Open Letter: Bill C-6 excludes conversion therapy practices that target trans people

“My horrible, traumatic, conversion therapy occurred in a licensed therapist’s office, at a public mental health hospital, funded by the public health system in Ontario. Conversion therapy has, is and will continue to occur in medical practices in this country unless this bill is amended to comprehensively ban all forms of conversion therapy. My rights to life, liberty and the security of the person as laid out by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms are not limited by the beliefs, speech, or religion of any pastor or psychologist. Bill C-6, if amended, can ensure this protection for myself and others like me.”

Erika Muse, trans woman activist & survivor of conversion therapy 

Read Erika’s full personal letter.

Open Letter: Bill C-6 excludes conversion therapy practices that target trans people

Open letter to Minister Lametti and Minister Chagger, Ministries of Justice and Diversity, Inclusion, and Youth 

Dear Ministers Lametti and Chagger:

Bill C-6, “An Act to amend the Criminal Code (conversion therapy)”, offers an important opportunity to reflect on conversion therapy1 practices that continue to adversely affect transgender, non-binary, Two-Spirit, queer, bisexual, lesbian, gay, and other gender and sexual diverse Canadians. We are heartened that the federal government is committed to addressing these traumatic practices; however, we are obliged to express our concerns about ways in which Bill C-6 fails to adequately define and prevent all forms of conversion therapy. We are particularly concerned about the inequitable impact the current version of the bill will have on trans2, non-binary, and gender-diverse Canadians.

In its current form, Bill C-6 narrowly defines conversion therapy, excluding practitioners who insist that they are not intending to “change a person’s
 gender identity” but whose goal is nevertheless to discourage or delay the adoption of gender identities not assigned at birth, as well as non-conforming gender expressions. We specifically call for amendments (Appendix) to sections 320.101 (“definition of conversion therapy”), 320.101 (a) and (b) (“exclusions”), and 320.102 (2) (“forced conversion therapy”), in order to: include conversion therapy targeting gender expression; more clearly define conversion therapy as including practices that regard a gender identity not assigned at birth as disordered or less desirable; and assert that consent is not valid, if risks associated with conversion therapy are not clearly explained to the patient.

We urgently request that your Ministries reevaluate this bill and communicate how the federal government will address conversion therapy practices that trans Canadians experience. In addition, we ask the government to communicate other proactive strategies that will be used—beyond legislative changes to the Criminal Code—to ensure equitable access to trans-affirming information and supports for trans people of all ages (including youth), as well as their families, communities, and service and support workers, across the country.

Lettre ouverte: le projet de loi C-6 exclut les pratiques de thérapies de conversion qui ciblent les personnes trans

Lettre ouverte au Ministre Lametti et à la Ministre Chagger, Ministùres de la justice et de l’Inclusion est de la Jeunesse.

Chers ministres Lametti et Chagger:

Le projet de loi C-6, « Loi modifiant le Code criminel (thĂ©rapie de conversion)», offre une occasion importante de rĂ©flexion sur les pratiques de thĂ©rapie de conversion qui continuent d’avoir des effets nĂ©fastes pour les personnes transgenres, non binaires, 2Esprits, queer, bisexuels, lesbiennes, gais et autres Canadiens de la diversitĂ© sexuelle ou de genre. Nous sommes encouragĂ©s de constater que le gouvernement fĂ©dĂ©ral est rĂ©solu Ă  lutter contre ces pratiques traumatisantes; cependant, nous sommes obligĂ©s d’exprimer nos prĂ©occupations quant aux maniĂšres dont le projet de loi C-6 ne parvient pas Ă  dĂ©finir et Ă  empĂȘcher adĂ©quatement toutes les formes de thĂ©rapie de conversion. Nous sommes particuliĂšrement prĂ©occupĂ©s par l’impact inĂ©quitable que la version actuelle du projet de loi aura sur les Canadiens trans, non binaires et de la diversitĂ© de genre.

Dans sa forme actuelle, le projet de loi C-6 dĂ©finit Ă©troitement la thĂ©rapie de conversion, Ă  l’exclusion des praticiens qui insistent sur le fait qu’ils n’ont pas l’intention de « changer l’identitĂ© de genre d’une personne» mais dont l’objectif est nĂ©anmoins de dĂ©courager ou de retarder l’adoption des identitĂ©s de genre non attribuĂ©es Ă  la naissance, ainsi que des expressions de genre non conformes. Nous demandons spĂ©cifiquement des modifications (annexe) aux articles 320.101 (« dĂ©finition de la thĂ©rapie de conversion»), 320.101 (a) et (b) (« exclusions») et 320.102 (2) (« thĂ©rapie de conversion forcĂ©e»), et cela dans le but : d’inclure la thĂ©rapie de conversion ciblant l’expression de genre ; de dĂ©finir plus clairement la thĂ©rapie de conversion comme incluant les pratiques qui considĂšrent une identitĂ© de genre non attribuĂ©e Ă  la naissance comme dĂ©sĂ©quilibrĂ© ou moins souhaitable ; et affirmer que le consentement n’est pas valide si les risques associĂ©s Ă  la thĂ©rapie de conversion ne sont pas clairement expliquĂ©s au patient.

