'cause this is not my land. If I didn't do that land acknowledgement, I kinda liken it to me walking into your house and one, not acknowledging that I am in your house. And one, if we were to carry that analogy forward, I would start telling you how and when to live in your own home. So, that's not what I want to do. Also, I run the risk that if I don't carry myself in a good way, and in an
[indistinct] way-- honourable way, that my host will think some nasty things of Harlan, but worse, they will make some discernments and judgments of my Cree people. And so, I try to show up as an ambassador for my Cree people. I don't think people understand that they have-- they're representatives of their people, and so when they don't carry themselves in a good way, we as Indigenous people make some assessments, not only of you, but of your people. And finally, for my pronouns used, in Cree, our language is gender-neutral, and thereby gender inclusive, and so the way in which I keep that tradition in way, [indistinct] moving forward is that any pronouns that are used mindfully and respectfully, I will answer to, and use. As I already stated, Canada is the first country to collect, publish data and gender diversity from the national census data. How amazing and exciting is this! And I'd like to thank, uh... Madam Bégin and your amazing team to make this possible. You know, from my time, when I was on the, uh-- as an Obama appointee to the US's-- United States Presidential Advisor Council on HIV and AIDS, we often said at the table, "What is measured, is treasured." And so, it makes my heart so happy with Canada's leadership in the following area of collecting trans and non-binary data. You know, as a co-PI of a recent study that was Two-Spirit, trans and non-binary inclusive, our team was reporting some of our findings to our colleagues here at the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, and I received the following email message after our presentation: "I am non-binary, and have often been lost in statistics of quantitative research." "But especially in government and provincially supported work." "Whereas I see sex and gender questions completed on surveys, like you mentioned in your presentation, and there is often an assumption on the researcher's part that erases me and others who are not like me." "So, it is affirming to see my identity recognized and represented." So a big thank you to everyone on our team who helped made this happen." This praise can now be extended and inclusive at StatCan-- of StatCanada's leadership! So, I just think that opens up this amazing possibility. And so, I will leave it there and pass this on to my fellow colleague.

[Jason Bett] Thank you, Harlan. I think we will pass it over to Anu for some comments as well. Anu, over to you.

[Anu Radha] Thanks so much folks. So greetings, my name's Anu or Anu Radha, my pronouns are she and her, and as you heard, I'm a research manager at the community-based research centre. I'm joining you from the treaty and traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, on traditional Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Chippewa territory. I spend my time in a number of numbered treaty areas, so 13, 14, 19, 22, and 23. I wanted to chime in quickly and, I guess, first, by saying I wanna disrupt the idea of expertise a little bit. So, coming to this, certainly in my role as a research manager at CBRC, but also coming as a cis queer woman, a racialized person, who's thinking often about the responsibility of cis folks to disrupt transphobia as it shows up in all kinds of ways. And these are really scary times, where we see the kind of violence of transphobia show up online and in person. I think the 2021 census is a great starting point, and for us at the CBRC, it provides a complementary data set to the kinds of community-based data that we have been collecting for over 20 years. There is a difference, however, in having data that's collected by Statistics Canada, and that collected by 2SLGBTQ+ community organizations like the CBRC, or others, I'm thinking of the Trans PULSE Canada team, for example. I think-- if we think about this as a starting point, we can point to the fact that this national data set sparks conversations that are necessary about why we are talking about trans and non-binary people and the expansiveness of those identities, but also talking about what needs to change. And later in the panel you'll hear me, uh, go on a little bit more of a rant around advocacy. But what I wanted to say here is that if we want to really be leaded-- or, actually be led by trans and non-binary community folks themselves and talking about what the importance of this data is, I think going back to what folks shared during the engagement sessions, as StatsCan was preparing for this, and listening to folks' responses to the data when it was released, tells us a lot about this kind of starting point. There are limitations on what data can do. There are limitations on how we ask questions, and how we interpret those questions and who interprets them in which ways. But I think it's important for me to say at CBRC, we welcome this initial, kind of, starting point, as a way of talking about how important it is for us to have more information about our communities, their experiences, their material conditions, and also, um, to have a little bit of a complementary data set to the various kinds of data that we produce ourselves, which includes some very long-standing, some of the oldest and longest standing, community health surveys that exist for our community. And I'll pause there and throw it back to Jason. Thanks.

