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Canadian 14-year-old seeks non-binary recognition after multiple suicide attempts

Josh Jackman July 11, 2017
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A 14-year-old is bringing a case to the highest court in their Canadian province in an effort to have their non-binary status recognised.

For Jordyn Dyck, the issue is literally a matter of life and death.

The teenager has attempted suicide multiple times and missed their entire last year of school, as well as large parts of the previous one.

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They identify as agender or non-binary, having come out to their classmates two years ago.

It made them the subject of bullying, abuse and harassment.

People at their school asked if Jordyn was a boy or a girl, sent them pictures of their birth name and even sent crude drawings of their genitalia.

“I wanted to die,” Jordyn said.

“People didn’t like me, I guess, because of who I am.

“I felt like I couldn’t support myself and all these other people didn’t support me.

“I just felt like I was lost and scared and alone,” the teen, who lives in the central province of Saskatchewan, told CBC.

They are now changing schools, but want to secure official recognition of their gender status – even if, as they see it, a positive outcome would still be indicative of a shortfall in our culture.

“I don’t think it should be necessary for a judge to [be] needed because you should just be able to be who you are,” Jordyn said.

The case will be heard by the Court of Queen’s Bench on Monday.

Jordyn’s father, Dustin Dyck, is supporting their case.

“If there was a different letter on their ID or lack of letter in their case, people couldn’t ask, ‘Are you a boy or a girl,’ ’cause you could actually show them,” he said.

“If you remove it, it puts everybody on an equal playing field and if everybody’s equal then there’s no room for bullying, right?”

Dustin, an activist for trans rights, explained that children “are hurting themselves because they’re not able to change their gender marker.”

This is supported by recent statistics highlighting the difficulties faced by trans kids.

A study in the UK last month found that nearly half of transgender schoolchildren have attempted suicide, while four in five have self-harmed.

And research from last year found that 40 percent of transgender people in the US have attempted to take their own life at some point in their lifetime.

Jordyn is not the only child fighting to have their true gender recognised by Canadian authorities.

Fran Forsberg, another parent who lives in the province, started attempting to change officially change her now nine-year-old trans child Renn’s official gender designation four years ago.

And last week, it was revealed that eight-month-old Searyl Atli Doty, from British Columbia, was the first to receive official identification which defines them as not having a gender.

Related topics: Agender, Americas, British Columbia, bullying, Canada, Canada, Children, gender, lesbian, non-binary, saskatchewan, school, suicide, teenager, teenagers, teens, Trans, Transgender

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