Nous demandons Ă  vos ministĂšres de rĂ©Ă©valuer ce projet de loi sans dĂ©lai et de communiquer comment le gouvernement fĂ©dĂ©ral abordera les pratiques de thĂ©rapie de conversion que vivent les Canadiens trans. De plus, nous demandons au gouvernement de communiquer d’autres stratĂ©gies proactives qui seront utilisĂ©es – au-delĂ  des modifications lĂ©gislatives au Code criminel – pour assurer un accĂšs Ă©quitable Ă  l’information et aux soutiens trans-affirmatifs pour les personnes trans de tous Ăąges (y compris les jeunes), ainsi que leurs familles, leurs collectivitĂ©s et les travailleurs des services et du soutien partout au pays.

1Conversion therapy” is a misnomer. Those who experience conversion therapy are not “converted”, and there is nothing therapeutic about it. We use this term because it is the language used in Bill C-6; however, we acknowledge that in practice, conversion therapy goes by a number of different names, including (but not limited to): reparative therapy/practices, reorientation therapy/practices, psychological attempts to change a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression change efforts (SOGIECE), and reintegrative therapy, etc. All of these practices share a common feature of starting from the assumption, that certain sexual orientations, gender identities, gender modalities, and gender expressions are mental illnesses or undesirable conditions. 2Hereafter, we use the term trans as meaning to include non-binary and other gender-diverse people.


Erika Muse, trans woman activist & survivor of conversion therapy 

  • Florence Ashley, Jurist and Bioethicist & PhD Student, University of Toronto Faculty of Law
  • Dr. Travis Salway, Research Scientist, Centre for Gender and Sexual Health Equity (CGSHE) & Assistant Professor, Simon Fraser University
  • Aaron Purdie, Associate Director, Program and Interventions, Health Initiative for Men (HIM) & Therapist, Eagle Wellness
  • A.J. Lowik, PhD Candidate GRSJ UBC, Gender Equity Advisor, Centre for Gender and Sexual Health Equity
  • Ashleigh Rich, PhD candidate, School of Population & Public Health, University of British Columbia
  • Fae Johnstone, Principal Consultant, Wisdom2Action & 2SLGBTQ+ Community Organizer and Writer
  • Dr. Hannah Kia, Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, The University of British Columbia
  • Dr. Jill Chettiar, Associate Director, Centre for Gender and Sexual Health Equity (CGSHE) & PI of the BC Trans Health Project 
  • Dr. Kinnon Ross MacKinnon, Postdoctoral Researcher, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto
  • Nicholas Schiavo, Executive Director, No Conversion Canada 
  • Nikki Zawadzki, Coordinator, Prism Services, Vancouver Coastal Health
  • Dr. Olivier Ferlatte, École de SantĂ© Publique de l’universitĂ© de MontrĂ©al et Centre de Recherche en SantĂ© Publique
  • Rayka Kumru, Communications and Knowledge Translation Manager, Centre for Gender and Sexual Health Equity (CGSHE) & Sexologist
  • Trevor Goodyear, Registered Nurse and Graduate Student, School of Nursing, University of British Columbia