[Jason Bett] Thanks Anu, and thanks to everyone for your comments. It is very interesting to hear the comments coming from your respective organizations. So, I know that we will have a chance to talk about next steps, kind of, at the end, so I think you'll have a-- your opportunity, Anu, to say little bit more as well.

[speaking French]

[male interpreter] Let's move on to the second question, then. Here it is. We are asking Mona to get us started here. So, the concept of a family can mean different things to different people at different times. While the way that we collect information has changed... as Miss Bégin mentioned... nearly 20 years ago, same-sex, common-law couples were included in the census. Followed by same-sex married couples in the census that followed. How can we ensure that families of all types are represented? So, obviously, no data set is perfect. Where do the gaps exist? Mona, go ahead. Thank you Jason. Well, as you said, during years, sexual diversity was not counted in different census' of the population. Before the 90s, families with same-sex parents were not included in the statistics. In the 90s, there wasn't even a word in French for a family with two mothers or two fathers. This word only came about in the end of the 90s, "monoparentale" in French. So, people weren't even able to call themselves anything. And that's the importance of words. If there isn't a word, we are invisible. We don't exist. The lack of words to certain realities, as in the past, such as non-binary-- the non-binary world 10, 15 years ago, the terminology didn't exist. The lack of words led to blind spots in the research. The first time I saw the statistics quantitatively about single-parent families was in, uh, the 2000s, and there was an investigation done by the government of Québec... by a researcher named
[indistinct]. And in this research-- and in the census, there was a question about sexual behaviours, and in a completely other section... the presence of parents in the families. So, from that data set, we were able to get... information about same-sex parents. Which said that 0.2% of fathers and 0.3% of all mothers are homosexual in Québec. That was a data set that let us calculate at that point in time... that there were about 30000 Children in Québec that were living in same-sex families. But if we ask the question directly about same-sex families, we would have had a very different response. Because in 2011... 10 years later, Statistics Canada identified 18,000 plus same-sex couples... of which quite a few had... there were only about 2000 families identified as same-sex... children in same-sex families. So, that's quite a gap between the Statistics Canada and that other request. So, we see just with sexual orientation, there are several ways of defining things. Are we speaking about sexual behaviours, traction, self identification... sexual relations, legal status? each question would have a dramatically different answer and would lead to different blind spots. If we look at the BIPOC community we talk about identification rates. So, there's a lot of BIPOC people of different sexual diversities who don't associate with the words "gay" or "lesbian." For these people, "gay" and "lesbian" are linked to white people who worked in the banners and who have political claims. So, these people could live their lives with ease and the-- they're not going to identify themselves at all with these words. So, for families, it is even more complicated. What is a family? Maybe, we could have a lot of different definitions. Because of the imprecision in the definition or certain choices... over the years, there were plenty of families caught in these blind spots. For example, gay fathers and lesbian mothers who were single were not counted. And sometimes... families were defined by looking at conjugality. Or if we had people with trans mothers or fathers, these people were often either counted as homo or cis-parentalism. But... This is the first time that parents-- that trans and homosexual parents were counted. That was the fear of disclosure, was that part of the reason for that? We believe so, yes. Another dead angle or blind spot is... when there are children with more than 18 years. So, more than 18 years old. So, myself and my spouse, we have two children of 24 and 22 years of age. So, in some cases, we wouldn't be considered a family because one of our children has left our house. So, if that second one were to leave, for some people we would not be a family anymore, for others we would be. So... the same-sex couples were recognized in Québec in 2011, so we could only put one parent on the birth certificate before that. they had a mother with my name and my-- and there was no recognition of the father, nor of my partner. So, you could think that this is far back in the past, and it is true... but... When there are multiple parents, when there's more than one parent, there could be three or even four parents... so, just as in the same-sex families, the multi-parent families are completely invisible because they are not recognized legally in Québec. But I'm wondering... were these families counted in the three other provinces that do recognize them, British Columbia, Ontario and Saskatchewan? These three provinces recognise multi-parent families. Were they counted, then? Or is this another blind spot? So, maybe I can end by saying... even if we have extended our definition of the family... by including the idea of sex assigned at birth in the census, in a culture where most people are white and there's a colonialist history like we have in Canada, we have a tendency of forgetting lots of different family structures. Oftentimes, we're limiting our definition to a nuclear family, even if parents could be gay, transgender, non-binary. So, I think all of the BIPOC people I know who take care of children who are not legally, or maybe even biologically linked to them. For example, a gay-- a Black man in Montréal who takes care of two children whose parents are in Haiti, he's been doing that for years. That would be a family for me. But would that be counted? How can we represent all of these different realities? Statistics Canada is already on the right path because the keyword is to have a consultation. The more we speak with people who are in these situations, the better we will understand the nuances before we can reduce our blind spots. Thank you. Thank you, Mona. It is very interesting what you're saying. And I see in the chat that there are several questions based on your comments. If we look at the definition, and are people are more resistant to respond correctly to the census since the definition of what is a family, a nuclear family, versus how do we consider ourselves in the family today? Are people properly informed? And do people have what they need to determine and complete the form correctly?

[male interpreter] Would that question be addressed to me? Well, in fact, it was a comment following on your intervention. So, I could say that on the forms, even in Québec... who recognise same-sex families... in 2002 we just celebrated the 20th anniversary, but even 20 years later the forms have still not been fully adapted. So, if we speak about families that are outside of the standards of a nuclear family, we will have issues. That's at least how it is in Québec. I'm not sure if things are different elsewhere, but I have my doubts because... the standard is to have two parents who have their biological children or their adopted children. That's very interesting. And when you said one of your children who left home... that's interesting to ask. Are we still a family? How do we complete a form versus if he was still at home? So that's a question for you. How do people as Canadian citizens feel when they receive this type of form to say... yes or no, am I a family? Because my 21-year-old is about to leave home. So how does this enter into the numbers and the figures that we are seeing? Yes, it is a very interesting question.

[Jason Bett] If others would like to comment... on the fact that we're talking about families in terms of defining the family and what type of family is represented. Harlan, Anu, Dominic? Any comments? If not, we can proceed with the next question.

[Dominique Beaulieu Prévost] I can jump in. Sorry, I-- you control my camera. Okay. I think what Mona said about families is something quite important. And it's also quite complex. As you saw. But already, acknowledging... gender diversity opens us up to... be able to process a bit more of this information. I just realized that I switched to English. [chuckles] That was spontaneous of me. One thing that... I think will also be an issue here is... is the question of... the percentage that we have. So, we have numbers now and for some people these numbers might seem lower than they would expect. There's this question of, if we are wondering, how can we... capture the diversity in all of its complexity? One thing we saw with sexual orientation, at the beginning, so, in two thousand...

[sound cutting out]

...self-identify sexual orientation arrived for the first time. And then in 2005 we had the same question, and the question continued to be there. And we realize that, 2003 being the first time, the results were different from what we saw afterwards. One things that happened, at least the way we explain it, is that, let's say the relationship and the trust between Statistics Canada and the community... continued-- well, started in a way. And from a lower... percentage at the beginning, we ended up with an increased percentage the second time. That stabilized afterwards. So, it was not an increase every year, every year, every year. It was basically getting a bit more comfortable with the question. And I think socially that's something that will happen also. It can be considered a question of trust, but it's also a question of having these... words be part of the social discussion. What we hear in the media. The more we hear about gender diversity, the more it becomes something that we see as socially relevant. The lesson becomes more of a private question, but something that can be a social issue, that can be a public issue, that can be an issue of public health, also. So, I think this is part of what we will see, also. The numbers that we have are the numbers for now and numbers that we'll have afterwards. There might be an evolution, simply because of that communication between... the government, the Statistics Canada and the communities and a bit of trust that can evolve. And a bit of language, also, common language, shared language that will probably facilitate that.

