Meet Us

Throughout this project, we have relied on the insight, expertise, and wisdom of 2SLGBTQIA+ communities shared with us through our consultation process. We conducted one-on-one consultations with 19 people in the two-spirit, trans, non-binary, and gender diverse community and 16 people participated in our portrait series. We are grateful to those who shared their stories and experiences from a Nova Scotian context - your openness and generosity have had a profound impact on this publication.

We are so proud to display these portraits and quotes from trans, non-binary, and gender diverse Nova Scotians. 

Our guide uses terms like “two-spirit, trans, non-binary, and gender diverse people” to refer to a community of people whose gender identity is different from the gender they were assigned at birth. You can refer to the glossary if any of these terms are unfamiliar.

  • Gender identity: genderfluid non-binary
    Pronouns: they/them
    Works in: theatre, patient simulations, visual art

    I have always struggled with labels. Looking back I think it’s partly because I grew up with boxes that I didn’t fit into, no examples of people I could relate to, no representation to help me go : “oh hey, that’s me!” It took me a long time to really get a handle on who I was because of that. As I’ve come into my own as a genderfluid non-binary individual, the affirmation when my pronouns are used (they/them)... there is no other feeling like it.

  • Gender identity: non-binary, gender fluid
    Pronouns: he/she/they/chanh
    Works in: biochemistry research

    I am a gen 1.5 nonbinary genderfluid researcher and use a combination of English and Vietnamese pronouns (he/she/they/chanh). To me, queerness means a never-ending self-accepting journey. I came into terms with my queerness in late 20s just when I thought that I am done with my self-discovery journey. Still, I don’t regret having this journey! I’m very proud that I did!

  • Gender identity: trans woman
    Pronouns: she/her
    Works in: queer non-profit

    When a workplace supports and affirms me as a trans woman, I am able to bring my whole self to work. This allows me to thrive, which benefits both myself and the organization!

  • Gender identity: non-binary
    Pronouns: they/them
    Works in: newcomer support

    As a nonbinary person living and working in a culture that barely understands transgender people, I live a double life. I go to work and pretend to be a cisgender, digestable version of myself and when I go home I can be my full-blown queer self. My hope for the future is for my workplace to become educated on the diverse identities of their employees and create practical initiatives to make their trans/gender-non-conforming/nonbinary/queer employees feel respected. I want workplaces to not only tick inclusivity boxes, but truly understand the lives of transgender people. Until workplaces understand this necessity, I will continue hiding myself and living a double life.

  • Gender identity: non-binary
    Pronouns: they/them
    Works in: law

    Queerness is a celebration of love and solidarity

  • Gender identity: trans man
    Pronouns: he/they
    Works in: real estate

    Now that I am Charlie, I finally feel like I have the energy and space to focus on what matters in my life. My work ethic and productivity have gone through the roof because I feel confident within myself. I had no idea that coming out as transgender and living an authentic life would positively impact my community and me. Everywhere I go, I feel that I share my light and shine a path for others to follow. Now, I am the successful professional I have always dreamed of being.

  • Gender identity: trans
    Pronouns: they/them
    Works in: queer youth support and education

    I am incredibly lucky to work within an organisation that actively works to not only affirm my gender identity but tangibly supports my transness through comprehensive benefits programs, numerous 2STGNC (Two Spirit, trans, gender-nonconforming) staff, board of directors members, and Youth Board members, represented in postions of power, as well as the intentional organisational celebration of the diversity of 2STGNC community and experience. It saddens me that this reality is rare and I am deeply invested in and hopeful for a future where this is reflected for 2STGNC folks locally and beyond.

  • Gender identity: trans nonbinary genderfluid
    Pronouns: they/them
    Works in: Arts and Culture, not-for-profit

    We are always changing; embrace the fluidity and do not fear the Water’s flow.

  • Gender identity: non-binary
    Pronouns: they/she
    Works in: multidisciplinary art

    Queerness is joy, it is being able to relax into yourself and find something transformative, it is community and collaboration and a continual art of becoming

  • Gender identity: non-binary
    Pronouns: they/them
    Works in: queer youth education

    Being queer to me means giving yourself permission to be your most authentic self and show up for yourself. Too often as queer people we don’t get to stand up and show up for ourselves and others. Being queer means being yourself. Being scared and afraid, but being queer anyways, because being queer is sometimes all that we have. With our chosen families, that is enough.

  • Gender identity: little bit of both, sometimes neither
    Pronouns: they/them, he/him
    Works in: youth programming

    My gender is a little bit of both and sometimes neither end of the binary. I know the importance of being able to be yourself at work for the sheer fact that we spend too muchtime at our jobs to not feel like we can be ourselves. Working in a school system has given me the responsibility and honour to create safe spaces because if I have the space to be who I am, it allows the kids I work with the freedom to be who they are also.

  • Gender: non-binary woman
    Pronouns: she/her, they/them
    Works in: acting

    Labels are not for other people to attach to me. My labels are how I chose to define my own identity to the wider world. I’m both a woman and non-binary.

  • Gender identity: gender fluid
    Pronouns: they/she
    Works in: adult education

    I love being queer because I don’t find it necessary to follow the heteropatriarchal scripts. Being queer makes space to reimagine all aspects of life that align with my values, for my community and for myself.

  • Gender identity: gender-fluid, non-binary
    Pronouns: they/she/he
    Works in: 2SLGBTQIA+ education in healthcare

    Being queer and genderfluid, I am intimately tied to a beautiful and rich community full of history, activism and chosen family. I am not held to traditional notions of sex, gender identity and expression or sexual orientation. This can create euphoria and self love beyond what I thought possible. While it is incredible, we still face so many intersecting barriers, oppressions and discrimination. The time for action, co-creation and collaboration is now. Nothing about us should be created without us. Until all marginalized and oppressed groups are uplifted, none of us are so let’s create a future of belonging and action together.

  • Pronouns: they/he/she
    Gender identity: trans non-binary
    Works in: health education

    Embracing my queer and trans identity has opened up how I exist and behave in the health care profession. Not only am I more aware of the systems of oppression responsible for health disparities but I feel empowered to critically analyze the discourses they promote and work with others to actively dismantle them. More specifically, my perspective as a non-binary dietitian has helped me to view nutrition, food, health, and the body in a way that does not force binaries (especially those of good vs. bad) and I believe this has made me a more compassionate and caring practitioner.