  1. Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights, Ontario
  2. Afro-Canadian Positive Network of BC, British Columbia
  3. AIDS Coalition of Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia
  4. Anova: A Future Without Violence, Ontario
  5. Asian Community AIDS Services (ACAS), Ontario
  6. British Columbia Centre on Substance Use, British Columbia
  7. British Columbia Humanist Association, British Columbia
  8. BCCDC Foundation for Population and Public Health, British Columbia
  9. Calgary Pride, Alberta
  10. Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity, Ontario
  11. Canadian Union of Public Employees
  12. Capital Pride, Ontario
  13. Centre communautaire LGBTQ+ de Montréal, Québec
  14. Centretown Community Health Centre, Ontario
  15. Child Welfare League of Canada, Ontario
  16. Community-Based Research Centre, British Columbia
  17. DisAbled Women’s Network Canada (DAWN) / RĂ©seau d’action des femmes handicapĂ©es Canada (RAFH), QuebecBritish Columbia Centre on Substance Use, British Columbia
  18. Dissociative Society of Canada, Ontario
  19. Family Services Ottawa, Ontario
  20. Fierté Canada Pride, Alberta
  21. Fierte Simcoe Pride, Ontario
  22. FrancoQueer, Ontario
  23. Gender and Sexual Diversity Working Group, University of Waterloo, Ontario
  24. Halifax Pride Society, Nova Scotia
  25. House of PainT Festival of Urban Arts and Culture, Ontario
  26. JusticeTrans, Ontario
  27. Karas Legal Services Professional Corporation, Ontario
  28. Kind Space, Ontario
  29. Lethbridge Public Interest Research Group, Alberta
  30. LGBT YouthLine, Ontario
  31. McMaster Students Union, Ontario
  32. Moms Stop The Harm, British Columbia
  33. Moose Jaw Pride & the Saskatchewan Pride Network, Saskatchewan
  34. MSU Pride Community Centre (PCC), Ontario
  35. MSU Student Health Education Centre (SHEC), Ontario
  36. MSU Women and Gender Equity Network (WGEN), Ontario
  37. Nanaimo Pride Society, British Columbia
  38. National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), Ontario
  39. Nova Scotia Rainbow Action Project, Nova Scotia
  40. Ontario Tech Pride Club, Ontario
  41. Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women (OCTEVAW), Ontario
  42. Ottawa Dyke March, Ontario
  43. OUTSaskatoon, Saskatchewan
  44. PEERS Alliance, Prince Edward Island
  45. Pflag Surrey BC, British Columbia
  46. Planned Parenthood Newfoundland and Labrador Sexual Health Centre, Newfoundland
  47. Planned Parenthood NL Sexual Health Centre, Newfoundland and Labrador
  48. Planned Parenthood Ottawa, Ontario
  49. Planned Parenthood Toronto, Ontario
  50. Pride PEI Inc., Prince Edward Island
  51. QTPOC KW, Ontario
  52. Qu’ART – Ottawa Queer Arts Collective, Ontario
  53. Regina District Labour Council, Saskatchewan
  54. RWDSU, Saskatchewan
  55. Saskatchewan Federation of Labour, Saskatchewan
  56. Saskatoon Sexual Health, Saskatchewan
  57. Sexual Health Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia
  58. Sexual Health, Options, Resources and Education (SHORE) Centre, Ontario
  59. Support and Education for Trans Youth Ottawa (SAEFTY), Ontario
  60. Ten Oaks Project, Ontario
  61. The International Youth Alliance for Family Planning Canada Chapter, Ontario
  62. The Public Service Alliance of Canada
  63. Thunder Bay and District Labour Council, Ontario
  64. Trans socialCollective, Ontario
  65. Transgender Media Portal, Ontario
  66. Transgender Professional Association for Transgender Health, Ontario
  67. TransSask Support Services, Saskatchewan
  68. Tri-Cities Pride Society, British Columbia
  69. Unitarian Church of Vancouver, British Columbia
  70. University of Saskatchewa, Saskatchewan
  71. UR Pride Centre for Sexuality & Gender Diversity, Saskatchewan
  72. University of Regina Faculty Association (URFA)
  73. West Coast LEAF Association, British Columbia
  74. Wisdom2Action, Nova Scotia
  75. Women’s March Ottawa, Ontario
  76. Yarmouth Pride Collective, Nova Scotia
  77. YouthCO HIV & Hep C Society, British Columbia
  78. YWCA Canada

