Latest News
News
Based on facts either observed and verified firsthand by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

Victoria is the non-binary capital of Canada

The city has Canada's highest proportion of transgender and non-binary residents, Statistics Canada finds

Latest News
News
Based on facts either observed and verified firsthand by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

Victoria is the non-binary capital of Canada

The city has Canada's highest proportion of transgender and non-binary residents, Statistics Canada finds

Graphic created using 2021 StatsCan data.
Graphic created using 2021 StatsCan data.
Latest News
News
Based on facts either observed and verified firsthand by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

Victoria is the non-binary capital of Canada

The city has Canada's highest proportion of transgender and non-binary residents, Statistics Canada finds

Get the news and events in Victoria, in your inbox every morning.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Victoria is the non-binary capital of Canada
Graphic created using 2021 StatsCan data.

This week, Statistics Canada released 2021 census data in which Greater Victoria has the highest proportion of non-binary people in Canada, the second-highest proportion of transgender people, and the highest proportion of both groups combined.

The 2021 census provided, for the first time, the direct option for respondents to specifically identify themselves as transgender or non-binary. The survey found 0.41% of Greater Victorians aged 15+ polled marked themselves as non-binary on the census—about 1 in every 255 residents, the most of any Canadian city. Additionally, 0.33% (one in every 300) marked themselves as transgender—second only to Alma, Que. (0.35%), and about tied with Halifax, NS.

Support Your Community, Support Local Journalism

With paid membership, every penny goes directly to helping our newsroom continue its work and helps our team grow and expand our coverage

Become an Insider

Victoria #1 among cities, Nanaimo #4

Among the 41 large urban centres (Census Metropolitan Areas), Victoria was first in combined proportion of transgender and non-binary people (0.75%, or 1 in 133), followed by Halifax (0.66%), Fredericton (0.60%), and Nanaimo (57%). Vancouver was 14th.

BC had the third-highest rate of people (0.44%) who reported being either transgender or non-binary, after Nova Scotia (0.48%) and Yukon (0.47%). The Canada-wide total was 0.33% (1 in 300), reflecting a total of 100,815 census respondents.

Milestone survey fills data gaps & reflects increased acceptance, StatsCan says

Statistics Canada said that Canada is now the first country to collect this information as part of the standard mandatory census; places such as England and Australia have included similar questions on optional census sections or other population surveys.

There were significant generational differences in responses; Canadian respondents in age cohorts below 30 described themselves as transgender or non-binary at rates above 0.70% (1 in 140) while those in the age cohorts aged 45+ did so at rates below 0.20% (1 in 500).

The 2021 Canadian census also included an open-ended gender descriptor box in which respondents could describe their gender identity more specifically. This incorporated categories such as gender-fluid and two-spirit (an umbrella term used to refer to a range of genders in different Indigenous cultures).

Victoria’s place in preserving queer and gender-diversity history

As Capital Daily has reported before, Greater Victoria is already home to the world’s largest collection by and about trans, non-binary, two-spirit, and other gender-diverse folks. At the University of Victoria, sociology professor and Chair in Transgender Studies Aaron Devor has led research in the area since the early 1980s.

"I have never had a gatekeeper role in relation to the trans community," Devor, who is openly trans himself, says. "I have been able to build alliances and relationships and form access to the community in a way that many people who have approached it academically have not had—especially in those early years."

‘Confidence to take up more space’

Despite growing visibility within BC and across Canada, non-binary and trans folks have still often found themselves ignored—from inconsistencies around tracking hate crimes to frustrations in navigating Canada’s health systems.

For trans and non-binary comedian Zane Oak, who uses they/them pronouns and hosts Vicious Poodle’s Queer Comedy Night, reclaiming their identity has come through the world of standup.

"Now, knowing who I am," Oak says, "performing, and being on this journey as a trans person, has given me confidence to take up more space."

Article Author's Profile Picture
EMAIL:
TWITTER:
contact@capitaldaily.ca

Support Your Community, Support Local Journalism

With paid membership, every penny goes directly to helping our newsroom continue its work and helps our team grow and expand our coverage

Become an Insider

Related News

Five arrested, but at least four won’t see charges from Fairy Creek camp
Stay connected to your city with the Capital Daily newsletter.
By filling out the form above, you agree to receive emails from Capital Daily. You can unsubscribe at any time.