Without accurate ID, transgender individuals face barriers in accessing basic necessities. This includes medical and health services, social assistance, as well as the ability to open a bank account, vote, travel, and secure housing and employment. Trans individuals are also disproportionately targets of sexual and physical assault, harassment, and hate crimes. This results in higher rates of depression, anxiety, self-harm, substance use, and the loss of self-worth. We know that obtaining accurate identification is not just a symbolic statement; it is about the ability to exercise rights and to live a life of acceptance.
In 2017, PBSC partnered with SKETCH and Blakes LLP to launch our first Trans ID Clinic in Toronto. Since then, we have partnered with eight organizations to develop six clinics in cities spanning four provinces. Through these clinics, our volunteers provide free legal assistance with ID applications, name changes, and gender marker changes, with an aim to close the gap in the provision of services for transgender individuals seeking to obtain accurate government issued identification.
A 2019 study found that 45% of trans individuals in Canada have reported one or more unmet healthcare needs in the last year.
12% of individuals avoided going to the emergency room during that time, despite needing care.
64% of individuals could list three or more public spaces they have avoided for fear of being harassed or outed.