Independent Signatories

  1. A.W. Peet, Ontario
  2. Aaron De Sousa, Ontario
  3. Adam Guindon, Ontario
  4. Adam Highway, British Columbia
  5. Aidan, British Columbia
  6. Aisling Nolan, Ontario
  7. Alberta R Williams, Alberta
  8. Alex Biancaniello, Ontario
  9. Alexa Ruttle, Ontario
  10. Alexa Timtschenko, Ontario
  11. Alexandra Allan, Ontario
  12. Alexandra Rochon, Quebec
  13. Alexis Hunt, Ontario
  14. Alexis Thickett, British Columbia
  15. Alice Cecile, Ontario
  16. Alka Murphy, British Columbia
  17. Allan Fisher, Ontario
  18. Allegra Morgado, Ontario
  19. Allison Jonassen, Quebec
  20. Allison Shatford, Quebec
  21. Alphonse Bennett, Ontario
  22. Aly Singh, Ontario
  23. Alyson Olsheski, Ontario
  24. Alyssin Williams, Alberta
  25. Amali Kannangara, Ontario
  26. Amanda Milette, Ontario
  27. Amani Tarud, Ontario
  28. Amelia Lockert, Prince Edward Island
  29. Amielle, Saskatchewan
  30. Ana Carolina de Barros, Saskatchewan
  31. Ana Santo, Ontario
  32. Andrea MacPherson, Prince Edward Island
  33. Andreas Pilarinos, British Columbia
  34. Andrew Wiebe, Manitoba
  35. Andy MacDonald, Saskatchewan
  36. Angela Stewart, British Columbia
  37. Angelique Dack, Ontario
  38. Angelique Dack, Ontario
  39. Anna Murphy, Alberta
  40. Anne Miller, Ontario
  41. Anstice Blom, Ontario
  42. Arielle Clemens, British Columbia
  43. Ashley Cyr, Ontario
  44. Ashley Grenstone, Ontario
  45. Ashley Taylor, British Columbia
  46. Ashra Kolhatkar, British Columbia
  47. Attou Mamat, Quebec
  48. Austin Larusson, Ontario
  49. Autumn Archer, Ontario
  50. Ayden Scheim, Ontario
  51. Beau McKellar, Alberta
  52. Beth Holloway, Ontario
  53. Brad Wiebe, Ontario
  54. Braelynne, British Columbia
  55. Brandy Cook, Manitoba
  56. Braxton Kirgan, Florida, USA
  57. Brian Anderson, British Columbia
  58. Brian Gunderson, Ontario
  59. Brydon Eastman, Ontario
  60. Cameron Dilworth, British Columbia
  61. Cameron Graham, Alberta
  62. Carmen Cheung, Ontario
  63. Carmen Lee, Ontario
  64. Carragh Erhardt, Ontario
  65. Carter Antonie, Ontario
  66. Cassandra Parsons, British Columbia
  67. Cat Squires, New BrunswickW∂last∂kwiyik (Maliseet)
  68. Cathy Chabot, British Columbia
  69. Cathy Paton, Ontario
  70. Cathy Paton, Ontario
  71. Celine Poitras, New Brunswick
  72. Chantal Vallis, Ontario
  73. Charlie Jacobs, Manitoba
  74. Chris Baran, Ontario
  75. Chris Fischer, Ontario
  76. Chris Fluit, British Columbia
  77. Christopher Canning, Ontario
  78. Christopher Karas, Ontario
  79. Christopher Tate, Ontario
  80. CJ Blake, Ontario
  81. Clare Bermingham, Ontario
  82. Cody Callon, British Columbia
  83. Connor Bennett, Ontario
  84. Connor Rodriguez, Saskatchewan
  85. Courtney Bilton, Ontario
  86. Courtney Pest, Ontario
  87. Cynthia Fenwick, Ontario
  88. Dagmar Schroeder, Ontario
  89. Dakota Ward, Alberta
  90. Daksha Jadhav, British Columbia
  91. Dan Cantiller, Ontario
  92. Daniel Aguilar Hidalgo, British Columbia
  93. David Thomas Dalman, Manitoba
  94. Davy Sabourin, Quebec
  95. Dawn McKay, Ontario
  96. Dean Wilson, British Columbia
  97. Deb Stanbury, Ontario
  98. Debbie, Ontario
  99. Derek Eidick, Alberta
  100. Derek Murr, Ontario
  101. Devin Connor, Alberta
  102. Devon Haag, British Columbia
  103. Devon MacFarlane, LGBT2SQ Health Equity Consultant, Ontario
  104. Diana Smith, Alberta
  105. Diane O’Neill, British Columbia
  106. Dianna Gunn, Ontario
  107. Dianne Cameron, Alberta
  108. Dirk Steinke, Ontario
  109. Dominique Bowden, British Columbia
  110. Don Locke, Ontario
  111. Douglas Fillmore, New Brunswick
  112. Dr. Geoff Bardwell, Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia, British Columbia
  113. Dr. Mary Ann Saunders, British Columbia
  114. Dr. Sacha Geer, Ontario
  115. Duncan Robertson, Québec
  116. E McMorrow, Ontario
  117. Elise Graham, Alberta
  118. Elizabeth Beeforth, Ontario
  119. Elizabeth Holliday, Ontario
  120. Elizabeth Malcolm, Ontario
  121. Elizabeth McDonnell, Ontario
  122. Elizabeth Yue, British Columbia
  123. Elliot Rae Cormier, Alberta
  124. Elliott Tomlinson, Ontario
  125. Elly Ayling, Ontario
  126. Emily Anderson, British Columbia
  127. Emma Kuntz, British Columbia/unceded Musqueam, Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh Territory
  128. Erica Lyra Flowers, Ontario
  129. Erika Forbes, Manitoba
  130. Estelle Cook, Manitoba
  131. Evan Schilling, Ontario
  132. Finn Lucullan, Alberta
  133. Fiona Jackson, Ontario
  134. Gabrielle Bird, Saskatchewan
  135. Gail Nantais, Ontario
  136. Gale Martel, Ontario
  137. Garry Dart, Nova Scotia
  138. Gary Cousins, Ontario
  139. Gillian Fenwick, Ontario
  140. Gina Willis, British Columbia
  141. Gloria Rizzuti, Ontario
  142. Goy Sengmany, Manitoba
  143. Grace Ma, British Columbia
  144. Greyson Mannella, Alberta
  145. Guerino Angelucci, Ontario
  146. Gwen Ament, Ontario
  147. Haley Mawby, Ontario
  148. Hamid Siddiqui, Ontario
  149. Hanna Jarrett, British Columbia
  150. Heather Bigelow, Ontario
  151. Heather Firemoon, Saskatchewan
  152. Hina Imam, British Columbia
  153. Hollis Gehrett, Oregon, US
  154. Hudson Reddon, British Columbia
  155. Ian Swain, Ontario
  156. Inga Haedicke, Ontario
  157. Inkyoung Lee, Ontario
  158. Isa Grant, Prince Edward Island
  159. Isaac Standen, Utah, USA
  160. J Meredith, Ontario
  161. Jackie Lealess, Ontario
  162. Jaclynn Aylen, Ontario
  163. Jacqueline Lee, Ontario
  164. Jacqui Foxall, Ontario
  165. Jade Boyd, British Columbia
  166. James Young, British Columbia
  167. Jamie MacLean, Prince Edward Island
  168. Jane Kennedy, Ontario
  169. Janet DeWolfe, Ontario
  170. Janet MacIsaac, Ontario
  171. Janyn Zoccoli, British Columbia
  172. Jared Cassady, Illinois, USA
  173. Jason MacLean, Ontario
  174. Jason Spence, Ontario
  175. Jean-Guy Dales, Ontario
  176. Jeannie Shoveller, Nova Scotia
  177. Jeffrey Morgan, British Columbia
  178. Jenna Ruttle, Ontario
  179. Jennifer Angelucci, British Columbia
  180. Jennifer Cook, Manitoba
  181. Jennifer Gibson, Ontario
  182. Jennifer Palmer, Ontario
  183. Jess Huston, Ontario
  184. Jesse Tailor, Ontario
  185. Jessica Boyer Henrion, Saskatchewan
  186. Jessica Scalzo, Alberta
  187. Jillian Ives, Ontario
  188. Joanne Findon, Ontario
  189. Jodi Gray, British Columbia
  190. Joe Verde, British Columbia
  191. Joel Dearden, Ontario
  192. John Arnou, Ontario
  193. John Bell, Ontario
  194. John Kimmel, Prince Edward Island
  195. Jonah Hamilton, British Columbia
  196. Jordan Ruttle, Ontario
  197. Joshua Kennington, Ontario
  198. Joyce Erogun, Ontario
  199. Julia Doucette​, Ontario
  200. Julia hamer, Ontario
  201. Julie Sagram, British Columbia
  202. Justin Taylor, Prince Edward Island
  203. Justine Barone, Ontario
  204. Kalleigh Heffernan, Ontario
  205. Karen Luyendyk, Ontario
  206. Karli Steen, Ontario
  207. Kate Rybczynski, Ontario
  208. Katherine McCloskey, Ontario
  209. Kathleen Lucas, Ontario
  210. Katie Findlay, British Columbia
  211. Katrina Blommaert, British Columbia
  212. Kayla MacNaughton, Ontario
  213. Keith Mailloux, Ontario
  214. Kelly Holmes, Ontario
  215. Kelly Pickerill, British Columbia
  216. Kelly Slover, Ontario
  217. Kelsey Harpur, Ontario
  218. Kevin White, Ontario
  219. Kit Kolbegger, Ontario
  220. Kohenet Talia Johnson, Ontario
  221. Kristopher Wells, Associate Professor & Canada Research Chair for the Public Understanding of Sexual and Gender Minority Youth, Faculty of Health and Community Studies, MacEwan University, Alberta
  222. Lana Hiscock, Ontario
  223. Landon Getz, Nova Scotia
  224. Lara McConchie, New Brunswick
  225. Laura Budd, Saskatchewan/ treaty 4 territory
  226. Laura Crossley, British Columbia
  227. Lauren Miles, Ontario
  228. Laurie Richard, New Brunswick
  229. Layla M., Ontario
  230. Lea Gareau, Ontario
  231. Leah Laushway, Ontario
  232. Leanne Zubowski, Ontario
  233. Lee Pepper, Ontario
  234. Liane MacGregor, Ontario
  235. Lianping Ti, British Columbia
  236. Lillian Valentine, Alberta
  237. Lindsay Brink, New Brunswick
  238. Lindsay Harms, Manitoba
  239. Lindsay Stevenson, Ontario
  240. Lisa Durnford, Ontario
  241. Lisa Munro, Ontario
  242. Logan Osborne, New York
  243. Louise Desserre, Alberta
  244. Loulou Chayama, British Columbia
  245. Lucy Snider, British Columbia
  246. Lukas Maitland, Manitoba
  247. Luke Fox, Ontario
  248. Lynn Currie, British Columbia
  249. Lyra Evans, OCDSB Trustee for Zone 9, Ontario
  250. Macaulay Mauro, Ontario
  251. Mackenzie Martinson, Ontario
  252. Madison Thulien, British Columbia
  253. Maggie Hamel-Smith Grassby, British Columbia
  254. Manuel Arab, Ontario
  255. Marianne Emig Carr, Ontario
  256. Marie Nutter, Ontario
  257. Marie-Claude Matte, Québec
  258. Marisha Houck, Alberta
  259. Mark Hartburg, Ontario
  260. Marnie, Ontario
  261. Martha Savage, Ontario
  262. Martin Bilan, British Columbia
  263. Martin Copeland, Ontario
  264. Marty Molengraaf, Ontario
  265. Matt Ashcroft, Ontario
  266. Matthew Hunter, Ontario
  267. Matthew Ing, Ontario
  268. Matthew L. Brown, British Columbia
  269. Max Redmond, Ontario
  270. Meagan Black, British Columbia
  271. Meghan Francis, Ontario
  272. Meghan Walker, Alberta
  273. Mei-ling Wiedmeyer, MD, CCFP, Vancouver, BC/unceded Musqueam territories
  274. Melanie Nicol, Saskatchewan
  275. Melissa Braschel, British Columbia
  276. Melissa, Ontario
  277. Mell Hanley, Nova Scotia
  278. Mer Weinhold, Quebec
  279. Michael Crews, Nova Scotia
  280. Michael Dossey, Ontario
  281. Michal Melamed, Ontario
  282. Michee-Ana Hamilton, British Columbia
  283. Michelle Fleming, Ontario
  284. Michelle Olding, British Columbia
  285. Michelle Pest, Ontario
  286. Michelle Werner, Alberta
  287. Mike Smith, Ontario
  288. Miranda Schreiber, Ontario
  289. Monique Gallant, New Brunswick
  290. Morgan Vejdani, Alberta
  291. Nalin Dhillon, British Columbia
  292. Natasha Parent, British Columbia
  293. Nathaniel Benfey, Québec
  294. Ned MacInnis, Nova Scotia
  295. Nicholas Sokoloff, Manitoba
  296. Nick Eburne, Quebec
  297. Nicola Hibbard, Nova Scotia
  298. Nicolas Lemieux, Quebec
  299. Nicolas Perez-Lozana Alonso, British Columbia
  300. Noah Adams, Ontario
  301. Olivia Dunne, Ontario
  302. Olivia Monnier, Fort Wayne, Indiana
  303. Ontario Tech Pride Club, Ontario
  304. Paige Doherty, Ontario
  305. Pat Mayberry, Ontario
  306. Patrick Guilbault, Hamilton, Ontario
  307. Paul E. Guillet, Saskatchewan
  308. Peggy Lee, British Columbia
  309. Penny, British Columbia
  310. Peter Fox, Ontario
  311. PhebeAnn Wolframe-Smith, Ontario
  312. Philipp Trenn, Germany
  313. Pippa Rogak, British Columbia
  314. Quinten Hackwood, Ontario
  315. Rachal Pattison, Alberta
  316. Rachel Eaton, British Columbia
  317. Raji Mangat, British Columbia
  318. Raylee Lane, British Columbia
  319. Rebecca Barnes, British Columbia
  320. Rebecca Friesen, Alberta
  321. Rebecca Jess, Ontario
  322. Rebecca Kelly, Ontario
  323. Rebecca Smith, Ontario
  324. Reem Toubache, Ontario
  325. Renee Mathieson, Manitoba
  326. Rev. Dr. Fred Shaffer, Ontario
  327. Richard Douglas, British Columbia
  328. Rivka Kushner, British Columbia
  329. Rob Cumming, Ontario
  330. Robyn Tkatch, British Columbia
  331. Rod Knight, British Columbia
  332. Rodney Stehr, British Columbia
  333. Ronee Capes, Ontario
  334. Russell Cook, Manitoba
  335. S Smith, Saskatchewan
  336. Sam Reisler, Ontario
  337. Samantha Cox, Ontario
  338. Samantha Leone, Ontario
  339. Samuel Shulman, British Columbia
  340. Sandra Parling, Ontario
  341. Sarah Brown, Ontario
  342. Sarah Dawson, Ontario
  343. Sarah De Leon, Canadian living in US
  344. Sarah Van Volkingburgh, Ontario
  345. Savannah Nast, Ontario
  346. Scott Beck, British Columbia
  347. Scott Brearley, British Columbia
  348. Selena Dawod, Ontario
  349. Seth Long, British Columbia
  350. Shannon Bushe, British Columbia
  351. Sharon Cote, Ontario
  352. Sharon Macdonell, Ontario
  353. Shauna Cake,
  354. Shawn Gorman Wetmore, New Brunswick
  355. Shelby Dewhirst, Alberta
  356. Sherry Sylvain, Ontario
  357. Shirley W, Ontario
  358. Siobhan Churchill, Ontario
  359. Spencer Steenburgh, Ontario
  360. Shone Thistle, Alberta
  361. Stefanie Machado, British Columbia
  362. Stefanie Pest, Ontario
  363. Steffen Jowett, Ontario
  364. Stephane Girouard, Ontario
  365. Stephanie Bacher, Quebec
  366. Stéphanie Black, British Columbia
  367. Stephanie Glegg, British Columbia
  368. Stephanie Lake, British Columbia
  369. Stephanie McKillop, Ontario
  370. Stephanie Woolley, Ontario
  371. Steve Kalaydjian, Ontario
  372. Steven Aston, Ontario
  373. Sue Ruttle, Ontario
  374. Sydney Le Tissier, Ontario
  375. Sylvia Parusel, British Columbia
  376. Talyn Dowdall, Ontario
  377. Tammy Copp, Ontario
  378. Tasha Hill, British Columbia
  379. Taylor Fleming, British Columbia
  380. Teena Park, Ontario
  381. Tenzin Butsang, Ontario
  382. Thea Nikolic, Ontario
  383. Thomas Hamp, Saskatchewan
  384. Tobias Bauer, Ontario
  385. Todd Hill, New Brunswick
  386. Tooba Chaudhry, Ontario
  387. Tori Stranges, Ontario
  388. Trevor Horne, Alberta
  389. Trish Emerson, British Columbia
  390. Trish Emerson, British Columbia
  391. Tyson Bragg, Ontario
  392. Ursula Ellis, British Columbia
  393. Vanessa Dmitruk, Ontario
  394. Vanessa Sandoval, Ontario
  395. Vania Lee, Ontario
  396. Varvara Jegouleva, Ontario
  397. Velvet Steele, British Columbia
  398. Venessa D., Ontario
  399. Vera Santillana, Ontario
  400. Vernon finney, Ontario
  401. Vicki Hartley Orange, Ontario
  402. Virginia Fox, Ontario
  403. Vivian Stone, Ontario
  404. Wayne Gochee, Alberta
  405. Wendy Paterson, Ontario
  406. William Heath, British Columbia
  407. Yogi Omar, British Columbia
  408. Zacheriah Loeb-Houston, Ontario
  409. Zoe Hassall, British Columbia
  410. Alan J Castonguay, Ontario
  411. Nata Belcham, British Columbia
  412. Candy Ng, British Columbia
  413. Lorenz, British Columbia
  414. Bonnie Arthur, British Columbia
  415. Trevor Harvey, British Columbia
  416. Alice Frances, British Columbia
  417. Jolina Palmer, Alberta
  418. Dr. Alex Boo, British Columbia
  419. Samuel Morris, British Columbia
  420. Matthew McLauchlin, MSW, social worker and psychotherapist, Québec
  421. Stephen Juwono, British Columbia
  422. Anne Caraan, British Columbia
  423. Erin Anderson, British Columbia
  424. Andrea Williams, Ontario
  425. Lindsay O’Breham, Alberta
  426. Henry Wu, British Columbia
  427. Jason Pinto, British Columbia
  428. Miguel Agustin, British Columbia
  429. Anne Caraan, British Columbia
  430. Brenda Scott Castro, British Columbia
  431. Kristin Jenner, British Columbia
  432. Nata Belcham, British Columbia
  433. Caitlin Robinson, British Columbia
  434. Jathusha Mahenthirarajan, Ontario
  435. Kelsey Beson, Ontario
  436. Maryam Pandi, Ontario
  437. Teena Park, Ontario
  438. LC Buckingham, Ontario
  439. Anne Wilson Arnprior, Ontario
  440. Anne Dagenais Guertin, Quebec
  441. Clara Greer-Armour, Ontario
  442. Emmet Greer-Allin, Ontario
  443. Dara Farr, Ontario
  444. Amrit Tiwana, British Columbia
  445. Geoffrey Gilmour-Taylor Toronto-Danforth, Ontario
  446. M-X Marin, Quebec
  447. Matthew L. Brown, British Columbia
  448. Suzie Hagan, Ontario
  449. Amber Brown, BC
  450. Selene Caister, Ontario
  451. Keisha Jones, New Brunswick
  452. Lee Cameron, Ontario
  453. Sam Richardson, Ontario
  454. Carol Witt Massachusetts, USA
  455. Marta Ellen MacDonald, Ontario
  456. Jessica Wright, PhD Candidate, University of Toronto, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, Department of Social Justice Education, Ontario
  457. Natasha Vitkin, Ontario
  458. Kimberly Lyons, British Columbia
  459. Aidan Ablona, British Columbia
  460. Shelley Mackay, Alberta
  461. Amy Cohen, British Columbia
  462. Shannon Paulitzki, Ontario
  463. Marlene MacDonald, Nova Scotia
  464. Mallory Maynard, Ontario
  465. Brian Graziano, Ontario
  466. Catharine Shannon, Ontario
  467. Marc Cohen, Ontario
  468. Lisa Jacobsen, British Columbia
  469. Laura Smith, Quebec
  470. Zoltan Helebrand, Hungary
  471. Amy, Quebec
  472. Sara Anvari, Québec
  473. David Gwilt, Ontario
  474. Rebecca Battersby, Ontario
  475. Elmira Tayyar, British Columbia
  476. Zoe Coates, British Columbia
  477. Seumas MacIsaac, Nova Scotia