[Jason Bett] Great. Merci. And some of that will be, I guess, next steps, as well. so what will happen in the future with the next set of data. A few comments in the chat. It is important to note that it's not just Canadian citizens, but also Canadian permanent residents that are also required to complete the survey. Acknowledging that comment. And... Yeah. I think that's good for that. Now, we will proceed with the next question. I will ask Harlan Pruden to get the discussion going on the next question about language and a self-descriptions given that they are cornerstones about how our communities identify themselves. We often see this change over time and differ from one generation to the next. As an example, younger generations are a significantly larger share of transgender and non-binary individuals with gender diversity being highest among those aged 20 to 24. How can we ensure that this material will evolve over time to allow more individuals to see themselves in this data? And how do generational differences factor into this challenge? Harlan, over to you.

[Harlan Pruden] Great. Thank you very much, Jason. What I would also like to do is to thank Anu and her remarks about the expert demarcation as I'm really kind of, like, a content lead, and not an expert, as I'm still learning and collecting our stories and songs and then singing those songs and sharing those stories with folks like you as well as other members of our community. Well, I want to witness and honour and acknowledge, and those are big words for Indigenous people... the amazing leadership of Stats Canada. As a Two-Spirit person, I believe that we can do better of centring Two-Spirit and Indigenous experiences within survey instruments such as... every five years that StatsCan uses, as this is critical in being a more respectful, reciprocal, relevant and responsible relations with the government agency and with the Indigenous and Two-Spirit communities, peoples and experiences. While many Two-Spirit people also identify as Indigenous and lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer and/or additional identities under the rubric of LGBTQAI+, the term "Two-Spirit" has vibrant and diverse local and regional meanings tied to the plurality of possible gender and sexual expressions within different Indigenous communities. Furthermore... the distinctive place of Two-Spirit identified individuals within Indigenous communities predates Western and colonial medical identities, and/or community identities. And the... formation of transgressive... urban sexual communities. It uses merely a marker of sexual identity to quantitative research. Therefore, it becomes a colonial practice and a recognition, and an honouring of our Two-Spirit relatives. Two-spirit is a community-organising strategy and tool and not an identity. In other words, it's a way to identify those individuals who embody diverse sexualities, gender, expressions and/or identities and who are Indigenous to Turtle Island. And it is a nation-specific... when we actually go into defining what Two-Spirit is. Additionally, Two-Spirit doesn't make sense unless it's contextualized within an Indigenous framework or frameworks and communities and within a traditional, pre-contact setting. It was tied to gendered labor roles within communities and not seen as an enduring sexual orientation. However, there was same-sex sexual relations that existed prior to contact. Today, most people associate the term with LGBTQAI+ Indigenous people. However, the work of Two-Spirit leaders, elders, community members and organization is often more akin to this understanding and ways of being, knowing and doing within a pre-contact or traditional setting. From the work of the Two-Spirit Dry Lab, we know the importance of data collection within culturally affirming ways is vitally important to being in good relations and also getting the right story and right song. The lab, the Two-Spirit Dry Lab, is a collaborative initiative of Indigenous and settler researchers, community leaders, engaged in research at the intersection of ingenuity, gender, sexual orientation and geography. And the lab works to promote best and wise practices in sex and gender science to grow new knowledge or knowledges that can be applied to improve the health outcomes of our Indigenous and Two-Spirit and Indigenous queer and LGBTQAI+ Indigenous respondents' stories. Additionally, the Two-Spirit Dry Lab has a capacity-building function to promote understanding and best and wise practices for Indigenous and Two-Spirit research as well as a discovery function through our analysis and continuous learning and engagement with and for Two-Spirit community. The vision of the Two-Spirit Dry Lab is a robust, gender-inclusive, active, thriving network of Two-Spirit help researchers, leaders and knowledge users in good relations with an integrative network of settler allies. For more information about the lab, please... visit our website. And I'm just going to pop that into the chat. Sorry about that. Now, what we found from our work, with... the Sex Now survey, and I don't know whether or not Anu is going to be talking about that, but that is run through CBRC this is Canada's-- one of Canada's-- or, it is Canada's largest and longest-running national periodic survey of gay, bi, trans, Two-Spirit and queer men's health. And when it Two-Spirit was offered as a variable in either sexual orientation or gender identity like it was in the 2015 Sex Now survey, 62% of the respondents who selected Two-Spirit were not Indigenous. As a workaround, we limited our study and work to those respondents who only identified as Indigenous from the 2015 survey. Learning from this, we advocated for Two-Spirit to be collected under the race, ethnicity or culture question... as Two-Spirit is the intersection of those who embody diverse sexuality, gender, roles and identities and who are Indigenous to Turtle Island. CIHR, as well as... the Community-based Research Centre accepted some guidance in the 2018 survey sample. And how better to collect Two-Spirit data in culturally-affirming, safe sensitive ways that is honoring of the traditions, experiences and histories of Indigenous people that pre-dates Western notions and concepts including gay, lesbian, trans, queer and bisexual in the CIHR's Meet The Methods series of what and who Two-Spirit people are in health research. This guidance was way for Indigenous community members to... honour and proclaim... and use Two-Spirit, while honouring-- while still honouring how they show up and walk within a Western world if they chose to reclaim their LGBTQI+ identities and ways of knowing and being. Here is a link to that guidance. In this guidance, if someone selected Indigenous, then they were offered the following follow-up questions, "Are you first Nations, Métis, Inuit, prefer to self-describe, or prefer not to say?" Sometimes it's not safe to say. And then, and only then was a question given to these Indigenous respondents. Are you Two-Spirit? Yes or no. When we implemented this data collection method from the 2018 Sex Now survey, we found that 42% of the respondents use to-- Of the Indigenous respondents, use the term Two-Spirit. And when asked this way, 0% of the respondents were non-Indigenous. While I lard-- laud-- laud, sorry, the efforts of Stats Canada in their leadership in collecting trans and non-binary data, I believe that this is a great first step. However, when we're engaging with this data, we must keep in mind that Two-Spirit collected this way, this opens up the possibility, in the 2021 census data collected this way opens up the possibility for non-Indigenous people to select and claim this variable as well as this word, Two-Spirit. When the Two-Spirit Lab were-- when we decide-- and we're going to turn our attention to it, and I cannot wait-- to work with this amazing new data from Stats Canada, we must find ways to work with the data that is honouring of those individuals who embody diverse sexuality, gender identities and expressions and to our Indigenous to Turtle Island as we did from the 2015 survey-- Sex Now survey. As for the generational factor, we know from the 2021 census data that younger generations have larger shares of those who were trans, transgender or non-binary. As a proudly self-proclaimed data geek, I cannot wait to dig into this data to see if these similar sort of findings exist within Indigenous respondents. Well, I think that this is a first step as I already stated. I would like to see our methods used to collect Two-Spirit data in a more culturally affirming way that is safe and sensitive, that is more honouring of the traditions, experience and history of our Two-Spirit relatives. As this is more than just-- As if StatsCan were to use our method, it would be-- As it-- Sorry, if StatsCan was to use our method to collect Two-Spirit data, it is more just, but is also more in line with the findings from the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action, as well as the United Nations declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. In that, we should have the right to self determine and self actualize ourselves. And so, for Indigenous people who have to select non-binary, Western, colonial frameworks, and as well as identities and under that rubric, Two-Spirit is kind of included or you could do a write-in question. That is colonial. Two-Spirit people and Indigenous respondents should have the survey instrument that reflects their reality and who they are, and on their terms, as the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People so clearly states. Finally, I humbly thank Dominic and Mona for their opening remarks as well as the question where they gave a history, a brief history, of how Stats Canada's survey instrument has evolved and changed over the past decades... from not having a word for same-sex family to how they collect LGBT data. This gives me hope that one day Stats Canada will collect Two-Spirit data within our terms. So that we may more clearly see everyone, and especially our Two-Spirit Indigenous relatives. It is with the greatest honour and humility that I say... [speaking in Cree]. It's a formal "thank you" in Cree to a group, informally we would just say hiy, hiy, and... [speaking in Cree], until then.

