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Video transcript: Supporting transgender employees

Start of video
(Music plays)
(Shot of Mia Sigouin and Emmanuelle Gallays)
(Mia Sigouin speaks)

My life before I transitioned is a little bit complicated.

(Text on screen: Making better possible)
(Cover page for the document “Support for Trans Employees: A Guide for Employees and Managers”)
(Image of Mia as a teenager, prior to transitioning)

I was so not good in my skin that I think my body was giving up and I took the decision to take a leap of faith and transition.

(Text on screen: Mia Sigouin, Manager, Next Generation Travel Program Directorate, Public Services and Procurement Canada)

When you take that decision and you announce it to a manager, the workplace is extremely important.

(Shot of Emmanuelle Gallays)
(Emmanuelle Gallays speaks)
(Text on screen: Emmanuelle Gallays, Director, Outreach, Social Media and Creative Services, Public Services and Procurement Canada)

I could tell she was really, really nervous. So she flipped over the phone with the official diagnostic from the doctor and although I didn't understand what it was, was it gender dysphoria?

(Mia Sigouin interjects)

Gender dysphoria.

(The definition of gender dysphoria appears: A condition where a person experiences persistent discomfort or distress because of a mismatch between their gender identity and the sex they were assigned at birth.)
(Emmanuelle Gallays continues speaking)

That was a new term for me. We wanted to kind of document the journey from Mia's perspective but also from a manager's point of view. That was the kind of the genesis for the guide.

(Shot of Kara Lafleur)
(Text on screen: Kara Lafleur, Human Resources Advisor, Employment Equity Division, Public Services and Procurement Canada)
(Kara Lafleur speaks)

So we were approached by them, we meaning my team, Diversity and Employment Equity, because Mia was transitioning and there was no policy or guiding document that she was aware of. The employment equity team, which is my team, created a working group, solicited input from various stakeholders, other human resource disciplines like pay and labour relations, the union members, union representatives from the various unions and our Pride at Work Network which is a network for the LGBTQ2+ community here within Public Services and Procurement Canada.

(Graphic representing the various stakeholders that contributed to the development of the trans guide)

(The definition of LGBTQ2+ appears: lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer and two-spirit (adjective phrase).)

(Shot of Gordon Bulmer)

(Text on screen: Gordon Bulmer, Steward, Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, Public Services and Procurement Canada)

(Gordon Bulmer speaks)

One of the reasons I was involved with the trans guide is because I'm part of the Joint Committee on Employment Equity and Diversity here in the department. The fight for gender expression rights in the Human Rights Act was a 12-year fight. June 2017 the gender expression was added to the human rights charter as a protected ground. It vastly improved the lives of trans members, trans persons here in Canada.

(Image of posters from human rights rally, followed by an image of Canadian flags, encircled by alternating LGBTQ2+ and transgender flags.)

(Graphic representing the amendment made to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, through Bill C-16 to include gender identity or expression)

(Image of a street decorated with flags representing the LGBTQ2+ rainbow of colours, followed by an image of pink balloons and LGBTQ2+ flags decorating a street)

(Shot of Kara Lafleur)
(Kara Lafleur speaks)

The trans guide has started a movement, it’s still in the early stages but you’re seeing different changes throughout the department and through the Federal government as a whole. So for instance, within the department, our Translation Bureau created an accompanying glossary to go along with our guide.

(Animation representing the various terminology that can be found in the Gender and sexual diversity glossary)

So they created a glossary for gender and sexual diversity and all the terms in both languages which was very important because it’s very hard to find terminology in French. So all Canadians and private business can have access to this tool.

(Animation representing the web page address to access the Gender and sexual diversity glossary)

(Shot of Gordon Bulmer)
(Gordon Bulmer speaks)

The fact that Treasury Board and other departments have looked at our trans guide as a framework for the development of future documentation around the support of trans members, shows leadership by our department around social justice issues.

(Animation showing the different pages of the trans guide)

And it just shows that the Government of Canada can be a leader in social justice not just a follower.

(Image of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau raising the LGBTQ2+ flag on parliament hill, followed by an image of a stylized Canadian flag with the LGBTQ2+ rainbow of colours)

(Shot of Kara Lafleur)
(Kara Lafleur speaks)

We received the Public Service Award of Excellence for public sector values in the workplace, it’s the Joan Atkinson Award. We were very proud and pleased to receive that as well.

(Image of the Trans Guide working group receiving an award at the awards ceremony)

And it was so nice to be part of a group and to create document that is actually going to help someone immediately. You can see the results straight away.

(Mia Sigouin speaks)
(Shot of Mia working at her desk, followed by a portrait style shot of Mia in an office setting)

My story overall at work has been great at PSPC because of the executive, because of the senior management, because of my manager, colleagues. They just made it an amazing journey.

(Text on screen: Consult the guide and glossary online at:,

(Music stops)
(Public Services and Procurement Canada signature)
(Canada wordmark)
End of video

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