Context: On March 9, 2020, Bill C-6 was introduced in the House of Commons. This bill constitutes a significant opportunity to curtail “conversion therapy”—a set of practices that threaten the health and well-being of 2SLGBTQ+ communities in Canada, including those who are trans, non-binary, Two-Spirit, queer, bisexual, lesbian, gay, or otherwise not a part of the cisgender and heterosexual majority. Extensive research and advocacy by conversion therapy survivors and 2SLGBTQ+ community organizations demonstrates the urgency of this issue and the importance of legislation that effectively targets all forms of conversion practices.3

Results from the 2019 Trans Pulse national study indicate that 11% of trans and non-binary people in Canada have experienced conversion therapy in an attempt to change their gender identity or expression. A staggering 8% of transgender and non-binary people in Canada under the age of 25 have experienced conversion therapy, demonstrating that conversion therapy is an ongoing practice in this country.4

Other studies—including the Sex Now national survey of gay and bisexual male-identified Canadians—suggest that between 4 and 8% of sexual minority men (including trans men) have experienced conversion therapy5. Data from the US provide comparable prevalence estimates for sexual minority women6. Current evidence suggests that trans communities are disproportionately impacted by conversion therapy in comparison to cisgender members of 2SLGBTQ+ communities.

This appendix outlines the following observations and concerns:

  1. Forms of conversion therapy that are included in the current text of Bill C-6;
  2. Ongoing trans conversion therapy practices that are not included in the current text of Bill C-6;
  3. Recommended amendments to Bill C-6 that will equitably affirm trans and gender-diverse identities and expressions, as well as LGBQ sexual orientations.

(a) Forms of conversion therapy that are included in the current text of Bill C-6

In its current form, Bill C-6 defines conversion therapy as:

“… a practice, treatment or service designed to change a person’s sexual orientation to heterosexual or gender identity to cisgender, or to repress or reduce non-heterosexual attraction or sexual behaviour. For greater certainty, this definition does not include a practice, treatment or service that relates (a) to a person’s gender transition; or (b) to a person’s exploration of their identity or to its development.”

The first clause of this definition is unlikely to apply to the most common forms of conversion therapy operating in Canada today. This is because many conversion therapy practitioners deny that their services aim to “change” a person’s gender identity or sexual orientation. Instead they frame their services as helping with behavioural modifications (e.g., encouraging a particular form of gender expression or discouraging “self-perceptions” of gender identity).

The second clause overcomes this limitation by defining conversion therapy as including services that “repress or reduce non-heterosexual attraction or sexual behaviour.” This more aptly describes the form of conversion practices to which the majority of recently-outspoken Canadian conversion therapy survivors have been exposed8. This clause notably excludes any reference to conversion therapy targeting gender identity or gender expression, including some forms of conversion therapy that are branded as ‘transition treatment’, and specifically the types of practices that were being conducted at the CAMH Child Youth and Family Gender Identity Clinic, before it was closed in 2015.9

(b) Ongoing trans conversion therapy practices that are not included in the current text of Bill C-6

Legal scholar Florence Ashley notes that a more inclusive and accurate definition of conversion therapy accounts for the following basic premise of all forms of conversion therapy: “[these treatments, practices, and sustained efforts
] proceed from the assumption, other than the patient’s, that certain sexual orientations, gender identities, gender modalities, and gender expressions are [disordered, pathological, less desirable than others, or otherwise modifiable]”. Accounting for this fundamental aspect of conversion therapy practices opens questions about forms (i.e., other than “counselling”) and targets (i.e., other than sexual attraction/behaviours, and inclusive of gender identity and gender expression) that are missing from the current iteration of Bill C-6.

More specifically, trans and gender-diverse individuals continue to experience treatments, practices, and efforts that impede the adoption of gender identities not assigned at birth, as well as non-conforming expressions. Very often these treatments, practices, and efforts occur in healthcare offices, where providers use a variety of approaches to discourage or delay “gender non-conforming behaviour.”10 These approaches have been previously described as the “corrective approach”—wherein “correction” alludes to the same basic premise that “conversion” alludes to, i.e., systematically favouring one gender identity or expression (or sexual orientation) over another. 

This was, in fact, the kind of practice Erika Muse described in her testimony to the Ontario Legislative Assembly in 2015, leading that province to ban these practices, and in her story.11 When these experiences were made public in turn deterred other trans people from seeking gender-affirming care, because of concerns that they would be put through the same practices.12 

Conversion therapy practices that resist the affirmation of trans and other gender-diverse identities additionally prevent trans people from accessing gender-affirming (and often life-saving13) healthcare services.14 Unfortunately, none of the provincial or federal bills introduced in the subsequent 5 years (including Bill C-6) have accounted for these forms of conversion therapy (or conversion therapy-equivalent practices) that target gender identity or expression.

(c) Recommended amendments to Bill C-6 that will equitably affirm trans and gender-diverse identities and expressions, as well as LGBQ sexual orientations

Given this significant gap in the current text of Bill C-6, we propose the following amendments, to ensure that the bill will equitably affirm trans and gender-diverse identities and expressions.

3 Canadian conversion therapy survivors call for actions: Report & Conversion Therapy & SOGIECE  4 QuickStat #1 – Conversion Therapy  5 Prevalence of Exposure to Sexual Orientation Change Efforts and Associated Sociodemographic Characteristics and Psychosocial Health Outcomes Among Canadian Sexual Minority Men & Sex Now Survey results reveal prevalence of change efforts  6 Conversion Therapy and LGBT Youth  7 ‘Modern’ conversion therapy: What is it, and how hard will it be to ban?  8 ‘It’s causing me to not want to live’: LGBTQ2 community members recount time with Journey Canada programs & ‘Like a double agent’: A Saint Johner’s fight against conversion therapy  9 CAMH to ‘wind down’ gender identity clinic after review of services  10 Homophobia, conversion therapy, and care models for trans youth: defending the gender- affirmative approach  11 Legislative Assembly of Ontario, Standing Committee on Justice Policy, supra note 40 at JP-63. 12 Affirming Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Act, 2015 / Loi de 2015 sur l’affirmation de l’orientation sexuelle et de l’identitĂ© sexuelle  13 Intervenable factors associated with suicide risk in transgender persons: a respondent driven sampling study in Ontario, Canada  14 Factors Impacting Transgender Patients’ Discomfort with Their Family Physicians: A Respondent-Driven Sampling Survey