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Hey, Cis!

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; breaking us out of the binary, smashing stigma and fostering greater connection between our cisgender community and trans, gender creative and non-binary community.

Listen on Spotify and Youtube

S1: Eps 4: To trans or not to trans?

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Statistically, boxing us up for data, gets it wrong part of the time...every time.


I was signing up for a music account and they were asking my gender. I wondered, why?


  • Have you been boxed up by gender on a recent form?

  • Was it a situation where your gender identity really needed to be tracked?

  • Or were they really looking for your biological sex and hormones? Example: when it comes to car insurance? Typically testosterone can be linked to higher risk in drivers and higher premiums.

  • Were you left out of the conversation all together?

"Gender is definitely a dying trait when it comes to statistics."

Isaac is transgender and identifies as non-binary.

Cynthia is cisgender and identifies as female.

Sam Smith (who was not apart of this week's podcast) says he's 'not male or female,' and feels he floats somewhere in between.

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

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

We've covered the basics, let's look at the intersections of data collection and the implications on someone who is trans and/or non-binary,  and someone who is cisgender.

Firstly, it needs to be meaningful.

This past month Cynthia tackled gender markers on her child's health card.

In Nova Scotia we've the option to have a gender marker M or F. 

Conversely, you can also choose to NOT have a gender marker on your health card altogether. 


Therein raises a dillemma for her, as a parent of a young trans child.


In one stance, not having a gender marker could be a red flag.

Healthcare is not equitable. Should be, but it is not. Sadly, there are family practitioners across Nova Scotia and Canada who have not been educated around gender identity, inclusive healthcare and beyond binary medicine when it comes to health.

Doctor's Desk

They refuse to accept trans people into their practices.  They ignore their preferred pronouns.  It's in direct conflict with Bill C-16, the anti-discrimination bill around gender identity, yet somehow it doesn't seem to apply to the Hippocratic oath, the whole 'do-no-harm promise.

Funny, that.

So, what if you're travelling out of province and you need to visit a walk-in clinic and your gender marker does not match your identity.  You may be there for an ear infection or UTI and boom - you're having to 'out' yourself when it is not necessary.

Flipside: you arrive incapacitated to an emergency department, you can't communicate but your health card aligns with your gender expression and identity, but not with your biological sex.

Bigger picture: What if you're in a country and you've an X on your passport but the country has transphobic policies towards trans people.  Like in the United States where doctors in some states can flat out deny providing healthcare to someone who is trans.

As a parent of a trans kiddo, Cynthia worries about the implications incorrect data collection may one day have upon her child as they get older.

In this episode, Isaac shares his love of challenging gender norms and his recent experience as a trans person thrown into the pink-medicine ward of healthcare.

Some men have a vagina. Some women have a penis.


"What if you're in an emergency situation and you can't communicate to your healthcare providers? Is it better lay it all out on the line?

Pink Medicine/Blue Medicine:

What's it all about?

Chase Joynt is a moving-image artist and writer whose films have won jury and audience awards internationally.  "Resisterectomy is a 4-part multi-media moving image, picture and text installation that challenges the boundaries of a gendered body through the examination and infiltration of, in and on various medical procedures and spaces."

Filmed in collaboration with Dr. Mary Bryson, the project juxtaposes the narrative of trans sex reassignment surgeries with the narrative of cancer surgeries – mastectomy and hysterectomy – the same surgeries, organized in relation to very different modes of telling, showing and embodiment.

Dive deeper:

Our trans inclusive healthcare workshop may be the right fit for you! Use this Code: HeyCisHealthcare for 50% your next workshop.

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Why it is so important to get it right: