Ep #12: Celebrate us while we're here

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Hey, Cis! is a weekly head-on conversation about current affairs and gender-based issues affecting trans and non-binary youth, students and adults within our Maritime community.

We take on difficult topics; (and this week it is a difficult topic), breaking us out of the binary, smashing stigma and fostering greater connection between our cisgender community and trans, gender creative and non-binary community.

Hey, Cis; Hey, who?

Cis = latin preface for 'on the same side as.

Cisgender is someone whose gender identity aligns with their sex as assigned at birth.

Cisgender is someone who has the ability to make the world safer, brighter and more inclusive for trans people young and old. Cisgender is someone who needs to be an intentional part of the conversation -- so let's talk.

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'Your story isn't black enough,' recalls DeShanna Neal, as she was told by publishers that her child's story needed more discourse. 

Intersections of being a child, transgender and autistic come together in a beautifully written storybook by mother and daughter duo, DeShanna Neal and Trinity Neal.


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DeShanna and Trinity

'All of these different things, all of these parts of her make her a masterpiece of a human being. And intersectionality is so vastly important. Sometimes we just focus on gender identity and forget there is a whole person in there.' 

In their home, she explains they use gaming terms. So when she knew her daughter is trans, in her mind, her daughter simply levelled up some more!

'I wanted people to see her blackness as something that was so beautiful. The only time you hear about black trans femmes and girls and women, was usually after they died...we are more than our deaths,' shares DeShanna.

My Rainbow is a newly published children's book about a transgender girl named Trinity who was struggling with growing her hair and a family who listened with their heart. This intersectional story introduces the world to Trinity, a young black girl with autism who knows who she is and shines her story out to the world.


My Rainbow is a featured book in Simply Good Form's 2021 Inclusive School Reads Nova Scotia event. Part 1 of 4 conversations with DeShanna Neal as we talk about trans youth inclusion, gender identity and breaking down stigma.


In Part 1 of Cynthia's conversation with DeShanna, the mother of 4 children shares about the intersections of raising a beautiful black, transgender child with autism and the importance of giving space to children, to really hear them. And listening with your heart.

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