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Published on January 31st, 2012 | by Wild Gender


Canada Won’t Let Gender-Variance Fly

A bizarre section of the Identity Screening Regulations used in airports throughout Canada has sparked an internet uproar. The section bans gender-non-conforming and transgender people from boarding airplanes if their gender presentation does not match the one listed on their identification.

Despite the rumors, this does not mean all transgender people are banned from flight.

The regulations reads:

5.2 (1) An air carrier shall not transport a passenger if …
(c) the passenger does not appear to be of the gender indicated on the identification he or she presents;

According to Canadian writer,, the regulation came into effect on July 27, 2011. But had not yet come to the attention of concerned citizens in and outside of Canada. Also, to be clear, these regulations are not legislation. Right now, they are a set of rules implemented unilaterally by Canada’s Ministry of Transportation as part of the fairly ambiguous “Passenger Protect,” which is Canada’s version of a “no-fly” list.

“I’m Canadian and I’ve definitely gotten searched more thoroughly,” said Will, a transgender writer from Cape Breton. “But I’ve not been refused. At least, not inside Canada.”

So, what does this particular rule mean for gender-variant folks from the U.S. traveling in and out of Canada?

Well, in order to change the gender designation on a U.S. Passport, a person must present a physician’s note to prove that they are currently undergoing or have already undergone gender-reassignment. So, for any gender-variant people who would prefer not have their gender reassigned, people who are not pursuing treatment for ‘gender identity disorder,’ and for those androgynous presenting folks who like it that way, there is no method to obtain proper travel documentation. Particularly for those of us living outside the binary.

I will actually be traveling through Canada at the end of the month. And in the light of these regulations, I’ve opted to drive.

To support the Canadian group against the ban, visit their Facebook Group: À bas l’interdiction aérienne transphobe–Against Canada’s trans flight ban


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About the Author

Wild Gender

is an online magazine and creative hub born out of gratitude for the gift of full expression. We are dedicated to creative practices that celebrate gender fluidity, identity and expression. Wild Gender prioritizes visual art, creative writing, and journalistic work by trans/gender-variant individuals who have never before been published in a public venue. Run entirely by volunteers,we are always in search of writers, thinkers, and creators hoping to participate in our growing community.

3 Responses to Canada Won’t Let Gender-Variance Fly

  1. Katie Moody says:

    This is pointless and sad. And here I thought that Canada had equality for transfolk? I guess not… I will be travelling to Montreal in less than 3 months, luckily I will be going by car, but even if I went by air I am one of the few who have the new US passport that has my target sex on it. Canada, fix this!

  2. Pingback: Canadian Screening Regulations Prohibit Transgender Flyers | Passport Magazine

  3. Geena says:

    ALL CANADIAN SWEETHEART,….K.D. Lang,…is in trouble

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