[Jason Bett] Thank you, Harlan, for that fulsome response. A lot of good information. You have generated a lot of conversation I think in the-- in the chat as well. Just for our viewers today, so, your questions will be submitted to Statistics Canada for response. You will also receive a-- a form after this event where you will have the opportunity to provide some of your feedback. And if you have any additional questions to ask, Statistics Canada will be providing responses to your questions. Now, let's move on to our fourth question. This one is going to be for Anu. Anu, we're now going to talk about kind of the-- This is probably the challenging question in terms of where we are going next and what we need to do. So, now that we have this base level of-- of data, what are going to be the next steps and where are we going to go from here? How can we ensure that those who still feel unseen are recognized? How does it supplement or compliment existing research? And how to return this data into positive change and support advocacy efforts? Over to you, Anu.

[Anu Radha] Thanks for the question, Jason. And I'm still kind of vibrating from Harlan's comments. It's really humbling to be in the same space and to be thinking through... you know, lessons and learnings and approaches that I think lots of our listeners or viewers or readers are hearing in ways that I hope will kind of spark additional work for you. So, again, check out those resources that Harlan shared. And before I kind of jump into the advocacy piece, I just wanted to say it quickly that, you know, the work that the community-based Research Centre, CBRC, has done over its 20 plus years... as a community-based organization by and for 2SLGBTQ+ communities... is really being responsive. So in my, kind of comments about advocacy, I want to also say that being able to be responsive and nimble means taking in feedback, including when a survey tool, for example, that we release doesn't actually capture the, you know, the brilliance and the vibrancy of our communities. And being able to adapt that as years go on, taking that feedback. And I guess I'll share really briefly on that note, that, you know, that process of being able to hear, listen, absorb with humility, has informed, you know, the development of one of our more recent projects which is the Our Health survey which is a very large, Canada wide 2SLGBTQI+ community health survey in three languages and one of our first surveys that is inclusive of the spectrum of our communities. You know, as an organization, CBRC has evolved from being a cis gay men's organization to an organization that is committed to, you know, supporting and understanding the needs and advocating for people of diverse sexualities and genders. And that kind of transtion that kind of evolution, we might say, I think is where I want to start in terms of what we do with this data. So, I think I also want to name that these are really dangerous times. Transphobic rhetoric and how it shows up in public places, online, in legislated transphobic hate in the kind of... increasing difficulty in talking about trans youth or non-binary youth, that is a closely connected conversation to this one. And I want to point out that when we talk about having trans and non-binary folks amongst younger populations being more represented in-- in this data, we have to be able to contextualize it in a way that is not going to add fuel to transphobic folks who are really interested in having their particular kind of transphobic... rhetoric supplemented or supported. So we really need to be able saying, you know, there is a reason that people find power in access to language. And so, this-- this data set and at least these couple of questions and what it means for us can be a starting point for the kinds of advocacy that we need to do. Gathering data and talking about what we do with it has to be contextualized within this understanding of systemic transphobia and so, sexism, but also within a broader understanding of other forms of systemic oppression. Earlier in the chat, someone made a comment about... being able to see how the data looks for those who are perhaps newcomers, immigrants or refugees. And I want to add folks who are without status who of course do not have the opportunity to participate and sometimes in data collection projects or processes like this. So, for me, again, I started with this, and I want to come back to it. So, as a cis person, recognizing how much space these folks take up in these conversations, I think that taking leadership from trans and non-binary folks in terms of the advocacy that we need to do or what we need to do with this data going forward is the only way that we need to move. So, you know, what I hear and see and honour and respect so much from trans community leaders, activists, organizations as well, is that... you know, this is not a perfect set of questions and we need to be thinking about how do we want to be adaptable and responsive and how do we want to be able to... use the fact that we are even talking about trans and non-binary folks as an opportunity for naming systemic transphobia. So, for community-based organizations like the CBRC and 2SLGBTQ2+ organizations as a whole, everything from the very small grassroots organization to the large, very well-funded national organizations, this kind of data is helpful for us to A, provide evidence for why we do the work that we do and to talk about why we need to continue doing it. And when we talk about evidence, I'm thinking about this-- this quote talked about a lot at these data tables I used to sit on in the suburbs. And I don't know if I'm a data nerd like Harlan is, certainly, you know, got way more expertise than I do. But I remember this phrase of, you know, "Either if we are not counted, we do not count." Or "Not everything that counts can be counted." So, just thinking a little bit about that. You know, and so, there was a comment earlier about representation and I think we want to be able to complicate representation as well. But, evidence, providing evidence for why we do what we do. I think that's important. The data is really helpful for us to be able to advocate for increased resources including services and programs that are dedicated to supporting trans and non-binary individuals and communities as well as kind of broader 2SLGBTQ+ community resources. Across the country, we will see that there are lots of limitations and gaps in terms of resources. It is one thing to ask folks who they are, and there's more about how we could be asking who they are. But it's another to say, "And how does your day-to-day life look like?" You know? The reality is that collecting data itself is not changing the material conditions of our communities' lives, but rather that this data is an opportunity to spark conversation... to spark community organizing and to spark collaboration and partnership across organizations. I think for CRPC, we see this as complementing the kinds of data products we have been able to release. We have a dashboard with all of the information from previous versions of Sex Now, and we will have dashboards for future research projects as well. So thinking about having the StatsCan data set in conversation with what we collected as a community-based organization at the community level, we'll probably spark conversations like what-- what numbers are being underrepresented in government collected data? You know, what does it mean to ask these kinds of questions in this way? How does that compare or contrast to how community members are being asked questions about themselves in a healthcare or clinical context? How community members are being asked questions about themselves when they try to access services? Everything from trying to get a health card all the way through to, you know, trying to care for folks and their families and thinking about kinship in Mona's comments earlier. There is a lot more that I know my co-panelists will have to say, but I think, you know, what I want us to be really thinking about is our role and responsibility in challenging transphobia as a core part of what we do and what this data is telling us. And I think I will pause there and pass it to my co-panelists. -Thank you! -

[Jason Bett] Thanks, Anu. That's-- that's a very loaded answer with a lot of information, and I think you have a lot of comments in the chat as well. You know, highly based on trust as well. So, kind of the first data set if-- if people feel like they are seen or there is some-- some type of trust there, between, you know, the organization and-- and-- and the people, those that are filling out the survey. Also, you know, there was a comment about kind of being flexible with the type of language that we use with the questions. So, as we progress and as we look toward future additions of the census, you know, the results could definitely be different if people start seeing themselves within the questions. Do we have any other panelists that would like to provide a quick comment on next steps or any of the challenges? Where do we go from here with the data that we collected? Have we gone far enough? Do we need to go further? Where do you see some of the barriers? Mona.

[speaking French]

[female interpreter] Thank you.

[female interpreter] ...about the data, about the preponderance of trans and non-binary identities in younger generations. This is something that we often hear during our training, the idea of things being fashionable. Because there's doubts that are being placed on these youth. We have to be very vigilant and careful. Because this data is very interesting, however, we cannot use it against young trans, non-binary people. Because by way of these different generations, the availability of concepts at different periods of time can have repercussions in different generations. For example, I know many, many lesbians who are, you know, have a very masculine expression, but maybe they are trans, maybe they're binary-- non-binary, and they weren't really able to express themselves during another period of time in that manner. So for me, we now see that it's really this way of being, it didn't exist before, it is not that we newly invented things, but we just are naming the reality. We weren't able to have-- Before we weren't really able to talk about these non-binary aspects. However, we do have to put the generations into context.

[Jason Bett] Thank you.

[speaking French]

[female interpreter] So, I'm wondering if there are any other comments about this. Dominic? Do you have something to say? Okay. So, Mona really opened up an interesting and fascinating subject as well regarding... the different... generations. And we see the different variations in non-binary people in-- from one province to another in terms of the ability and accessibility of language. That is something that is really important to take a look at.

[speaking French]

[male interpreter] We have the whole question of bi-spiritual or Two-Spirit identification which could lead to a different understanding of these issues. All of this affects what we might call the intersectional issues. There are things that will be able to start understanding based on looking at the census data... and we need to be as well sensitive to all of this. The question of language, in French and English... is gender expressed as easily or the same way in French and in English? Are there cultural aspects that might change how we might consider this data? We saw this for the first people, but these people can also be asked for the whole question of ethno-cultural diversity. At the same time... this is sensitive data. So we need to understand and properly stay in contact with the community to make sure that we make the right steps and the next steps. I, for example, work on questions of sexual orientation. We should-- If we add this diversity... to the whole mix, we understand, obviously, that Statistics Canada is taking all of this into account and the people need to adapt themselves to the new reality. So, I'm interested in seeing in the upcoming surveys how you will deal with this and what this will give us as a possibility... in terms of... interventions on a political, social level. Everything that we can see depends on what we can capture, so... if we look at the intersectionality... all of this will be very important. And as well, the diversity of gender can be added to this. I think it is important to note down all of these aspects. Another challenge that we didn't speak about which is not quite the same but is related is the whole issue of inter-sexuality. It is not a gender issue it's more a question of diversity but perhaps on a sexual level. This is a little bit more complicated in terms of visibility or invisibility not just on a social level. So, it means we are not just adding a simple question. I think it is clearly something that we could ask ourselves as a question. Will we be able to capture these issues? I don't think we're there on the Statistics Canada side and we can understand this because... they have done so much progress with their gender diversity, but for a lot of people this will be the next question in line. Is this something that we want to recognize, do we want to follow this in the census? Obviously, we don't want to make a confusion between the gender-related question and the sex-related question. But... that's what I'll say. So, thank you!

[Jason Bett] This has definitely been an informative session and what a away to kick off public service pride week! I would like to thank all of the panelists for providing your insights on this historic data and how it will be used.

[speaking French]

[male interpreter] Before ending today, I would like to say just how important it is to continue with this discussion to take what you've learned today and to use this knowledge as power. Join a network... volunteer, get into action. We need to work together as allies and as the LGBTQ2+ community so that we can have spaces where people can have their-- live their true identity.

[Jason Bett] Please visit the Public Service Pride Network's webpage at for the full list of this week's activities.

[speaking French]

[female interpreter] Thank you, Jason.

[male interpreter] Some final words. Thank you very much to the panelists for participating in this discussion. It was very interesting. This was a form to explain how the new data-- new data questions could be used by the various stakeholders... and the university world, and... to see what are the statistical gaps that need to be filled. And I think that we've reached this objective.

[Josée Bégin] It is important for us at Statistics Canada to continually improve our ability to address data user needs for insightful information so, this is why meaningful discussions with experts and data users like you are so key! We have taken good notes of your feedback and I want to stress the fact that StatCan takes the confidentiality and privacy of Canadians very seriously. All information provided including that for the census, is kept confidential and used only for statistical purposes. I encourage you to keep an eye on our future releases with gender content. For example, in the the coming months we are planning to release an analysis on transgender and non-binary children. Thank you and back to you, Jason!

[Jason Bett] Merci. Thank you. So, if you have any questions, please provide them at

[speaking French] Thank you again to everyone for attending this wonderful panel and for sharing all of this great information about... ...the census, and how it reflects on-- on-- on-- on people. And we look forward to further discussions with you. Happy Public Service Pride, everyone.

[speaking French]

Merci. Au revoir.

(Canada wordmark appears on screen.)